August 30, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) runs against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
The St. Louis Rams have held that coveted status in fantasy football that begs general managers to start players and the defense of whatever team is playing against them that week. That may no longer be true this season. In fact, the Rams have a few viable fantasy plays on their roster.
Let's take a look.
Steven Jackson, RB
Steven Jackson may not rank with Ray Rice, etc. as one of the top running backs in fantasy football, but he is well worth a start in any lineup. The Rams offense literally runs through SJ39; it all starts and ends with his legs. Jackson reported to camp healthy and in better shape than the previous year, the secret to longevity. Detroit allowed an average of 128 rushing yards per game last season, and with safety Louis Delmas out, they'll be more apt to give up the big play.
Prediction: 25 carries, 103 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 35 yards
Danny Amendola, WR
If you're struggling for a flex play or are a little thin at wide receiver, you could do worse than Amendola. Brian Scottenheimer is moving him around the field, from the slot to the outside. He and Sam Bradford had their same connection going through the preseason, even after missing almost all of last year.
Prediction: 6 receptions, 65 yards, 1 TD
Lance Kendricks, TE
Schottenheimer's system also leans heavily on the tight end. That was apparent during his days with the Jets and again in the Rams' preseason schedule. The question for Kendricks is whether or not he's over the mental mistakes that doomed his game last season. I wouldn't start him, but keep an eye out for what kind of role he plays in this offense. I liked what I saw from him on seam routes in the preseason.
Prediction: 3 receptions, 41 yards
Greg Zuerlein, K
I'm proudly starting Greg Zuerlein as my fantasy kicker this year. The Rams will use him often in games, and his range sets up even more opportunities. He's playing in Dome this week, and the Rams offense should be good enough to get him into 40-50 yard field goal range a few times.
Prediction: 4 FG, 1 of 50+ yards
With Detroit's secondary in woeful shape, probably without Delmas and starting CB Chris Houston, the Rams have an opportunity to make an impact in the passing game. We just don't really know what kind of rotation they will end up using at wide receiver. Steve Smith was a favorite target in the preseason. Chris Givens could do some damage against that secondary if the Rams can muster adequate pass protection for Bradford. Brian Quick could see some time on fades and slants through the end zone.