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Fantasy Forecast: St. Louis Rams Fans Shouldn’t Reach for Hometown Heroes

August 19th, 2013 at 10:34 AM
By Sports Media 101


Rams 101 contributor David Schlager examines the Fantasy Football prospects for St. Louis Rams players this season.
These are exciting times for the St. Louis Rams fan base.  Last season saw a five-win increase, Jeff Fisher has changed the culture, and big off-season additions have the city ready to jump on the Rams’ bandwagon.  Real football and fantasy football are very different things though.
The fantasy projections of the Rams are risky lottery tickets.  Perhaps the most excitement this year is at wide receiver.  The big names are Tavon Austin and Chris Givens, who are generally being drafted between rounds six and eight.  Other receivers taken in that area may not have the ceiling, but you know what to expect.  Stevie Johnson, Miles Austin, Mike Williams and Anquan Boldin (just to name a few) are available when Austin is slotted.  Not the best fantasy team changers, but  proven and reliable.  
If the receivers are risky picks, then the running backs are a shot in the dark.  Pead, Richardson, Stacy, maybe even Benny Cunningham.  We don’t know who will get those carries.  Sure Pead will miss the opener against the Arizona Cardinals, but that’s not enough of a reason to take Richardson early.  
We all agree that none of these guys are Steven Jackson.  There are many levels that separate the candidates for his replacements and SJ39.  Last year Jackson (who didn’t miss a game) was just outside of being a top-15 back.  He handled almost three quarters of all the carries, and finished with a thousand yards and four touchdowns.  What do you expect out of this timeshare in an offense that looks to pass more?
Additional excitement is brought from the reunion of Fisher and Jared Cook.  Cook could be drafted as a top ten tight end, but is not in the top five that could dominate the position.  Outside the top five, tight end value is nowhere to be found.  Is Cook going to perform any better than Kyle Rudolph, Jermichael Finley or Fred Davis?  What about Brandon Pettigrew or Martellus Bennett?  Cook could finish the year higher, but would it be worth the value?  You shouldn’t reach on any of these guys, many will fall.
The same argument goes for Sam Bradford, who threw for career highs in yards and touchdowns last season.  He looks to improve upon those numbers with the additions.  As far as number two QB’s, he won’t be different than the others.  Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, and Jay Cutler are in that discussion.  So are Josh Freeman, Ryan Tannehill, and Matt Schaub.  
Don’t let your pride for your favorite team influence you to take your guys rounds earlier than comparable players.
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