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Los Angeles Rams Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2024

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Rams QB Matt Stafford's 2022 season ended in Week 11 with a spinal cord contusion. He was disappointing even before that, ranking 22nd among QBs in fantasy points per game. Stafford's 6.9 yards per pass attempt was his worst mark since 2018 and the fifth-worst mark among his 14 NFL seasons. A leaky offensive line was part of the problem. But Stafford registered his lowest Pro Football Focus passing grade since 2015, ranking 22nd among 31 qualifying QBs. Now 35, Stafford's best days are certainly behind him. But there's some bounce-back potential here with better health for Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, and the offensive line. Remember that Stafford finished fifth among QBs in fantasy points in his Rams debut in 2021. We're not expecting him to return to that level of production -- but he doesn't need to at his current QB19 ADP. See where Stafford sits in our 2023 QB Rankings.

Rams beat writer Cameron DaSilva writes that “in all likelihood,” the team will use a rotation at WR3. Van Jefferson holds the WR2 role behind Cooper Kupp. But we’ll see training camp sort the depth chart beyond that, with Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowrenek, and Puka Nacua as leading contenders. Atwell brings big-play appeal, making him a late-round option in best ball leagues. Nacua, though, has drawn the most buzz this offseason. The real takeaway is that Kupp remains a strong candidate to lead the NFL in targets.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee set career highs last year with 108 targets and 72 catches. His 620 yards were his second most among seven NFL seasons. He ranked fourth among all TEs in targets, fifth in catches, and ninth in receiving yards. Despite underachieving in the TD department -- his three scores ranked 19th at his position -- Higbee finished TE6 in PPR points. The Rams shipped WR Allen Robinson to Pittsburgh earlier this offseason and only added fifth-round rookie WR Puka Nacua, free-agent WR Demarcus Robinson, fifth-round rookie TE Davis Allen, and TE Hunter Long to the pass-catching corps. So Higbee looks set up for a bunch more targets in 2023. Although not the most exciting player, he's a nice value at his TE15 ADP.

Rams HC Sean McVay said he should have utilized WR Tutu Atwell more last season. Atwell — who McVay called “a real bright spot” this offseason -- finished 2022 with 35 targets. “You can see just the comfort in playing a lot of snaps last year, gaining some confidence and then being able to move around,” McVay said. “That’ll be really valuable.” The former Round 2 pick brings big-play ability, but he’s ultimately a fringe best ball flier. Atwell doesn’t crack the top 90 of our PPR WR rankings.

Cam DaSilva of USA Today writes that QB Matthew Stafford is “fully healthy and taking part in everything” this offseason. That wasn’t the case last year, as the veteran needed an injection in his right elbow after the ’21 season. “Oh, it’s night and day. And he’ll be the first to tell you,” HC Sean McVay said on Stafford’s improved health. At QB20, he's going in a reasonable range in drafts. It’s just hard to see Stafford crushing that spot given the Rams’ lack of weapons behind Cooper Kupp.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp participated in full team practice on Tuesday for the first time since suffering a season-ending high-ankle sprain last November that required surgery. Kupp, though, is still rehabbing and hasn't been fully cleared. "Playing football, you can't simulate this stuff. So I don't know if we'll really know," Kupp said. "I feel right now we've been pushing it pretty hard. I feel like I'm asking for more, wanting to do more and feeling like you're getting held back versus feeling like they're pushing you to do more. We're in a good place now where I feel like I want to get out there and play." We'll continue to keep an eye on Kupp's progress, but he should be back to 100% before Week 1.

Rams OC Mike LaFleur praised rookie WR Puka Nacua for his efforts at OTAs. “He’s a good-sized kid. He’s got a good frame to him. He catches the ball really effortlessly,” LaFleur said on Wednesday. “He can stay grounded through the catch and so he is doing a good job with it. And particularly moving him around quite a bit, not babying him at all with the motions and the alignments and stuff like that and so he’s doing a good job. You can tell, all you have to do is look at these – especially the young guys – just look at their eyes when they’re in the huddle and you can tell the guys that are swimming, the guys that aren’t and he definitely has a calm demeanor about himself and is fitting in nicely.” Nacua will compete for rotational snaps behind Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson. The 5th-round pick is much more intriguing in dynasty formats.

The Rams traded up to grab Ole Miss RB Zach Evans late in Round 6 of the NFL Draft. Our guy C.H. Herms is a big fan of Evans' film and has liked Evans' dynasty value all along. And he's far from the only Evans film fan. Evans bounced from TCU to Ole Miss and dealt with multiple injuries. He finished with just 290 carries and 30 catches through three seasons. But he also averaged 6.9 yards per rush and 10.8 per catch for his career. That included 6.5 yards per carry and 9.9 per reception in his lone SEC campaign. Going to the Rams likely puts him in competition with 2022 rookie Kyren Williams for the No. 2 spot behind Cam Akers. The situation presents opportunity, with neither Akers nor Williams having proved much as a pro to date. We'll be watching this backfield competition through training camp. He's worth a look late in your dynasty rookie draft. See where he lands in our dynasty RB rankings.

Ole Miss RB Zach Evans (hamstring) didn’t participate in any drills at the NFL Combine on Sunday. We did confirm his measurements at 5’11 and 202 pounds, though we won’t see the former TCU transfer run drills until the Rebels' pro day scheduled for March 29th in Oxford, Mississippi. A quality pro day performance could see the former top high school recruit work his way into Day 2 draft capital. Check back on Evans as the month unfolds.

The Commanders announced on Monday afternoon that they've parted ways with QB Carson Wentz. The former 2nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft appeared in only 8 games in his lone season with the Commanders, completing 172 of 276 attempts for 1,755 passing yards with 11 TDs and 9 INTs. The structure of Wentz's contract made it so that he wasn't guaranteed any money beyond 2022, so this is a clean break for the franchise after a 1-year trial. Wentz struck out in consecutive seasons with the Colts and Commanders and may struggle to find another starting job in the NFL. It's likely we see him go the veteran backup route on the open market.

The Rams are hiring Mike LaFleur as their new OC, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. LaFleur replaces Liam Coen, who left Los Angeles after just 1 season to return to his previous post as Kentucky's OC. LaFleur struggled as Jets OC the past 2 years, with both of those teams finishing bottom 8 in both total yards and points. Like Rams HC Sean McVay, LaFleur comes from the Shanahan coaching tree, so there should be plenty of synergy here. McVay will still be running the show, though, so don't expect a big change to the Rams' play calling.

The Rams are expected to pick up QB Matt Stafford's 2023 option bonus and 2024 salary, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. It'll pay Stafford a combined $62 million in guaranteed money. There had been questions about Stafford's football future after a spinal cord contusion ended his 2022 season. He's avoided surgery, though, and is expected to be ready for the offseason program. With HC Sean McVay also returning for 2023, the Rams offense has bounce-back potential with better health and improvements along the offensive line.

Rams HC Sean McVay has decided to continue coaching, according to multiple reports. That's good for all the offensive skill-position players relevant to our fantasy football teams. Now we can focus on who gets healthy, who leaves and who arrives this offseason.

The Commanders fired OC Scott Turner. Washington never ranked better than 20th in total yards or 23rd in points across Turner's 3 seasons, although QB play was seemingly a bigger problem than Turner's play calling. We'll see who the Commanders tab as their next OC -- and what they do at QB. Carson Wentz is set to count $26 million against the 2023 cap but can be cut with no dead-cap penalty.

Commanders QB Carson Wentz completed 16 of 28 attempts for 143 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs in Week 17's loss to the Browns. He added 7 yards and a score on the ground, but his rushing performance didn't save fantasy managers from a dreadful day. Wentz's future is fairly uncertain as we turn the page into 2023. There's a potential out in Wentz's contract that would enable to Commanders to move on from him this offseason. It's not difficult to imagine the franchise doing so given the subpar performances we've seen from the former #2 overall pick in less than 10 healthy games. Should this occur, it would be back-to-back seasons in which Wentz blew an opportunity to be a starter after being benched for QB Jalen Hurts at the end of the 2020 season with the Eagles. We'll see if he gets another chance in 2023 but the odds of that don't seem strong.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee (elbow) is active for today’s game vs. the Chargers. He got in just limited practices on Thursday and Friday but never seemed to be in danger of missing this one. See where Higbee lands in the Week 17 TE Rankings.

ESPN's Adam Schefter confirms that Rams TE Tyler Higbee (elbow) will play vs. the Chargers. Higbee only got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday, but there never seemed to be much doubt about his availability for this one.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee (elbow) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. the Chargers. He got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday and is expected to play, according to HC Sean McVay. Higbee is coming off a huge 9-94-2 line on Christmas, putting him back on the fantasy radar. Just remember that he totaled 6 catches on 8 targets for 38 yards in QB Baker Mayfield’s first 2 games.

The Commanders will start QB Carson Wentz on Sunday against the Browns. According to multiple reports, HC Ron Rivera told the team his decision Wednesday morning. Wentz relieved Taylor Heinicke in Saturday's loss to the 49ers, completing 75% of his throws for 123 yards (7.68 per attempt) and a TD. His last start came in the Week 6 win at Chicago in which Wentz broke a finger and required surgery. Washington threw the ball a lot more with Wentz behind center, averaging 42 pass attempts across his 5 healthy outings compared with 30.1 over Heinicke's 8 full games. Of course, the offense also barely had RB Brian Robinson Jr. for that stretch. We'd expect more of a rushing lean vs. those 1st 5 weeks -- but also likely some more willingness to throw. It's not an exciting fantasy offense either way. Wentz's time this season has been bad for WR Terry McLaurin's target share. He drew just 16% over the 1st 6 games, compared with 27.8% in Heinicke's full outings.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee caught 9 balls for 94 yards among a team-dominating 11 targets (39.3%). Higbee also claimed both of the team's TD receptions. No other Ram caught more than 3 passes. TE Brycen Hopkins' 57 yards (on 3 catches) ranked 2nd on the team. No other teammate reached 30 yards.

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