Now that the preseason has finally come to an end it is time to get down to real business….fantasy football. Most leagues are getting together this weekend for draft purposes and the St. Louis Rams will have some quality options for you in your fantasy football draft. Here is a breakdown of players to think about when you are considering who to draft this season.
Sam Bradford-Quarterback: Second year quarterbacks are a risky proposition in that they are not a guarantee like the top tier quarterbacks that are going to be available. Last season Bradford threw for 18 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. The 3,500 yards of passing was a decent number, but nothing that would make Bradford special from a fantasy perspective. This season is different though. The Rams have a new offensive coordinator and many more weapons for Bradford. His numbers should be much better in 2011. Bradford Projection: 25 Touchdowns and 4,000 yards.
Steven Jackson-Running Back: He is still considered one of the elite running backs in the NFL, but last season Jackson’s numbers continued to languish. Jackson had 1,241 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns for the 2010 season. What was disturbing was that Jackson’s yards per carry were down. On the receiving side of things Jackson had another “normal” season with 46 receptions for 383 yards which is about average for him lately. Expect the touchdown totals to go up and his reception total to go up in a new offensive system. Jackson Projection: 1,300 yards rushing 8 touchdowns, 65 receptions 500 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Wide Receivers: Trying to figure out where the Rams are going on the wide receiver front is as difficult as trying to solve the United States economic crisis. The only half way for sure thing on the wide receiver front is Danny Amendola. Amendola should account for another 80 catches, 700 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2011. After Amendola it gets dicey. Donnie Avery returns from injury and could be worthy of a late round flyer. Mike Sims-Walker was added for red zone improvement. Sims-Walker is probably not worth picking up until you see how he will be used. Everyone else who may show up on the Rams roster, are probably not worth the pickup in your league.
Lance Kendricks-Tight End: This is the player that you should be jumping on after the elite tight ends are gone off the board. Kendricks has had a tremendous camp and looks like he will be a huge part of the Rams’ offense. Kendricks could put up a season like Rob Gronkowski did for the New England Patriots. Expect Kendricks to put up about 40 catches for about 400 yards, but expect about 6-8 touchdowns from him. He is a real sleeper.
Josh Brown-Kicker: The Rams kicker has looked great in the preseason and has kicked a field goal of 60 yards. Brown is a good long range field goal kicker and has been consistent. He is certainly worthy of a pick as your number one kicker.
St. Louis Rams Defense/Special Teams: Last season the Rams defense was a surprising 12thin points against, which puts them in as an average defense for your fantasy football league. Not too impressive, but you could do worse. Expect the Rams defense to generate more sacks and turnovers in 2011. It would be too much to expect them to be elite, but if you are stuck sifting through second tier defenses for your squad you could do much worse than the Rams.
As far as the special teams the Rams are going to be nothing special in 2011. Danny Amendola will probably wind up returning punts and kickoffs in 2011 and he will merely hold onto the football. The lack of returns will probably be the norm for the Rams.
The Rams do have many more fantasy options in 2011 which is a sign that the team is getting better. This is not the New Orleans Saints or New England Patriots, but there is good fantasy value to be found on the St. Louis Rams roster.
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