Brown is expected to serve as the No. 2 running back behind Todd Gurley again this season, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Brown showed well in the backup role last season with 246 rushing yards and a touchdown on 63 attempts, and he also caught nine of 11 targets for 53 yards. The Rams selected Tennessee running back John Kelly in the sixth round, but he projects to be more of a change-of-pace option behind Gurley and Brown -- it's a role that opened up when Los Angeles dealt Tavon Austin to Dallas. As long as Gurley's healthy, Brown's standalone fantasy value is limited, and in most settings the 24-year-old rusher is likely nothing more than a handcuff candidate.
Brown signed his exclusive-rights tender Monday, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN reports.
The Rams tendered Brown in early March, making it almost impossible for the exclusive-rights free agent to negotiate a contract with another team. Him signing the tender is essentially a formality, and the running back is now under contract with Los Angeles through the end of the 2018 season. Brown currently ranks as the No. 2 running back on the depth chart behind Todd Gurley.
As an exclusive rights free agent, Brown can't negotiate with any other team and has little choice but to sign the one-year contract he's given. While he shouldn't have much trouble making the final roster, the Rams may seek an upgrade for their No. 2 RB spot, as Brown doesn't offer much in the way of explosiveness or pass-catching skill. The soon-to-be 25-year-old had 63 carries for 246 yards (3.9 YPC) and a touchdown and caught nine of 11 targets for 53 yards in 11 games last season, serving as Todd Gurley's top backup for most of the year.
Brown rushed 14 times for 54 yards and caught four of five targets for seven yards during Sunday's 34-13 loss to San Francisco.
Brown led the Rams in carries Sunday with MVP-candidate Todd Gurley inactive to rest up for the playoffs. However, it was a modest showing for the No. 2 rusher, as Brown totalled just 61 yards from scrimmage. He finishes the campaign averaging 3.9 yards per carry and projects to be handcuff option to Gurley with limited standalone value in most postseason fantasy settings. Looking ahead to 2018, Brown will probably again struggle to be a serviceable asset in most formats.
Brown appears likely to act as the Rams' lead back Week 17 against the 49ers with head coach Sean McVay implying Tuesday that Todd Gurley and several other key starters would likely be rested for the regular-season finale, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports. "Every single game is important," McVay said. "But I think [Week 17] will provide an opportunity for us to potentially get some guys healthier, rest them, give some other guys a chance to step up. How that affects the guys that are healthy that we want to be smart with is going to be determined as the week progresses. But it is one of those deals where I think you might see us rest some guys."
With a first-round playoff bye unattainable and the Rams set to finish as the No. 3 or 4 seed in the NFC -- both of which guarantee Los Angeles a first-round home game -- McVay appears set to prioritize the team's health heading into the postseason above putting its best squad on the field in Week 17. That means Gurley, who has carried fantasy teams the last three weeks with 591 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns, will see only limited snaps, if not made inactive for the matchup with San Francisco. Assuming that's the case, Brown, the top backup to Gurley, would likely be in store for his most extensive action of the season, with Lance Dunbar and Justin Davis offering change-of-pace options in the backfield. Though Brown hasn't shown much dynamism during his three NFL seasons with a 3.5 yard-per-carry mark for his career, the prospect of heavy volume Sunday could make him an attractive option in deeper season-long leagues or a cost-effective one in DFS formats.
|2015||St. Louis Rams||1||0||4||17||4.3||13||0||0||1|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||11||1||63||246||3.9||20||1||1||10|
|2015||St. Louis Rams||1||0||1||-2||-2.0||-2||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||11||1||9||53||5.9||16||0||0||0||3|
|2015||St. Louis Rams||1||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||11||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2015||St. Louis Rams||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||11||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|