2015 Fantasy Football: Week 16 Rookie Report
Jameis Winston – QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winston and the Bucs fell to the Bears in week 16 despite 295 yards and two touchdowns from Winston in a losing effort. That brings Winston’s totals in his rookie season with one game to play to 3,717 yards, 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 58% completion percentage. Winston is undoubtedly going to win rookie of the year in his first year in the NFL, and he has one more game in week 17 against the Panthers to add to his resume. The last time Winston faced off against the Panthers, however, he struggled mightily and threw four interceptions. All in all, Winston has a chance to throw for 4,000 yards and needs three touchdowns to reach 30 total on the season (22 passing, five rushing). If you are in a league that has their championship in week 17 and you are looking for quarterback help, Winston is not your guy, as he faces the Panthers in a week 17 matchup where the Panthers actually have something to play for to make sure they have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Todd Gurley – RB – St. Louis Rams
It was a very efficient day for Gurley on Sunday in Seattle, as he totaled 85 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown in his first matchup against the legion of boom in his career. The last time these two teams met, Gurley was still recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in his senior season at Georgia. Gurley is now sitting at 1,107 yards on the season and 10 touchdowns. Gurley is averaging 4.8 yards per carry in his rookie season and appears to be in line for a nice NFL career in St. Louis playing for Jeff Fisher, who is known to love his running backs. Use Gurley with confidence in the final week of the 2015 season, as the Rams travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers. As we move on from 2015 and start looking towards next year, Gurley will be very high on the list in 2016 as one of the best running backs in fantasy football, regardless of the format.
Karlos Williams – RB – Buffalo Bills
LeSean McCoy’s first season with the Bills is over, and Williams filled in with 17 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown last week. Mike Gillislie actually led the Bills in rushing in week 16 with 93 yards, despite just nine carries that he received. The task gets tougher for both backs in week 17, as the Bills go up against one of the best run defenses in the NFL, the Jets. Williams has just 87 carries this season, as he has been sitting behind LeSean McCoy for most of the way. However, Williams is averaging 5.8 yards per carry on the year. That average would likely go down if given a full workload as the starting running back; however, it is still an impressive number for the first year back out of Florida State. Williams is also tied for third amongst rookie running backs in touchdowns with six, despite fewer carries than nine of the top ten backs.
Amari Cooper – WR – Oakland Raiders
It was a tough night for Cooper on Thursday night, as he was held to just two catches for ten yards and left the game due to a foot issue. Cooper appears to be good to go for week 17 against the Chiefs, who pose a very favorable matchup for the 2014 Heisman finalist. Despite the poor outing on Thursday, Cooper still has 1,050 yards receiving this season, leading all rookies and leading the team for the Raiders as well. Look for Cooper to end 2015 on a high note, as the Chiefs are 26th against receivers in fantasy this season. Cooper, like Gurley, will likely be higher on the draft board next season and could be in line for an even bigger year in 2016. The Raiders are going to be a very popular pick next season with the emergence of Carr, Cooper and Crabtree on offense, as long as they can get their defense to play at the level that they have been playing all season, they could be a playoff team in 2016.
Javorius Allen – RB – Baltimore Ravens
Buck Allen responded well in week 16 from a very disappointing week 15 outing. Allen ran for a career high 79 yards on 18 carries. Allen also found the end zone as a runner for the first time of his career, adding to his two receiving touchdowns he had in weeks 12 and 13. The Ravens face a tough Bengals defense in week 17, who are still playing for playoff seeding, making Allen a tough play in the final week of the 2015 season. The way this year has gone at the running back position, however, you could do a lot worse than Allen in week 17. Arguably the best part of Allen’s game this season has been his ability to contribute in the passing game as well, totaling 38 catches in his rookie season, which is second amongst rookie running backs and sixth among rookies at any position on the year. Only Duke Johnson (57) has more catches as a rookie running back in 2015.
David Johnson – RB – Arizona Cardinals
Johnson had just nine carries for 39 yards on Sunday but was able to find the end zone in the Cardinals blowout win over the Packers. Johnson also added 88 receiving yards on three catches in a game where the Cardinals dominated the Packers from the opening kickoff. Chris Johnson had a nice season for the Cardinals when he took over as the number one running back when Andre Ellington was injured, but it was Johnson that stepped in when Chris Johnson went down and took the job and ran with it. If he is the workhorse back in Arizona next season, look for Johnson to be a very reliable option in the Cardinals high powered offense in 2016.