Week 2 sees the Arizona Cardinals coming to town to battle our beloved Los Angeles Rams. The two teams walked divergent paths last week, with the Cardinals getting torched by the Washington NFL Team, while the Rams handled the Oakland Raiders handily in a baseball stadium in Oakland.
Here are five guys who Rams fans should have their eyes on this week. They’re either here because they’ve got something to prove or can have a big impact in this week’s contest.
LB Cory Littleton
Sure, he led the Rams with 13 tackles on Monday night and drew praise from DC Wade Phillips, but he’s still on the hot seat with Rams fans and TST staffers. Corey Littleton’s week one performance was uneven, to say the least. If Cards TE Ricky Seals-Jones pulls a Jared Cook, all eyes on will be on #58. Is he Ogletree 2.0, or will he settle into his role and play with a little more consistency? David Johnson and check-down legend Sam Bradford ought to help shed some light.
TE Tyler Higbee
Despite playing on 95% of the Rams’ offensive snaps, TE Tyler Higbee received 0 targets against the Raiders. Given that QB Jared Goff was barely touched all night, Higbee’s blocking was likely beneficial to the Rams’ offense, but we’d certainly like to see him make a few plays. Will McVay ever establish a Jordan Reed / Vernon Davis attack with Higbee and second-year man Gerald Everett? If week one is any indication, Rams TEs will continue to gather dust on the waiver wire in your fantasy league. Look for signs of life this week.
WR Robert Woods
Woods was targeted 9 times on Monday night, but was only able to haul in 3 for 37 yards. He seemed to be getting separation downfield, but Goff missed him twice on deep balls. With Patrick Peterson likely following Brandin Cooks around on Sunday, look for Woods to re-establish himself as Goff’s top option and move the chains early and often this week.
WR JoJo Natson
Just signed this week, the diminutive return man out of Akron will get his chance to take over Pharoh Cooper’s role for the foreseeable future. During the preseason, Natson looked fast and decisive on his returns, and though he’s replacing a Pro Bowler, we’re not expecting much drop-off. At just 5’7” and 153 lbs., his value in other areas of special teams remains to be seen, but hopefully JoJo can make a play or two this weekend.
OLB/EDGE Dominique Easley
Transitioning into his new role at OLB/EDGE, Easley flashed a little bit last week during his 32 snaps (10 more than presumptive starter Matt Longacre). For a guy with so many knee injuries, he’s showing some resilience and versatility – lest we forget his first round pedigree. His emergence may simply be due to Longacre’s nagging injuries, but he looked comfortable out there on Monday. Historically a DT, if Easley’s able to give the Rams a boost and stay healthy, he could be the veteran LB help we’ve all been clamoring for.