2015 Fantasy Football: Week 14 Rookie Report
Marcus Mariota – QB – Tennessee Titans
It was a game to forget for the Titans and Mariota on Sunday, losing to the Jets 30-8. However, it was a game to remember for Mariota, as he had a 41-yard touchdown reception, his first of his career. But Mariota failed to throw or rush for a touchdown for the first time since week 10 against the Panthers. Mariota threw for 274 yards and an interception against that tough Jets defense that had Darrelle Revis back in the lineup for the first time in two weeks. Mariota still managed 19 fantasy points in standard ESPN scoring leagues because of the touchdown catch. Mariota will likely have a tough time against New England this weekend, but he and the Titans will finish against the Texans and the Colts to finish the year. If you need a replacement for Andy Dalton, Mariota should be right up at the top of your list as your replacement choices.
Jameis Winston – QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winston failed to reach 200 yards passing for the second time this season, throwing for 187 yards and a touchdown late in the game. This stat line comes as a huge disappointment, however, as Winston had one of his worst games through the air of the season against the New Orleans Saints defense that is on track to allow the most passing touchdowns in a season of any team in NFL history. Winston’s receivers did not help him out in this one either, dropping four passes in the game. Vincent Jackson missed the game as well, which did not make things any easier for the rookie out of Florida State. There were a lot of people that invested in Winston this week because of their matchup against the Saints, and they were left disappointed. Winston and the Bucs are fighting for a wild card spot in the NFC playoff picture with just three games remaining, which will likely make Winston’s play at his best moving forward. But he’s tough to trust at this point if you’re looking to start him, especially after last week’s disappointment against the Saints.
Thomas Rawls – RB – Seattle Seahawks
It has been a tough year at running back around the NFL, as we have already seen many of the stars like LeVeon Bell and Jamaal Charles go down with season ending injuries. Marshawn Lynch is still out recovering from hernia surgery, and now Thomas Rawls is out for the rest of the season with a broken ankle. Rawls had been filling in quite nicely for Beast Mode, posting four 100-plus yard games this season, and two games of 165-plus as well. Another interesting piece about Rawls is, he is the most owned player in all of the playoff teams in ESPN leagues. It will be interesting to see what Rawls role with the team moving forward is with Marshawn Lynch returning from his injury before the end of the season.
Dorial Green-Beckham – WR – Tennessee Titans
It is clear that DGB is the number one receiver in Tennessee moving forward, but the problem is that Delanie Walker is still the number one target for Marcus Mariota in the Titans offense. Shadowed by that tough Jets defense for most of the day Sunday, DGB was only able to manage 53 yards on three catches, which was a let down to the game he had the week before against the Jaguars. The Titans will finish with the Patriots, Texans and Colts this year, leaving DGB with a great chance to end the year on a high note to set the tone for his sophomore season next year. The Titans are now eliminated from playoff contention, so we will likely see Mariota and Green-Beckham continue to develop chemistry on the field to improve their timing to become the teams top receiving tandem moving forward. If you’re in the playoffs and are looking to add players that have potential for a big week, DGB is your guy.
Tyler Lockett – WR – Seattle Seahawks
Doug Baldwin has been an absolute monster lately for the Seahawks, with eight touchdowns in his last three games. Hiding in the shadows of Doug Baldwin these days is the success of Tyler Lockett, who now has four touchdowns in his last four games, including a six catch effort for 104 yards and two scores against the Ravens. Ever since Jimmy Graham went down his season ending knee injury, Russell Wilson has had to put the team on his back and carry the Seahawks offense into the playoffs. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett have been the top options in the red zone that Wilson has looked for, and with Thomas Ralws now out for the year and Marshawn Lynch not ready to come back, Wilson will have to carry the offense even more. Anyone in the Seahawks passing game is a monster play for the rest of the fantasy season.
Amari Cooper – WR – Oakland Raiders
It was a game to forget for Amari Cooper, as he did not catch a pass in last week’s game against the Broncos. The Raiders went into Denver and upset the Broncos, which will ease the pain for he and the Raiders passing game a little bit. However, if Cooper has zero catches on eight targets in any game moving forward, I would be surprised if the Raiders have much success as they did on Sunday. The Raiders still have a small, outside chance to make the playoffs, now sitting at 6-7 with three games to go. They will need to win their three remaining games and get some help, as the two teams in the AFC wild card spot are both 8-5. Two of their final three games are in Oakland, which should help Cooper and the Raiders a little more. It is good news that Cooper was targeted eight times in a game which he was held without a catch, knowing that the team will continue to look his way even when there isn’t much success.