In this piece on rookies, RotoBaller Erin Lee highlights three NFL sleeper rookies for your fantasy teams in Week 14 and 15. We chose 1 TE and 2 WR who are flying a bit under the radar, and have the potential to put up some fantasy points in Week 14 and down the home stretch. If you want more analysis by Erin on NFL rookies click here.
NFL Rookie Sleepers for Week 14 and 15
Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Playing for a talented quarterback with an undefeated starting record, Zach Ertz is in the perfect position to find success and he’s taking full advantage. With the emergence of Nick Foles as a touchdown-machine seemingly incapable of making mistakes, Ertz had the opportunity to join in on the fun in the Eagles win over a talented Arizona Cardinals team in Week 13. Five receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns made him the top receiver in the game for Philadelphia. Foles has already established major chemistry with receiver Riley Cooper and if Ertz can continue to be reliable, he’ll earn the confidence of Foles as well. The matchup was particularly good for the young tight end, as the Cardinals have struggled with tight ends all year. Ertz won’t have such an ideal matchup in Week 15 against the Lions, who haven’t been nearly as weak against opposing tight ends, but to keep up with the high-powered Detroit offense, the Eagles will need to put up a ton of points. After his athletic performance last weekend, Ertz could reach the end zone again this week. Keep him on your radar, particularly heading into his juicy Week 16 matchup with the Vikings.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
After a relatively slow start on a struggling Vikings offense, Patterson has reached the end zone twice in the last three games and may be showing signs of the play-making ability he is capable of. Patterson split targets with fellow receiver Jerome Simpson in their Week 13 win over the Chicago Bears, but the rookie is the more talented receiver with substantially more upside. His receiving stats from the game (one catch for four yards) are unimpressive but he did reach the end zone in surprising fashion: on a running play. The same speed that makes him a talented receiver also helps make him an elusive runner and it’s obvious the Vikings are working to get him more and more involved in the offense however they can. He had a season-high eight receptions in Week 12 against the Packers and in Week 14, he'll face the Ravens who come into the game with a top-ten rush defense. With the defense honing in on Adrian Peterson as the Vikings' top threat, Patterson could grab a long touchdown to help the Vikings stay in the game, making him worth a look in deep leagues. The Vikings recognize his talent and there is no better time than now for them to keep integrating him into their offense.
Ace Sanders, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Don’t look now, but the Jacksonville Jaguars have won four of their last five games and are no longer the clear-cut “worst team in football.” Their victory over the Cleveland Browns came with another strong performance from Sanders, their rookie wide receiver that has emerged since Justin Blackmon was suspended prior to Week 10. In the three games prior to Thursday's matchup vs. Houston, Sanders had 189 yards on 20 receptions. He is quickly making a name for himself on this improving Jaguars team. While it was Cecil Shorts that reached the end zone in their Week 13 game, Sanders tied him in number of targets. Quarterback Chad Henne clearly trusts the young rookie and Sanders turn to snag a touchdown could be just around the corner. In Week 14, the Jags faced Houston for the second time in three weeks. Sanders had a down game with just 26 yards on 3 receptions (6 targets), but ff you’re looking for a waiver-wire option, Sanders could have some serious sleeper potential in Week 15 against Buffalo. If you’re willing to take a chance, he could be your Ace in the hole.