The playoffs are fast approaching and a few of the better teams entering the postseason have something in common: They are getting significant help from rookie wide receivers.
Three playoff teams have key rookie receivers in positions that matter -- Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.
With Antonio Brown injured, JuJu Smith-Schuster will inherit a bigger role until Brown returns. Though most of his production came late Monday night, he did put together another good performance with six catches and a touchdown. He's second among rookie receivers in yards and receptions and has the most touchdowns of any rookie receiver. If the Steelers are going to make the Super Bowl, at some point, Smith-Schuster is going to make a big play to push Pittsburgh into the next round.
The guy with more receptions and yards than Smith-Schuster, the Los Angeles Rams' Cooper Kupp, has found a niche behind Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods as a third receiver in a prolific offense. He's been a consistent target for Jared Goff and though he's had some drops this season, he's had big value on one of the best offenses in football.
In Jacksonville, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole have been a big parts of Blake Bortles' ascension of late and they could become well-known names if the Jaguars make a run offensively. Westbrook and Cole are big parts of the future with the Jags.
Here's a look at rookie receivers through 16 weeks with every receiver targeted this season included (according to ESPN Stats & Information):
Corey Davis, Tennessee (YTD stats: 34 rec., 375 yards, 62 targets, 308 routes): Davis had six catches on nine targets for 91 yards, arguably his best performance of his rookie season.
John Ross, Cincinnati (YTD stats: 0 receptions, 0 yards, 2 targets, 9 routes): Ross is on injured reserve. His season is over.
Zay Jones, Buffalo (YTD stats: 25 rec., 291 yards, 2 TD, 65 targets, 428 routes): He ran 37 routes but was not targeted once.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina (YTD stats: 15 rec., 115 yards, 26 targets, 135 routes): Samuel is out for the season.
Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh (YTD stats: 49 rec., 774 yards, 6 TD, 70 targets, 392 routes): Most of it came late, but he had six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown on Monday.
Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (YTD stats: 62 rec., 869 yards, 5 TD, 94 targets, 425 routes): He had four catches for 65 yards, a drop and a touchdown.
Taywan Taylor, Tennessee (YTD stats: 16 rec., 231 yards, 1 TD, 26 targets, 172 routes): He was targeted once and didn't catch a pass.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit (YTD stats: 26 rec., 397 yards, 2 TD, 44 targets, 258 routes): He had four catches for 28 yards on eight targets.
Mack Hollins, Philadelphia (YTD stats: 13 rec., 201 yards, 1 TD, 17 targets, 129 routes): He ran four routes but was not targeted.
Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams (YTD stats: 9 rec., 88 yards, 1 TD, 18 targets, 125 routes): He was targeted once but didn't catch a pass.
Amara Darboh, Seattle (YTD stats: 7 rec., 66 yards, 12 targets, 84 routes): He ran two routes and didn't catch a pass.
Chad Williams, Arizona (YTD stats: 3 rec., 31 yards, 7 targets, 68 routes): Williams was inactive.
Trent Taylor, San Francisco (YTD stats: 41 rec., 401 yards, 2 TD, 59 targets, 347 routes): He had three catches for 19 yards and a touchdown.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay (YTD stats: 27 rec., 414 yards, 44 targets, 211 routes): Godwin had three catches for 98 yards and also had a drop on his six targets.
Isaiah McKenzie, Denver (YTD stats: 3 rec. 22 yards, 10 targets, 66 routes): He had one catch for eight yards.
Noah Brown, Dallas (YTD stats: 4 rec., 33 yards, 8 targets, 37 routes): Brown was targeted twice but did not catch a pass.
Stacy Coley, Minnesota (YTD stats: 1 target, 11 routes): Coley was inactive Saturday.
Ryan Switzer, Dallas (YTD stats: 2 rec., 9 yards, 2 targets, 27 routes): He ran two routes but didn't catch a pass.
Josh Malone, Cincinnati (YTD stats: 6 rec, 63 yards, 1 TD, 16 targets, 146 routes): He was targeted once but didn't catch a pass.
Jehu Chesson, Kansas City (YTD stats: 1 rec., 10 yards, 1 target, 6 routes): Chesson did not run a route.
Chad Hansen, New York Jets (YTD stats: 8 rec., 79 yards, 14 targets, 189 routes): He was targeted once but didn't catch a pass.
Westbrook, Jacksonville (YTD stats: 26 rec., 330 yards, 1 TD, 42 targets, 196 routes): He had four catches for 74 yards on seven targets.
Cole, Jacksonville (YTD stats: 38 rec., 715 yards, 3 TD, 73 targets, 428 routes): He was fantastic again and is a real find for the Jaguars, with six catches for 108 yards on 13 targets. Five of his six catches went for first downs.
Michael Clark, Green Bay: (YTD stats: 3 rec., 36 yards, 9 targets, 22 routes): He had three catches for 36 yards and a drop.
Bobo Wilson, Tampa Bay (YTD stats: 1 rec, 18 yards, 1 TD, 1 target, 2 routes): Wilson had one catch for 18 yards, and it was a touchdown.
Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco (YTD stats: 14 catches, 229 yards, 27 targets, 184 routes): He had one catch for 12 yards on five targets.
Chris Thompson, Houston (YTD stats: 2 catches, 30 yards, 3 targets, 40 routes): He was not targeted.
JoJo Natson, New York Jets (YTD stats: 2 catches, 18 yards, 3 targets, 6 routes): He was not targeted.