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Los Angeles Rams 2020 Fantasy Outlook

One year after reaching the Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams fell back down to Earth in 2019 and regressed quite a bit compared to their previous two seasons. Many factors played a role in this “downfall,” including Todd Gurley’s usage and the division having some tough teams like the Seahawks and 49ers, which resulted in three losses for L.A. Overall, the Rams had a modest finish of 9-7.

The team now enters 2020 without RB Todd Gurley or WR Brandin Cooks. Youngster Jared Goff has been supplied new weapons in the form of rookies and does get back a couple of solid receivers to hopefully help the offense stay respectable.

If Los Angeles wants to reach the playoffs this season, it will certainly be a tough road considering their divisional opponents all remain formidable. The 49ers are coming off a Super Bowl appearance, the Seahawks still have Russell Wilson, and Kyler Murray is entering his second year with the Cardinals with a new weapon in De’Andre Hopkins. Nevertheless, the Rams can be competitive if they are clicking on all cylinders, so let’s analyze this offense to see if there are any fantasy gems:

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!



There has been no other way to say this, but Jared Goff's career has been rather…. streaky. The Cal product looked abysmal in his 2016 rookie season, then shined in 2017, and has been decent, but still up and down in his performances since. Last season, the 2016 first overall pick compiled 4,638 pass yards, 22 pass touchdowns, 16 picks, 7.4 pass yards per attempt, 289.9 pass yards per game, an 86.5 quarterback rating, 40 rush yards, and two rush touchdowns.

The California native did have 123 poor throws and a 20.2 percent poor throws per pass attempt rate though. His poor throws ranked second-highest among NFL QBs and the poor throws per pass attempt were sixth-highest.

Look no further for Goff’s streakiness than him throwing for 517 yards in Week 4 last season only to throw for a measly 78 yards two weeks later in Week 6. From the 2018 to 2019 seasons, the 25-year-old regressed in pass yards, passing touchdowns, passing yards per attempt and per game, quarterback rating, and rush yards. Oh, and he increased his picks, poor throws, and poor throws per pass attempt rate. He also finished tied for the fourth-highest number of picks thrown among QBs

The thing to know with Goff is you don’t know which version you are getting each week. It could be the ineffective version like from Super Bowl 53 or the one who lights up the opposing defense (as evidence of throwing for 517 yards). Therefore, trusting Goff in fantasy on a week to week basis can be a bit difficult. Overall, he still finished 13th among fantasy QBs last season.

This is because he ranked third in pass yards among NFL QBs and fifth in pass yards per game. There are pros and cons to Goff as easily summarized in this section. Thus, his fantasy value ranks more middle-tier. The Rams QB is not a QB1 in redraft because of his inconsistency and lack of rushing upside. Rather, he is best suited as a capable backup in larger redraft leagues who could provide a high reward if started during the right matchups.

Running Back

For the first time since 2015, the Rams will enter a season without Todd Gurley as their bell-cow back. Instead, it’s a new era in which rookie Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown, and Darrell Henderson Jr. will headline this unit. This is the trickiest skill group to predict on the team considering no clear-cut RB1 has been announced yet.

It’s safe to say Henderson and Akers will fight for that role though at this point it seems like Akers is the better fantasy option considering he was drafted for a reason and does have great talent. The Florida State product did notch two 1,000-yard rushing seasons in the three that he played there. The back had his best season in 2019, finishing with 1,144 rush yards, five rush yards per attempt, 14 rush touchdowns, 30 receptions, 225 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns.

In his college tenure, the 21-year-old compiled 2,875 rush yards, 4.9 rush yards per attempt, 27 rush touchdowns, 69 receptions, 486 receiving yards, and seven receiving touchdowns.

Bleacher Report described the 5’10”, 216 pound back as a power runner who is built, knowledgeable about plays, and has the right amount of speed. The few downsides are his lack of value in pass-catching and the tendency to take a lot of hits rather than trying to evade defenders. He was compared to Cincinnati Bengals back Joe Mixon.

There is no doubt the young running back can be the clear-cut top RB option on this team, but it may take time considering he is a rookie. There is a real possibility a committee approach could be used by the Rams to begin 2020 and it could go on for an unspecified time. The presence of another RB does not help Akers’ fantasy value either. There is a lot of potential if he proves himself, but it’s best to be cautious when drafting the Florida State product. Consider the RB a WR2 in larger redraft leagues (14+ teams).

The Rams also have Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown rounding out the RB unit. Henderson was just drafted in 2019, and he finished his rookie season with 147 rush yards, 3.8 yards per rush, four receptions, and 37 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Brown had 255 rush yards, 3.7 yards per rush, five rush touchdowns, two receptions, and 16 receiving yards during his fifth season last year. Though both RBs will certainly play a bigger factor this year with Todd Gurley not on the roster, it’s hard to trust them for fantasy because they are unproven players. On top of that, the presence of Cam Akers doesn’t help either. It’s best to avoid either in drafts for redraft leagues.


Wide Receiver

From a fantasy perspective, the Rams have two receivers who could absolutely be fantasy studs this year and two who could provide modest value if there is the right usage. Overall, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, and Van Jefferson are those guys. Most notably, Brandin Cooks is no longer on the roster after being traded to the Texans during the offseason.

Kupp is the clear WR1 on the team and he was a breakout player last season. The Eastern Washington product notched career-highs in games played (16), receptions, targets, yards, and touchdowns during his third season in 2019. He accumulated 94 receptions, 134/632 targets (21.2%), 1,161 yards, 12.4 yards per catch, and 10 touchdowns. The WR finished fourth among fantasy receivers last season after finishing 47th in 2018 and 27th in 2017.

The 27-year-old finished ninth in receptions among NFL pass-catchers, 12th in yards, tied for second in touchdowns, and 14th in targets. QB Jared Goff has had three years to build a solid rapport with the 2017 third-round pick, and the results showed last season. Kupp is a WR1 in larger redraft leagues (think 12-14 teams) and a very solid WR2 in smaller redraft leagues.

USC product Robert Woods also had his second consecutive year of monster production, notching 130+ targets and 1,000 yards in 2018 and 2019. Woods has been very reliable for the Rams, and his stats from the past two years show it. The 28-year-old sealed 90 receptions, 139/632 targets (22%), 1,134 yards, 12.6 yards per catch, and two touchdowns in 2019. Woods finished with career-highs in receptions and targets last season.

The stats of Kupp and Woods look quite similar, with the only glaring difference being Woods’ much lower number of touchdowns. Thus, the former Buffalo Bill finished 22nd in fantasy among WRs last season after ranking 10th in 2018. Nevertheless, the receiver has such a rich role on this football team and is a very solid WR2 for redraft teams.

With Brandin Cooks now gone, Josh Reynolds will take the WR3 role on the team and the 25-year-old should see a bigger role. Drafted in the fourth round during the 2017 draft, Reynolds has never had a big role for the Rams up to this point. Last year, he compiled 21 receptions, 43/632 targets (6.8%), 326 yards, 15.5 yards per catch, and one touchdown. Despite appearing in all 16 games for Los Angeles during each of his three NFL seasons, the Texas A&M product has never eclipsed more than 29 receptions, 53 targets, 402 yards, and five touchdowns in a single campaign and all those came in 2018. Because he is not proven, Reynolds is not fantasy-relevant and he should not be drafted unless he’s serving as depth in large redraft leagues.

The Rams also drafted receiver Van Jefferson out of Florida in the draft. The 23-year-old offered consistent value during his four college years for Ole Miss and the Gators.

At this point, however, he’s only a rookie and too far down the pass-catching depth chart to merit any fantasy value heading into drafts and probably during the season too. This is considering the presence of the three WRs ahead of him along with TEs Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.


Tight End

Rams tight end Tyler Higbee was another player on the team who broke out last season. The Western Kentucky product reached career-highs in receptions, targets, yards, and touchdowns during his fourth NFL year. The 27-year-old finished 2019 with 69 receptions, 89/632 targets (14.1%), 734 yards, 10.6 yards per catch, and three touchdowns.

Higbee finished ninth among fantasy TEs last season after ranking 32nd in 2018. He finished sixth among NFL TEs in receptions and seventh in yards. Coming off a proven season, Higbee is a TE1 in redraft leagues as his role is set to stay large.

The backup tight end is 26-year-old Gerald Everett. The South Alabama product recorded career-highs in receptions, targets, and yards during his third year in the league in 2019. He grabbed 37 receptions, 60/632 targets (9.5%), 408 yards, 11 yards per catch, and two touchdowns. Like Van Jefferson, Everett too will be scrambling for targets and production behind guys like Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee, and Josh Reynolds. Therefore, he is nothing more than a backup tight end in larger redraft leagues (think 14-16 teams).


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