The Los Angeles Rams went from Super Bowl contenders in the 2018-2019 season to missing the playoffs altogether in the 2019-2020 season. This upcoming season has a lot more questions in real life and fantasy than in previous years and the Rams were the hub for some of the most intriguing fantasy players these last few seasons.
Since there was a lot of turnover in the roster, there are now spots for a few players to surprise the fantasy community in 2020. The Los Angeles Rams have a few players that have breakout potential and we’re going to look at a few of the diamonds in the rough.
The 6’3″ receiver from Texas A&M is the first skill player we will be diving into. Josh Reynolds has been in the league since 2017 and has been buried under the depth chart behind Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp , and recently traded reciever Brandon Cooks.
According to the LA Times , Coach Sean McVay summarizes that the Cooks trade would have never happened if they didn’t trust Reynolds so much. The Rams then drafted Florida wider receiver Van Jefferson in the draft, but with the previous statement by Sean McVay it looks like Reynolds is the next man up and Jefferson is the future, with Woods’ contract up in 2022.
Reynolds had his best year in 2018 when he started eight games while accumulating 402 yards and five touchdowns. Reynolds looks to go in later rounds of most drafts and in some cases is undrafted in smaller leagues. According to Fantasy Pros, Reynolds can be had fairly late with an ADP of WR84 in terms of receiver in standard scoring and #257 overall in terms of standard scoring.
Below are Reynolds’ stats from 2019 and his projected stats for 2020. Based on a full season being the 2nd or 3rd receiver, Reynolds can get open more easily with teams focusing on Woods and Kupp and with Brandin Cooks bolting to the Texans, Reynolds should look to capitalize on the open snaps and looks.
Another big move made this off-season was offloading Todd Gurley and his massive contract after a down year by the pro-bowler. After drafting Cam Akers and not signing any big names at the position it seems that the running back position will be run by a committee as reported by NFL.com. The departure of Gurley is a big hit, but the Los Angeles Rams prepared for this last year and drafted a running back from Memphis, Darrell Henderson.
While Henderson only played 131 snaps, he will have a chance to take a portion of the 805 snaps left by Gurley. The last few years the run game has been important in order for the offense to operate smoothly. Henderson will have fresh legs and a second-year understanding of the offense. Currently, Fantasy Pros has Henderson ranked as the 45th running back.
He can be a profitable stash player because of his late availability. The prediction below indicates Henderson can ultimately improve from his rookie year with Gurley gone and the offense moving into a running-back-by-committee approach.This will be good news for quarterback Jared Goff as it should allow him to get the ball down the field to his various targets, like the next player in this article.
Tyler Higbee showed up big late last year as a red-zone target for the Rams and quarterback Jared Goff. The Western Kentucky product came on late during the 2019 season while averaging 12.4 points in standard-scoring formats. He did this while playing a career-high 752 snaps, and take into consideration that the second closest snap count in terms of the tight-end position on the team would be Gerald Everett at 456. He is clearly the number one option at the position after gaining 734 yards and four touchdowns last year.
Now, he isn’t Travis Kelce or George Kittle, but he can have a breakout year like they did when they were unknown products. Higbee will be more of a primary target this year with Goff getting more comfortable targeting the tight-end more consistently throughout the year. Look to target Higbee in rounds seven to eight, and due to him being available a little later he can fit into any fantasy strategy for the upcoming year. Read more about tight end fantasy rankings rankings for 2020 here .
What to expect in 2020
The Los Angeles Rams may not be the offensive juggernaut they were a few years ago, but they are showing the signs of potential rebuild at the moment. The players mentioned above won’t all win you a league championship but can help during the long duration of the year. Reynolds and Henderson have the chance to shine because of the opportunity in front of them with recent roster departures.
Higbee seems to have already started to establish himself towards the end of last year and will look to build on his resume this year. The Los Angeles Rams offense should surprise some people in the upcoming year and therefore should produce some fantasy talent.