After five weeks, you can truly gauge how a player may perform for the rest of the season. You’ve had at least four games in which to see if you should keep starting them or you should try to sell (or drop) them. For the most part, you had an idea of how a player would be when you drafted him. While there are some disappointments (yes, Chris Johnson, I’m looking at you) and some late-round surprises (props to owners that drafted Alfred Morris!), let’s look at the rookies that were likely either drafted by Fantasy owners or are being considered to be added to rosters now. We’ll examine quarterbacks and running backs this week and wide receivers and tight ends next week.
Andrew Luck (QB, IND)
In four games, Luck has thrown for 1,208 yards and seven touchdowns with only five interceptions. He’s had three 300 yard games and has rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. For comparison, in the first four games last year, Cam Newton threw for 1,386 yards, five touchdowns, five interceptions, 133 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Luck is not considered to be a mobile quarterback, but he has shown poise and knows when to run if needed. In redraft leagues, Luck is a QB2 and can even be a bye week fill-in, however, in dynasty and keeper leagues, he is definitely worth holding on to. He’s just going to keep improving if Sunday’s win over Green Bay was any indication.
Robert Griffin III (QB, WAS)
RG3 is more valuable in standard Fantasy leagues because he does run the ball. He’s thrown for fewer yards than Luck (1,070 through the first four games), has fewer passing touchdowns (four) but only has one interception. RG3’s value lies in the 234 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He also has three fumbles lost, however. The risk with RG3, as has been expressed since the start of the season, is that he’s too small to rush as much as Newton. In Week 5, we saw him take an ill-advised run and end up with a concussion. Like with Michael Vick, RG3 owners need to be prepared to have weeks (like possibly Week 6) where their starting quarterback is going to miss a game because he’s dealing with a head/rib/shoulder injury. He’s absolutely worth starting in standard leagues as a QB1, but he comes with risk.
Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)
Wilson, at least this year, isn’t going to be a stud Fantasy quarterback. While that’s not a surprise to many, we also thought Matt Flynn would be the starting QB in Seattle. Wilson went in, proved he could have the job, and has done a decent job maintaining it. With 815 passing yards through five games, he has only thrown for over 200 yards once (Week 5). He has five touchdowns to six interceptions and is averaging 18 yards rushing per game. These aren’t fantastic numbers, but in leagues that start two quarterbacks, Wilson is an option. However, for the bye weeks, there are likely better options for owners in standard leagues.
Ryan Tannehill (QB, MIA)
The thought was that Tannehill was going to sit for his rookie season and learn the ropes from a veteran quarterback. However, that’s not what happened in Miami. Tannehill is the starter and he’s done a decent job with it. With 1,269 passing yards through five games, he is only lacking in touchdowns (two). He has six interceptions and did rush for a touchdown. These numbers are inflated a bit by his Week 4 numbers vs. Arizona. He threw for over 400 yards in that game and hasn’t thrown more than 225 yards in any of the other four games. Tannehill may be worth a shot during the bye weeks if the matchup is right (Weeks 10 and 11 against Tennessee and Buffalo, perhaps).
Brandon Weeden (QB, CLE)
Weeden’s passing yards (1,288) and touchdowns (five) aren’t terrible, but his nine interceptions would hurt anyone’s Fantasy team (and, clearly, the Browns real-life team). Typically, when your team is 0-5, you are not the best quarterback option in a game where owners can select any quarterback in the league. Weeden may improve with time, so owners in dynasty and keeper leagues can hang on to him. However, for those looking for a bye week fill-in, you should seek other options, even if the matchup looks promising in favor of Weeden.
Doug Martin (RB, TB)
Through four games, Martin only has 247 rushing yards with one touchdown. He’s lost goal-line carries to LeGarrette Blount and hasn’t been a part of the passing game (eight receptions for 53 yards). He started the season as a promising RB1 option with 24 carries for 95 yards and four receptions for 23 yards. However, since, the carries have decreased (all the way down to eight in Week 4) and he hasn’t had more than two receptions in a game. He’s been in the game for more snaps than Blount and is still listed on the depth chart as the lead back, but until he produces more in the game, he’s a low RB2 or even just a flex play. With the bye weeks, Fantasy owners will still likely be starting him, but he’s lost some of the promise that he showed in Week 1. If Tampa Bay can get the running game going, he’ll be valuable again, so if you want to try to buy low on him, now is the time. He has shown that he can put up RB1 numbers; he just needs to do so more consistently.
Trent Richardson (RB, CLE)
As stated for Brandon Weeden, players on a team that is 0-5 typically aren’t going to help your Fantasy team. However, the one bright spot on Cleveland’s offense is Richardson. He’s arguably the best rookie running back in the league thus far. With 303 rushing yards on 81 carries in five games and four touchdowns, he’s a low RB1. He’s added 20 receptions for 169 yards and a passing touchdown as well. Since having only one reception in Week 1, he’s had an average of almost five receptions each week since. He had a 109-yard rushing game in Week 2, helped by a 32 yard run. In Week 5, he had 81 rushing yards, his second-highest total of the season. He’s been slightly inconsistent, but that’s to be expected for a rookie, especially one playing on a team that is struggling to get a passing offense together. The Browns have stated that they are looking for Richardson to be involved in third down situations, so as long as he’s getting carries, plug him in your lineup. Now is a good time to target him in a trade.
David Wilson (RB, NYG)
After fumbling in Week 1, Wilson was in the doghouse. Andre Brown took over the carries when Ahmad Bradshaw was out and Wilson’s role was relegated to kickoff returns. However, in Week 5, something clicked with either the Giants offensive coaching staff or with Wilson, because it appears that he’s in for more carries starting in Week 6. Wilson will likely serve in a Brandon Jacobs type role (but with less receptions and less goal line work). For now, he’s the handcuff to own for Bradshaw owners. He hasn’t had much of an opportunity to show what he can do in a game situation, so Week 6 might be telling. In leagues that count return yardage, Wilson is valuable. Until then, Wilson is worth a roster stash as the job could be his sooner rather than later given Bradshaw’s injury history.
Isaiah Pead (RB, STL)
Drafted by many as the handcuff to Steven Jackson, Fantasy owners were disappointed when Daryl Richardson came in when Jackson had a groin injury. Pead has barely seen the field, except for a few kickoff returns in the first three weeks. He’s absolutely droppable in redraft leagues. In dynasty and keeper leagues, he’s only worth holding onto if you are a Jackson owner. Richardson, on the other hand, has surpassed Pead on the depth chart. As long as Jackson is healthy, he won’t be on the field enough for Fantasy relevance, but if you are in a redraft league and you are a Jackson owner, you may want to make sure you own Richardson. When Jackson left the game in Week 2, Richardson had 15 carries for 83 rushing yards and two receptions for 19 yards. If Jackson were to miss time, Richardson becomes a RB2.
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