Rookies can make a fantasy team a driving force to a championship. They can also sink a team if you believe in someone that isn’t quite there. We’ll take a look, each week, at some rookies that have made an impact that you can trust in your lineups and some that you should leave on your bench until their situation becomes clearer or they start producing.
The purpose of this article is to take a look at rookies who are ready to be locked into lineups and others who we should show patience with and keep on our bench until they start trending in the right direction with snaps or production. This is the first week so, yes, some of the studs who are listed are obvious, but going forward, we’ll focus on different players and trending stats in the upward direction focusing on snaps and touches.
Rookies Trending Up
Patrick Queen, LB, Baltimore Ravens
He was my choice for LB1 so it’s nice to see so far he has lived up to that billing. He didn’t see 100% of the snaps, but played enough to be a starter for your fantasy team. He was even able to get a sack on the day in his debut. He finished with a nice stat line even though he only was only credited for 4 solos. He’s an LB2-4 for your team and in deep leagues would be an every-week starter.
Week 1 Stats: 4 solos, 4 assists, 1 FF, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 73% snap count
C.J. Henderson, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Henderson was making the Jaguars look good on Sunday as he got his first career interception and three defended passes. He’s one of the rookie corners who I will be looking to start. Henderson will see his share of targets and has already shown a knack for finding the ball.
Week 1 Stats: 5 solos, 1 INT, 3 PDs, 84% snap count
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) September 15, 2020
Chase Young, DE, Washington Football Team
This was another no brainer, but he produced. Not all elite rookies did. The entire Washington defensive line was crushing the Eagles offensive line and Carson Wentz all afternoon – resulting in a surprising win for Washington. Young was part of the damage and started off his defensive rookie of the year campaign with 1.5 sacks.
Week 1 Stats: 2 solos, 2 assists, 1 FF, 1.5 sacks, 78% snap count
CHASE YOUNG WITH HIS FIRST CAREER SACK AND THE STRIP! 💪😈 pic.twitter.com/0yiwlO9z0A
— Barstool OSU (@BarstoolOSU) September 13, 2020
Brandon Jones, S, Miami Dolphins
This happened earlier than I thought as Brandon Jones got the nod as the starter at strong safety. Use that term loosely though because he played all over the place for his snaps. Jones made the most of his snaps though getting 7 solos and 3 assists in his time on the field. Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe will continue to play and probably out-snap Jones for the time being, but this is a situation to watch to see if Jones creeps up each week. I’m ok starting him in deep leagues and monitoring in shallower leagues.
Week 1 Stats: 7 solos, 3 assists, 53% snap count
Jeremy Chinn, S, Carolina Panthers
Well, reports were correct that Juston Burris was going to start. In fact, he did and played 100% of snaps. So did Tre Boston. Do you know who else started and played every defensive snap? That’s right Jeremy Chinn. So the reports were half-right. Who knew that Carolina would just roll with 3 safeties all game? I thought Chinn would get a decent snap share, but he should be in the lineup each week. He did almost as well as Brandon Jones.
Week 1 Stats: 7 solos, 1 assist, 100% snap count
Jeremy Chinn had 8 tackles in his rookie debut for Carolina.
Good pursuit and great tackle on the RB short of the goal line. pic.twitter.com/vdtkqV4RGQ
— Jared Feinberg (@JrodDraftScout) September 17, 2020
Others receiving consideration: Jordan Fuller, S, Los Angeles Rams;
Rookies Who Need to Prove Something
Willie Gay Jr., LB, Kansas City Chiefs
This started off our IDP season on a sour note. Relegated to special teams work, but in our eyes WAY more talented than Anthony Hitchens and Ben Niemann. Gay should crack this lineup soon, but until he sees more than 50% snap share, I’m benching him.
Week 1 Stats: 1 solo, 0% defensive snaps
Ben Niemann is going to start over Willie Gay Jr. one more time this week so the Ravens won’t have any tape on him before Spags let’s the kid absolutely wreck the Ravens. pic.twitter.com/AIgjriarCg
— CHIEFS HIGHLIGHTS (@ChiefsHighlight) September 15, 2020
Javon Kinlaw, DT, San Francisco 49ers
Rookies need time to work their way into lineups. Especially with no preseason games to get reps. Defensive tackles aren’t normally huge point-getters, to begin with, so add the rookie curve to it and it doesn’t look good for Kinlaw for a little while.
Week 1 Stats: 1 assist, 48% snap count
Kyle Dugger, S, New England Patriots
Even with Patrick Chung opting out, Dugger barely got on the field. He saw 11 snaps and took the goose egg in the stat sheet. Wait and see if he becomes part of the gameplan on a team that likes to run or if Dugger will be brought along slowly.
Week 1 Stats: 0, 18% snap count
Jeff Gladney, CB, Minnesota Vikings
I started Gladney in a couple of leagues and was sadly disappointed. He played solely on special teams just like Gay. Well, we live, we learn. When he starts you can play him.
Week 1 Stats: 0, 0% defensive stats
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Arizona Cardinals
I wouldn’t have guessed that a top-10 pick would see just 18 snaps for a defensive unit that performed poorly in 2019. The free-agent acquisitions were given the first crack at fixing the defense. Devon Kennard saw 34 snaps and De’Vondre Campbell played 100% of snaps. Simmons drew the “start” but didn’t play much and didn’t make a very big impact. Well at least for his team. He let Mostert burn him for six.
Week 1 Stats: 3 solos, 29% snap count
Raheem Mostert whooped Isaiah Simmons here and Jimmy G led him right to space pic.twitter.com/JBPdA5eP7y
— Dylan DeSimone (@DylanADeSimone) September 13, 2020
Thank you for reading the Rookie Trends article. We’ll be back next week with a new batch of rookies to take a look at who will, hopefully, crack your lineups soon.
Check out our rookie rankings here!
You can find me on the IDP Lounge each Friday night from 9-11 eastern on the Reiter Digest Network. You can also catch me on @IDPNation and @DevyIDPGrind podcasts and also replays on the network as well. I also write an offensive version of the article for Dynasty Football Digest.