Los Angeles Rams Late August Scouting Report
Now for the real games! After beating the Chargers to open the preseason, the Rams dropped their next two games to finish the preseason at 1-2. With the opener against the Bills less than two weeks away, HC Sean McVay and GM Les Snead need to whittle the roster down to 53. They have some tough decisions to make as a few youngsters had strong performances when given the opportunity. Of course most players just trying to make the team do not have much Fantasy impact but there have been a few exceptions. Letâ€™s take a look at the current status for Fantasy positions as we head to the opener.
QUARTERBACK: QB Matthew Stafford missed some practices with a sore throwing elbow but he is good to go for week one. QB Bryce Perkins was impressive all preseason and could challenge QB John Wolford to be the backup. Wolford injured his throwing hand during practice with the Bengals and sat out the last game as a precaution. Stafford is a solid QB1 and I would gladly take him after the top tier quarterbacks are off the board.
RUNNING BACK: RB Cam Akers and RB Darrell Henderson have missed the last two weeks of practice but McVay thinks they should be ready against Buffalo. I sure hope so as RB Jake Funk and rookie RB Kyren Williams are the next two up and neither impressed during preseason. Williams is coming off an injury of his own and has yet to play in a professional game. Akers is the Rams top running back and has high RB2 potential but he needs to stay healthy.
WIDE RECEIVER: WR Cooper Kupp and WR Allen Robinson are ready to take this offense to the next level. WR Van Jefferson is still recovering from his knee surgery and might miss the opener. Even if he is back, he will be far from 100%. WR Tutu Atwell and WR Ben Skowronek rested during the preseason so it appears their roles are set. Undrafted rookie free agent WR Lance McCutcheon led the NFL in preseason receiving yards and should make the 53-man roster. I think his highlights are better than both Atwell and Skowronek so it will be interesting to see how he fights for playing time. Kupp is the top receiver in the league (real or Fantasy) and Robinson has top 12 Fantasy potential in this offense.
TIGHT END: TE Tyler Higbee and TE Brycen Hopkins are the top two tight ends after the surprising release of Kendall Blanton. Second year TE Jacob Harris is competing for a roster spot and his special teams ability might allow him to stick. Higbee is the only tight end with Fantasy value as a low end TE2.
KICKER: PK Matt Gay is the only kicker on the roster as PK Cameron Dicker was a first cut casualty. Gay is coming off a Pro Bowl season and with this offense should be a top five Fantasy kicker.
DEFENSE: DL Aaron Donald did not play in any preseason games but he made the "highlights" when video showed him swinging two Bengal helmets at Cincinnati players during a brawl that occurred during their joint practice on Thursday before the game. People who want him suspended are delusional. What I want to know is how did he rip TWO helmets from grown men? Donald and LB Bobby Wagner could make this defense the top unit in the league. I am really excited to see second year LB Ernest Jones play next to Wagner. Jordyn Brooks was a top producer when teamed with Wags in Seattle. All Pro CB Jalen Ramsey had a solid week of practice and is close to 100% from his shoulder surgery.
The Rams start their title defense shortly and it will be a great first game against the Buffalo Bills who have Super Bowl aspirations of their own. Congratulations to Ramsey, Kupp, and Donald for finishing in the top nine of the NFLâ€™s top 100 List. I think it is the first time that one team had that many players that high. Hope everyone is enjoying their Fantasy drafts. Be safe and care for others. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops and Scratch! Aloha!
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The majority of the FFMastermind.com Weekly In-Season Fantasy Newsletter is written by 4-peat winner of the SI.com Fantasy Experts League, Michael Nazarek. Not only does this newsletter