Fantasy Football Rookie Report: Dante Pettis, Josh Allen, Calvin Ridley
Monday night’s crazy game – complete with one of the most baffling interceptions you’ll see, and an amazing possibly-not-legal field goal block by Bobby Wagner – capped off what was an insane Week 14 in the NFL. For fantasy owners, this worked out great if you happened to be playing Derrick Henry or Amari Cooper. But maybe not so well if you were using anyone on the Rams.
The good news is there were several standout rookies this week who continued to show that they’re going to be fantasy relevant for the rest of this year, as well as the 2019 season. As with every week, here’s a rundown of three first-year players whose stock went up this week, and three whose stock went down.
Robert Foster (WR – BUF)
Surprisingly, it was a big week for the Bills offense, who had been historically bad up until the point that quarterback Josh Allen returned from his wrist injury earlier this year. Now, this isn’t me calling for everyone to immediately start picking up any Bills players. But after Buffalo cut Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes, Foster took advantage of the situation.
He accounted for more than half of Allen’s total passing yards on the day, catching seven of his eight targets for 104 yards – the second time this year he surpassed 100 yards against the Jets. The undrafted rookie out of Alabama has now scored at least 10 fantasy points in three out of his past four games and is the solid No. 2 receiver on the Bills depth chart (and maybe even No. 1 if Zay Jones keeps dropping passes). Foster doesn’t carry much value in standard redraft leagues at this point, but he could be worth a stash in dynasty leagues or a be a possible value for daily fantasy play.
Josh Allen (QB – BUF)
Speaking of the Bills offense, who would have predicted that Allen would be the best rushing quarterback in football heading into this year? While the rookie quarterbacks outside of Baker Mayfield have failed to solidify themselves as fantasy options, Allen now carries some fantasy value with his ability to score touchdowns on the ground.
As a passer, he’s been borderline terrible, completing just 50 percent of his passes over his past three games while throwing a total of three touchdowns and four interceptions. But his legs have given him a bump in value, as he’s racked up more than 330 rushing yards over that span and scoring twice on the ground as part of back-to-back 100-yards rushing games, the first time a quarterback has done that since the 1950s. Just like Foster, I wouldn’t go and start using Allen in the fantasy playoffs, but he could be a nice daily play with a game Sunday against the Dolphins.
Dante Pettis (WR – SF)
Unlike Allen and Foster, Pettis could actually be an option in standard redraft leagues for the last few weeks of the season. He’s now scored four touchdowns in his past three games and has six or more targets in his past four games. His yardage total Sunday against the Broncos could have been even better, but tight end George Kittle stole the spotlight with 210 yards in the first half.
Pettis is absolutely worth a stash in dynasty leagues, and he has an advantageous matchup in Week 17 (when a lot of fantasy starters could be sitting out) against the Rams, who have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to tight ends this year, according to our rankings.
Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL)
At this point in the season, I’m looking for fantasy players who I can either trust to produce in the playoffs or players who have advantageous matchups. But I don’t see either of those with Ridley.
He has just 32 total receiving yards over his past two outings while catching 44.4 percent of his targets over that span. To make matters worse, he plays the Cardinals this week, who have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this year. He does close out the year against the Panthers and Bucs, but if you need to win in the playoffs this week, I don’t see any reason you should be trusting Ridley.
Josh Adams (RB – PHI)
While Adams should still be considered the starter in Philadelphia, this week’s game against the Cowboys made it clear that game script is going to make or break his fantasy production. With the Eagles trailing for most of the game Sunday, Adams only carried the ball seven times for 36 yards, while fellow running back Darren Sproles caught three passes and scored a touchdown. Sproles played on 42 percent of Philly’s offensive snaps, according to Footballguys.com, while Adams appeared on 40 percent of their snaps – Adams’ lowest snap count since Week 9.
The Eagles’ next two games are against the Rams and Texans, who have scored the third- and 12th-most points per game this year, respectively, so Philadelphia isn’t going to be up for much of those games. Don’t plan on relying on Adams as anything else other than a flex option going forward.
Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)
Fantasy owners jumped all over Sutton after the Broncos traded Demariyus Thomas earlier this year, but he’s yet to do much of anything with the expanded opportunity. In a must-win game against the 49ers, Sutton finished fourth on the team in catches behind fellow rookie receiver DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick, who hadn’t caught more than one pass in a game this year.
Even with Emmanuel Sanders out, it’s hard to see Sutton as a legitimate fantasy option going forward. Of course, he has the potential to score a touchdown on your bench. But even with Thomas and Sanders gone from the lineup, Sutton should be doing much more with the snaps he’s getting.