The Rams are suffering from a Super Bowl hangover after putting up a measly 3 points. Though the offense faltered in the Super Bowl there are still a number of good options on this team, here it is broken down in tiers.
There are plenty of people who are worried about the Los Angeles Rams offense after they scored only 3 points in the Super Bowl. I for one am not one of those people. The Rams offense was one of the most efficient in the NFL ranked second only to the Chiefs offense. The problem they faced in the Super bowl was a superior coaching staff and also facing many Super Bowl tested opponents.
The Los Angeles Rams offense has one of the better receiving corps in the NFL in Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Jared Goff cemented himself as a top 10 option. Todd Gurley, although facing arthritis issues, is still one of the premiere backs in the league. With great play calling this offense should again be one of the most efficient in the NFL for 2019. Lets see how the roster breaks down in tiers.
Tier 1 – Draft Targets
Jared Goff – Quarterback
2018 Stats: 4,688 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions with a 64.9% completion percentage.
Jared Goff is coming off a year where he showed vast improvement. He set career highs in passing yards, touchdowns and completion percentage. Goff finished the season 4th in passing yards and 7th is passing touchdowns. The offense has not changed too much for Goff. Cooper Kupp seemed to be Goff’s favorite target at the beginning of the season but lost him midway to a season-ending injury. Kupp is back and joins Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks both of whom are coming off 1,200 yard seasons.
Goff has great chemistry with all three of these receivers. When you watch tape this is obvious as Goff is one of the best quarterbacks at anticipating his receiver’s breaks. Watch both of these throws as he is getting ready to throw before the initial move is even made:
Jared Goff anticipation throw to the intermediate MOF at the top of his drop, a strength of his…
In this case, it helps tremendously that the run flow holds up Bradley McDougald (#30), creating a window where Goff can connect w/Robert Woods on the drift route. pic.twitter.com/d8twmbdZsi
— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) July 22, 2019
Watching a lot of Jared Goff lately and I'll say one of his better qualities is anticipating MOF throws at the top of his drop. pic.twitter.com/gcB4DarDAa
— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) July 20, 2019
Goff was ranked 10th in passing attempts and 4th in yards per attempt. In fantasy that is what you want, volume and yards per reception. Goff should easily be in the top 10 of fantasy quarterbacks for 2019.
2019 Projected Stats: 4,715 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, nine interceptions with a 67% completion percentage.
Todd Gurley – Running Back
2018 Stats: 256 Rushes for 1,251 yards, 17 rushing touchdowns, 4.9 yards per carry, 81 targets, 59 receptions for 580 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns.
I do not think that there could have been a worse offseason in terms of Todd Gurley’s value. After the Super Bowl there was speculation that Gurley was playing injured and it appears that he has been suffering from knee arthritis. This is a large concern but the Los Angeles Rams drafted insurance by grabbing Darrell Henderson in the 3rd round and 70th overall. Most would say that this will hurt Gurley’s value…I do not.
Henderson is by no means a goal line back and Gurley should still handle the red zone work. When healthy Gurley is one of the top three most dangerous players in the NFL. Just because Gurley will not be receiving close to 300 carries does not mean he will produce poorly. This was a touchdown run Gurley had in the playoffs last season:
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 13, 2019
If you date back to Gurley’s rookie season he only had 229 rushing attempts. He was still able to produce 1,106 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Gurley is a better player than he was his rookie season and even if his workload is scaled back he is still a RB1.
2019 Projected Stats: 225 Rushing attempts for 1,175 yards at 5.2 yards per carry, 12 touchdowns, 40 receptions for 315 yards and four receiving touchdowns.
Brandin Cooks – Wide Receiver
2018 Stats: 117 targets, 80 receptions for 1,204 receiving yards at 15.1 yards per reception and five touchdowns with 10 rushing attempts for 68 yards and another touchdown.
Every starting Rams receiver is worth anywhere from a late 2nd to a 5th round pick. Cooper Kupp you can get the latest because he is coming off of an injury. Brandin Cooks is routinely the first Los Angeles Rams receiver off the board. Cooks is the big play threat for the Rams but that is not all that he is. He has thrived in other areas but especially as a big play guy:
Brandin Cooks has generated the most receiving yards on deep targets since 2016! pic.twitter.com/r8I0vAwagC
— PFF (@PFF) July 24, 2019
Cooks averaged 15.1 yards per reception in his first year with the team. There is no denying Cooks’ talent as he is with his 3rd team in what will be his 6th season. Since he has become a full time starter in 2015 he has never failed to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark. Deep balls are not all that Cooks excelled at. When it came to intermediate routes Cooks had the highest catch rate of any receiver in the NFL.
No one came close to Brandin Cooks' 82.1% intermediate catch rate last season pic.twitter.com/GKwxMQkdWL
— PFF (@PFF) May 31, 2019
Cooks is entering his second year with Goff and the two have a great connection. After seeing how the two performed together in the playoffs, this could be Cooks best season yet.
2019 Projected Stats: 127 targets, 95 receptions for 1,335 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.
Robert Woods – Wide Receiver
2018 Stats: 130 targets, 86 receptions for 1,219 yards at 14.2 yards per reception and six touchdowns with 19 rush attempts for 157 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
Robert Woods has enjoyed his rise to WR2 status since joining the Los Angeles Rams. He has exactly 2,000 receiving yards in his two seasons with the team. When Cooper Kupp went down with a season ending injury Woods was the benefactor. He accumulated a whopping 130 targets last season en route to 1,219 yards which paced the team. Jared Goff seems to have great confidence in all of his wide receivers. Watch this dime he throws to Woods and Woods makes the beautiful catch:
— NFL (@NFL) January 7, 2018
Fantasy owners may wonder if Woods value takes a hit with Kupp returning. Pro Football Focus had Woods rated as the 5th best receiver in the NFL after eight games, all games Kupp played in:
Robert Woods Getting very Deserved ❤️ here from PFF https://t.co/eoJWM40FA2
— Derek Brown (@DBro_FFB) November 17, 2018
The 1,200 yards from Woods were not a fluke and he is a top level WR2 with WR1 upside. He is definitely a receiver I will be targeting.
2019 Projected Stats: 121 targets, 80 receptions for 1,089 yards and six touchdowns to go with 15 rushing attempts for 75 yards.
Cooper Kupp – Wide Receiver
2018 Stats: 55 targets, 40 receptions for 566 yards and six touchdowns at 14.2 yards per reception. (8 Games)
Kupp was on pace last season for 110 targets, 80 receptions, 1,132 yards and 12 touchdowns before he was injured. He tore his ACL during the 8th game of the season but has seemed to have made a full recovery as he is already back at training camp. Kupp looks great now as he was seen at training camp making crisp cuts and great route running:
— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) July 27, 2019
Though he is most likely the third receiver in the group he is also the red zone receiver. Kupp came in ranked 9th in yards per route run by Pro Football Focus:
Cooper Kupp tied Desean Jackson for ninth among the NFL's wide receivers in terms of yards per route run pic.twitter.com/BP5zrrL4VT
— PFF (@PFF) February 26, 2019
This shows he has very few wasted routes and even as a third receiver he can eclipse the 1,000 yard mark. Kupp should continue to be Goff’s favorite target in the red zone and has the talent and ability to be the highest targeted receiver.
2019 Projected Stats: 118 targets, 89 receptions for 1,175 yards and nine touchdowns.
Tier 2 – Depth Players
Darrell Henderson – Running Back
2018 Stats: 214 rushing attempts for 1,909 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns at 8.9 ypc, with 19 receptions for 295 yards and three touchdowns. (13 NCAA Games)
There is an unbelievable hype train following Darrell Henderson this year. The news surrounding the knee for Todd Gurley has led to people over-compensating and thinking Henderson could even be at an even timeshare with Gurley. Think twice because he won’t. Henderson is nothing more than a change of pace this year and at most could see 35% of total reps. That is not to say he is not a great player, he averaged 8.9 yards per rush last season and scored 22 rushing touchdowns in 13 games. Gurley is just too good for a team to just move on, especially when he is still slated to play.
Darrell Henderson is said to be taking on a Chris Thompson type of role which if used in the same respect can be a productive one, especially in PPR leagues. Best case scenario is Henderson gets used like Tarik Cohen. Henderson has more than adequate hands and when he has the ball is incredibly explosive. My good friend Tom Kislingbury (@TomDegenerate) made a chart that breaks down the Chris Thompson role which best depicts how Henderson could be used:
With talk of Darrell Henderson being used in a "Chris Thompson role" here's a recap of what that looked like in 2018.
Why they couldn't just say a "receiving / late down role" I have no idea. pic.twitter.com/4KKjqarS0Z
— Tom Kislingbury (@TomKislingbury) July 30, 2019
If I am at a point in the draft and there are targets I have that I know I can wait on, I pick up Darrell Henderson. Even if I do not need him, the hype is so high. You can use that pick as trade leverage with a desperate Todd Gurley owner or anybody who is incredibly high on him. I draft him to use as trade bait.
2019 Projected Stats: 85 rushing attempts, 448 rushing yards and two touchdowns with 65 receptions for 520 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Tier 3 – Rotational Players
I do not see anybody on this squad that I peg as a tier three player. The Los Angeles Rams roster is very top heavy and if you miss out of the top tier groups it is best to leave the rest of the team be.
Josh Reynolds – Wide Receiver
2018 Stats: 53 targets for 29 receptions, 402 receiving yards and five touchdowns at 13.9 yards per target.
When Cooper Kupp went down Josh Reynolds became the teams WR3. He started the last six games of the regular season accumulating 41 targets for 22 receptions, 304 receiving yards and three touchdowns at 14.10 yards per reception. If you look at his target share as well as his yards per reception, the game plan does not change as it mirrors Kupp’s targets and yards per reception.
Josh Reynolds, resembling a gliding gazelle, snuck behind the defense on this deep catch (via Rams/IG) pic.twitter.com/O62jrLZCYk
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) July 30, 2019
As you can see in the clip above Josh Reynolds is making plays in camp and is garnering praise from his coaches. The Rams have some of the best depth at the wide receiver position in the entire NFL. If there is one injury to any of the top three receivers on the team, Reynolds can take over and the offense will not lose a step.
2019 Projected Stats: 31 targets for 403 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
As you can see the Los Angeles Rams roster is very top heavy. Almost every skill position offensive starter, outside of tight end, is a tier one asset for fantasy football. Jared Goff, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Cooper Kupp are all draft targets for me. Todd Gurley has some concern over his knee but you cannot deny his talent and he may be even more explosive if they dial back his carries a bit. Darrell Henderson looks the part of a Chris Thompson type running back and has a great shot for some good stand alone value. Josh Reynolds is a great sleeper as if anything happens to any of the teams receivers he can slide in seamlessly.
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