The Los Angeles Rams are set to embark into a new era of football with Todd Gurley no longer around and Jared Goff assuming full control of the offense.
A typical jackpot for fantasy football value, let us take a look at where the Rams stack up heading into the 2020 NFL season with our Fantasy Football guide.
Jared Goff (Current ADP: QB17 at 127.6 overall)
In his fifth season, Goff is likely going off the board in about the 11th round after quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones, and Matthew Stafford. Out of all of those players, Goff undoubtedly has the best receiving core, which features both Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp along with Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.
With head coach Sean McVay presumably giving Goff more control of the offense than ever before, he might finally be able to break out and improvise with the football more often. Combine that with the fact that the team’s offensive line should be much healthier and provide Goff with more time to throw in the pocket, it is easy to see why he could be in for the best season of his young career.
Opposing defenses will likely key in on stopping Goff as the Rams backfield is featuring three unproven running backs. However, if one of those running backs can manage to make defenses respect him, Goff could see much easier defensive coverages and excel even more than he already should in his fifth season.
With Gurley gone, the Rams will likely return to featuring the running back in the offense, which should also help Goff rack up more easy yards. As of right now, Goff is a suitable QB2 with the upside in the Rams offense to finish within the top-12.
Cam Akers (Current ADP: RB35 at 86.7 overall)
Darrell Henderson (Current ADP: RB41 at 102.6 overall)
Malcolm Brown (Current ADP: RB58 at 220.0 overall)
Akers is going off of the board first due to the hype surrounding rookies and the fact he is expected to be the team’s starting running back. However, McVay has stated multiple times they are looking forward to using a committee approach at running back, meaning that all three players will see time in the backfield now.
Fantasy owners would need to select Akers with an eighth round draft pick, which is pretty high for someone who might not see double-digit touches per game. Akers is the kind of player whose stock will likely rise during training camp as the coaches see what he is capable of, which might raise his ADP into the sixth round.
Henderson and Brown will then split the rest of the work with the former being the primary pass-catching running back. With the Rams set to feature them in the passing game this season, Henderson is a popular target and for good reason.
Running backs that can catch the football are especially valuable in PPR and being able to get one that might be featured in a top-five offense after No. 100 is a steal.
Pass Catchers (Wide Receivers and Tight Ends)
Cooper Kupp (Current ADP: WR11 at 30.9 overall)
Robert Woods (Current ADP: WR20 at 49.5 overall)
Tyler Higbee (Current ADP: TE13 at 126.4 overall)
Higbee was the TE1 between Weeks 13-17 and a top-five tight end from Week 10 until the end. He had the most impressive five-game run of any tight end in NFL history and with Brandin Cooks and Gurley gone, his targets should only increase.
While it is unlikely Higbee finishes as a top-five tight end this season, the ceiling is there and he has a pretty safe floor due to the fact the Rams recently signed him to a four-year, $29 million deal and plan to fully integrate him into the offense.
As for Kupp and Woods, they will yet again be two of the most dynamic receivers.
Kupp was the WR2 in both PPR and standard leagues all the way through Week 8 before trailing off in the second half of last season, failing to rack up over 100 yards in his final seven games. He will still be Goff’s crutch and his incredible route running will allow him to continue to break away from defenders with ease. Kupp’s ADP as the WR11 is exactly where he should be going head into his fourth season.
While Kupp dominated in the first half of the season, Woods picked up the slack in the second half. In the team’s final seven games, Woods notched 707 combined yards and two touchdowns. The thing that makes Woods so valuable is his ability to provide for his fantasy owners in the run game, putting up 272 rushing yards and two touchdowns in his last two seasons in Los Angeles for McVay and the Rams.
Woods has eclipsed 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons and it should be more of the same. Being drafted as a WR2, Woods has the ability to be a steal and is more than capable of providing owners with solid WR1 value all season long.
Defense and Special Teams
The Rams finished as a top-five DST for the third season in a row and more of the same should be expected this season with two of the best defensive players.
Armed with perhaps the best defensive player in the league in Aaron Donald, they will continue to rack up sacks and put opposing quarterbacks under pressure. Alongside Donald, the Rams will also feature one of the league’s premier cornerbacks in Jalen Ramsey who is more than capable of being a pesky ballhawk.
With both sacks and interceptions coming in bunches, the Rams DST should be one of the first three teams off the board when DST start being drafted by owners.