John Kelly will compete for a role as a reserve running back for the Rams this season behind Todd Gurley, Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, but he has minimal Fantasy value in that spot. Even though Gurley (knee) and Brown (collarbone) struggled with injuries last season, the Rams didn't rely on Kelly in a prominent role. Maybe that changes in his sophomore campaign, but we need to see Kelly prove himself first. Kelly is not worth drafting in most leagues.
The Rams likely will end up cutting Kelly and/or Justin Davis, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic reports. With Todd Gurley (knee), Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson locked in, the team only has one available backfield spot, at most, if everyone stays healthy through August. A sixth-round pick last year, Kelly took 27 carries for 74 yards and two catches for 27 yards in four games during his rookie season, logging 50 snaps on offense and 35 on special teams. The lack of involvement on special teams isn't a good sign for his continued presence on the roster, though Davis (133 snaps) wasn't a huge factor in that regard either.
Kelly rushed 15 times for just 30 yards during Sunday's 48-32 win over San Francisco, but he did also have an 18-yard reception. Considering C.J. Anderson ran over the 49ers for 132 yards and 5.7 per tote, Kelly's numbers on the ground are all the more pedestrian. However, the rookie also didn't receive his first carry until the middle of the third quarter when Los Angeles was up 38-17 and milking the clock, so It's probably best to look at Kelly's production with a grain of salt. Additionally, it's unlikely he has a notable role in the postseason with Todd Gurley resting a knee injury the past two weeks, and Anderson proving to be a viable option as the lead back in his absence. Kelly was active for four regular-season games but only saw offensive snaps the past three. He finished the campaign with 74 rushing yards on 27 attempts (2.7 yards per carry) and two receptions for 27 yards.
Kelly is expected to work as the backup to C.J. Anderson in the event Todd Gurley (knee) and Justin Davis (shoulder) are unavailable for Sunday's game against the Cardinals, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reports. Kelly, a sixth-round pick out of Tennessee, exhibited some explosiveness during his opportunities in the preseason, but he's largely been an afterthought for the Rams since the regular season began. In fact, Kelly didn't dress for a game until Week 14, when Malcolm Brown's season-ending collarbone injury bumped him up a spot on the depth chart. It appeared the door might have open for Kelly to claim a three-down role when Gurley and Davis both came out of the Week 15 loss to the Eagles with injuries, but the recent addition of Anderson has put somewhat of a damper on the rookie's prospects. Instead, Kelly now looks like a better bet to serve as a change-of-pace option if Gurley and Davis are sidelined, taking on the bulk of the snaps on passing downs while the more experienced Anderson works as the primary ballcarrier. Regardless of how the Rams' running-back situation plays out in Week 16, there probably won't be much clarity until the team releases its inactive list 90 minutes prior the 4:05 p.m. EST kickoff.
Kelly could be slated for an expanded role in Week 16 if Todd Gurley (knee) can't suit up against the Cardinals, Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reports. Kelly recorded the first offensive snaps of his career in Week 15 versus the Eagles, rushing twice for four yards during the contest. With Gurley and Justin Davis (shoulder) dealing with injuries early in the week, Kelly could see plenty of first-team reps on offense during practice. That could position him for a major offensive role in Week 16 against a Cardinals defense allowing 144.9 rushing yards per game, the third-highest average in the NFL.
Kelly played seven offensive snaps and rushed twice for four yards during Sunday's 30-23 loss to Philadelphia. The rookie debuted last week with seven snaps on special teams, and his two carries Sunday were his first of the season. With Malcolm Brown (clavicle) out for the year and Justin Davis (shoulder) also dealing with an injury, Kelly has a chance to solidify himself as the No. 2 back behind Todd Gurley. However, that role hasn't been conducive to fantasy production, so Kelly's off the radar in the majority of settings.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||New Orleans Saints||3||12.44|
|4||09/29||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||21.25|
|6||10/13||San Francisco 49ers||20||19.00|
|16||12/22||@San Francisco 49ers||20||19.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||27||74||0||2||27||0||9|