Los Angeles Rams July Scouting Report
LET’S GO CAMPING! Training camp opens this week, which means Fantasy Football talk is full go. The Rams had a very successful 2018 season; however, there has been much talk/concern regarding superstar RB Todd Gurley and his health heading into camp. Another offensive starter who is looking to bounce back from injury is WR Cooper Kupp. The rest of the offense is healthy but the offensive line will have two new starters so hopefully they will have similar success to the last two seasons. The defense will have three to four new starters but they have the potential to be special. Let’s take a look at the current Fantasy positions heading into training camp.
QB: QB Jared Goff enters his fourth professional season as the Franchise Quarterback few thought he would be after his rookie season. In 2018 Jared led his team to the Super Bowl and many Fantasy teams to Championships. His 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns were career highs and he finished the 2018 season as the 6th ranked Fantasy Quarterback. Jared struggled in the post-season and people are worried about the health of RB Todd Gurley so Jared is consistently ranked outside of the top ten. I think Jared puts up better numbers in 2019 and is a solid QB1 in Fantasy. QB Blake Bortles is the backup and looks to resurrect his career learning from HC Sean McVay.
RB: RB Todd Gurley was playing like an MVP Candidate for most of 2018 but wore down as the season progressed. I saw him tweak his knee against the Raider in game one of the season and I give Todd credit for toughing it out throughout the season. No one knows for sure how Todd is feeling except Todd and I can’t believe how quickly people forget how special a player he is. Todd missed the last two games of the regular season and still had 1,831 yards from scrimmage and scored 21 touchdowns! I believe in the man and think he is going to be a steal in Drafts. Rookie RB Darrell Henderson has been climbing up Draft boards but he is better suited as a change of pace back while veteran RB Malcom Brown was brought back to help take some of the heavy lifting off of Todd’s shoulders. If Todd were to need an extended break, I think it would be a combination of Henderson and Brown filling the void.
WR: WR Brandin Cooks and WR Robert Woods both went over 1,000 yards receiving last season and WR Cooper Kupp was on pace to reach that mark at the time of his injury. Kupp was not placed on the PUP to start camp and that is a good sign that he could be ready for game action week one. WR Josh Reynolds filled in admirably when Kupp was out but Josh is better suited coming off the bench and providing a spark rather than being one of the top three receivers. The Rams feature Cooks, Woods, and a healthy Kupp throughout the season so you can say Los Angeles has no WR1 but you could say they have a WR1A, WR1B, and WR1C!.
TE: TE Tyler Higbee has been the starter since McVay took over but TE Gerald Everett has had a strong off-season and could have a bigger Fantasy impact even if he doesn’t start. Higbee is the better blocker but Everett is the more explosive playmaker. It is ironic that McVay has not gotten his Tight Ends more involved in the passing game. I think he does that this year and I would say Everett has the more Fantasy value.
K: PK Greg Zuerlein had a great 2018 and his performance in the NFC Championship game was outstanding. Greg is the number one Fantasy kicker for 2019, which is strange; I remember the days when the Rams kicker was not even on cheat sheets because the offense was so bad.
DEF: The defense lost three starters from last season (Suh, Barron, and Joyner) and should have a fourth new starter in veteran LB Clay Mathews. Joining Mathews as a free-agent is FS Eric Weddle who will replace Joyner. Second year LB Micah Kiser has a great opportunity to start next to Pro-Bowl LB Cory Littleton; taking Barron’s spot. Suh’s position should be manned by either rookie DT Greg Gaines or second year DT Sebastian Joseph-Day or possibly both in rotation. The rest of the D-line is set with solid veteran DL Michael Brockers and DPOY DL Aaron Donald. The defensive backfield is deep with CB Aqib Talib, CB Marcus Peters, and SS John Johnson but I am anxious to see rookie SS Taylor Rapp contribute. LB Samson Ebukam should provide great depth as a pass rusher and occasional player supporting Mathews and LB Dante Fowler. The wild card of the linebackers is second year LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo who missed all of his rookie season. This unit could be special if all of pieces come together.
Many of the so called "experts" think the Rams are due for a letdown due to Gurley’s health and a Super Bowl "hangover". I think the opposite. I think McVay and the players learned from the Super Bowl loss and want to prove the doubters wrong. I also think Todd Gurley wants to prove the doubters wrong. I am very excited about this team and the upcoming season. We’ll see how things shape up as preseason comes our way and Fantasy positions shape up. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!
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