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Final Dynasty Rookie Report Card: Wide Receivers, Part One

Chris Olave

Throughout the season, the Rookie Report Card has covered some of the biggest rookies and not only looked at their performance to date – but also their long-term upside. Now that the regular season has wrapped up and dynasty managers are looking towards the future, we have an opportunity to take one last look at the 2022 season and assess the rookies. A final report card if you will.

We covered 38 rookies throughout the season, including 16 wide receivers. Let’s put a bow on the season by taking one more look at each of these pass catchers’ first year playing on Sundays, as well as a quick glimpse into their futures in part one of the Final Rookie Report Card: Wide Receivers.

Treylon Burks, WR TEN

2022 Stats: 33 receptions, 444 yards, one touchdown (54 targets)
Regular Season Rookie Report Card:
Week 11

After an up-and-down rookie season that featured multiple injuries and just enough dazzling plays to prove the upside he entered the league with is legitimate, Burks left dynasty managers thirsty for more.

Although he only had two weekly fantasy finishes inside the top 40 at the position, Burks made contested grabs and running after the catch look effortless at times and even showed he could get vertical. He appears like a perfect fit for Tennessee’s play-action passing game, but needs to stay healthy to reach his potential.

Lining up all over the formation and used in so many different ways, Burks is oozing with fringe WR1 fantasy upside. Hopefully the Titans will unlock his ceiling by using him on bubble screens in the quick game, on dig routes off of play-action, and even as a deep threat at times. A dynamic playmaker, his role should grow exponentially in his sophomore campaign.

Jahan Dotson, WR WAS

2022 Stats: 35 receptions, 523 yards, seven touchdowns (61 targets)
Regular Season Rookie Report Card:
Week One

Oh, what might have been if Dotson could have stayed healthy as a rookie? He caught four touchdowns in his first four games as a pro and looked like the ideal complement to Terry McLaurin as a deep threat with red zone potential. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury severely derailed his promising start as he missed five games in the middle of the season and was brought back slowly when he did get back on the field.

Dotson regained some momentum late in the year, posting three straight WR18 or better stat lines despite below-average quarterback play and in an offense without much direction. He proved the blazing speed he showed at Penn State could translate to the NFL and his short area quickness can create regular separation and instant run after the catch burst.

Dotson posted top-25 finishes in five of 12 games as a rookie, which is exactly what dynasty managers are hoping for from him. Reaching his WR2 upside and coming through for dynasty managers with huge games due to his speed and big play ability will rely on the Commanders finding a quality offensive coordinator and a quarterback who can distribute the ball on time.

Romeo Doubs, WR GB

2022 Stats: 42 receptions, 425 yards, three touchdowns (67 targets)
Regular Season Rookie Report Card:
Week Three

If you watched Doubs in college, you saw a long, quick receiver with upside as a deep threat because of his ball-tracking skills, ability to adjust to off-target throws and solid hands.

That’s not even close to what we saw from him since arriving in Green Bay.

Doubs was a possession receiver as a rookie, regularly running slants and crossing routes. He showed the ability to create separation against man coverage and a knack for running after the catch on quick throws at the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately, he also displayed inconsistent hands, dropping multiple passes in some of the biggest moments of the season for the Packers.

Doubs finished his rookie season with solid numbers and overall, left a positive impression on dynasty managers (particularly for a fourth-round draft pick.) With the impending departure of Allen Lazard in free agency he could be in line to be Green Bay’s WR2 in 2023. Whether he can turn that opportunity into fantasy WR2 numbers will depend on him developing as a downfield threat and on him holding onto the ball better starting in his second season.

Drake London, WR ATL

2022 Stats: 72 receptions, 866 yards, four touchdowns (117 targets)
Regular Season Rookie Report Card:
Week 16

London played the role of possession receiver as a rookie and did it well. He caught slants and drags, made plays in the intermediate area on digs and comeback routes, and got yards after the catch. He was effective in that role but honestly, it’s not the one he’s most suited for.

When I wrote about London late in the season, I called him a mix of Mike Evans and Mike Williams because of his ability to make above-the-rim plays on the football, pull in off-target throws, and tap his toes with grace on the boundary. I remain confident in that despite him getting few of those types of opportunities as a rookie.

London is dripping with WR1 potential but needs a quarterback that will give him chances on back shoulder throws, 50/50 balls and red zone shot plays. He also needs the Falcons’ coaching staff to use him as an alpha receiver and force those kinds of chances to him. Once those things happen, the sky is the limit – provided he gives more consistent effort than Evans and stays healthier than Williams has.

Velus Jones, WR CHI

2022 Stats: seven receptions, 107 yards, one touchdown (14 targets), eight carries, 61 rushing yards
Regular Season Rookie Report Card: None

Despite surprisingly high draft capital (early third round) and a complete lack of talent on the depth chart, Jones failed to make much of an impact on the Bears offense as a rookie. Instead, he was used as a gadget player and kick returner.

Jones might make a splash play here and there because he’s so difficult to get on the ground but he shouldn’t be seen as roster spot worthy except in leagues where nearly every NFL player is rostered.

Skyy Moore, WR KC

2022 Stats: 22 receptions, 250 yards, zero touchdowns (33 targets)
Regular Season Rookie Report Card: None

If you poll dynasty managers about biggest rookie disappointments, Moore’s name would be mentioned with regularity. Expectations were high when he landed in Kansas City but the rookie was used sparingly and failed to overcome veterans like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman and even Justin Watson for playing time.

The second-round draft choice entered the league with a reputation as a strong route runner who can create separation and catch everything thrown his way but his rookie season was filled with average burst out of his breaks, dropped passes and muffed punts. Despite catching a touchdown in the Super Bowl (on a play where he lined up incorrectly,) dynasty managers are questioning if they made a mistake with their late-first/early-second-round draft pick in 2022 and I’m with them. If I could get a future second-round pick for him, I think I’d take it.

Chris Olave, WR NO

2022 Stats: 72 receptions, 1,042 yards, four touchdowns (119 targets)
Regular Season Rookie Report Card:
Week 18

Olave had a remarkable rookie season considering the lack of quarterback talent and overall inconsistencies in the Saints’ offense. Routinely underthrown or forced to adjust for an inaccurate pass, his numbers could have been so much better, and he still finished as the WR25 in PPR leagues despite missing two games to injury.

Although he was primarily a slot receiver as a rookie, Olave moved around the formation as well, getting open from the slot along with from the outside, and worked all three levels of the defense with regularity. He wasn’t asked to go deep often but when he did, it was impressive. His ability to hit an extra gear to track down the long ball or bend a route away from the ball’s landing spot to create space for the catch is incredible.

Olave was a slot machine in a bad offense in 2022 and barely scratched the surface of his potential. Imagine if he gets a capable quarterback who can put the football on him immediately out of his break. Or if the coaching staff opens up to him being a deep threat just a little more and he unlocks his true upside as an elite pass catcher at all three levels.

Olave is already the WR11 (19 overall) in dynasty ADP but honestly, he has room to grow. Elite production is in his future as long as the Saints realize what they have in him and surround him with the right people.

George Pickens, WR PIT

2022 Stats: 52 receptions, 801 yards, four touchdowns (84 targets)
Regular Season Rookie Report Card: Week 14

Pickens had a roller-coaster rookie season, finishing with a respectable 52 catches for more than 800 yards and four touchdowns, but appeared to be pigeonholed in Pittsburgh, asked only to run vertical routes, outside the numbers.

Though that isn’t all that surprising considering he entered the league as a deep threat with good high-pointing skills and struggles with getting off press coverage and with his route running at times, Pickens needs refinement to take the next step as an NFL receiver and I believe he can make the necessary strides to do so.

Learning how to use his speed to intimidate defenders into giving a cushion or over-pursuing the deep route is the next step in his development along with adding strength to handle physical corners at the line of scrimmage. When those things happen, Pickens will become the WR1 we all hoped he could be. And if he can’t, he’ll remain a high-upside WR3 with week-winning fantasy potential.

Keep an eye out for part two of the Final Rookie Report Card: Wide Receivers, in the coming days.

Final Dynasty Rookie Report Card: Wide Receivers, Part One
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Louis Tranquilli
1 month ago

It’s funny on Olave. He looks very good, but I think he entered the NFL at his peak level. Which seems more DJ Moore like than Stephan Diggs like.
I don’t think that’s a very popular statement. Just the eye test from watching him all year.
I would say your comments on him Dan could be overlayed to Moore’s career so far. They look like (eye test) the same player to me. With the same challenges around them.

Last edited 1 month ago by Louis Tranquilli
Christoph Phipps
Reply to  Louis Tranquilli
1 month ago

Love what you’re saying. I don’t agree but I think different opinions on these players helps the discussion.
Where do you stand on G. Wilson? I almost feel like you have to buy him at such a premium that he almost has to catch 15TDs!

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