The Los Angeles Rams ended up clearing out some bad contracts on offense this offseason. They moved Brandin Cooks to Houston and cut Todd Gurley (who ended up in Atlanta). They then spent their first two picks on skill position players. What can we expect out of the Los Angeles Rams for fantasy football in 2020? Here are the guys whose price point seems a bit off from what their year-end rankings should end up.
Sleeper – Jared Goff, Quarterback (QB19, 145 overall)
The Los Angeles Rams spent two-thirds of last season desperately trying to make their three-wide receiver sets work, whether or not Brandin Cooks was available and effective to make them operate. Instead, they bashed Jared Goff into a wall of bad play. That is until they swapped out their three-WR sets for more two-TE sets and more targets to Tyler Higbee. After spending most of the season mired in uselessness and hanging out on waiver wires, Jared Goff was a streaming league winner. In the last five weeks of the season, he was quarterback six on the year. If it wasn’t for Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill, and Jameis Winston, then Jared Goff would have been the bad quarterback to own in fantasy football leagues down the stretch last year.
Breakout – Cam Akers, Running Back (RB28, 73 overall)
I liked Cam Akers a decent amount going into the draft season. That’s something the Rams and I have in common, as they made Akers the #4 running back off the board. This is very interesting, for two reasons. First: this was the Rams’ first pick. They have a good number of holes, and if they were happy about Darrell Henderson’s 2019, they probably would not have spent this pick on an RB. Second: they took Akers over one of the consensus top-two RBs in the class, J.K. Dobbins. All of this signals to me is a desire for the Rams to turn away from Todd Gurley, to keep Darrell Henderson in his small-side role, and to turn everything over to Akers. That’s a great role to have. Gurley was legitimately bad last season and ended the year as RB14 thanks to the opportunities provided by the Rams’ offense.
Bust – Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver (WR13, 34 overall)
Do I think that Cooper Kupp will be bad? Probably not. Do I think that fantasy football leagues should draft Robert Woods over Cooper Kupp? You betcha. Cooper Kupp’s rankings are aided a lot by a completely unsustainable pace down the stretch. Kupp scored in the last five games of 2019, which isn’t that insane alone. The insane parts? He averaged just 56 yards per game in that stretch, and to pull that off, he caught 90% of his passes. 90%! For those of you keeping track at home, that is unusual. He also had 20 targets across weeks 13 through 16, getting ten targets in week seventeen to save his target totals. He struggled down the stretch, but next-level hyper-efficiency and touchdown scoring saved your bacon as a Kupp owner. Touchdowns and extreme efficiency are two things I will bet against reoccurring 100-times-out-of-100.