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Odell Beckham Jr. Signs with Rams - Fantasy Impact

Odell Beckham Jr. wanted out of Cleveland, and he has gotten his wish. To be fair, the Browns must also feel like they won here. They are off the hook for the rest of his contract and they remove a distraction from a team that is fighting to stay out of last place in their division. Not to mention the team tends to play far better without him as they are 8-4 in games he has not played in since his arrival.

This will also take a lot of pressure off Baker Mayfield who, whether it was said publicly or not, was pressured to try to find Beckham whether he was open or just perceived himself open. He can now focus on finding the correct read and receiver rather than the diva who demands targets. We saw in their last game how good the Browns can be even without Beckham Jr. in the lineup. We may see this Monday just how the Rams fare with him in theirs. Either way, it should be a fun ride.

While the headaches are part of the package, it must be said that Beckham Jr. is still a talented receiver. He brings a lot to the table for any team if he remains healthy. For a team in Los Angeles who just jettisoned DeSean Jackson, they now replace him with a former All-Pro to fit in behind the NFL's leading receiver, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods. So what can we expect from Odell Beckham Jr. with the Rams from a fantasy perspective?

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Great Expectations

What would you say to 17 receptions for 232 yards? This used to be a solid two-game stretch from OBJ. Instead, it is his season total in six games for the Cleveland Browns. Of course, he is a much better player than these numbers may show. On a team in Cleveland, who was a clear run-first and second team, his chances of being what he was in New York were limited. In his one non-COVID besieged season in 2019, Beckham Jr. had 133 targets, 74 receptions and 1,035 yards to go along with four touchdowns. While this is not the 90-plus receptions he was used to in New York, it is far better than the pace of production he has been on in 2021.

The Rams clearly know what they are getting. A talented, temperamental, hungry wide receiver who can take them over the top in the toughest division in football. Being 7-2 and one game behind the Arizona Cardinals, the Rams are likely to make the playoffs with or without Beckham Jr. This move makes them front runners for the Super Bowl, which is being played in their home stadium this year incidentally.

 

Impact on Rams Receivers

Matthew Stafford loves to throw the ball. Sean McVay loves to design creative and fun ways to use his weapons. Beckham Jr. is certainly a weapon. While this should not hurt the production of Cooper Kupp who is currently the WR1 for fantasy football leagues, it could hinder the outlook for Robert Woods in the offense. Both Woods and Beckham Jr. will be looking for those intermediate and deep routes from Stafford. This will lead to a lot of cannibalism in their numbers.

Woods already has a built-in connection with Stafford having the practice time. But it will not take long for Beckham Jr. to gain the same connection. He is a more talented receiver than Woods. Sorry, Bobby Trees. I love you, but it is true.

Cooper Kupp is still the focus of the passing offense. The target share that used to be dead-even between him and Woods is now far different.

Kupp will not be harmed by the addition of Beckham. If anything, he may benefit from fewer coverages shaded his way. But Woods and Beckham Jr. are now low-end WR2 types at best. With the pass offense like it is in Los Angeles, both players are going to be fine for your fantasy team as weekly starters. But they will not be awesome, season-winning players. That ship has sailed.

The big loser is Van Jefferson, who goes from a streamable big-play threat to a non-factor. He can be held in dynasty leagues because he may be traded and injuries always happen but his potential breakout in year two has grinded to a halt.

Stafford is a winner because he gets yet another weapon. He is already leading the league with 2,771 passing yards and now looks like an even stronger bet to end the year at 5K. He is simply a more solid top-five QB going forward.

It's hard to predict how Beckham will respond to being in Los Angeles as opposed to Cleveland but one imagines it can only be better than the past couple of years. Fantasy teams down in the standings may consider making a move to buy him on the cheap, although the best time to do that was a week ago when the drama began. There's no way to really know if this is a move that will pay off for the Rams or fantasy teams, but it will certainly be fun to watch.



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