After glancing at the Seahawks, it’s only prudent to dissect the rest of the NFC West for fantasy purposes. Today, I take a look at St. Louis, who like the 49ers, have a stud RB that should provide your fantasy team with plenty of scoring opportunities. The Rams had the third best fantasy rookie WR in 2008 (Donnie Avery), so he should be on most draft boards come fantasy draft day.
The Rams results (based on 30 mock drafts):
Steven Jackson RB – Avg. Selection* 9.3; Percent Drafted 100%
Donnie Avery WR – Avg. Selection 79; Percent Drafted 100%
Josh Brown K – Avg. Selection 144; Percent Drafted 37%
Marc Bulger QB – Avg. Selection N/A; Percent Drafted 0%
*-100th selection = 10th pick round 10 (10 man); 6th pick round 9 (12 man); 3rd pick round 8 (14 man)
Don't go anywhere, after the jump I break down the countless options on the Rams squad, and request your participation at the end of the column...
Draft These Guys
Jackson is easily the best fantasy option St. Louis has to offer. The running back is St. Louis’ center piece, much like Gore, and is a great all-purpose back. Jackson, like Gore, is a lower-tier RB1 in most fantasy leagues, and in 10-man leagues, an absolute steal as your RB2. In 2008, Jackson finished 15th in fantasy scoring at the RB position and 14th in 2007. Jackson has been banged up the past two season (missing 8 games), but none of his missed time came during the fantasy playoffs (weeks 14-16 in most leagues). With an improving O-Line in St. Louis, Jackson might crack the top 10 in fantasy scoring at his positon. Fantasy Forecast: 1700 total yards, 9 total TDs
Avery finished 2008 39th amongst fantasy WRs, and 3rd amongst rookie WRs. The second year man should make strides in 2009, with a healthier Marc Bulger, and Torry Holt heading to Jacksonville. With Avery now the feature WR, defenses will spotlight coverage in his direction, but the crafty, speedy wide-out should produce (the Rams could be trailing often in 2009). Like Jackson, Avery stands to benefit from an improved O-Line and should improve on his 2008 numbers. Getting Avery any time after pick 80 is an absolute bargain, and he should serve quite nicely as your team’s WR3. Fantasy Forecast: 900 total yards, 7 total TDs
Brown was the 11th most productive fantasy kicker in 2008. He hit 16 FGs of 40+ yards (6 from 50+). The Rams offense was particularly bad in 2008, but Brown was incredibly good. A kicker that boots FGs from 40+ like Brown is an excellent fantasy option, especially in the dome. Last year, he only had two games without a FG, and just one game without a FG attempt. His accuracy (86.1) is a plus; he’ll make the most of his opportunities. With Seattle in 2007, Brown finished 4th in fantasy scoring for kickers. Look for another strong performance in 2009. Fantasy Forecast: 30 FGM, 25 XPM
Didn’t get drafted at all
To put it simply, the three Rams players that appeared in mock drafts are considerable fantasy options (well, not if all on the same fantasy team). A guy who didn’t show up, Marc Bulger, isn’t much of a surprise. Bulger has been lost at times behind St. Louis’ O-Line, and banged up is an understatement. Since 2007, Bulger has thrown just 22 TDs, but 28 INTs, and he’s failed to reach the 3000 pass yard plateau. Bulger isn’t getting any younger, and considering his career high for TDs is 24, I can’t recommend a roster spot for Bulger. While a healthy Bulger will help guys like Jackson and Avery thrive, he certainly won’t give your fantasy roster much more than an emergency start (week 8 @ DET; week 10 vs. NO). Fantasy Forecast: Let the Nation decide. Post your thoughts and forecasts on Mark Bulger's 2009 totals.
Ask the Nation
Will you be starting San Francisco’s Team DEF against St. Louis in week 4?
(all fantasy stats are based on 2007-2008 Yahoo! Standard Public league scoring)