Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Rookie Receiver Breakouts from Week 1: Trust or Bust?

Rookie wide receivers are generally hard to trust in fantasy football. Last year’s class, for example, did not produce any regular fantasy starters, although players such as Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore, Dante Pettis, Christian Kirk and Michael Gallup all showed some promise. Ridley was the best of the bunch with 64 catches for 821 yards and 10 TD.

The 2019 season, though, opened with multiple impressive performances from some rookie wideouts. So many fantasy owners are going to go to the waiver wire to grab them this week. We saw big plays from these new pros, but many of them figure to be boom or bust types going forward. Can you rely on any of them going forward? Or was Week 1 just a mirage?

We examine the four big rookie WR headline-makers from the season opener here.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

He was the most spectacular of all the impressive rookie wideouts on Sunday, catching TD passes of 47 and 83 yards as he caught four passes for 147 yards and two TDs in Baltimore’s destruction of Miami. Brown was drafted to be an immediate impact performer for the Ravens. Lamar Jackson desperately needed playmakers to contribute immediately and Brown was widely considered to be the best wideout in the 2019 NFL Draft class.

The matchup was obviously a very friendly one against a Miami defense that generated no pass rush against Lamar Jackson and could not prevent the big play. Tougher opponents definitely lie ahead, but Jackson has been showing since the preseason that he will continue to improve as a passer. Brown has instantly elevated himself to the No. 1 WR role in Baltimore.

After Week 1, opponents will surely respect Brown and the Ravens passing game more, and will try to take him away and make other Ravens pass-catchers beat them when they throw. But Baltimore can exhibit quality offensive balanced with a dual-threat QB and a solid ground attack. There should be more good games ahead for Brown, but inconsistency may be an issue. He has yet to prove he can make key possession catches and some secondaries will not allow the big plays.

Verdict: You cannot fully trust Brown yet, but there will be some weeks where he will boost your team to a victory. Examine matchups carefully before deciding to start him.


Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins

Washington may have needed a WR of impact even more than Baltimore, but the QB situation is less steady, even after Case Keenum had a quality outing in the opener. The journeyman is certainly capable of posting good numbers at times, and Dwayne Haskins is the obvious future. Like Brown, McLaurin is in a situation where he is being handed an opportunity right away.

McLaurin caught five passes for 125 yards, including a 69-yard TD reception. His speed was on regular display, and Keenum did not hesitate to gun downfield with him. But also like Brown, McLaurin is now going to command more defensive respect. McLaurin has fewer playmakers around him in Washington than Brown does in Baltimore. If defenses start trying to take McLaurin away, there does not seem to be much else for the Redskins to challenge opponents with. On the other hand, he may demand a lot of targets after his opening-week outing. Plus, if Haskins is elevated to the starter role at any point, the two obviously have a previously established rapport from playing in college together.

Verdict: I might actually trust McLaurin a bit more than Marquise Brown, because there isn’t too much else on offense around him. They may have to continue to force the ball to the rookie and that will make him more of a dependable WR than possibly any other first-year wideout.


A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee newcomer caught three passes for a cool 100 yards in the Titans’ opening-week rout of the Browns. The Titans passing game has been lacking a potentially explosive playmaker for a long time, and Brown is a refreshing new addition for Marcus Mariota, who has not been able to consistently rely on anyone other than Delanie Walker.

This is a pivotal year for Mariota in his career, and Brown can help him succeed. Not only did he demonstrate his abilities to separate from defenders in his debut, he also displayed open field gears. Suddenly, Mariota has a new way to attack opposing defenses. If the running game continues to be consistently strong, that can only help the downfield passing. If opponents have to continue to pay heavy attention to Derrick Henry, that can set up play-action strikes to Brown.

Corey Davis has been an obvious disappointment so far, but Delanie Walker has returned to health and the Titans can establish enough offensive balance to make Brown a regular offensive threat. It heavily depends on Mariota.

Verdict: If Mariota and Henry can be more consistent then they have in the past, Brown could become a very dangerous man to opponents. But we cannot expect to depend on him just yet, as the Titans QB and RB have disappointed us before.


D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle’s newest possible star has been stirring buzz since the preseason and continued to do so when he wore a Steve Largent throwback jersey to the stadium at the home opener. Metcalf’s fantasy appeal had dipped a bit because of a preseason knee procedure, but he was able to be elevated to the starting lineup by the time the regular season began.

Metcalf then proceeded to catch four balls for 89 yards against the Bengals, with the longest being a 42-yarder. The Seattle passing game sputtered at times against a surprisingly effective Cincinnati defense, but Russell Wilson still made timely throws to Metcalf. There should be more productive weeks ahead for Metcalf, as the Seahawks may have to throw more to loosen teams up against the run.

Metcalf could have not landed in a better spot suited for his size and speed. Wilson is arguably the best deep thrower in the NFL, especially off play action. Plus the Seahawks need Metcalf to contribute often with Doug Baldwin no longer in the mix.

Verdict: Metcalf must continue to steer clear of injury issues, and that has been a problem for him. When available though, he has the best QB situation of all of these rookie wideouts. If he can stay healthy, Metcalf could be the most reliable of all of these first-year WRs, with McLaurin running second. Marquise Brown has the most weekly upside but he and A.J. Brown will be less dependable than Metcalf and McLaurin.

More Fantasy Football Analysis

More Recent Articles


Week 11 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Welcome back to Mexico City. Last season, the Chiefs were supposed to take on the Rams in this game before field conditions moved the game to Los Angeles. Even though the game was moved, the fantasy output was amazing as both teams scored over 50 points and there was not an unhappy fan among us.... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 11 Marlon Mack has been diagnosed with a broken hand and may be out several weeks. Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)... Read More

Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

This could be the most exciting installment of waiver wire adds in a while. Not that any of these choices are necessarily league-winners but at least we have a bunch of new names to ponder. Bye weeks are nearly over but this one will be particularly tough with the high-scoring Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers, and Cardinals... Read More

Waiver Wire Express - Week 12 Lightning Round

We're onto Week 12, which means the last of the bye weeks approaches. The Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings hit the hammocks as we can finally start to look at players without worrying about future offweeks. To help you look towards those precious playoff weeks, here is the waiver wire lightning round heading into Week... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 12. Some of you are concentrating on building lineups that will commandeer a spot in the fantasy playoffs, while others are making slight adjustments to teams that have already secured their place in the postseason.... Read More

Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

Week 11 is behind us and we're getting closer and closer to the end of the fantasy regular season. For some of us, Week 12 represents the final chance to get into the postseason, while for others we have another week or two left. Here, to help you get ready for the playoffs, is a... Read More

Week 12 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

With fantasy football leagues only a couple weeks away from their playoffs, this is not the time for teams to be short a tight end. Not only do fantasy footballers have no Travis Kelce or Hunter Henry during this crucial week in their fantasy seasons, they do not get to take advantage of using a... Read More

Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 12

We saw some monster weeks at the quarterbacks position, with four quarterbacks topping 37 points, and ten scoring over 25 points. These weren't all big names putting up these points either, as low-owned quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and even Jeff Driskel had some big numbers in Week 11. That means we've got plenty... Read More

Week 11 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More

Week 11 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 11... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 11

Welcome to our Week 11 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Wide Receiver / Cornerback Matchups To Target in Week 11

In Week 10, the Buccaneers defeated the Cardinals in a game that featured a whopping 57 points scored between the two teams. Christian Kirk was expected to exploit the Buccaneers weak secondary, and he exceeded all expectations by catching three touchdowns, finishing as the No. 1 wide receiver on the week. On the other side... Read More

Holiday Shopping - Who To Buy For The Playoffs Run

As the fantasy football season nears the home stretch, most owners should begin turning their eyes towards the remaining six weeks of the fantasy schedule. Either you're comfortably in the playoffs and need to see who you should be rostering in order to get the best matchups or you need that extra boost to qualify... Read More

Updated Week 11 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 11 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 11 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Emmanuel Sanders is officially active. George Kittle (ankle, knee) has officially been ruled out. Matt Breida will not play in Week 11. Jay Ajayi was signed by the... Read More