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Rams-Cowboys Week 5 fantasy stat predictions: Start Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee is a TE1

The rest of the Rams offense looks like an unreliable mess.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The fantasy predictions below are not to be used by anyone, and the predictors themselves should not be held responsible for any fantasy mistakes and or fantasy decisions made by others. When setting your own lineup please use your own judgement. It’s your team, have fun with it.

The Los Angeles Rams winning the Super Bowl was less than 12 months but ago. It feels a lot longer ago after a loss to the San Francisco 49ers and it feels even longer ago because the Rams offense truly looks like a mess right now. Injuries throughout the offensive line. Is Matthew Stafford’s arm alright? Where in the world is Allen Robinson? The running game might be worse than last year. All this and more. The team is 2-2.

For the Rams offense to really improve they will need to get starters back from injury and players will need to stay healthy. There is no way for us to know if that will happen, so we’ll find out together as the season unfolds. I do think most fans expect Sean McVay to figure it out and maximize the players he has on the team. That’s seemingly what he’s done since he became the head coach.

I do think it’s safe to say that the offense should get better over time, but the success of the offense may depend on the matchups they have. I don’t think we can expect the Rams to automatically roll on offense like we have in years past. Maybe they get on track, but I think even the coaching staff would agree, they aren’t where they need to be yet.

Players being looked at this week:

Matthew Stafford, Darrell Henderson, Cam Akers, Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Ben Skowronek and Tyler Higbee

QB Matthew Stafford

Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 5: 18

Week 5 Stat Prediction: 225 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

Why: Matthew Stafford hasn’t thrown a touchdown in the last two games. Pretty sure he threw at least one in every game last year. He throws at least 1 TD in this one. He also will throw another pick or two or eight. It’s not all his fault. He made some amazing plays last week behind a wounded and out of sync offensive line. He made some really not great plays too. That pick-6 is something I do in Madden all the time. Stafford probably isn’t a great Madden player (no offense Matthew), he can still be a great NFL quarterback. Not sure it’s against this Dallas D though. Better weeks ahead, we hope.

RB Darrell Henderson

Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 5: 40

Week 5 Stat Prediction: 10 carries for 25 yards, 4 receptions for 30 yards.

Why: At this point I could lump Darrell and Cam Akers (more on him below) into one blurb. Neither can be trusted in fantasy right now. Coach McVay seemed to indicate after the 49ers game that the plan going into the game was to give Henderson a lot of snaps. I had no idea that was the game plan against the Niners and don’t know what the game plan will be against Dallas or how McVay will divide the snaps between the RBs. Darrell Henderson has not had more than 13 carries in a game this season (you’ll see a similar stat about Akers below). Unless Henderson is getting the goal line work, it’s hard to see him putting up big yardage (again, you’ll see a similar comment about Akers below).

RB Cam Akers

Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 5: 45

Week 5 Stat Prediction: 10 carries for 35.

Why: I want to believe in Cam Akers. I have no idea if the Rams coaching staff does or does not. Coach McVay said that Cam needed to be more “urgent” after the first game. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know how McVay really views Akers. The most carries Akers has had this year is 15 and unless he’s getting the goal line work, it’s hard to see him putting up big yardage with less than 20 carries/touches a game. Neither Rams RB can be trusted to deliver in fantasy right now.

The argument for keeping Henderson and/or Akers on a fantasy roster. Although Malcolm Brown is back, and he may get some touchdowns or some high leverage carries, I don’t think the Rams have ever used him as a feature back. If Darrell or Cam get hurt, I would think the healthy back would become the feature back. That potential feature back role for the Rams could have a lot of fantasy value. Of course, the Rams could trade for someone or maybe Kyren Williams come back from injury sooner than expected, but for now it seems to be the Darrell and Cam show.

WR Cooper Kupp

Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 5: 11

Week 5 Stat Prediction: 8 catches 110 yards.

Why: It’s Halloween month, you want a scary thought? Imagine what the Rams offense would look like without Cooper Kupp. I did some math, used a calculator and everything. Matthew Stafford has passed for 1,015 yards and 4 TD’s through 4 games this season. Cooper Kupp accounts for 402 of those yards and 3 touchdowns. Subtract Kupp, and Stafford is throwing for 613 yards and 1 touchdown in 4 games. He also already has 42 receptions. Kupp (and his connection with Stafford) is an absolute fantasy and NFL monster right now. In Kupp we trust.

WR Allen Robinson

Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 5: 37

Week 5 Stat Prediction: 3 catches, 25 yards and 1 touchdown.

Why: Sean McVay is being asked too many questions about Robinson. McVay is going to call the right play at the right time and get Robinson a touchdown this game, so that those questions slow down, though the questions will keep coming every time Robinson does not perform. Start other fantasy receivers that you trust more. Robinson cannot be trusted until he shows more consistency with catches and yards. I’m rooting for him and I am admittedly being stubborn about it.

Ben Skowronek

Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 5: 50

Week 5 Stat Prediction: 3 catches for 30 yards.

Why: Against the 49ers Skowronek had 2 catches for 33 yards. That sounds about right. Maybe he lucks into a touchdown or maybe we start seeing some really special plays that feature Ben, but so far, he’s more like the third, fourth or even fifth read on the team. Like I said last week, if that changes, then we can explore Ben as a viable fantasy option even further.

Tyler Higbee

Predicted Fantasy Position Ranking for Week 5: 7

Week 5 Stat Prediction: 4 catches for 40 yards. 1 touchdown.

Why: I don’t think I gave Higbee enough credit last week. In fantasy football the tight end position is unreliable and unless you have Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews (or a few others), you probably don’t have a reliable fantasy tight end. Tyler has at least 4 catches and 30 receiving yards in each game (yes that is really exciting for a fantasy tight end, that is how unreliable the position is). If he can start to accumulate touchdowns, he will be a difference maker in fantasy. As long as he stays healthy and keeps getting these targets, his fantasy value should only continue to rise.

Opposing Fantasy Starts: CeeDee Lamb is a must start and Cooper Rush seems to be getting him the ball (Cooper Rush’s success is a nice NFL story). If you have Ezekiel Elliott, you are probably starting him, though I don’t think he’s looked as explosive this year, that can happen with age. Hopefully the Rams D can contain Tony Pollard (and Zeke) and the Dallas run game. Speaking of the Rams D, I wonder if they make life really hard on young Cooper Rush. They may be fired up after allowing a few big plays to the 49ers last week. Hopefully the D can get it going in this one.