Training camp starts next month for the Los Angeles Rams and will be looking at which players can help the team compete for a championship this season. More importantly for fantasy football fans, they are scouting players around the league to help them achieve bragging rights over friends and co-workers.
The Rams are one of the more talented teams in the league. They shocked the league last season after leading the NFL in points per game (29.9) thanks to head coach Sean McVay. In fantasy football, it is about drafting the right players to help put up the most points. The Rams certainly have a dynamic offense that can score at an elite level, something fantasy fans should keep an eye on.
Under McVay, Jared Goff played like an elite level quarterback. He threw for 3,804 yards, 28 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. For a lot of fantasy owners, he became a steal of a pick. His improved performance helped free up running space for his backfield partner, Todd Gurley II.
Gurley ran for 1,305 yards (second in the league) and 13 touchdowns in 2017. He was awarded the AP Offensive Player of the Year and placed second in MVP voting. He is the engine behind the Rams offense and counted on to produce. But the Rams addition of wide receiver Brandin Cooks should surely help Goff and Gurley.
Cooks has been one of the most dynamic deep threats in the league since being drafted in 2014. Last year with the New England Patriots, Cooks placed seventh in yards per catch (16.6) on his way to his third consecutive 1,000-yard season (1,082 yards) and caught seven touchdowns.
Goff, Gurley and Cooks should surely help fantasy owners lead their teams to the playoffs, but the Rams have a few players on their roster that contributes on the field and in fantasy lineups. Take a look at three potential selections fantasy owners should look at during training camp and preseason:
(62 catches, 869 yards, 5 TDs in 2017) (ADP: 93, 20th easiest schedule for WRs)
The Rams got a steal after selecting Kupp in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was second in rookie receiving yards, tied fourth in touchdowns and led rookie receivers in touchdowns.
Kupp did most of his damage in the slot last season. He came onto the scene in his very first NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts. Kupp caught four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. He kept the momentum going from his first game to carve out a great rookie season.
With more familiarity with the offense and Jared Goff, Kupp should put up better numbers than his rookie season. He will see single coverage as teams will spend time focusing on Gurley and Cooks.
Kupp is low-end WR2, WR3/Flex starter depending on how big the league is. He is projected to go in between the rounds 7-10.
WR Robert Woods
(56 catches, 781 yards, 5 TDs in 2017) (ADP: 75, 20th easiest schedule for WRs)
Like Kupp, Woods will benefit with another year in McVay offense and the talent around him.
After signing a five-year contract with the Rams last offseason, Woods possibility had his best year as a pro. He was the Rams number one receiver for a good part of the season before he missed three games with a shoulder injury.
In a three game span before his injury, Woods caught 20 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns. He was one of the biggest fantasy surprises last season and is capable of being better this year.
Woods is a low-end WR2, high-end WR3/Flex starter and is projected to go between rounds 5-7.
Los Angeles Rams D/ST
(20.6 points allowed per game, 48 sacks, 18 INTs, 13 FFs, 2 TDs, 1 PR TD in 2017) (ADP: 106)
The Rams offense does not get all of the attention this fantasy season as they have made huge additions to the defensive side of the ball.
Along with 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh are all expected to improve the Rams defense after being brought over. Peters and Talib are two of the league’s top ball hawks at cornerback and Suh has been one of the NFL top interior defensive lineman since being drafted in 2010. Under Wade Phillips, the Rams defense is expected to create a ton of turnovers. He constructed the Rams defense in 2017 which ranked 5th in takeaways (28).
Pharoh Cooper is one of the many dynamics the Rams have on their team. He made his first Pro Bowl last season after leading the NFL in kickoff return yards (1,052) and a touchdown while also ranking second in punt return yards (406).
The Rams D/ST is a sleeper pick and should be considered in the later part of the draft when your roster is close to being complete.