With training camp starting to wrap up and the preseason kicking off today, it’s time to start preparing for those all-important fantasy football drafts.
Fantasy is my favorite part of football season, and I love to build my roster smartly around my favorite teams.
Rams players are going to be a hot commodity this season, and it’s no wonder why.
Here are the players I’m targeting, staying away from or lukewarm on.
All the rankings and average draft positions (ADP) are from ESPN and an ESPN standard 10-team PPR league.
TE Tyler Higbee // Pos. 17 – Overall 143
I was high on Tyler Higbee last season. Down the stretch in 2019, Higbee’s production was through the roof. The hope was that production carried over into 2020. However, those numbers never came to fruition. He averaged 104.4 yards per game in the final five games in 2019. In 2020, he only managed 32.6 yards per game during the regular season. Also, the Rams’ offense will be more dynamic and spread the ball really well; Higbee’s numbers could decline even more.
This season I’m hesitant to take Higbee as my starter. The tight end position lacks the depth like at wide receiver, running back, and quarterback. So I’m definitely going to target a tight end between rounds three and five. It’s going to be a major reach, considering I might be able to add Higbee off waivers after the draft.
Rams D/ST // Pos. 4 – Overall 176
This is a no-brainer. The Rams were the No. 1 defense in the league last year, and they’re looking to stay that way. Yes, Brandon Staley is gone. However, they’re still going to have a great season. You shouldn’t reach for them and expect them to go towards round 15, but if you have a solid bench already forming and it’s round 14, I won’t blame you for taking the Rams’ D/ST a round early.
If you think my analysis was wrong last year: it wasn’t. I said don’t draft them because they had an unfavorable match-up in week 1. Typically I draft my D/ST based on a team’s week 1 match-up. The Rams only managed three fantasy points against the Dallas Cowboys and average 4 points per game during the first three weeks.
For the remainder of the season, they averaged 11.3 points per game (Also probably not helped by the -1 they scored against San Francisco). This season they’ll improve from 11.3 points per game, and I’d feel comfortable starting them every game this season.
QB Matthew Stafford // Pos. 11 – Overall 105
Matthew Stafford getting ranked just outside is kind of perfect for Rams fans. Quarterbacks are a lot like tight ends in fantasy: the top ten will go for sure with a few wise players taking a backup. If I can’t get a top-five quarterback in the sixth to the eighth round, I will be looking at Stafford in the ninth or tenth round. His average draft position is towards the end of the 11th round – however, he’s currently rising. But he’s only rostered in 77% of leagues.
ESPN has his projections a little too low. They currently project him to score 17.6 fantasy points per game. He can easily do 18.5, maybe even 19 points per game. He’s getting a massively upgraded offense with household names at wide receiver, a great running attack even without Cam Akers, and a solid offensive line.
Featured Image: Jae C. Hong/AP Photo