The list for this week is a good one. A few players not listed below were deserving and tough to leave off. The group for this week is filled with exciting, young offensive talent. In particular, many wide receivers had great weeks for their teams. Defensively, two new players who finally got opportunities played well and earned a spot. Let’s take a look at the 10 best rookies heading into Week 17.
Be sure to catch up on Week 16’s rankings.
No 10. Jason Pinnock, CB, New York Jets
Pinnock got the first start of his career on Sunday for the Jets as a result of many injuries. He played out of his usual position of cornerback and was used at safety. Pinnock had a productive day. He contributed to the run defense that had a successful day overall. Pinnock graded out well himself as a run defender. Pinnock recorded four total tackles, one forced fumble, and one pass deflection. His pass deflection was an impressive play in coverage. It will be exciting to see how Pinnock finishes the season.
No 9. Zach Wilson, QB, New York Jets
Wilson had an encouraging outing in the Jets’ last win. His passing statistics were nothing special. However, he did not get a ton of help. Certain core players were unavailable and there were some drops. He completed over 63 percent of his passes, for 102 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. Wilson has not thrown an interception in the last three games. Most impressively, was the production Wilson had as a runner Sunday. He had four attempts go for 91 yards and a terrific 52-yard rushing touchdown. Hopefully, Wilson can finish the last two weeks strong for the Jets.
No 8. Kelvin Joseph, CB, Dallas Cowboys
Joseph was a talented draft prospect this year who finally got his chance. He showed what he is capable of at the cornerback position. Joseph recorded two pass deflections in coverage. He finished with three total tackles and one tackle for loss. In his first start, Joseph did a great job of contributing to a dominant performance from the Cowboys’ defense. It will be interesting to see what his role is to finish out this season as the Cowboys prepare themselves for a playoff run.
No 7. DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
It was another stellar week for Smith as he helped the Eagles get an important win. He accounted for a significant amount of the Eagles receiving yards on the day. Smith was targeted seven times Sunday, catching five of them for 80 yards and a touchdown. This touchdown catch put him at five total on the season. As the Eagles look to clinch a playoff berth, continued success from Smith will be necessary.
No 6. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions
St. Brown had yet another great game for the Lions. This game put him at four in a row in terms of productive outings. On Sunday, he got 11 targets his way, catching nine of them for 91 yards and a touchdown. Also, St. Brown contributed to the Lions’ ground game. He got two carries and ran for 19 yards. This put him at a total of 110 scrimmage yards. St. Brown continues to prove how exciting he can help make the Lions’ future.
No 5. Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Pitts had one of the best games of his young career this last week for the Falcons. He caught all six of his targets for 102 yards receiving. Pitts nearly accounted for half of the Falcons passing attack in their victory. This impressive outing put Pitts in a good position to gain 1,000 yards on the season this week. Pitts is an incredibly young prospect who is already off to a great start for the Falcons.
No 4. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins
Similar to his former Alabama teammate, Smith, Waddle had another week we have simply come to expect. On Monday night, in the Dolphins’ seventh straight victory, he caught 10 of his 12 targets for 92 yards and a touchdown. In this one, he was a key difference-maker. He essentially led the Dolphins’ offense against an exceptional defense. Waddle will have to keep up this production for the Dolphins playoff chances.
No 3. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
In a critical home divisional matchup for the Bengals, their superstar wide receiver made his impact felt. He helped his team put up 41 points. Chase also helped his quarterback, Joe Burrow, have a record-breaking day. Chase saw 10 targets come his way, catching seven of them for 125 yards. As the Bengals’ biggest game of the year approaches, another big game from Chase will be expected.
No 2. Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets
Carter was much more involved this last week, the first one in a while, and was awesome. He had 16 carries go for 118 yards rushing, an average of 7.4 per attempt. In the passing game, he caught two of his three targets for six yards. His terrific performance was instrumental for the Jets on their way to victory. He is one of the most valuable building blocks for the Jets moving forward.
No 1. Davis Mills, QB, Houston Texans
Mills had a spectacular day for the Texans helping them get an impressive win. He went 21 for 27, completing nearly 78 percent of his passes. Mills threw for 254 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. He finished the game with a 130.6 rating. He led his offense to 41 points against a playoff-caliber team. Mills did a great job of spreading the football around to different skill position players. The last three games for Mills have been as encouraging as one could ask for. He continues to prove why the Texans should stick with him next year.
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