Well, we have our first brutal injury of the 2021 fantasy season. Rams RB Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles while training recently and will now miss the entire season.
We’ll know more about his recovery timeline in the coming weeks—typical recovery time for this injury is 8 months—but for now the Rams turn to Darrell Henderson and a grab bag of UDFA and rookie running backs on the roster.
We’ve already started to see Henderson’s ADP settle in the 5th round on multiple sites and that sounds about right to me. That ADP is likely baking in the assumption that the Rams eventually sign a veteran to add to the backfield, although Adam Schefter is currently saying that won’t be the case:
Potential FA signings include Duke Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, Dion Lewis, and LeSean McCoy.
Until then, Henderson is poised to be the lead back in a revamped offense led by Matthew Stafford. Henderson rushed for 4.6 yards per touch while handling 106-of-208 backfield touches from Weeks 3-11 last year (h/t John Daigle) and no longer has to compete with Malcolm Brown for passing down and goal line work.
It’s always hard to stomach drafting a guy who was going in the 11th and 12th in the 5th, but I think I prefer him to Mike Davis now and will slot him in a similar tier along with Myles Gaskin and the rookies Javonte Williams and Travis Etienne. Watch Matthew’s take here.
Hosting your own draft party? Matthew’s draft boards are now available in the Fantasy Life store. It includes over 500 player labels, including all of the 2021 rookies:
📰 Fantasy News for the true sickos.
* Shelley Smith gives us a little clarity on the Chargers backfield behind Austin Ekeler: “With Larry Rountree projected as a short-yardage, punch-it-in guy, it's doubtful Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson will both return. My money's on Kelley and Rountree, but it should be a great battle for No. 2.”
* An ominous quote from Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada about the team’s offensive line: “There will be some growing pains as we all know.” The entire offensive line turned over this offseason and protection for Big Ben will be a big concern heading into Week 1.
* More smoke from John Shipley on Travis Etienne being used in a variety of ways this year: “Don't be surprised to continue to see Jaguars emphasize the art of running receiver routes with Etienne during training camp…He looked comfortable as a route-runner in minicamp and OTAs, but this will be an area he will have to continue to focus on in training camp.”
📚 The Fantasy Articles You Must Read
Breakout Wide Receiver Candidates by Chad Parsons. Over at FootballGuys, Chad uses historical thresholds to identify the next batch of breakout wide receivers.
Offensive Line Continuity Shake-Ups Entering NFL Training Camp by Thomas Emerick. “I’ll concede and even emphasize that OL continuity isn’t a first-order factor. However, you will see that the best and most consistent offenses usually maintain continuity on the line, with the opposite being the case at the other end of the spectrum.”
🐦 Tweet of the day. Congrats to Milwaukee, Giannis, and the unimpeachable Tom Brady championship halo effect.