Fantasy Power Rankings No. 31 — St. Louis
The Rams offer fantasy owners 46.6 percent as much in terms of productivity compared to the average NFL team, and only 32.3 percent as much as the NFL’s best team.
This offseason saw the Rams exchange Sam Bradford for Nick Foles. At this time last year, Foles was flying high with the Eagles, but a down year has caused fantasy owners to frown upon the new Rams quarterback. Add in the fact that he has considerably less to work with in St. Louis than he did in Philadelphia, and things aren’t looking great for Foles this year.
If you’re a believer that the Rams are turning things around, then Foles may intrigue you from a long-term perspective. But as far as these 2015 power rankings go, Foles doesn’t help boost St. Louis’ fantasy stock.
The team’s other newcomer — rookie running back Todd Gurley — offers fantasy owners considerably more. However, Gurley, the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, is still recovering from ACL surgery.
It’s not out of the question (as of now) that Gurley plays the entire season, but even if he is a “go” from Week 1, it’s unlikely he’ll be fully unleashed. A more realistic expectation is that Gurley plays about 11 or 12 games, seven or eight of which he’ll be fully healthy for.
In 11 projected games, PFF currently has Gurley slotted for 816 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns to go along with 19 receptions, 151 receiving yards and a score through the air. Extrapolated over 16 games, that means Gurley would tally over 1,400 total yards and eight touchdowns. In other words, we expect Gurley to produce as a borderline RB1 when he’s on the field.
At the wide receiver position, Brian Quick is the only Rams player to make the cut. Kenny Britt just missed the threshold, but he’s currently going undrafted in most leagues, so if you really want him, he’ll be there for you.
Quick started the 2014 season strong, snagging 21 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns in the first four games of the year. He notched only four receptions for 53 yards and no scores in his next three games, however, and was then sidelined with an injury for the remainder of the season.
Unless he hits it off with Foles right away, Quick won’t be in your roster every week. With that said, Quick will be up for flex consideration on a regular basis; we’ve seen what he can do, and once you get a taste of something like that, it’s hard to let it go.
And finally we have Jared Cook, a tight end that failed to live up to expectations on an almost weekly basis last year. (Though he did explode in Week 14 with 61 yards and two touchdowns, much to the chagrin of yours truly.)
Cook had 91 targets last year, tied for seventh most among tight ends, but he only had the 15th most receptions, with 52. He dropped 8.77 percent of his targets, third most among tight ends. And that wasn’t a one-year thing for Cook, either: He led all tight ends with a 13.56 percent drop rate in 2013.
Additionally, per our own Mike Clay, nearly one-in-four (24 percent) of passes thrown Cook’s way were off target last season, easily the highest rate among any tight end. That problem, combined with his drop issues, dragged him down. Perhaps a new quarterback will work wonders for Cook.
There are some fresh faces in St. Louis, and things may be looking up, but that doesn’t mean the Rams are climbing the ladder fast (or climbing the ladder at all). The Rams were projected to be the 29th ranked team in terms of what they offered fantasy owners at this time last year. By year’s end, it turns out they were the 29th ranked team, and they’ve only gone backward since then.