The Los Angeles Rams will take on the San Francisco 49ers for the fourth time this calendar year. The Rams played the 49ers in Week 4 (less than a month ago) and we saw the results. Not great for the Rams. Yes, the Rams should have some players back for this matchup, but I am skeptical of them being THAT much better than they were a few weeks ago. Brian Allen and Van Jefferson should help the offense over time, but their impact may not be felt immediately. In the meantime, let’s use the data we do have, and let’s try to make some educated guesses about how some of our favorite Rams players will do this week!
Spoiler: I am not very optimistic for the Rams this week.
Players being looked at: Matthew Stafford, Darrell Henderson, Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson (welcome back!) and Tyler Higbee
QB Matthew Stafford
Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 8: 17
Week 8 Stat Prediction: 300 yards, one touchdown and one pick
Why: Matthew Stafford threw for 254 yards, zero touchdowns, chucked an interception and lost a fumble the last time he saw the 49ers. If that doesn’t sound like a great fantasy performance that would be because it wasn’t. If you think that things get better for Stafford this matchup, I hope you are right. Despite me thinking he plays better in this one, I am nervous and am looking for other options. Stafford is not a top 12 fantasy play this week. Why I could be wrong? As I said above, Brian Allen and Van Jefferson are back, the 49ers may be without Jason Verret (he seems like a game time decision). All those factors could lead to an improved performance from Stafford.
RB Darrell Henderson
Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 8: 30
Week 8 Stat Prediction: 15 carries 50 yards and four receptions for 20 yards.
Why: Kyren Williams should be back soon and the Rams could make a trade, but until we see any changes in an actual game, it’s still Darrell’s show. In their last matchup against the 49ers, Cam Akers had eight carries. Henderson had seven carries and three receptions. Even Brandon Powell took a carry for 11 yards! Stafford had two carries but I’m not counting those. Neither Cam or Darrell were very effective, but if you tell me that a running back is going to get at least 15 carries and a few targets, then I have to consider starting them. If you think that Henderson is going to fall into the end zone, then I say start him. I keep saying this, if you can, stash Kyren Williams.
WR Cooper Kupp
Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 8: 5
Week 8 Stat Prediction: 11 catches for 130 yards and one touchdown
Why: Kupp has been far and away the best (fantasy) player on the Rams this year. All he does is score points for your team. Kupp caught 14 passes and over 120 yards against the 49ers, in a game that saw the Rams score fewer than 10 points. The Rams are coming off a bye week, Kupp should be feeling as good as he’ll feel the rest of the season, we can expect him to nab plenty of catches and rack up plenty of 100 yards. If you think Stafford can find a way to throw at least one touchdown in this game, as I do, one is going to Kupp. Nothing has changed on the Cooper Kupp front, he’s matchup proof, start him.
WR Allen Robinson
Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 8: 55
Week 8 Stat Prediction: 4 receptions for 40 yards
Why: Allen’s best fantasy performance came in his last game against the Carolina Panthers. He still only had five catches for 63 yards and one touchdown and that’s fine, but it’s not lighting the world on fire. Allen had two catches for seven yards in his last matchup against the 49ers. I really thought the Rams brought him here for games like this, I think many of us are starting to wonder why the Rams brough him to LA at all. I hope his game against the Panthers (he had a solid game against the Atlanta Falcons too) was a sign of things to come, but he’s let me down too many times, I can’t trust him, I’d look elsewhere for WR fantasy points. This article would be WAY more fun to write if Allen Robinson started putting up good fantasy numbers.
WR Van Jefferson
Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 8: 80
Week 8 Stat Prediction: 2 catches for 20 yards.
I’ve got some good news and bad news. The good news is, for this player, I don’t have to reference the last time the Rams and 49ers played each other. The bad news is, the Rams didn’t have Jefferson available the last time that they played the 49ers. Is Van Jefferson going to step in and have a meaningful impact? I sure hope so. Am I going to trust him in a fantasy lineup this week? I have no plans to, and unless you know something I don’t or enjoy taking the big risk, then I’d suggest you don’t start Van. I hate to say this but I’d start the 49ers Brandon Aiyuk over Van. I didn’t like typing that either.
Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 8: 10
Week 8 Stat Prediction: 5 catches for 50 yards
Why: Higbee caught 10 passes for over 70 yards when he faced the 49ers on Oct 3rd. That is his highest catch total in a game this year (he’s caught 7 passes twice this year). I would guess that the majority of tight end options in your fantasy league are less than ideal. You are starting Tyler Higbee, unless you really have someone better, but I would not count on 10 catches this game. Ideally Higbee can score a touchdown in this game. He hasn’t scored yet all year.
Opposing Fantasy Starts: When the Rams took on the 49ers earlier this season, it was without having to face Christian McCaffrey. It was Jeff Wilson Jr. who burned L.A. on the ground with 18 carries for 70+ yards and one touchdown. The Rams lost that game. The Rams just faced McCaffrey as a Panther on October 16th and he carried the ball 13 times for 69 yards, as Carolina lost that game. I expect him to get plenty of carries and catches and to crush the Rams. Start Deebo Samuel unless he doesn’t play. George Kittle got it going in his last game against the Kansas City Chiefs with 98 receiving yards and a touchdown. Brandon Aiyuk has 80+ receiving yards in his last two games. The 49ers have a lot of weapons. Hopefully, the Rams defense can keep them in this game, but unless the offense can get it rolling, it’s hard to see this outcome being favorable for them in a fantasy sense…or an NFL sense.