Pro Football Talk reports that Rams DE Aaron Donald has returned to the team and passed his physical. He will not play Sunday, according to Adam Schefter, but Donald should be ready for IDP lineups in Week 2
The Rams have ruled DE Aaron Donald out for Week 1. It's no surprise, given that he has yet to report. But it officially pushes his holdout into the regular season. Missing Donald obviously hurts the Rams' D. But matching up with the Andrew Luck-less Colts keeps them a strong Week 1 fantasy option
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that a league source told him Rams DE Aaron Donald's contract holdout could last into the regular season. Donald is in the final year of his rookie contract but seeking new money after making the Pro Bowl in each of his 1st 3 campaigns. We'll see where this goes. The closer we get to the regular season without Donald getting back on the field, the further we have to drop him on IDP draft boards, though. Donald's absence from real games would chip away significantly at the upside of the Rams' team D as well.
The Rams opened their 1st full week of training camp Monday without DE Aaron Donald. The 4th-year player is holding out in search of a new contract. DT Michael Brockers told the Los Angeles Daily News that teammates are behind him and that Donald promised that he's continuing to workout and will be in shape whenever he reports. IDP owners are already waiting to see how a slight position change might affect Donald's production/value. The potential for a prolonged holdout is more concerning, though. If Donald gets contract resolution soon, he'll return to play under longtime (but new to the Rams) DC Wade Phillips in a scheme that promises continued 1-on-1 matchups. The only ding to Donald's fantasy football value will likely be in leagues that split DEs and DTs. Of course, missing its best player will also be a knock against a Rams D that should present some fantasy upside in 2017.
The Rams hired Wade Phillips this offseason to be their new DC, after switching from Jeff Fisher to Sean McVay in the head job. That move likely startled some IDP owners who wondered how it might affect DT Aaron Donald's role and production. According to ESPN.com, however, Donald expects to do the “same thing. I’m still going to be a 3-technique; still a penetrate, get-up-field type of guy. I got to come here during the offseason and got to sit down and talk with him. I like his game plan and how he’s going to use us, and the position he’s going to put us in to have success.” Phillips is a 3-4 maven, but he's also a smart, career-long defensive coach. He's not likely to apply the Rams' best defensive player in a way that mutes Donald's effectiveness. We'll see what the numbers say come the season, but don't worry too much about Donald's IDP outlook as we move toward fantasy football draft time.
The Rams will switch their base defensive front to a 3-4 under new DC Wade Phillips, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. That could mean significantly different roles for a number of front-seven players. The most affected in fantasy terms will likely be Robert Quinn, who figures to move from DE to OLB. If that designation changes for 2017 on most fantasy sites, then his IDP ceiling will come down considerably. Aaron Donald will move from his 3-technique DT spot, but he'll retain DL eligibility. Phillips told the Daily News that if Donald doesn't fit your system, then your system isn't working. We'll trust the seasoned veteran DC to put the stud lineman in position to make plays. LBs Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron will face a big change as well, which could include taking on a lot more blockers in the run game. This will be a key defense to look at as we head toward the summer, regardless of your fantasy football format.
Rams DT Aaron Donald is active for the visit to the 49ers after entering the day as a game-time decision. We have to assume that he's at least somewhere near full strength if the team's willing to put its stud rookie out there. Donald's talent makes him an upside play anytime he's active.
Rams DT Aaron Donald missed 2 days of practice this week and is questionable for Sunday's trip to San Francisco. The rookie did put in a limited workout Friday, but the 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff makes him not worth waiting for in most cases as you set your IDP lineups.
The Rams spent the 13th pick in round 1 on Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald. The ex-Panther led the nation with 28.5 tackles for loss last season and produced a pair of 11-sack seasons. In St. Louis, he joins a loaded D-line that will make it tough for opponents to double-team him in the pass rush. Donald should start right away in Kendall Langford's former spot. He looks like an early sleeper for starting value when the 2014 IDP rankings roll out. His arrival only further enhances an already valuable Rams team D in fantasy.
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