This year’s rookie class has been a disappointment. Not in terms of the entire class, as there has been production, just no huge tent poles to hold up the value of every box. This week, rookies dominated the field, driving some of the wins for their individual teams. In fact, the rookie wide receivers this week looked as good as they have all year.
Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers
In a year where no one has truly stood out, Allen has become a favorite target of Phillip Rivers on a team with few options at WR. He had 2 TDs this week, and currently leads the rookie class in both receptions and yardage. He may be the front runner for rookie of the year, which is shocking considering how many WR were drafted ahead of him. Allen has been a surprise, no doubt about it, and another solid week will add value to a guy who is still selling for nothing.
Cordarrelle Patterson – Minnesota Vikings
Im a Vikings homer, but Patterson has had a big run of great games ever since the Vikings decided they wanted to play him. He may have been slow adjusting to an NFL offense after only 1 year of NCAA ball, but the guy is a dynamic playmaker that the Vikings havent had a WR for years. He had 141 yards receiving this week, in addition to another long kickoff return, only showing further that he should be a bigger part of the offense every single week. I would not hesitate in saying he would have had better stats with a serviceable starting QB and a more progressive coaching staff, but the Vikings suck in that regard. He should get more looks now that Peterson will likely be out for a few weeks, which is a very good thing for collectors.
Marlon Brown – Baltimore Ravens
The Vikings/Ravens game had a crazy ending, with 4 TDs in the last 2 mins of play, including a game winner to Brown. He has gone from an undrafted free agent to one of the top targets for Joe Flacco, catching 6 TDs on the season. He has outplayed every first round draft pick so far this year, and may be one of the only guys who has a shot at double digits for total TDs this year. The craziest thing? He has yet to have any presence in the hobby at all.
Justin Hunter – Tennessee Titans
For a guy like Hunter, who has been flying relatively under the radar, he has put up some really good numbers. He had 100+ yards receiving and a long TD in a Titans loss, but continues to surprise as he has all season long. Without Jake Locker, it should be expected that his numbers drop off, but he has actually stayed pretty consistent with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. He is a guy worth taking a look at for sure.
Da’Rick Rogers – Indianapolis Colts
Another undrafted free agent that had a breakout game this week, as Rogers caught 2 TDs and put up over 100 yards receiving. He was signed by the Bills coming out of the draft, and eventually was released and signed by the colts. He had only played one game prior to today, but this was a BIG game for a guy of his experience. I am not someone that thinks he is going to be replicating this type of performance any time soon, but its nice to see more guys of his nature play well. It adds depth to the class.
Here is the thing – Wide Receivers are basically disposable in this league with few exceptions. Most collectors will buy the hell out of the rookie cards for the top guys, but after that, they are doomed for the common box. Although this year’s class of receivers has had some nice promise, I would be absolutely shocked if any of their autographs will crack 10 bucks next year. I am just hoping we see many more performances like this along the way.