NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Rams are signing K Lirim Hajrullahu. The Canadian-born kicker spent the past 6 seasons in the CFL, earning 2 all-star bids. He converted 83.3% of FG attempts over that span, finishing 5 of 6 campaigns above 80%. Hajrullahu's career long of 56 yards came last season. He looks like the favorite to take over for Greg Zuerlein, who signed with Dallas this offseason. Zuerlein fell to 72.7% in FG conversion rate last year after 3 straight seasons of better than 85%.
The Falcons have reached a 3-year deal with EDGE Dante Fowler worth up to $48 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Fowler was a bust in Jacksonville after arriving as the 3rd pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. But he rebounded with the Rams, delivering 11.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 16 QB hits last season. Fowler will be just 26 when the season begins. If he can continue performing the way he did as a Ram, Fowler would help Atlanta and be fantasy relevant. He'll carry more IDP upside if his new situation means a DL designation. The Rams, meanwhile, signed EDGE Leonard Floyd to a 1-year deal to take Fowler's place. The Bears dumped Floyd this week, but he arrives with more production behind him than Fowler brought with him from Jacksonville.
The Rams have ruled CB Jalen Ramsey (knee) out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Fellow outside starting CB Troy Hill (thumb) is doubtful after missing last week following surgery on a fractured thumb. That will leave L.A. without both starting outside corners, which obviously helps the matchup for Kyler Murray and his WRs. Unfortunately for Murray, the rookie QB is dealing with his own hamstring injury that has him questionable. The Arizona passing game still looks risky for fantasy.
The Rams on Wednesday placed S John Johnson on IR with a left shoulder injury he suffered in the Week 6 loss to the 49ers. HC Sean McVay said earlier this week that Marqui Christian would start in Johnson's place if the injury cost him games. We might also see more playing time for rookie Taylor Rapp, who has been working in a hybrid safety-LB role. Johnson technically has time to make it back for the end of the regular season if he's designated to return, but you should go ahead and drop him from IDP redraft rosters -- unless there's a free IR slot.
Rams S John Johnson hurt his right shoulder in Sunday's loss to the 49ers. He returned to the game but later left again and was ruled out. We'll see about Johnson's status heading into the Week 7 meeting with Atlanta.
Rams DE Aaron Donald is questionable for Sunday night's game against the Browns with a back issue. He hurt it against the Saints last week but returned to that game. Donald then put in limited practices all week. Here's what HC Sean McVay said about his status Friday, though, according to Pro Football Talk: “He’s playing. It’s a ‘questionable’ because, really, we’re smart with him. He didn’t do some things, but unless something really unforeseen happens, this guy is going on Sunday night.” So keep Donald in your IDP lineups -- especially for a nice pass-rushing matchup.
Rams DE Aaron Donald left Sunday's game against the Saints with a back injury. He is a questionable to return.
Update: Donald returned in the 2nd quarter.
Rams S Eric Weddle suffered a head laceration against the Panthers and is officially doubtful to return. We'll see about his status heading into Week 2.
The Rams expect 2nd-year LB Micah Kiser to step in for Mark Barron this season, according to the team website. L.A. released Barron after last season, jettisoning an ILB starter who played 74% of the snaps over his 12 games. Kiser sounds headed for a similar role. “It’ll be in those first and second-down plays for sure,” DC Wade Phillips said, via Myles Simmons of the team website. “Cory [Littleton] is such a good coverage guy and then we’ve got a lot of safeties that can come in and help us on third downs, so I think his main role certainly right now will be first and second down as a base defensive player.” We'll see if Kiser can grow beyond that, but he entered the league as a thumper who rated poorly in coverage. Missing sub-package situations will obviously limit his tackle upside. Kiser's realistic IDP ceiling for 2019 likely sits in LB4 range. He'll begin the year as a waiver-wire watch.
The Rams spent a 2nd-round pick on S Taylor Rapp on Friday night. The former Washington Husky should get a shot at replacing S LaMarcus Joyner, who left for Oakland in free agency. Rapp started for most of his 3 years at Washington, stepping into the lineup and grabbing 4 INTs as a true freshman. He earned 1st-team all-conference honors each of the past 2 years and ranked 2nd on the team in sacks last year with 4. Rapp totaled just 74 solo tackles over the past 2 seasons, though, and might not be in a great spot for tackle collection with the Rams. He looks like a potentially decent IDP option rather than a future stud.
The Rams have tendered restricted free agent ILB Cory Littleton at the 2nd-round level. That means any team looking to sign away the 2018 breakout would need to send the Rams a 2nd-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Perhaps some suitor will value Littleton to that degree, but we'd bet on him returning to L.A. Littleton scored across categories in his 1st turn as a full-time starter and should land in LB1 territory in our 2019 IDP rankings.
The Rams have reached a 1-year, $14.5 million deal with OLB Dante Fowler to keep the 24-year-old off the open market. It's an interesting contract. On one hand, it's a surprisingly large salary for a former #3 overall pick with just 16 total sacks through 3 seasons. (Fowler missed his rookie campaign with an ACL tear.) The money indicates that both sides expected Fowler to garner at least solid interest on the open market. At the same time, the fact that Fowler went for just a 1-year offer on the verge of his age-25 season points to it being somewhat of a "prove it" contract. Fowler contributed just 2 sacks in his 8 games with the Rams in 2018. Pro Football Focus rated the Rams version of Fowler just tied for 110th among edge players in pass-rushing productivity. (The 2018 Jaguars version tied for 28th.) IDP owners shouldn't pay Fowler much attention yet, especially because sticking with L.A. makes him a LB rather than a DE.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Rams will sign S Eric Weddle, whom Baltimore released earlier this week. Weddle -- who turned 34 in January -- still checked in 10th among safeties in Pro Football Focus grading last season. He's expected to step in for S LaMarcus Joyner, who will hit free agency next week.
The Rams have ruled S Lamarcus Joyner (ankle) out for Sunday's finale against the 49ers.
Rams LB Mark Barron (Achilles') is active for today's game against the Seahawks. He's set to start in his season debut after missing the 1st 4 games -- and all summer. If you've waited, he's available. But we'd prefer to wait a week before using him in an IDP lineup.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Rams LB Mark Barron is expected to start today against the Seahawks. Barron missed the 1st 4 games while dealing with an Achilles' injury. Rams DC Wade Phillips said early in the week that he expects to watch Barron through the game to determine how many snaps he can handle. IDP owners would probably be best off waiting to use Barron in lineups.
Rams LB Mark Barron is questionable for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. Rams coaches reportedly remain hopeful that he'll make his regular-season debut. HC Sean McVay said early in the week that Barron would return to starter status. DC Wade Phillips cautioned Friday that they'll need to watch Barron during the game to see how much of a workload he can handle in his 1st action, according to Rams Wire. You'd be best off keeping Barron out of your Week 5 IDP lineup while we see how ready he is.
Rams CB Marcus Peters (calf strain) is active for tonight's game against the Vikings. Using him in IDP lineups remains risky, though. We wouldn't recommend it.
Reports this week have pointed to a 2-to-4-week recovery timeline for Rams CB Marcus Peters from the calf strain he suffered Sunday. He's officially questionable for Thursday night's game against the Vikings, though, suggesting he might not miss any more time. We still would try to plan on a different DB for IDP lineups. But if you're hoping to use Peters, we'll see about his status Thursday evening.
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