Week 2’s full weekend slate is upon us. And as such — your fantasy start-sit decisions are impending their lock down time.
Let’s go around the horn for your Los Angeles Rams players in question.
Quarterback — Jared Goff
I loved Goff coming into this season. And he was pretty good against the Cowboys. He threw for 275 yards. Had only one brutal interception. But the Rams still insist on running the football near the goal line (with Malcolm Brown!) like they have always done in Sean McVay’s system. I anticipated more throwing near the goal line. I’m not going to abandon Goff just yet. The Rams offensive line is questionable. Goff has a four-touchdown game looming to get back on track for 30-plus touchdowns this season. I’m just not excited about a matchup against the Eagles, who allowed just 178 passing yards last week. Sure, it was to Dwayne Haskins, so it’s like beating Madden on rookie mode, but still.
‘Weaker’ START (SportingNews):
Goff was caretaker deluxe against Dallas, and this doesn’t feel comfortable on the road at all opposite Wentz.
SIT (Sports Illustrated):
Goff, listed as a sit ‘em in his space last week, failed to throw for a single touchdown and had a mere 10.5 fantasy points in a win over the Cowboys. I’d keep him on the sidelines this week too, as Goff travels to Philadelphia to face an Eagles defense that’s been historically tough on opposing signal-callers on their home field. Only the Ravens gave up fewer fantasy points to enemy quarterbacks at home (11.3 PPG) in 2019.
Running Back — Malcolm Brown
Brown was one of the best surprise stories in Week 1 against Dallas when he was the lead running back for the Rams. In the first game without Todd Gurley, Brown played more than 60 percent of the snaps, and he had a quality stat line with 18 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns, as well as three catches for 31 yards on four targets. He should still be the top running back for the Rams this week, but Cam Akers will also get work (he had 14 carries and one catch in Week 1), as well as Darrell Henderson. And the Eagles run defense should be a tougher test for the Rams, especially on the road. Brown is only worth starting as a flex option this week.
‘Stronger’ START (SportingNews):
He’s the starter for now over a rookie and another young back, so enjoy those kinds of touches against an overrated run defense.
Running Back — Cam Akers
The Rams have used so much draft capital in recent years on early-round running backs, but it was undrafted guy Malcolm Brown who led the team in snaps (44) and routes (21), while Akers had 24 snaps and 10 routes. And let me know if anybody has heard from Darrell Henderson. Sean McVay is like a Zero RB fantasy manager come to life. I’m kind of here for it. But it’s also hugely disappointing. The Eagles aren’t a bad matchup for Brown, the Birds did give up a couple of rushing touchdowns to Peyton Barber. We can start Brown. I’m leaving Akers on the bench. I’m not going to release him. But I’m not starting him.
SIT (Sports Illustrated)
Wide Receiver — Cooper Kupp
I’m really kicking myself because I had so many shares of Robert Woods in drafts this year, that by the end of draft season I started hedging between him and Kupp. I love Kupp. He was huge last season. But he was really touchdown dependent toward the end of last season. In fact, Kupp hasn’t topped 100 receiving yards since Week 8 last year when he had 220 against the Cincinnati Bengals. With Malcolm Brown out there taking over the goal line stuff, this could be a real problem moving forward. The Eagles did not allow a passing touchdown in Week 1. I mean, it was Dwayne Haskins. The Eagles allowed 21 passing touchdowns to receivers last year, which was tied for third in the league. I’m willing to roll with Kupp for one more week. Even if it makes me nervous.
When Cooper Kupp was melting faces Weeks 1-8 last season as the fantasy WR3, he was predominately playing out of the slot (74.1%). But his fantasy production drastically fell off toward the second half of the season when he only played 59.7% in the slot.
That trend has continued into the 2020 season — Cupp played just two more snaps in the slot (16 vs. 14) than teammate Robert Woods (53.3% vs. 48.3%). Like last year, this was not good for his fantasy output, as he scored a meager 6.9 fantasy points on just four targets.
To make matters worse, even when Kupp lines up in the slot in Week 2, it will be against Nickell Robey-Coleman, who allowed the fourth-lowest fantasy points per route run (0.21) among slot cornerbacks in Week 1 and the sixth-lowest yards per coverage snap during 2019.
Kupp has seen more than six targets only twice over his last nine games. I’m out on him until we see him see a steadier target share. Last week, Kupp saw a lower target rate on routes run (13.3%) than Woods (20.7%) and tight end Tyler Higbee (18.2%).
Tight End — Tyler Higbee
‘Stronger’ START (SportingNews):
The Eagles couldn’t handle Washington at the position in the red zone, so he’s a good bet to score with a good overall day.
START (Sports Illustrated):
Higbee didn’t do much in his 2020 debut, scoring a mere seven points despite a positive matchup against the Cowboys. He did play 65 snaps in the contest, which was far more than Gerald Everett (24), so he’s the top tight end in Los Angeles (if there were any questions). I’d roll with him against another NFC East team, the Eagles, who allowed a touchdown and 13.7 fantasy points to Logan Thomas in their season-opening game.
Other items interesting of note here, NFL.com’s Adam Rank says to start Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles TE against the Rams defense:
We are going to see a lot of 12 personnel (two tight ends) for the Eagles as they once again have to deal with injuries to the wide receiver position. Both Zach Ertz and Goedert are the most reliable targets for Carson Wentz. I mean, we know who Wentz is at this point. Goedert played 81% of the snaps (85% for Ertz) and turned his nine targets into 24.1 fantasy points. I can’t offer the same type of production for you this week. But he’s a great start for anybody who lost Blake Jarwin.
CBSSports also said to start Goedert against LA.
CBSSport.com’s Jamey Eisenberg says to sit Carson Wentz against the Rams D:
Wentz is getting reinforcements this week with Lane Johnson (ankle) and Miles Sanders (hamstring) expected to return after sitting out Week 1, which is important. That said, I don’t love the setup for Wentz, even at home. Aaron Donald and Co. should be able to pressure Wentz, who was just sacked eight times by Washington last week. Wentz did manage 270 passing yards and two touchdowns, but he also had two interceptions and lost a fumble. And the Rams held Dak Prescott to just 19 Fantasy points in Week 1, which is about what I expect from Wentz in this matchup.
Sports Illustrated and PFF agreed with the decision to sit Wentz as well.
So — who you starting this weekend?