Justin Herbert / LAC – Round 1
Herbert did not have much competition for this spot in week 12, but the offensive rookie of the year candidate finished with a solid 31-52 / 315 / 1-1 passing line in the loss at BUF. It was the 6th time in 10 starts that he ended with over 300 passing yards and he continued his streak of throwing at least one touchdown in each of his starts.
Antonio Gibson / WAS - Round 3
Washington’s playoff chances took a strong step forward with their Thanksgiving Day win over Dallas behind the legs of Gibson, who scored 3 touchdowns on 115 yards rushing and 21 yards receiving. The former wide receiver has quickly evolved into a quality bruiser between the tackles that is running behind his pads, breaking through arm tackles, and pushing piles. Once in the open field, his acceleration and breakaway speed make him a constant big play threat.
Justin Jefferson / MIN – Round 1
If there were an Offensive Rookie of the Year Award given out right now, Jefferson is the recipient. He added 7 catches / 70 yards / 2 touchdowns to his already-impressive stat line. He led the team with 13 targets, as it is evident Kirk Cousins is trusting him more and more because of how well he gets in and out of breaks and how easily he tracks the ball. Jefferson leads the NFL in yards per target by a comfortable margin.
Adam Trautman / NO – Round 4
Trautman finished with 1 catch on his lone target for 8 yards. He played a season-high 61% of the snaps in a game where the running game was the heavy approach against the Broncos. This increase in playing time is a good sign for Trautman, who is showing an increased presence as a blocker both in line and at the second level.
Mekhi Becton / NYJ – Round 1
Just 1 pressure on the day allowed by Becton against the stingy and underrated MIA pass rush. He doesn’t always make it look pretty but when his legs are beneath him and the initial hand contact is accurate, there isn’t much anyone can do about it.
Shane Lemieux / NYG – Round 5
Ever since Lemieux has been inserted to the starting spot at left guard, the NYG running game has been taken to another level. His quickness and pop has been a key part to altering the blocking scheme in the ground game that has pushed their production to top 5 in the NFL over that timespan. Lemieux allowed 1 pressure and graded well as a run blocker as NYG kept their win streak going to grab hold of the NFC East lead.
Chase Young / WAS – Round 1
The number 2 overall pick has not disappointed in his rookie season that has been partially slowed by a groin injury. Young finished with 2 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, and 5 pressures against the marred offensive line in DAL. His get off is quicker each week, as he seems to be gaining more and more confidence and it is directly impacting his production on the field play to play.
Bravvion Roy / CAR – Round 6
1st rounder Derek Brown has been getting much of the attention on this all-rookie team throughout the season, but Roy has been a steady presence as well and his game against MIN was a key part to their near-upset win in MIN. He finished with 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 pressures as he looked to be too tough to handle for the MIN interior blockers. He weas stout and powerful against the double team, quick enough to get great initial position and efficient with his hands to get off lone blocks.
Isaiah Simmons / ARI – Round 1
Simmons is becoming the versatile playmaker on a weekly basis now that SRI was hoping for when they drafted him. He added 5 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 pressure in just over a third of the defensive snaps at NE. Simmons did have a late-hit personal foul penalty but it was a highly questionable call.
L’Jarius Sneed / KC – Round 4
Sneed has quietly been one of the top rookie corners in the game since week 1. In his 5th start of the year, he finished with 3 tackles and allowed just 2 completions for a total of 10 yards on 4 targets. He was matched up against both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin several times and his size/speed combination was on full display, allowing such minimal separation.
Jeremy Chinn / CAR – Round 2
Chinn once again led the Panthers in tackles with 13, while missing just one tackle and adding 1 pressure. His greatest contribution was a historic occurrence. He recovered and returned 2 fumbles for touchdowns on consecutive MIN snaps. That was a first since they started tracking those stats in 1991. While he did allow 4 completions on 4 targets, Chinn’s playmaking ability has been a key reason for long term optimism in CAR after their all-defense draft.