Lost password?

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


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

Fantasy Football Rookies to Watch in Week 12: Mac Jones, Javonte Williams, and more

Javonte Williams - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Every week, this column will spotlight the first-year players who are ripe for a breakout performance. Oftentimes, rookies can provide some of the most value as under-the-radar options.

Week 11 featured several solid fantasy performances from rookies. The most impressive showing came from Jets receiver Elijah Moore, who posted eight receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown. Dolphins wideout Jaylen Waddle also had himself a day, making eight catches for 65 yards and scoring a rushing touchdown. Each week's slate of games sees a slew of rookies continue to develop and produce solid stat lines, and Week 12 will be no different.

For dynasty leagues, this column should help identify ideal trade targets and prized stashes. For redraft managers, this column could provide the edge necessary for a championship run. Most of the players in this week's article are well-known, but a few are sneaky sleepers.

Featured Promo: Our friends at RIVAL Fantasy have created fun and unique DFS games including over/under contests and Fantasy Bingo. Use promo code BALLER to get a free year of RotoBaller Premium access ($199 value), and a $50 risk-free deposit. Play Now!


The Class Leader

Mac Jones (QB, NE)

First-round rookie Mac Jones made the most of his dropbacks against Atlanta last week, completing 22 of 26 passes. This efficiency was hardly a fluke; with an 86.9 PFF grade on the season, Jones is the second-highest graded rookie in the league behind just Kansas City center Creed Humphrey. Unfortunately, this success has not always translated to fantasy production. Jones has finished as a top-10 QB just twice in 11 starts, making him a poor option outside of 2QB or Superflex leagues.

Still, Jones is clearly talented. His accuracy rating is the second-highest in the entire NFL, and his pressured completion percentage is the best. Jones has also thrown just the 23rd-most interceptable passes despite having the 12th-most pass attempts. Eventually, Jones will turn his accuracy into impressive stats. The question is if that happens this week or even this season. The Patriots will take on the Titans this week; Tennessee has surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs in 2021.


The Frustrating Asset

Javonte Williams (RB, DEN)

Javonte Williams brings a lot to the table for the Broncos. The rookie from North Carolina is averaging just a shade under 5.0 yards per carry, and his breakaway run rate of 6.8 percent is the eighth-highest among all running backs. The problem is that his teammate, Melvin Gordon, has been productive in his own right. Gordon's production premium, a measure of efficiency, is actually higher than Williams', and Gordon is also averaging more fantasy points per opportunity.

Thus, the Broncos use Gordon and Williams at approximately equal rates, and that likely won't change soon. Just when we all thought Williams had broken out in Week 9 with 111 rushing yards, he follows that up with a game with just 10 touches. One would assume that Williams would have to put together a truly monstrous performance to finally move past Gordon, but he may have a chance to do so this week. The Broncos face the Chargers on Sunday, and Los Angeles has yielded the third-most half-PPR fantasy points to RBs this season.


The Banged-Up Back

Elijah Mitchell (RB, SF)

The last time we saw rookie Elijah Mitchell on the field, he carried the ball an incredible 27 times but accumulated just 91 yards. Strangely, this workload came despite him having his lowest snap share of the season at 52 percent. Now Mitchell is questionable to play this Sunday with rib and finger injuries after missing Week 11. San Francisco sorely missed him against Jacksonville, as Jeff Wilson Jr. and Trey Sermon were inadequate replacements despite the team's big win. Indeed, the team gave receiver Deebo Samuel, the eventual leading rusher, eight carries.

Should Mitchell be able to return versus Minnesota, he would have a good fantasy performance in store. The Vikings are below-average at defending running backs, allowing the 12th-most fantasy points to RBs. Moreover, the 49ers are one of the most run-heavy teams in the league, averaging 29 runs per game, the sixth-most. While Mitchell may not catch many passes with his fractured middle finger, he doesn't do much of that even when healthy, and he doesn't need to. A sixth-round pick in the NFL draft, Mitchell has been a massive steal for both the 49ers and fantasy owners.


The Intriguing Opportunity

Dez Fitzpatrick (WR, TEN)

The Titans will be at less-than-full strength when they face a surging Patriots squad this week. Future Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Julio Jones remains on injured reserve, and on Friday wideout A.J. Brown was ruled out for the game with a chest injury. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill will need someone to pass to, especially with star running back Derrick Henry out for the season. That someone may end up being fourth-round rookie Dez Fitzpatrick out of Louisville.

Fitzpatrick made his professional debut in Week 10, catching just one pass for zero yards with only three routes run. Last week, though, he played 75.9 percent of the team's snaps, ran 44 routes, and caught three of six targets for 35 yards with one touchdown. That drastic increase in usage makes Fitzpatrick an interesting sleeper for this Sunday's game; even this year's prized rookie WR, Ja'Marr Chase, has only run 44 or more routes once. The New England defense is very tough against receivers, but even so, Fitzpatrick is absolutely worth watching out for.


The Deep Sleeper

Joshua Palmer (WR, LAC)

This past April, the Chargers chose Josh Palmer, a receiver from Tennessee, in the third round of the draft. Since then, Palmer has been very quiet, amounting to just the WR110 in PPR so far. However, there are some encouraging signs to consider with regards to the rookie. Since his bye week, Palmer has finished as a top-70 WR in all four games; before the bye week, he failed to do that at all in four appearances. Palmer is also hovering around a 30 percent snap share over his last three games after only crossing that threshold once previously.

While these are very low bars to clear, Palmer is definitely being integrated into the offense slowly but surely. The current WR3 on the Chargers, Jalen Guyton, has been unimpressive; his production premium, QB rating when targeted, and fantasy points per target are all outside the top-100 receivers. Moreover, Guyton has failed to reach a 50 percent snap share in two of his last three contests after passing it in each of his first seven this season. If/when Palmer ascends beyond Guyton in the pecking order, he would see an increased role in the fourth-most pass-happy offense. Watch if Palmer sees the field more this week versus Denver.


The Slumping Stud

Kyle Pitts (TE, ATL)

In a two-game span between Weeks 5 and 7, Falcons rookie Kyle Pitts put up an amazing combined stat line of 16 catches for 282 yards. Since then, though, the former Florida Gator is just the TE17 in standard leagues and TE16 in PPR. Much of this decline can be attributed to the floundering Atlanta offense, but still, Pitts has yet to truly crack the top-tier of tight ends as we thought. Even with receiver Calvin Ridley taking a leave of absence, Pitts has been unable to take advantage of the vacancy in the target distribution.

Despite this slump, it remains true that Pitts has the tools and situation necessary to reach the level of George Kittle or Darren Waller. His 29.2 percent share of his team's air yards is the highest such figure for any tight end, and his 14.8 yards per reception put him at second place at the position. Really all that is keeping him from putting up absurd numbers is his lack of touchdowns, having scored just once. His 10 red zone targets suggest that he could improve in that area shortly. See if Pitts can get back on track against a struggling Jacksonville team on Sunday.


Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!

Win Big With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts


John Wall7 mins ago

Getting The Night Off Against Orlando
Luke Kennard16 mins ago

Resting Versus Orlando
Taijuan Walker23 mins ago

Agrees To Four-Year Deal With Phillies
Norman Powell24 mins ago

Out On Wednesday
Anthony Davis36 mins ago

Exits Tuesday's Matchup Against Cavs
Mitch Haniger2 hours ago

Agrees With The Giants On Three-Year Deal
Cody Bellinger3 hours ago

Cubs, Cody Bellinger Agree On One-Year Deal
Greg Dortch4 hours ago

Cardinals Hopeful Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch Return This Week
Jimmy Garoppolo4 hours ago

Will Avoid Surgery, Could Return In Playoffs
Baker Mayfield4 hours ago

Claimed By The Rams
Shane Wright4 hours ago

Set To Re-Enter Seattle Lineup
Sean Monahan5 hours ago

Questionable For Tuesday
Derick Brassard5 hours ago

Rejoins Senators Lineup
Alex Iafallo5 hours ago

Ready To Go Tuesday
Jonathan Toews5 hours ago

A Game-Time Call Tuesday
Maxime Comtois5 hours ago

Returns For Anaheim
Sidney Crosby5 hours ago

Evgeni Malkin Expected To Play
Andrew Heaney6 hours ago

Rangers Sign Andrew Heaney
Victor Oladipo6 hours ago

Has A Chance To Play On Tuesday
Emmanuel Clase6 hours ago

Named AL Reliever Of The Year
Jalen Suggs6 hours ago

Remains On The Sidelines With Ankle Issue
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope6 hours ago

Questionable Against Dallas
Edwin Díaz6 hours ago

Edwin Diaz Named NL Reliever Of The Year
Michael Porter6 hours ago

Jr. Out Again On Tuesday
Kyle Lowry6 hours ago

Uncertain To Play On Tuesday
Endy Rodriguez6 hours ago

Getting Close To Big-League Debut
Jimmy Butler6 hours ago

Will Be Sidelined Against Detroit
Sean Murphy6 hours ago

Diamondbacks Interested In Sean Murphy
Josh Bell6 hours ago

Lands With The Guardians
Ezequiel Tovar7 hours ago

"Tracking" Towards Being Opening Day Shortstop
Evan Longoria7 hours ago

Talking To Five Teams
Xander Bogaerts7 hours ago

Red Sox Remain Engaged On Xander Bogaerts
David Dahl7 hours ago

Padres Sign David Dahl To Minor-League Deal
Jarlín García7 hours ago

Pirates Sign Jarlin Garcia
Vince Velasquez7 hours ago

Agrees With Pirates
Willson Contreras7 hours ago

Cardinals Among Favorites For Willson Contreras
David Njoku7 hours ago

Browns Expect David Njoku To Play In Week 14
Jace Peterson7 hours ago

A's, Jace Peterson In Agreement On Two-Year Contract
Tommy Kahnle8 hours ago

Signs With Yankees
Cody Bellinger8 hours ago

Blue Jays In On Cody Bellinger
Lamar Jackson8 hours ago

Dealing With PCL Knee Sprain
Cade Cavalli9 hours ago

Penciled Into Starting Rotation
Dylan Moore9 hours ago

To Have Core-Muscle Surgery
Elias Pettersson13 hours ago

Completes Three-Point Night With Game-Winner
Nazem Kadri13 hours ago

Picks Up Three Points
Artemi Panarin13 hours ago

Helps To Set Up Two Goals
Jordan Kyrou13 hours ago

Returns With Two Points
Shea Theodore13 hours ago

Tallies Two Assists
Alex Newhook14 hours ago

Scores Twice Versus Philadelphia
Nathan MacKinnon14 hours ago

Exits With Injury
Andrew Nembhard14 hours ago

Leads Pacers Past Warriors
Luka Doncic14 hours ago

Stuffs The Stat Sheet In Just 29 Minutes
Tyus Jones14 hours ago

Shines Versus Miami
Joel Embiid14 hours ago

Has A 39-Point Night Against Charlotte
James Harden14 hours ago

Struggles In His Comeback Game
Jayson Tatum15 hours ago

Extends Double-Double Streak
Jrue Holiday15 hours ago

Falls Just Short Of A Triple-Double
Kawhi Leonard15 hours ago

Returns With A Game-Winner
Juancho Hernangomez1 day ago

Ruled Out For Monday
Courtland Sutton1 day ago

Deemed Day-To-Day
Brook Lopez1 day ago

Ruled Out For Monday
Blake Griffin1 day ago

Moves Into Starting Five On Monday
Hayden Hurst1 day ago

Doubtful For Week 14
Kailer Yamamoto1 day ago

Returns To Action Monday
Artturi Lehkonen1 day ago

Misses Monday's Matchup
Darcy Kuemper1 day ago

Considered Day-To-Day
David Savard1 day ago

Out With An Upper-Body Injury
Brendan Gallagher1 day ago

Set To Miss Two Weeks
Ryan McDonagh1 day ago

Ruled Out For 2-4 Weeks
Artem Zub1 day ago

Out With A Broken Jaw
Lamar Jackson1 day ago

Week-To-Week With Knee Injury
Treylon Burks1 day ago

' Status Uncertain With Concussion
Kenneth Walker III1 day ago

Has Foot/Ankle Strain
Trevor Lawrence1 day ago

Will Undergo MRI
D'Onta Foreman1 day ago

Expected To Be Ready For Week 14
Kevin Holland1 day ago

Takes The Loss In Saturday's Main Event
Stephen Thompson1 day ago

Earns Victory In Main Event
Bryan Barberena1 day ago

Unable To Secure A Win Saturday
Rafael Dos Anjos1 day ago

Rafael dos Anjos Takes Co-Main Event By Submission
Matt Schnell1 day ago

Matthew Christopher Schnell Takes The Loss Saturday
Baker Mayfield1 day ago

Panthers Cut Ties With Baker Mayfield
Matheus Nicolau1 day ago

Continues Run With TKO Victory
Lamar Jackson1 day ago

Could Miss Time With Knee Sprain
Tai Tuivasa1 day ago

Suffers Second Straight Loss
Sergei Pavlovich1 day ago

Earns Fifth Straight Victory With Knockout Win
Jack Hermansson1 day ago

Ends 2022 With Losing Record
Roman Dolidze1 day ago

Makes Most Of Opportunity With TKO Victory
Kyle Daukaus1 day ago

Has His Night Come To An Early End
Eryk Anders1 day ago

Gets It Done With A Second TKO Performance
Kenneth Walker III2 days ago

May Have Avoided Serious Injury
Tua Tagovailoa2 days ago

Ankle Injury "Not Serious"
Desmond Ridder2 days ago

Smith Doesn't Rule Out Desmond Ridder Start Moving Ahead
Jimmy Garoppolo2 days ago

Breaks Foot, Done For The Year
Sam Ehlinger2 days ago

Won't Suit Up On Sunday Night
Nick Foles2 days ago

Active On Sunday Night
Dallas Cowboys2 days ago

Trevon Diggs Will Play In Week 13
Kevin Holland3 days ago

Hoping To Rebound With Main-Event Victory
Stephen Thompson3 days ago

Set To Headline Main Event
Bryan Barberena4 days ago

Will Highlight Co-Main-Event Matchup
Rafael Dos Anjos4 days ago

Rafael dos Anjos In Saturday's Co-Main Event
Matt Schnell4 days ago

Matthew Christopher Schnell Hoping To Be A Tough Out
Matheus Nicolau4 days ago

Can Continue To Make Strides In The Division
Sergei Pavlovich4 days ago

Can Secure Fifth Straight Win Saturday
Tai Tuivasa4 days ago

Facing Off Against Dangerous Heavyweight
Jack Hermansson4 days ago

Looking For Victory Over Rising Star