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2024 Player Outlooks: Los Angeles Rams



By HC Green | 6/27/24 |

QB Matthew Stafford
(2023 QB Rank: No.17, 20.1 FPts/G)

Coming into last season, it appeared as though Stafford might be on his last legs. A neck injury had derailed the teamís title defense in 2022, and there were rumblings during the offseason that the veteran was considering calling it a career. He ultimately returned and helped guide a young Rams squad to a playoff berth. Now, the 36-year-old claims heís feeling the best he has in years, and there are no plans to hang up the cleats.

Statistically, Stafford was solid in 2023: 3,965 yards passing, 24 TDs, and 11 INTs. That ranked him in the top 12 in both yards and TDs despite missing one game with a thumb injury and sitting out the finale to rest up for the playoffs. Even more encouraging is how much better his numbers got as the season wore on. To that end, 15 of his 24 TD passes came in his last six games. The team struck gold with Puka Nacua, and Cooper Kupp remains a reliable option as well, giving Stafford a pair of go-to targets.

He's purely a pocket passer at this stage of his career, running for 65 yards in 2023, and as such heís a tough sell as a No. 1 fantasy quarterback when so many dual-threat options are out there. Stafford would be a nice Plan B for anyone targeting a younger, high-upside QB for their roster (such as someone like Anthony Richardson or rookies Caleb Williams or Jayden Daniels).

RB Kyren Williams
(2023 RB Rank: No.2, 21.4 FPts/G)

In Week 1 last year, Cam Akers ran the ball 22 times to Williamsí 15. It seemed to be a split befitting their respective statuses as RB1 (Akers) and RB2 (Williams). On to Week 2, right? Wrong. Akers never suited up for the Rams again, eventually being traded to the Vikings, and Williams took over as the lead back. While an ankle injury would put him on the shelf for a month, the Notre Dame product proved he could be a workhorse when healthy.

In six games after returning from injury, Williams averaged 25 touches per game, resulting in 131.5 yards per contest -- he topped 100 total yards in each game -- and eight total touchdowns. Like most of the skill players, Williams was held out in Week 18, and he wasnít nearly as effective in the Wild Card loss to Detroit (70 yards, 0 TDs), but that had more to do with fewer opportunities (14 touches).

For as good as Williams has looked on the field, there are viable questions about his durability after spending time on Injured Reserve with ankle injuries in each of his first two seasons. He also missed part of the offseason program his rookie year with a broken foot. In terms of production, youíre looking at a potential top-five fantasy RB, even with the arrival of Blake Corum. Thereís risk here, though, so make sure your depth is solid if youíre investing in Williams to be your No.1 back.

RB Blake Corum
(2023 RB Rank: N/A)

When Williams went down last year, the Rams tried to cobble things together with a combination of Royce Freeman, Darrell Henderson, and Ronnie Rivers. Itís not surprising then that the team chose to upgrade that spot in the draft, selecting Corum in the third round. The rookie doesnít jump off the page from a physical perspective, boasting a smallish frame (5-foot-8, 205 pounds) and average speed, but he was highly productive at Michigan.

Corum is relentless as a runner with good strength, making him tough to bring down -- to that end, he set the FBS single-season record with 27 rushing touchdowns last year. Heís also ready to step in on passing downs, showing toughness in blitz pickup and the hands to contribute as an outlet for Stafford. Heíll spell Williams when both are healthy, and he gives the Rams some insurance if Williams again deals with injuries. Consider Corum a borderline RB4/RB5.

Puka Nacua

WR Puka Nacua
(2023 WR Rank: No.6, 17.6 FPts/G)

An unheralded fifth-round draft pick, Nacua went from roughly zero percent ownership in fantasy leagues to 100 following the first two games of 2023 during which he caught 25 passes for 266 yards. While he clearly couldnít maintain such a monstrous pace, he still finished with 105 receptions, 1,486 yards, and six touchdowns -- good enough to finish in the top-10 in both catches and yards. Most years thatíd be sufficient to capture the NFL Rookie of the Year award, but Nacua had to settle for second behind Texans QB C.J. Stroud.

Thereíll be no surprises with Nacua in Year 2, but thereís no reason to doubt his performance as he functioned as the No.1 target for much of the season while Kupp battled injuries. The BYU alum has shown he can get open, work underneath or downfield, and make contested catches with regularity. If he can up his game in the red zone, Nacua could push toward the top of the receiver rankings. Even now, he belongs in the top 10 of fantasy wideouts.

WR Cooper Kupp
(2023 WR Rank: No.23, 13.5 FPts/G)

In 2021, Kupp was the best receiver in the league, posting a 145-1947-16 line en route to winning NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors. In two seasons since, he has had trouble staying on the field, missing eight games in 2022 and opening last year on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury. He looked good upon his return, posting back-to-back 100-plus-yard efforts in his first two games, but his production slipped dramatically after that, failing to top 50 yards in six straight. When the credits rolled on 2023, Kupp settled for 59 catches, 737 yards, and 5 TDs, his worst production since 2018.

Now, just three years removed from his monster campaign, Kupp is a bit of an unknown. Heís played in just 21 of 34 games the past two years, and his numbers combined over those two seasons falls short of what he did in 2021. Head coach Sean McVay recently noted that Kupp was never healthy last season, and that he looks to be in much better condition now. Whether he can stay in peak form at age 31 remains to be seen. A surefire WR1 in recent fantasy drafts, Kupp now resides on the borderline of top-20 status with a definite risk/reward status.

TE Tyler Higbee
(2023 TE Rank: No.26, 7.2 FPts/G)

Entering his ninth NFL season, Higbee has carved out his niche. He’s durable but a late-season ACL injury will likely cost him games in 2024. He’s a capable checkdown option with good hands, but despite checking in at 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, he’s never been much of a threat in the red zone (22 career touchdowns among his 353 receptions). If you average out his last five seasons, you get 59 receptions and 586 yards, which is close to what you can feel safe penciling him in for. Even in leagues where you’d carry two tight ends on your roster, Higbee’s lack of upside and a good bet to start the season on the PUP list makes him someone you can leave on waivers.






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