2019 Fantasy Football Sleeper, Breakout & Bust: Los Angeles Rams

July and August are the best time of the year for fantasy football. We all start to formulate strategies, plant our flags, and decide who we will yell at on TV for the rest of the year. That’s right, it’s fantasy football draft season! One key to winning your leagues is zeroing in on the right talent who will outperform their draft stock. Avoiding busts is equally, if not more important. With that in mind, and as a quick hitter, we here at Football Absurdity would like to prime you with the players to target, and the players to avoid, in your fantasy football drafts, team-by-team. What’s the difference between a sleeper and a breakout, you ask? I don’t know, why don’t you tell me, tough guy? You seem to have all the answers.

Sleeper – Darrell Henderson, Running Back (Expert Consensus Rank: RB49, 140 overall)

I already got into the reasons why I like Darrell Henderson as a 2019 fantasy football sleeper in the rookie roundup from a month ago. Henderson led the draftees in 20+ yard runs, and by a wide margin (he had 27 last season, #2 had 17). He was my second-favorite running back coming out of the draft, and he landed in an ideal spot to be a massive sleeper candidate.

Arthritic knees are scary, and the discussions of Todd Gurley’s load management are even scarier. There’s a possibility that Gurley ends up shut down with flareups a few times during the season, and Henderson in your back pocket could win you those weeks, whether you’re a Gurley owner or not.

Breakout – Jared Goff, Quarterback (Expert Consensus Rank: QB12, 97 overall)

The math is all there for Jared Goff to be a top-three fantasy football quarterback in the Matt Ryan “throw throw throw” mold. Gurley needs to take fewer hits this season, and Goff has three top-flight wide receivers at his disposal. He ended 2018 as the QB7 in four-point passing touchdown leagues, and he became a fringe starting fantasy football QB for his troubles. The issue at hand is that Goff stumbled and fell down the stretch.

Jared Goff had a stark drop off in production following the Chiefs game last season. Up to, and including that game, he threw multiple touchdowns in eight-of-eleven games. Following that Chiefs game, he threw just two touchdowns in the final four weeks of the fantasy football season. He saved his season-long totals with a meaningless four-touchdown game in week seventeen against San Francisco. That’s the Jared Goff we remember, not the one who was the #2 fantasy football quarterback from weeks one through eleven. At QB12, he represents a tremendous value and upside for those who don’t want to reach for their starting fantasy football quarterback. I’m excited enough about him to stop making “Jared Goff doesn’t know which way the sun rises” jokes.

Bust – Todd Gurley, Running Back (Expert Consensus Rank: RB11, 18 overall)

See above, with Darrell Henderson. There’s just too much risk here with the uncertainty with his knee. While the expert consensus rank would put him in the middle of the second round, his average draft position has him as a fringe first-round pick (13th overall by average draft position). While the rank bakes in his knee concerns, somewhat, his draft position does not. Gurley represents an incredible upside play, and could end up a top-five running back at season’s end. For me, however, his downside has not been properly accounted-for.

Gurley will most definitely have three-touchdown games, but in a league where we hold our breath every time a player doesn’t get up right away, Gurley already represents an elevated threat level to say, Leonard Fournette. Fournette and Gurley have similar downsides, in that their floors are taking an awkward hit week one and never coming back. Gurley, however, represents a significantly higher upside than Fournette. This is a quibble, as his risk is better suited a half-round later than his fantasy football ADP, but his risk is real, and many want to downplay it. Then again, I called him a bust before his massive season two years ago, so who knows?

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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