The Rams have become a team who, in recent years, have had a list of fantasy-caliber players that has read, from top to bottom:
- Steven Jackson
And that’s it.
With leagues beginning to reconvene from a months-long drought of (sometimes) friendly trash talk, one of the things that I love and hate the most in this world is now right around the corner.
Now, the Rams do have a trio of players sure to be drafted in most standard leagues in running back Zac Stacy, wide receiver Tavon Austin, and the Robert Quinn-led defense. Where they project to be taken varies, but Stacy looks like a top-15 pick, easy. However, if you’re feeling some combination of craftiness and homer-ism later in your draft, these five Rams – who possess a fair share of upside with an equal amount of risk – may be worth taking a look at.
Your 2014 Rams sleeper picks:
5. Kicker Greg Zuerlein
Greg’s leg isn’t much of a secret anymore, but if Zuerlein is able to bounce back and see a few more opportunities this season, it couldn’t hurt to take a flyer on a guy who is always a threat from 50+ yards. He’s outside the top 10 in ESPN’s preseason ratings, so he can be grabbed cheaply and easily if you miss or skip entirely your league’s run on kickers.
4. Tight end Jared Cook
Cook doesn’t project highly among other tight ends in the league. In fact, he’s near the bottom. However, the fact that he led the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns last season shouldn’t be ignored. Cook has a role to play in this offense, and stands to benefit from the presence of a healthy Sam Bradford. Worth considering late.
3. Wide receiver Chris Givens
If the Rams are able to execute a run-heavy offense effectively, it makes sense that it will increase the chances of Givens hitting home runs in the deep game on play-action calls. He’s not the best receiver on this team, but he has value for his big play potential, like a poor man’s Torrey Smith. Maybe more of a wait-and-see guy who might be worth a waiver claim a few weeks into the season, but if you’ve got a couple bucks left at the end of your auction and are just rounding out your roster looking for hidden gems, why not?
2. Quarterback Sam Bradford
It’s been widely discussed that Bradford is on the verge of a make-or-break season in regards to his career. He projects well outside of the top-10 among quarterbacks according to ESPN, but he was on the brink of breaking out prior to injury last season and he’s literally playing for his job. Bradford might make you look good as a quarterback no. 2.
1. Running back Tre Mason
The most serious contender as a sleeper pick among the list, Mason’s presence in the Rams’ backfield is one to keep an eye on. The team worked Stacy hard last season, to the tune of 250 carries in 12 games. Expect Mason, a Stacy clone, to get a share of that load on a team that will look to run the ball first, run the ball second, and probably run the ball third. Mason is a great handcuff option in the mid-late rounds, especially if you used an early selection on Stacy.