Week 15 NFL Rookie Watch: Which Rookies Are in the Rookie of the Year Race

Keet BaileyCorrespondent IIDecember 17, 2010

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 12:  Mike Williams #19 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't make this catch against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins led the Buccaneers at the half 10-3. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

Week 15 has started and NFL Soup continues to keep you updated with everything Fantasy Football, NFL Draft, and just NFL related.

It’s important to see how your rookies are doing in Fantasy Football, especially if you’re in Dynasty or Keeper leagues. Many of us took chances on drafting some of these guys a bit early in our fantasy football leagues. Dez Bryant was a high pick in many drafts, and Ryan Mathews was usually a 4th-5th round pick in pre-season drafts.

So who’s leading the Rookie of the Year votes, and who has made the biggest impact on your Fantasy Football team as a rookie in 2010?

Take a look at our Top Ten Rooking Rankings for Week 15:

1) Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams

Season Stats: 286/474 2,884 yds, 17 TD, 12 INT

Last Week @ New Orleans: 18/32 231, 0 TD, 2 INT

Bradford hit a bit of a slump the last two weeks and hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 12. He’s thrown three interceptions in his last two games and has struggled.

For most of the season Bradford has limited turnovers and has been very effective for a rookie quarterback on an offense lacking weapons.

Despite Dez Bryant and Mike Williams playing very well this season, Bradford should win the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

2) Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions

Season Stats: 52 tackles (38 solo), 8 sacks, 3 PD, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 TD

Last Week vs. Green Bay: 3 tackles (1 solo)

Suh hasn’t put up huge numbers in his last two weeks, but he’s still making an impact. He’s had to face double teams and offensive lines have had to attempt to gameplan against him.

Suh should have the Defensive Rookie of the Year locked up, as his play has been fantastic. He has become even more of the animal than he was his Senior campaign at Nebraska and is playing on one of the most improving defensive lines in football.

3) Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Season Stats: 52 rec, 784 yds, 7 TD

Last Week @ Washington: 1 rec, 15 yds, 0 TD

Williams continues to be a forced to be reckoned with. His Week 14 numbers were a bit disappointing becuase he wasn’t utilized as much, thanks to Kellen Winslow emerging a bit. However, he’s still a top notch candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Williams has become a nice WR2 in all formats and has a very favorable schedule the rest of the season. If he keeps this production up, he could surpass Bradford as the most valuable offensive rookie.

4) LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Season Stats: 149 rush, 667 yds, 5 TD, 2 rec, 9 yds 0 TD

Last Week @ Washington: 15 rush, 68 yds, 0 TD

Blount is the lead back in Tampa Bay right now, and is taking advantage of it. He’s averaging 4.5 carries this season, despite not getting much playing time since Week 7.

Blount rushed just 15 times against Washington, but made the most of it with 68 yards on the ground. Because he hasn’t played the entire season he’s a long shot to win the Rookie of the Year award. You can’t dismiss his production and his fantasy value as a Flex running back at the least.

5) Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs

Season Stats: 76 tackles (61 solo), 2 sacks, 10 PD, 3 INT, 1 FF

Last Week @ Seattle: 7 tackles (7 solo), 2 PD, 1 INT

You have to love the progression Berry has made in 2010. He’s a great wrap up tackler, and he’s doing an excellent job of finding the ball and making a play on it.

The Kansas City defense has improved quite a bit, and Berry is a big reason why. They still struggle a bit in the secondary, but teams have to fear Berry and Brandon Flowers when making plays offensively. Berry is making a strong case to be Defensive Rookie of the Year. However, Earl Thomas could stand in his way.

6) Earl Thomas, S, Seattle Seahawks

Season Stats: 65 tackles (55 solo), 12 PD, 5 INT

Last Week @ San Francisco: 1 tackles, (1 solo)

Thomas continues to play lights out football and has emerged as the sole leader in the secondary for the Seattle Seahawks. Thomas is showing that he can make tackles in the open field as well as his ability to make plays in coverage.

Unfortunately, the rest of the Seahawks defense isn’t playing very well after suffering through key injury of Red Bryant. But Thomas is becoming one of the better safeties in the NFL and has a knack for finding the ball in the air, especially making a play after the catch.

7) Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans Saints

Season Stats: 130 rush, 683 yds, 5 TD, 1 rec, 17 yds 0 TD

Last Week vs. St. Louis: 7 rush, 47 yds, 0 TD

Ivory is one of the biggest rookie surprises of 2010. Ivory is an undrafted rookie who played a bit with Washington State before finishing his football career at Tiffin University in Ohio.

With the injuries to the Saints running backs, Ivory was called into action and has performed well in his debut with the Saints. He won’t always rush for a ton of yards, but he’s a tough back who can make plays on the goal line. His fantasy value could be limited going forward as he’s suffering from a hamstring injury, and both Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush are back.

8 ) Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

Season Stats: 31 rec, 365 yds, 7 TD

Last Week @ Detroit: 5 rec, 43 yds, 1 TD

Gronkowski is a stud tight end who the Patriots use a lot more when the opposing defense plays more of a zone coverage. For example, in Week 13, he didn’t play much with the Jets going man coverage, which is why Aaron Hernandez got the receptions. In Week 14, Gronkowski was involved more, and caught a touchdown pass.

Basically, if you want to see where his value is on your fantasy team, then figure out what type of defense the Patriots offense will be facing.

9) Devin McCourty, CB, New England Patriots

Season Stats: 67 tackles (58 solo) 20 PD, 6 INT, 1 FF

Last Week @ Chicago: 3 tackles (3 solo), 1 PD, 1 FF

McCourty has been starting since Week 1, but he’s had all six of his interceptions since Week 7, and has become a tough corner to play against. He blankets his receiver, and does a good job of playing the ball and batting it down.

McCourty can tackle as well, and has good value in IDP leagues, and is making a strong case to be a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

10) Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Season Stats: 45 rec, 561 yds, 6 TD, 2 RTD

Last Week @ Indianapolis: 0 rec, 0 yds, 0 TD

Bryant’s Rookie of the Year campaign is over after being placed on the IR after suffering through a fractured fibula.

Still, you can’t discount what the guy did. He accounted for eight touchdowns in his first 13 games and made quite a few plays in both the receiving and return game. Thanks to the season ending injury he most likely won’t get much love for Rookie of the Year but his accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed.

Honorable Mention:

Joe Haden, CB, Cleveland Browns- 45 tackles (39 solo), 21 PD, 6 INT, 1 FF

T.J. Ward, S, Cleveland Browns- 104 tackles (81 solo), 9 PD, 2 INT, 1 FF

Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions- 149 rush, 485 yds, 4 TD, 51 rec 411yds, 1 TD

Jordan Shipley, WR, Cincinnati Bengals- 47 rec, 569 yds, 2 TD

Tony Moeaki, TE, Kansas City Chiefs- 38 rec, 451 yds, 3 TD

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers- 103 rush, 447 yds, 3 TD, 16 rec, 98 yds

Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots- 41 rec, 532 yds, 3 TD, 2 rushes 31 yds


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