The LA Rams had an interesting draft this year. For starters, they did not have a pick until the second round this year. Also, most of their later picks were spent on defense, as mentioned here in a previous article.
As the season nears its open it means that Fantasy Football is in full swing and everyone is looking for THAT player who can give them the edge. The Rams did draft some possible offensive players that can have a fantasy impact right away and we’re going to look at some of them here.
The first player on our list is Florida wideout Van Jefferson, who the LA Rams picked up with one of their two picks in the second round. Jefferson comes into a crowded wide receiver room with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Josh Reynolds ahead of him. On top of that, getting receptions, in general, will be hard with the emergence of Tyler Higbee at tight end.
McVay stated he is impressed with Jefferson thus far and loves his ability to separate and work edges. This is a total 360 from when they had Brandin Cooks, who was a speedster and was a smaller receiver that stretched the field vertically.
Now, as mentioned before there are too many mouths to feed for Jefferson to make an immediate impact. Jefferson is currently ranked as the WR91 in redraft rankings and moves up a few spots to WR81 in dynasty. Look to pick him up later in free agency if the Rams get hit by injuries at the position and he’s definitely worth a stash in your dynasty roster.
Warning! The next player that will be talked about is a kicker…
Not everyone is going to talk about kickers as an important fantasy player, but they have had some success in providing consistent scoring. Even in some cases carrying a team to victory. The LA Rams did the unthinkable this season and parted ways with long time legend Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein. The potential Hall of Fame player had been a staple in the Rams offense for years, but the Rams decided to go in a different direction and draft Sam Sloman out of Miami of Ohio in the seventh round this year. The difference between Sloman and Zuerlein is power. Sloman is more of an accurate kicker that does not show outstanding strength, but is consistently on target. The Rams and your fantasy team are going to need him for his accuracy.
Sloman can help a fantasy team that needs steady scoring and gives negative points on misses. ESPN projected him to be the starting kicker, beating out Lirim Hajrullahu and Austin MacGinnis and as predicted, Sloman won the job in camp.
Sloman will be looking to increase his strength to go along with his accuracy and competitiveness and follow in the steps of Greg. Sloman is currently ranked as the 26th best kicker and like all kickers, he can be had rather late or more likely be picked up in free agency. It certainly seems like the wait-and-see approach can be used for him.
Cam Akers is the player everyone is talking about in terms of a fantasy impact. The Florida State running back was the LA Rams first pick in the draft in the second round. This pick was questioned because the previous year running back Darrell Henderson was selected in the third round and was touted to be the answer at RB. The thinking is that Akers or Henderson are coming in to fill the carries vacated by Gurley this offseason and could provide a good 1-2 punch at the position.
Todd Gurley was the bell cow back in LA, but coach McVay has other thoughts on how to approach the running back position this year. In my previous article, I wrote about how Darrell Henderson could have the upper hand in terms of the bulk of carries, but there’s a possibility Akers could run away with the job.
In college. Akers had an outstanding career. Over his three years in college, he accumulated 2,875 yards and 27 touchdowns rushing. Highly drafted RB’s are a rare commodity these days, and within the current climate, rookies are already behind the curve. But there have been many successful rookie running backs like Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara, and even the aforementioned Todd Gurley. Cam has the ability to impress out the door and to make this running back by committee a dictatorship.
Akers looks to be the 25th ranked running back in redraft, and is worth a pick to fill out your bench. Dynasty rankings have Akers higher, placing him at the RB 17 position, showing that the immediate value of the young RB might not be as high as his future value.
The Rams came into the draft with various specific needs and seemed to address most of them. They wanted to replace three outgoing players in Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley, and Greg Zuerlein. It looks like they did in a new approach with all three draftees.
They are counting on more accuracy than power with Sam Sloman at kicker. Van Jefferson can be a big boundary target down the line for Jared Goff. Cam Akers looks to make an impact sooner than later in order to establish the run game. All of these guys can provide some fantasy value. Feel confident in grabbing these Rams rookies and stashing them.