Los Angeles Rams

Season W/L ATS O/U Pass Yds Rush Yds Pass% Run% 3rd D
2016-17 4-12 4-11-1 7-9 3,732 1,660 60.94% 39.06% 31%
2015-16 7-9 7-8-1 4-12 2,805 1,956 53.37% 46.63% 26%
2014-15 6-10 7-9 8-8 3,400 1,635 58.73% 41.27% 35%
2013-14 7-9 7-9 9-7 3,125 1,752 55.99% 44.01% 34%
2012-13 7-9 11-5 8-8 3,550 1,714 59.08% 40.92% 32%

Season Outlook

Key Additions: QB Jared Goff

Key Departures:  TE Jared Cook, DT Nick Fairley, DE Chris Long,  LB James Lauranitis, CB Janoris Jenkins, S Rodney McLeod

Overview:  Enter the Los Angeles Rams-- a seemingly perpetual 8-8 team with talent at RB and defense who traded a boatload of picks to acquire a franchise QB in Jared Goff.  Their starters last year were Case Keenum and Nick Foles, who flopped without Chip Kelly and they needed to make a splash in their first season in LA.  With years of ineffective QB play, really since QB Marc Bulger retired, the Rams traded the farm for a guy who was not a sure thing.  Goff played in a spread formation in the Air Raid Cal offense but has a quick enough release and decent accuracy.  The cupboard seems relatively bare at wideout unless WR Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin and Brian Quick were just victims of the Rams mediocre QB play.  So this team is built to run, and run they shall with RB Todd Gurley who reminds some of Eric Dickerson, arguably one of the top five RBs in history.  The offensive line is a work in progress but they've allocate some serious resources and draft picks (G Greg Robinson comes to mind) to open up lanes for Gurley.  On defense they have the finest 4-3 tackle in the league in Aaron Donald who's the closest thing to Warren Sapp and Robert Quinn, their speedy pass rusher is also a nightmare to block.  This team's individual talent is a little thinner on defensive line which means linebackers Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron will need to fill a leadership and a production void created when veteran James Lauranitis left.  They also bid adieu to CB Janoris Jenkins opting to keep bigger corner Trumaine Johnson instead.  There are some legit concerns regarding the safety position with McLeod leaving and SS T.J. McDonald facing a suspension.  Overall this team has some holes on the backend of the defense and this offense, barring a magical rookie season from Goff doesn't scare anyone.  I predict they will go through some major growing pains as Goff gets adjusted to the NFL.

Predicted Record:  5-11

Player Outlooks & Draft Analysis

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff Falling Stock

While technically the QB2 on the Rams depth chart, there is little question that Goff will start the season as the Rams starter. Goff has NFL size at 6'4" and 215 lbs, and there's absolutely no question about his arm talent. He's a little on the slight side, but his frame suggests there's plenty of room to add some weight. Unlike Carson Wentz, Goff isn't an elite athlete and projects as a pure pocket passer. He benefitted greatly from playing in a shotgun heavy passing scheme so it's going to take some time for him to adjust to being under center. Luckily he won't be asked to do too much too early which means owners will have to wait for solid fantasy production. The Rams will lean heavily on Todd Gurley this season, especially early in the year. Don't expect much fantasy production from Goff any time soon.

Running Backs

Todd Gurley

Gurley missed the first few games of last season as he was recovering from a torn ACL but by Week 4 he was the focal point of this offense. In just 13 games Gurley posted more than 1100 yards and 10 touchdowns, finished the season as the 8th ranked fantasy running back and was later named Offensive Rookie of the Year. What's even more impressive is that he had that kind of production without a solid quarterback to keep defenses honest. With Jared Goff now under center, it's fair to expect Gurley to get more favorable defensive looks going forward. He'll remain a major part of this offense and has a great chance to top 100 rushing yards per game. Gurley is a special talent and one of the few true three-down backs in his draft class. Gurley is impressive in the passing game, has great vision, can hit holes with authority and finish with high-end speed but owners are hoping that he can be utilized in the passing game more this season. Jeff Fisher has a history of pounding the rock and Gurley is an every week RB1 starter.

Wide Receivers

Tavon Austin

Austin struggled through his first couple years in the league but really started to emerge as a playmaker last season. An undersized but dynamic runner in space, Todd Gurley's presence really opened things up for Austin, who often sees a handful of carries to go with a handful of targets each week. He's somewhat big play dependent but if the Rams continue to incorporate him in the same way they often did in 2015 he should see 8-10 touches on a weekly basis. He's a bit of a boom or bust weekly option in fantasy but, with his skill set and regular opportunities, matching last year's total of 10 TDs is not out of reach. Because he's often getting the ball at or behind the line of scrimmage, Austin will also continue to benefit for as long as the Rams are without a true NFL-caliber quarterback.

Robert Woods

Still just 24 years old, Woods has yet to take hold of the No. 2 receiver job opposite the dynamic Sammy Watkins. But heading into the final year of his rookie contract, the wide receiver depth chart in Buffalo is so thin that he's going to get every opportunity to win the job outright. While he has disappointed in the past, the Bills made little effort to bring in anything more than journeyman receivers to provide roster depth this offseason. In a run heavy offense the opportunities are a bit capped here but, after Watkins' monster second half, expect teams to roll coverage his way and leave Woods in one-on-one situations quite often. If he's ever going to emerge as a legitimate fantasy asset, this will be the season.

Marquez North

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Tight Ends

Tyler Higbee

Higbee is a deep sleeper but you can't ignore his size and moves at the TE position. He plays very much like a Jordan Cameron (6' 6", 250) and goes into a new-look Rams offense with a rookie QB in need of a security blanket. With TE Jared Cook departed for Green Bay, Higbee is currently number two on the depth chart, behind veteran TE Lance Kendricks. Kendricks hasn't done much in his Rams career; the Rams only have one receiver with a 500 yard receiving season in his career- veteran Kenny Britt. Number one pick QB Jared Goff will oversee a run-heavy outfit; having a big target to leverage play-action situations is a big reason Higbee has starter potential. He was a former wide receiver with great acceleration and has good YAC ability.

Defenses

Los Angeles Defense

As the Rams head back to California, Rams D/ST owners will try to put 2015 out of their minds. Easily a top six drafted unit, this team has a Jekyll-and-Hyde thing going on. On paper, this defensive line should be a major sack producing unit and be at least above average stopping the run. The 2015 Rams really did neither, finishing 11th in sacks (41) and 20th in rushing yards allowed. The defense led by indomitable DT Aaron Donald should be primed for a better year in 2016 for fantasy owners. Donald will have to step into more of a leadership role as the Rams let DE Chris Long and LB James Laurinaitis go. They will need LB Alec Ogletree, the 2013 first rounder, to assume his 2014 form (or better) and be the rangy tackling machine in the middle. DE Robert Quinn, a 15-sack guy when healthy also missed half the season in 2015. In the secondary, where the Rams gave up 254 yards a game and a 66.8% opposing completion percentage, opted to keep CB Trumaine Johnson and let CB Janoris Jenkins leave to the NY Giants. They also have a hole at safety with Rodney McLeod bolting to Philadelphia. The loss of Jenkins will be mitigated by a healthy E.J Gaines, who missed all of 2015. To aid in the loss of Lauranitis, SS Mark Barron is now penciled in at linebacker. The Rams profile as a team that will rely heavily on their defense as their offense is Todd Gurley and an unknown quantity at quarterback in rookie Jared Goff. This probably hurts them and keeps them in the top 10-15 range, but many different scenarios are possible with this unit. You can wait and see on them to see if they get dropped as their first few games are pretty brutal.

Player Updates

Player Update Mike Thomas, WR - Rams WR Thomas suspended 4 games for PEDs
14 Jul 2017 - 5:05pm

NFL suspended Rams WR Mike Thomas four games for violating the league's policy on PEDs. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Jared Goff, QB - Jared Goff picking up new offense quickly
13 May 2017 - 10:40am

Rams OC Matt LaFleur said Jared Goff has picked up the new offense "surprisingly fast." - From RotoWorld.

Injury Update Tavon Austin, WR - Rams targeting camp for Tavon Austin (wrist)
9 May 2017 - 1:30pm

Rams GM Les Snead said the "goal" for Tavon Austin (wrist surgery) is training camp. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Cooper Kupp, WR - Rams add to receiver corps with Cooper Kupp
28 Apr 2017 - 10:00pm

Rams selected Eastern Washington WR Cooper Kupp with the No. 69 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Lance Dunbar, RB - Rams sign RB Lance Dunbar
16 Mar 2017 - 9:15am

Rams signed RB Lance Dunbar, formerly of the Cowboys, to a one-year contract. - From RotoWorld.

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