2018 Fantasy Football Team Previews

2018 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Rams Preview

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The Los Angeles Rams were the best offense in the league last year, finishing first in points per game. First-year head coach Sean McVay completely turned the team around, turning them from the lowest-scoring team in the league in 2016 into the highest-scoring in 2017.

Jared Goff and Todd Gurley were both extreme beneficiaries of McVay, as Goff increased his passer rating 36.9 and his yards per game by almost 100 yards. Gurley also played extremely well in 2017, scoring more fantasy points than any other back and averaged 4.7 yards per carry.

The Rams only got better over the off-season, adding Brandin Cooks on offense and, among others, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib on defense. The Rams are my pick for the Super Bowl in the NFC.


2018 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Rams Preview

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Quarterbacks

Jared Goff was one of the most efficient QB’s in the league last year. He had a quarterback rating of over 100 and had a 4:1 TD/INT ratio. Goff scored the 12th most points out of all quarterbacks in fantasy, but he only appeared in 15 games. Had he played in that game, Goff most likely would’ve been top-10.

Goff is in a position where he almost can’t fail. He has one of the best supporting casts in the league, and McVay is one of the best head coaches in the game. The Rams scheme is beautiful to watch. Goff is consistently able to throw to his first read, and play-action passes frequently result in big plays because of the presence of Todd Gurley.

Don’t get me wrong, Goff is a very talented quarterback. He wouldn’t have gone first overall if he wasn’t. He’s a great pick for fantasy football (redraft or dynasty) because of how safe he is.

Running Backs

What can I say about Todd Gurley that hasn’t been said already? Gurley was flat-out incredible last year. He dominated fantasy football, scoring over 70 more fantasy points than RB2 Le’Veon Bell and had over 2,000 all-purpose yards in 15 games.

After a ridiculously bad season in 2016, rushing for only 3.2 yards per carry, Gurley reminded us of who he was in his rookie season where he rushed for 4.8 yards per carry. Gurley also had his best receiving season of all-time last year, catching 64 passes.

After his four-touchdown performance against San Francisco last year, Gurley mentioned in an interview that to be a good running back in today’s NFL, you have to be able to catch the ball, which is a skill he’s constantly developing. History says Gurley won’t have as good of a season this year, but he’s still worth the first overall pick in fantasy football.

Wide Receivers

With the addition of Brandin Cooks, the LA Rams have one of the best receiving trios in the league. Robert Woods is criminally underrated, Cooper Kupp has shown good promise and Brandin Cooks has proved he can handle WR1 responsibilities.

Cooper Kupp, out of Eastern Washington, had a surprisingly busy year last year. In PPR, Kupp was a top-25 receiver, catching 62 passes for 892 yards and five touchdowns. He and Goff developed a good connection early on in the year.

Kupp struggled with drops last year, but most rookies do the same. He said he was “almost embarrassed” about his drops last year and that he has been working very hard to correct his mistakes from last year. Kupp ran very crisp routes last year and should have another solid season, even with the addition of Brandin Cooks.

Robert Woods also had a very successful season last year. In only 12 games, he caught 56 passes for 781 yards and five touchdowns. He was on pace for 1,000 yards but ended up missing four games.

Woods, the former USC wide receiver, found his home in Los Angeles after struggling with Buffalo. Woods also caught nine passes for 142 yards in their lone playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons. He recently told the media he expects an even better season out of the offense this year. Obviously, Brandin Cooks will receive a large number of targets, but don’t be completely shocked if Woods is up there competing for WR1 with him. Woods is a great pick in fantasy football.

Speaking of Brandin Cooks, he was very recently signed to a MONSTER 5-year extension, meaning the Rams want him for the long haul. This is very important because it means McVay and the staff like Cooks a lot and wants him around for the long haul. He’s a very talented and speedy receiver, scoring the 9th most fantasy points for all wide receivers last year. He was inconsistent up in New England, but the more diverse Los Angeles offense should help him. Cooks is, in my opinion, a top-20 option at wide receiver this year.

Tight Ends

The Rams do not utilize the tight end like many other elite offenses do so often. Between their top options, Higbee and Everett, they produced only 41 catches for 539 yards and 3 touchdowns. It’s pretty much 50/50 in terms of usage between the two.

LA tight end coach Shane Waldron praised Tyler Higbee a few weeks ago, saying he has a “really good grasp” on things and worked hard. Higbee received the majority of the usage last year, but that does not definitely mean the same will be the case this year. Higbee does not have much value in fantasy football.

Everett seems to have the higher upside than Higbee but was used less. As shown in the clip above, Everett had some very good plays last year. Shane Waldron also praised Everett, and many people believe he’s going to see more looks this year. For dynasty football, Everett is the guy to go with.

Final Verdict

The Rams will once again be an extremely good offense. Goff is very good, Gurley is incredible, and the receiving corps got a whole lot better over the off-season. Assuming the defense plays up to expectations, the Rams are the premier Super Bowl contender in the NFC.

 



Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to prepare for the 2018 season.

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About Noah Spurlock

Noah’s from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and isn’t afraid to show love for his hometown teams. If there’s a Steelers or Penguins game on, he’ll be watching. He’s been playing fantasy football since he can remember and isn’t afraid to give out some hot takes. Follow him on Twitter @NoahSpurlockNFL!

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