Watch Now: 2020 NFL Schedule: Los Angeles Rams (1:21)

The Rams offense scuffled a bit at the end of 2018, and that carried over into 2019. They weren't bad, but there were long stretches of awkward play, and that led to an offseason of change, with Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley moved out of the picture. There's plenty of room here for another name to step up — keep an eye on second-half breakout Tyler Higbee. But the most interesting thing about this Rams team will be which of their three running backs earns a feature role. If any of them do.

2019 Review

Record: 9-7 (11)
PPG: 24.6 (11)
YPG: 374.9 (7)
Pass YPG: 281.2 (4)
Rush YPG: 93.7 (26)
PAPG: 39.5 (3)
RAPG: 25.1 (18)

Relevant Fantasy players

QB Jared Goff QB15
RB Todd Gurley* RB14, Malcolm Brown RB67
WR Cooper Kupp WR4, Robert Woods WR14, Brandin Cooks* WR61
TE Tyler Higbee TE8, Gerald Everett TE26

Number to know: 15.9%

Just 15.9% of the Rams targets (or 5.4 per game) went to tight ends in 2017 and 2018. Even the first half of 2019 saw the Rams using more three-wide receiver sets and sending fewer targets to tight ends. Then the Higbee explosion happened. Over the final five games, Higbee and Woods accounted for 53% of Jared Goff's pass attempts and Kupp saw his target share plummet. This makes it difficult to forecast Rams target share for 2020.

2020 Offseason

Draft Picks 

2. (52) Cam Akers, RB
2. (57) Van Jefferson, WR
3. (84) Terrell Lewis, LB
3. (104) Terrell Burgess, S
4. (136) Brycen Hopkins, TE
6. (199) Jordan Fuller, S
7. (234) Clay Johnston, LB
7. (248) Sam Sloman, K
7. (250) Tremayne Anchrum, G

Additions

NT A'Shawn Robinson, LB Leonard Floyd

Key Departures

RB Todd Gurley, WR Brandin Cooks, LB Cory Littleton, LB Dante Fowler, K Greg Zuerlein, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, LB Clay Matthews

Available Opportunity 

223 running back carries, 49 running back targets, 77 wide receiver targets

Rankings and Projections

Player
Jared GoffQB16QB16QB15
Cam AkersRB22RB22RB34
Darrell HendersonRB47RB42RB47
Malcolm BrownN/RN/RRB59
Cooper KuppWR12WR7WR11
Robert WoodsWR14WR14WR19
Tyler HigbeeTE7TE5TE10
Rams DSTDST9DST3DST7

Heath Cummings' projections
QBJared Goff4,381 YD, 27 TD, 13 INT; 105 Rush YD, 2 TD
RBCam Akers877 YD, 7 TD; 8 REC, 61 YD, 0 TD
RBDarrell Henderson342 YD, 3 TD; 32 REC, 268 YD, 2 TD
RBMalcolm Brown325 YD, 4 TD; 4 REC, 27 YD, 0 TD
WRRobert Woods133 TAR, 85 REC, 1,078 YD, 5 TD
WRCooper Kupp127 TAR, 87 REC, 1,146 YD, 8 TD
WRJosh Reynolds63 TAR, 32 REC, 437 YD, 3 TD
TETyler Higbee86 TAR, 61 REC, 657 YD, 5 TD
TEGerald Everett40 TAR, 25 REC, 266 YD, 3 TD

Biggest Question

How do the Rams replace Todd Gurley?

"Los Angeles took Florida State's Cam Akers in the second round, and he joins 2019 third-round pick Darrell Henderson and veteran Malcolm Brown in what could be a three-man attack. Akers figures to lead the charge, and his size/speed combo and receiving production in college suggest a three-down profile. That would be fantastic for Fantasy, but it won't be easy to overcome two challengers in a shortened offseason." - Ben Gretch

Two sleepers and a bust

Sleeper
LAR L.A. Rams • #27
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2019 Stats
RUYDS
147
REC
4
REYDS
37
TD
0
FPTS/G
1.6
Sleeper
LAR L.A. Rams • #34
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
2019 Stats
RUYDS
255
REC
2
REYDS
16
TD
5
FPTS/G
4.1
Bust
LAR L.A. Rams • #23
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Prospect Profile
2020 NFL Draft
52nd overall (Round 2)
Height
5-10
Weight
217
40 time
4.47

Hopefully reading through this preview you've seen that there's a high degree of uncertainty regarding the Rams running backs. Because if you only looked at ADP, you'd have no idea. Early NFC ADP shows Akers (53.4) being drafted 70 spots before Henderson (123.1) with Brown a mere afterthought (232.7). So while we projected Akers to have more production, there's little doubt who the better values are.

Even the most ardent Akers supporter will acknowledge that the shortened offseason hampers his chances of winning a feature job before Week 1. In fact, a majority of people agree that Akers is unlikely to lead the Rams in touches over the first month of the season. If they're correct then there's little doubt Akers will be cheaper to acquire via trade in September than he is in July and August. 

Even if you think Akers can win early down work in training camp, there's a growing sentiment that the Rams intend to use all three backs with Henderson taking third downs and Brown working in short yardage. This is a team that only ran for 3.7 yards per carry in 2019 and didn't improve its offensive line. Akers does not have a chance at justifying his ADP solely based on rushing production, especially if Brown is stealing touchdowns. 

If Akers' ADP falls into Round 7 he'll be a worthwhile gamble, even with all the concerns listed above. But for now if you really want a piece of this backfield, you're much better off spending a pair of double-digit round picks on Henderson and Brown. If one of them hits, it's all profit. 

Fantasy Previews 
AFC East: Bills | Jets | Patriots | Dolphins 
NFC East: Giants | Cowboys | Eagles | Redskins 
AFC South: Colts | Texans | Jaguars | Titans 
NFC South: Panthers | Bucs |  Falcons | Saints 
AFC North: RavensSteelersBrownsBengals 
NFC North: PackersVikingsBearsLions 
AFC West: ChiefsBroncosRaidersChargers 
NFC West: Seahawks49ersRamsCardinals

So what Fantasy football sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which WR1 candidate can you wait on until late? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets from the model that was all over Derrick Henry's huge season, and find out.