Over at Fake Teams, the SB Nation community for fantasy sports, they’ve got their top 100 board for the 2018 season up. Not surprisingly given how good the offense was in 2017, the Los Angeles Rams have plenty of players up and down the board.
#2.) RB Todd Gurley
A bit surprised JTG isn’t #1? Me too. He got nudged out by Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell. Of Fake Teams’ seven staffers, three gave Gurley their #1 vote while only one gave it to Bell. The difference was that five staffers had Bell #2 while the four who didn’t vote Gurley #1 had him either #3 or #4. One of those staffers laid out the case in impressive depth here if you’re that dedicated of a fantasy nerd.
Quibbling at this point as we all obviously agree Gurley is one of the best fantasy plays in the NFL this year, and if you’re a Rams fan with the #1 overall pick and you don’t take Gurley, you should sleep in a can. A cold can. Filled with bees.
#38.) WR Brandin Cooks
This seems awfully high for me.
Cooks comes in ahead of Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill, Steelers WR Juju Smith-Schuster and Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate who I personally expect to have better fantasy seasons not because of Cooks individually, per se.
But the Rams have a lot of mouths to feed.
You’ve got an offense with Cooks, WR Robert Woods, WR Cooper Kupp, Gurley and some combination of TE Tyler Higbee and TE Gerald Everett. Last year, Cooks had 114 targets with the New England Patriots, the lowest total of his last three seasons. Your 2017 LA Rams target leader? Kupp with 94. If we’re considering for fantasy implications the sheer simplicity of replacing now Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins with Cooks, your new WR1 is coming into a role that received just 70 targets last year.
I just don’t see how the Rams could get Cooks the volume of work required to make him a top 40 overall player without doing so at a severe detriment to the rest of the offensive pieces.
This isn’t to say Cooks shouldn’t fare well. Or even be more efficient. But the sheer volume at work here is probably too much to invest in this highly.
If you’re looking for the positive spin, it’s right here:
#81.) WR Cooper Kupp
#82.) WR Robert Woods
The reason nobody should be upset with the idea of Cooks not being a top target is that the Rams’ offense is so well-balanced. Would you rather have a top 20 WR with your WR2 and WR3 well outside the top 100, or have (perhaps easily) three top 100 WRs? There are arguments both ways, but there’s no denying the quality of the Rams’ WR depth chart right now.
And that’s it. So a couple of other thoughts, with an obvious one up first.
QB Jared Goff not listed
Not terribly surprised here. There are 11 QBs on their list, and with Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles WR Carson Wentz and Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson all coming back from injury, I can see Goff getting edged out. Still, it doesn’t make me at all enthused to see:
100.) San Francisco 49ers QB Jersey Cowpooperblow
#4.) Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson
Is this too high for a RB coming off of an ACL injury in that offense?
#7.) New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley
There’s no way I’m taking Barkley this year. He’s got a ridiculous skill sit, but the Giants’ line is soupy and I’m not terribly high on new Head Coach Pat Shurmur’s offensive system fantasy-wise. I do, however, think the Giants could be much, much, much better as a team this year.
#17.) Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook
See above: Johnson, David.
#32.) Washington RB Derrius Guice
Sadly, the Fake Teams crew put out these rankings before Guice went down with an ACL injury that will see him miss the 2018 season. Sucks. I was tabbing him as my 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Great War on Knees continues...
What else stands out to you from their top 100? Thoughts on their rankings of the Rams? Fantasy expectations? Who are your sleepers and busts for 2018?