Much had been made of the fact Liverpool were without an experienced recognised striker in their squad due to Luis Suarez's one-match ban but Rodgers played Shelvey in a more attacking role.
Former West Ham defender Glen Johnson opened the scoring before a Mark Noble penalty and a Steven Gerrard own goal gave the home side a half-time lead.
Joe Cole, another ex-West Ham player, levelled the scores before Shelvey claimed the winning goal - although the ball appeared to loop over West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen off the foot of team-mate James Collins.
After the match, which saw Liverpool move ahead of West Ham on goal difference, Rodgers reserved praise for the former Charlton youngster.
"(He was) outstanding. But you see there are two different ways in which you can play the number nine role," he said.
"In this country it is always a very traditional target man, a clear number nine.
"Give credit to Carlton Cole, I know him form my time at Chelsea, he is a real handful and was outstanding.
"But you see young Jonjo Shelvey at 20 years of age playing the number nine role in a different way - dropping into midfield and combining with the midfield players to make the fourth man, being a threat when he is in around the box, showing great feet and I thought he was outstanding, the kid.
"It was great credit to him because there was a lot of pressure on him because people have been trying to compare him to Luis Suarez but he has been terrific in my time here, he is only 20 and has a big future ahead of him."