It might be hard to remember, but Cam Akers actually began the season as the Rams starting running back, opening the season with 14 carries to lead the team. The reason it's hard to remember is because he'd been mostly a bit player since as the Rams seemed perfectly content to run with a three-way split at running back between Akers, Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, which is the nightmare scenario for Fantasy. However, after Week 13, it looks like Akers could be in a dream situation for the Fantasy playoffs.
Akers was one of the biggest winners of Week 13 as he finally seems to have taken that RB1 job for himself. It helped that Henderson missed some time with a knee injury, but he was able to play through it and still logged just 16 snaps Sunday, while Brown played 12; Akers, on the other hand, played 51 of 79 offensive snaps for the Rams on Sunday. He led the team with 72 yards on 21 carries and added a 22-yard catch plus a rushing touchdown on the ground. And the most exciting part is that he ran 25 routes, while Brown and Henderson combined for 20.
Of course, that doesn't mean Akers will have that exact same role next week against the Patriots, but the 21 carries were a season high for any Rams back, while the 51 snaps were only surpassed by Brown's 54 in Week 8, a game where the Rams threw the ball 61 times. Sunday was truly the first time the Rams have treated any of their backs like an every-down option, as Akers actually split his time evenly between run and pass downs.
Week 14 against the Patriots isn't the easiest matchup ever, but if you're still playing and you have Akers, he's in that RB2 discussion now, and it's not out of the question he'll finish as an RB1 over the next three weeks. You had to be patient for it -- heck, you might have even picked him up off waivers -- but Akers looks like he's finally paying off.
How do we feel about Week 13's disappointing star QBs going into Week 14? We recap Sunday and look ahead on the Fantasy Football Today podcast. Listen below and subscribe at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts:
Here are 10 other big winners from Week 13 of the NFL season:
LAR L.A. Rams • #9
Age: 33 • Experience: 12 yrs.
Streaming the Bears defense against the struggling Lions seemed like a great idea before the game, but, the Lions came out with a different game plan than the one we've gotten used to seeing under Matt Patricia and spoiled it. Stafford matched his season high with 42 pass attempts and pushed the ball down the field consistently. And he blew past his season high in intended air yards, with his attempted passes traveling 551 yards past the line of scrimmage collectively; his previous season high was 398 yards. Stafford's 2019 breakout before the injury was fueled by a more aggressive approach to throwing down the field than we'd seen in recent years, but he had largely abandoned that in 2020. If he's going back to taking chances, he could be a very interesting playoff streamer against the Packers and Titans over the next two weeks -- especially if Kenny Golladay can get back from his hip injury.
Alvin Kamara RB
NO New Orleans • #41
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
There were certainly reasons to be concerned about Kamara's role after the first two games of the Taysom Hill era, and they didn't all go away Sunday -- he was still targeted just three times despite 37 pass attempts. However, any concerns about Latavius Murray turning Kamara into a part-time player were clearly misplaced, as Kamara received 17 of 22 RB touches and played 62.7% of the snaps. The lack of passing game involvement is a concern, and it may not change until Drew Brees is back -- which could come in Week 15 -- but Kamara is still the lead back here and still a must-start RB.
IND Indianapolis • #28
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
The Colts haven't fully unleashed Taylor yet, and they may never, but he's back in a good spot. He led the team with 13 carries -- out of 24 total split between the three running backs -- and added three targets, finishing with 91 yards on ground and 44 through the air, plus a long receiving touchdown. If Taylor is going to get more than half of the running back carries plus consistent receiving production, he's probably going to be a pretty good Fantasy option down the stretch, with great matchups against the Raiders and Texans on the way in the next two weeks. Week 16 against the Steelers could be tough, but if he helps get you there, mission accomplished.
CHI Chicago • #32
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
We've been looking forward to Montgomery's late-season schedule, but I'll admit I was a bit wary. Given his middling track record and the Bears' offensive struggles, could you really rely on Montgomery to help carry you to a championship? He's done his part the last two weeks, racking up 143 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 and then 111 and two more scores Sunday. Montgomery has had a high floor all season long thanks to his consistent workload in both the running and passing games, but he's shown he has a high ceiling these past two weeks. You can set him in your lineup and forget about him for upcoming matchups against the Texans, Vikings and Jaguars to close out the Fantasy season.
NO New Orleans • #13
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
That's two nearly identical 100-yard games for Thomas in three with Hill at QB, both against the Falcons. While that latter part might serve as an asterisk for many of you, the Falcons defense has been much better in the second half of the season, so you shouldn't write it off entirely. Another reason you shouldn't write it off: It's Michael Thomas! He's really good. He has 29 targets in three games with Hill at QB, a massive 38.2% target share. That bodes really well for the rest of the season, especially with Drew Brees expected back in Week 15.
Corey Davis WR
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #84
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
One of my biggest regrets this season was not grabbing Davis in more leagues as a late-round stash. He was a perfect post-hype sleeper, a former No. 5 overall who went undrafted in most leagues. He has at least 67 yards in seven of 10 games, and he has a touchdown in two of the others. It'll be fascinating to see what happens with Davis as a free agent, but I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do to close the season first.
CLE Cleveland • #80
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
That's two games in a row for Landry with eight catches and three in five games without Odell Beckham with at least 10 targets. There will be games where the Browns don't have to throw much, but Landry is seeing such a high share of the targets in Cleveland that he's hard to sit, even in Week 14 against the Ravens. And, if you're still alive after that, he closes the season against the Giants and Jets and could very well help you bring home a championship.
LV Las Vegas • #83
Age: 29 • Experience: 5 yrs.
It hasn't been the season we were hoping for from Waller, despite the fact that he entered Week 13 as the No. 2 tight end in Fantasy. However, he was dominant Sunday, catching 13 of 17 passes thrown his way for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns, a week-winning kind of performance. And he's one of the few tight ends capable of that kind of game, which is why he's been a must-start tight end even in the leaner times.
PHI Philadelphia • #88
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Even with Zach Ertz back from IR, Goedert was still the Eagles top passing game option, earning seven targets in the loss to the Packers. Seven targets isn't a huge number, but it came on just 27 passes, a healthy 26% target share even with Ertz earning his own 15% share. Those two numbers should come a bit closer together as Ertz gets further integrated into the offense, but the Eagles will also throw the ball more than 27 times most weeks -- usually much more. Add it up, and Goedert should remain a must-start option for the rest of the season.
Mike Gesicki TE
MIA Miami • #88
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Conventional wisdom has been that when Tua Tagovailoa is starting, expectations should be lowered for the Miami passing game options, so it was great to see Tagovailoa come out firing against the Bengals. He attempted a career-high 39 passes, with 11 of them going to Gesicki, who caught nine of 88 plus a touchdown. You still can't trust Gesicki to produce every week, but it was a good sign, one that should make you feel a bit better about him relative to the crowd of touchdown-or-bust guys in the No. 5 through 15 range at tight end.