What an incredible Rookie season it was for Rookie Sam Bradford. With 3512 passing yards, and 18 TDs, Bradford was named the 2010-2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Bradford led the Rams to a 7-9 record, nearly winning that sad division, the NFC West. Bradford will be a solid Fantasy Football pick up this year for a variety of reasons. First, he is no longer a rookie! He is showing increased signs of leadership hosting unofficial practices with his teammates. Bradford has also been housing rookies drafted this year, with nowhere to go in St. Louis. I’m sure there is no place these rookie WRs and TE would rather be than staying with the starting QB! Additionally, the Rams have upgraded their offensive weapons by drafting 2 WRs and TE. WR Donnie Avery will be back this season recovering from an undisclosed knee injury. Bradford will also benefit from the run game. I think he may surprise some this year and sneak up into that Top Fantasy Tier of QB maybe over a Eli Manning or a Ben Roethlisberger,(just that he’ll get more points). If all the top names are gone, you may want to gamble….
Can anybody name a receiver or a TE for the Rams? Anyone? Anyone? That’s what I thought. Last year, Laurent Robinson and Donnie Avery were slated to be the starters at WR. Neither were expected to be Fantasy factors, but they turned out to be NO FACTOR at all. Avery didn’t play because of injury and Robinson was outplayed by Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson. Outplayed is a stretch! A BIG STRETCH. Amendola led the team in receiving yards with 689 yards and receiving TDs at 3. Gibson came in second with 620 yards and 2 TDs. Nothing at all to talk about. In this year’s draft, St. Louis was hoping that they could somehow get their hands on Julio Jones. No such luck! They did, however, pick two big receivers, Austin Pettis and Greg Salas in the 3rd and 4th rounds respectively. Also in the draft, they got big 6’4″ 239 lb Lance Kendricks from Wisconsin. I look for Kendricks to get the starting TE spot over Billy Bajema and Daniel Fells, who both showed pass catching ability last year, but don’t possess the raw talent of the rookie. Any receiver on the Rams can emerge as a Fantasy sleeper, but it all depends on the continued development of 2nd year starting QB Sam Bradford. Proceed with caution!
Hard to believe Steven Jackson is going into his 7th season of the NFL. Jackson is a powerful back who still attacks the hole and still has playmaking ability. Last year, Jackson rushed for 1,241 yards and 6 TDs. Keeping it real, those TDs make a world of difference. 15 other backs scored more TDs than Jackson (I didn’t include Mike Vick who had 9 rushing TDs). I wince as I type this next statement: I have to be frank and say that due to his lack of scoring over recent years, Jackson is not a TOP TIER Fantasy RB. While he ranks 8th in rushing yards in the league, he ranks 16th in scoring actual TDs. I have a problem with that. You might too, if you play in a score only league. I wouldn’t take him as my 1st RB off the board on Draft day. My 2nd, for sure… Have doubts? Check the stats for yourself:
|2004||St. Louis Rams||134||673||5.0||48||4||5||2|
|2005||St. Louis Rams||254||1046||4.1||51||8||6||2|
|2006||St. Louis Rams||346||1528||4.4||59t||13||9||1|
|2007||St. Louis Rams||237||1002||4.2||54||5||8||4|
|2008||St. Louis Rams||253||1042||4.1||56||7||6||1|
|2009||St. Louis Rams||324||1416||4.4||58||4||10||2|
|2010||St. Louis Rams||330||1241||3.8||42t||6||7||1|
|2004||St. Louis Rams||19||189||9.9||28||0||4||0|
|2005||St. Louis Rams||43||320||7.4||27||2||1||0|
|2006||St. Louis Rams||90||806||9.0||64t||3||7||1|
|2007||St. Louis Rams||38||271||7.1||37||1||3||0|
|2008||St. Louis Rams||40||379||9.5||53||1||5||2|
|2009||St. Louis Rams||51||322||6.3||38||0||3||0|
|2010||St. Louis Rams||46||383||8.3||49||0||4||1|
I know Jackson’s been a beast, but I have the feeling that the Rams will be an air raid this year with Bradford…the running game will be good, but not that great where you need to snatch up Steven Jackson all early…
Defense and Special Teams in St. Louis was, what’s the word, oh yeah, SOFT! But they played in the worst division in the league, so soft was ok, I guess. Soft may be a little harsh because they do have some playmakers who are young and improving. LB James Laurinaitis is the leader. He stops the run and he can defend the pass. DEs James Hall and Chris Long are Sack Masters, together killin 20 QBs last year, with Hall leading the team with 11. The secondary was pesky but they lost a huge piece with the departure of safety OJ Atogwe to the (as I clear my throat) Redskins. They did address some Defensive needs in the draft. They got DE Robert Quinn from North Carolina, a MONSTA! They also picked up 3 DBs to help that depleted secondary. Even with the playmakers and the new toys, the question will be whether the Defense can get some scores from their turnovers, which is what you look for in a Fantasy defense. They just don’t score. Speaking of not scoring, the Rams Special Teams is also guilty of that. Not one returned kick or punt to the house last year. Not even one called back. Who needs a Fantasy Def/ST that doesn’t score? Look elsewhere when you are drafting a defense. This one just won’t generate enough points for you to win your Fantasy league.
We’re headed to the Big Apple to discuss the J-E-T-S!