This morning, ESPN’s Matt Bowen released his list of 10 rookies who he thinks are a perfect fit for the team’s that drafted them. Among those included is the Rams’ rookie running back Cam Akers, whom the team took in the second round this year.
Akers lands in an offense with two capable-yet-inexperienced backs which means he has just as much opportunity to lead this team in carries and touches out of the backfield as the other two. In 2020, Bowen believes Akers could thrive in their zone-heavy run scheme while also contributing in the passing game.
“He’s a fit here as a zone runner, with the contact balance, quick acceleration and the patience to find slices of daylight,” said Bowen. “Press the edge or bend that ball back. That’s going to be extremely important if L.A. wants to get back to the playoffs.
“Akers can give the Rams production as a receiver, too. Set him up on screens, hit him in the flat off boot concepts or simply check it down. He has the open-field vision and enough shake to beat defenders in space, and he will take on blitzers in pass protection. He has more upside than Darrell Henderson, whom the Rams picked in the third round in 2019.”
For fans of fantasy football, that last sentence should be the one that stands out the most. Henderson was viewed as an extremely dynamic player by McVay and the prodigious head coach made a point to go get the former Memphis Tiger during last year’s draft. But at this point a year ago, I don’t think McVay planned to be in a position where Todd Gurley wasn’t on the team and I don’t think he expected to land such a talented runner that high in the draft.
As I’m writing this, I’m also listening to the Fantasy Focus Football Podcast with Matthew Berry and Field Yates and, coincidentally, the topic of Akers going to the Rams was just brought up. Yates, Berry, and Mike Clay all reflected the same sentiments as Bowen in his recent article. Akers went to a really good landing spot to maximize his talents and I think all of these are good enough reasons to get your expectations/hopes up if you just can’t be patient enough to wait and see how things go.
For what it’s worth, Clay’s 2020 projections for Akers this season are 172 carries for 719 yards with seven touchdowns plus 18 catches for 142 yards and another score. For fantasy purposes, that equals out to about 148 fantasy points.
Now on to the links.
Rams News Links:
Stu Jackson lists five things to know about OLB Terrell Lewis (TheRams.com)
Sarina Morlaes gets to know WR Nsimba Webster (TheRams.com)
Bret Stuter discusses five player who could breakout on offense in 2020 (Ramblin’ Fan)
Cameron DaSilva explains how new TE Brycen Hopkins could a unique role on offense (The Rams Wire)
Matt Bowen shows us why Cam Akers is a perfect fit for the Rams’ offense (ESPN+)
Martin Fenn ranks every team’s defense for 2020 (Bleacher Report)
Tim Daniels reports that the NFL possibly playing games at a centralized location “is not on the table.” (Bleacher Report)
Austin Anderson talks about his three takeaways from the new Project 11 documentary (Sporting News)