Shark Bites

Rams HC Sean McVay called Cam Akers a "3-down back" and a "very special player" on Thursday. The Rams already proved willing to give Akers a big workload on the ground last year, handing it to him 18+ times in 5 of their last 6 games. He totaled just 14 targets over that span, but it sounds like he's in for an increased role in the passing game. Akers looks like a RB1 heading into 2021 fantasy drafts.

New Rams QB Matt Stafford didn't miss a game in 2020, but he revealed on Thursday that he battled through a bunch of injuries. “I had the partially torn UCL in my right thumb, I tore my UCL on my left elbow on the second to last play of the Houston game that nobody knew about, trying to stiff arm a guy. That's why I started wearing a sleeve on my left arm because I had all sorts of tape underneath it, just to hold it in place," Stafford said. “I broke my cartilage on my eighth rib in Green Bay. I also tore something (in the back of) my left knee. And then I had a subtalar, right ankle sprain.” Despite all that, Stafford topped 4,000 passing yards for the 8th time, while tossing 26 TDs to 10 INTs. It's unclear if he'll have any procedures to address those injuries, but we'll keep you updated. Stafford turned 33 earlier this month.

The Lions have agreed to trade QB Matthew Stafford to the Rams for QB Jared Goff plus 3 draft picks. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Rams will send a 3rd-round pick in this year's draft, plus 1st-rounders in 2022 and 2023 as part of the trade. That's quite a haul for Detroit in moving a 33-year-old QB who had requested a trade. L.A.'s desire to unload Goff's big contract likely increased the package. Once the trade becomes official (at the start of the new league year), Stafford will land in an offense that has ranked top-11 in yardage each of the 4 years under HC Sean McVay. The Rams also ranked 1st, 2nd and 11th in scoring before sinking to 22nd this past season. Goff joins a Lions team that welcomes a new coaching staff for 2021, led by run-loving HC Dan Campbell. It's a solid landing for Stafford that should preserve his fantasy value over the next couple of seasons. Goff figures to land low in QB2 territory in our 2021 fantasy football rankings. The change from Goff to Stafford should enhance the fantasy outlooks for Rams pass-catchers.

The Lions and QB Matthew Stafford have agreed to part ways this offseason, according to multiple reports. That means the team will begin exploring trade options. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that a move would likely happen before the 5th day of the new league year (which begins March 17), because Stafford will be due a $10 million bonus that day. The veteran QB has 2 years left on his contract at $43 million and is coming off a solid season that found him finishing 15th among QBs in total fantasy points. Expect Detroit to try to address the position in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. The Lions pick 7th. The uncertainty could create a "buy" window in dynasty leagues, especially considering that older QBs tend to run cheap. Stafford figures to be most attractive to a contending team seeking a QB upgrade. Chase Daniel is the only other Lions QB whose contract runs through 2021.

3:01pm EST 1/16/21

Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) is inactive for today's Divisional Round game vs. the Packers. It's a significant loss. WRs Josh Reynolds and Van Jefferson will take on bigger roles with Kupp out, but WR Robert Woods is a good bet to lead the way in targets.

Rams QB Cooper Kupp (knee) is listed as questionable for Saturday's Divisional Round game vs. the Packers. He missed all 3 practices, but HC Sean McVay said Kupp could still play without getting any work in during the week. We'll get his game status around 3 pm ET on Saturday. Kupp's absence would leave Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds and Van Jefferson as the Rams' top 3 WRs.

Rams QB John Wolford (neck) has been ruled out for the Divisional Round. We'll never know if HC Sean McVay would have opted for Wolford over QB Jared Goff in this one. Goff put in a full week of practice and will be under center in Green Bay on Saturday afternoon.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) remained sidelined for Wednesday's practice. HC Sean McVay did say that Kupp is "progressing" and could play vs. the Packers on Saturday without practicing. We'll continue to monitor his status.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) did not practice on Tuesday. The Rams have been non-committal on his availability for Saturday's game vs. the Packers, but we're guessing that he'll gut it out. We'll get another update Wednesday night.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp has been diagnosed with knee bursitis, HC Sean McVay said Monday. That's inflammation of a small, fluid-filled sack near the knee joint. McVay said the "hope" is that Kupp will be able to play through the issue in Green Bay on Saturday. We'll keep an eye on him this week.

Rams QB John Wolford returned to L.A. with the team after Saturday night's win over Seattle despite sustaining a neck injury that landed him a trip to the hospital. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Wolford and Jared Goff (thumb) both "should be OK" for next weekend's Divisional Round game.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo hears that Rams WR Cooper Kupp "should be fine" after exiting late in Saturday's Wild Card win over the Seahawks with a right knee injury. He's reportedly just dealing with a contusion. We'll look for further updates on his status and keep an eye on his practice participation this coming week.

Rams QB John Wolford left in the 1st quarter against the Seahawks after taking a shot to the head. He's officially questionable to return, which could mean a neck issue or an incomplete concussion check. That pushed Jared Goff and his repaired right thumb into the game.

FOX's Jay Glazer reports that QB John Wolford will start for the Rams today, with Jared Goff serving as his backup. Adjust your fantasy football lineups accordingly.

Rams LB Micah Kiser (knee) is active for today's game against the Seahawks. That should mean he's back in the starting lineup in place of Troy Reeder. It'll be Kiser's 1st action since Week 11.

Rams ILB Micah Kiser (knee) is questionable for Saturday's game against the Seahawks. He hasn't played since spraining the knee in Week 11 and would thus present risk as an IDP option even if active. Kiser did return to 3 limited practices this week, though. We'd bet on him playing. We'll update his status when inactives come out Saturday. If Kiser still can't get back into the lineup, then Troy Reeder would continue to start in his place.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp (COVID) is expected to return to practice on Wednesday, according to The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue. That puts Kupp on track to play in this weekend's Wild Card game against the Seahawks. His fantasy outlook in that one will depend heavily on whether QB Jared Goff is able to return from his thumb injury.

Rams QB Jared Goff (thumb) hasn't been ruled out for Saturday's Wild Card game vs. the Seahawks, but "it's expected to be challenging for him to play," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Goff was able to throw yesterday, but "12 days after thumb surgery, in the cold, it'll be difficult," Rapoport adds. So it looks like QB John Wolford will make his 2nd career start this weekend. He wasn't a complete disaster in the win over Arizona, completing 22 of 38 passes (58%) for 231 yards (6.1 YPA), 0 TDs and 1 INT. Wolford also ran for 56 yards on 6 carries.

Rams OLB Leonard Floyd (abdomen) is active for today's game against the Cardinals. He suffered the injury late in the week and could be a risk for re-injury, but Floyd is available if you planned to use him.

3:01pm EST 1/3/21

Rams RBs Cam Akers (ankle) is active for today’s game against the Cardinals. He got in just 1 limited practice this week after suffering a high-ankle sprain 14 days ago. Akers figures to be operating at far less than 100% today and is a risky fantasy play. His presence, though, also makes RB Malcolm Brown a shaky option.

 
 
 

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