Rams Fantasy News

Rams QB Sam Bradford a 'full go' for camp

Friday, July 25, 2014, 12:47pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

The Rams hold their first practice of training camp on Friday and there won’t be any restrictions on quarterback Sam Bradford when they do.

Bradford is coming off a torn ACL, but coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday that there wouldn’t be any limits on the quarterback during practice.

“Sam is in great shape,” Fisher said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s ready to go. We don’t have [reservations] — right now as we speak, as camp starts — he’s full-go. If we need to back him down here and there, we’ll back him down.”

Fantasy Impact:

Through the first seven games of the season, Bradford averaged 16.9 FP and was the #11 QB before injuring his knee late in a game against the Panthers. Fantasy-wise, he may have turned a corner, but he's going to have to put together a full, productive season to get a sizable extension from the Rams. The team didn’t do much this offseason to improve the receiving corps.

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Seahawks WR Sidney Rice retires at age 27

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 4:21pm

CBS Sports - [Full Article]

After seven injury-filled seasons, Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice has had enough of the NFL. The 27-year-old has decided to retire, the Seahawks announced on Wednesday.

Rice missed the final eight games of the Seahawks 2013 season after tearing his ACL in a Week 8 win over the Rams. Rice was then cut by Seattle in February in a cost-cutting move that cleared up $7.3 million in 2014 cap space for Seahawks. However, Rice returned to the team in April when he signed a one-year deal.

The receiver's injury history played a large part in his decision to retire, "I was just thinking about things I've been through in the last few years," Rice told the team's official website. "I've hit the ground a number of times. I have quite a few injuries. It's something I've always battled through and came back from, But I just figure at this point I have the rest of my life ahead of me and I want to be able to function and do things later down the road."

Fantasy Impact:

We wish Rice the best of luck in his future endeavors. It's a pragmatic move by a player who sees the risks involved with continuing his career given his history of concussions. His departure should shore up Jermaine Kearse's snaps and opens the door for rookie Paul Richardson to see a role as a deep threat.

Thursday, July 17, 2014, 11:27am

ESPN - [Full Article]

While nothing is set in stone in terms of starters at receiver entering this training camp, Rams WR Chris Givens does seem to have the inside track on holding down a starting job, at least as camp opens. Tavon Austin also figures to have a large role. Givens will almost certainly have every opportunity to nail down the job, especially with Stedman Bailey set to miss the first four games because of a suspension. The Rams haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2007 or even one to reach 700 yards since 2008. Givens doesn't have to reach the 1,000-yard mark for it to be considered a productive season but something close to 800 yards with six touchdowns would go a long way in ensuring his future as a starter.

Fantasy Impact:

The Rams receiving corps may be the most unsettled in the league. Austin figures to play starter's snaps in his second season, but Givens, Brian Quick, Bailey and Austin Pettis are all in the mix.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 6:11pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Tennessee's players and coaches are won over, with receivers aide Shawn Jefferson talking up Justin Hunter as the one who could carry the Titans into the playoffs, while fellow wideout Michael Preston turned heads this offseason by calling Hunter a young Randy Moss -- a claim he didn't back away from Monday.

"I know how great a player Randy Moss was, and in my mind, there's no reason Justin can't be the next greatest player," Preston told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "... I just want to be there to support him. I know he's going to grow, make a great leap this year, and impress the city and fans with his talent."

With Kenny Britt out of the way, Hunter owns a legitimate chance to make an impact come September. NFL Films guru Greg Cosell called him "the most intriguing" and "physically talented" wideout in last year's draft -- and his game tape is speckled with flashes of brilliance -- but comparisons to a rock-solid future Hall of Famer are wildly premature.

Fantasy Impact:

As a rookie, Hunter checked in with the #18 FP/T (1.41), which is encouraging, especially if he’s able to beat out Nate Washington and get on the field as more than a just a passing-down specialist. He only played 36% of the team’s snaps, while Washington played 82%. The good news is that under then-OC Ken Whisenhunt, Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal all played at least 67% of the Chargers’ snaps. So with Whiz calling the plays in Tennessee, there may be room for both Washington and Hunter in the lineup.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 9:47am

ESPN - [Full Article]

In just two seasons, Rams RB Isaiah Pead has been surpassed by running backs with lesser draft status including Daryl Richardson and Zac Stacy. Even undrafted rookie Benny Cunningham handled a bigger role in 2013 and the Rams drafted Tre Mason in the third round this year. Pead's long term future in St. Louis will likely hinge on his ability to finally produce in 2014.

Fantasy Impact:

The Rams would like to see a competition develop in camp with their backs. Pead even got some first-team reps in the spring. But the story even says it's probably not realistic to expect Pead to make enough of a leap to steal carries from Stacy, Cunningham and Mason. It goes on to say a more likely scenario is Pead playing special teams and developing into a third-down back. Right now, there's just not a lot of fantasy value.

Monday, July 14, 2014, 7:50pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

Kansas City Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe says the way he's running routes right now is no illusion: he's lighter, faster and prepared to rebound in a big way this season.

"I made the initiative to be in better shape," Bowe told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "I'm getting older, and talking to the old vets, the only way you last longer is to be in better conditioning. I took that to the heart and am training extremely hard this year."

A couple months shy of his 30th birthday, Bowe said he weighs around 212 pounds — down from his playing weight of 222 to 225 in the past — thanks to a diet featuring fish, vegetables and fewer carbs, plus intense workouts in Miami with his personal trainer.

Fantasy Impact:

We rank Bowe 45th on our WR list. He got off to a slow start but did come on Weeks 11-16 and was a usable WR3. Still, Alex Smith has been known to check down and that hurts Bowe's value. He's currently going in the 12th round, and guys like Rueben Randle and Tavon Austin who rank right there with Bowe probably offer more upside.

Friday, July 11, 2014, 11:48am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

"I think the addition of Kenny Britt will be a huge boost for the Rams offense," Will Witherspoon told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday. "I expect him to blossom into a star."

Witherspoon no longer plays for the Rams. He didn't witness Britt's offseason work. It's worth noting, though, that Witherspoon played with Britt in Tennessee and presumably holds close ties to coach Jeff Fisher after following him from Nashville to St. Louis.

Fantasy Impact:

There is certainly opportunity for Britt to earn a big role in the Rams' passing game given the current (unproven) state of the team's WR corps, but we've heard this song before. Britt is nothing more than a late-round flier until we start to see some results on the field.

Sunday, July 6, 2014, 9:00pm

Dallas Morning News - [Full Article]

Rangers beat writer Gerry Fraley and columnist Rick Gosselin joined Fox Sports Southwest's Dana Larson on Monday for SportsDay OnAir. Here are some highlights.

On Scott Linehan:

Fraley: "I saw Scott in St. Louis when he got fired midway through the season. He had Steven Jackson who is one of the most gifted running backs in football and a cut ahead of Murray right now. He had no idea what to do with Stephen Jackson in that Rams offense. I still think Linehan is a puzzling hire to me. I understand he is tight with Jason Garrett. He is even more pass happy than Jason Garrett. When you have a line with three first rounders and a quality back in Murray, why do you want a guy who wants to throw the ball even more? I don't get it. Unless he has undergone a real conversion in his thought process, Ill be stunned if they run the ball more. They may run it less."

Gosselin: "They didn't run the ball in Detroit last year. That's one of the few teams who ran it less than the Cowboys. In this building, the owner, the GM, the head coach, the coordinator and the quarterback all want to pass. The only one guy who doesn't want to pass is DeMarco Murray and he gets out voted every time."

Fantasy Impact:

Last season, the Cowboys were 3rd in pass % (63.6%) while the Lions were 13th (58.8%). The raw numbers show that the Lions (445 rushing attempts) ran more than the Cowboys (336 attempts) as well, so we're not sure where Fraley and Gosselin are getting their numbers. Linehan does have a history of being pass-happy, but he ran the ball with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in 2013 and his arrival should be good for Murray in 2014.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 3:11pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Chiefs are making an effort to get DeAnthony Thomas involved and need to find a way to put his speed to use. But he’s only 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds, so there’s a limit on how much they can expect to get from Thomas. At a minimum, he should be the kickoff and punt returner, where he should excel immediately.

“He’s just an explosive playmaker. He’s got worldclass speed. He ran track on the Oregon track team up there, which is one of the better progRams in the country. He’s the alltime leading punt return average guy in Oregon school history. He’s got the most kick return yards in school history. In addition to that, he’s averaged over 6 yards a carry as a running back. I think with his speed, his explosiveness in the open field, I think there’s a variety of ways we can find a way to use him on both offense and special teams.” -- Chiefs scout Trey Koziol.

Schottenheimer: Tavon Austin has the system 'down cold'

Monday, June 23, 2014, 11:01am

STL Today - [Full Article]

As for Rams WR Tavon Austin, OC Brian Schottenheimer hinted his role might be expanded in his second year in the pros.

“Moving him around to a lot of different spots,” Schottenheimer said. “You’ll see us hand him the ball, do some different things. He’s playing so much faster just because he knows what we’re doing. He has the system down cold.”

Fantasy Impact:

Austin had a disappointing year by most accounts, but it wasn’t necessarily his fault. He had trouble staying on the field, playing just 50% of his team’s snaps. His FP/T (0.95) was respectable for a rookie, though it seemed like OC Brian Shottenheimer wasn’t sure how to utilize Austin’s skill set. HC Jeff Fisher said that he expects that the team will do a better job of that in 2014. In the end, Austin did lead the Rams’ WRs in catches (40).

Thursday, June 19, 2014, 6:53pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Rams WR Stedman Bailey made a strong closing argument before training camp, coming up with a few impressive grabs, including a diving catch for a touchdown from Bradford during seven-on-seven.

Sam Bradford (knee) should be 'ready to go' for training camp

Thursday, June 19, 2014, 6:51pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Rams QB Sam Bradford spent the bulk of OTAs on a strict plan for his involvement. Usually, that meant a couple of periods of seven-on-seven drills and a period of hurry-up in team drills. But Bradford did a little more than usual Thursday and did extensive work in back-to-back practices for the first time in the offseason. Bradford had gone two in a row earlier but was more limited in one of those practices.

Bradford was also at his sharpest, at least relative to the other sessions open to the media. Now, for the first time since he suffered his knee injury in October, Bradford will get to spend quality time back home in Oklahoma. Bradford said he feels good and all signs point to him being ready to go when training camp opens.

Fantasy Impact:

Through the first seven games of the season, Bradford averaged 16.9 FP and was the #11 QB before injuring his knee late in a game against the Panthers. Fantasy-wise, he may have turned a corner, but he's going to have to put together a full, productive season to get a sizable extension from the Rams. The team didn’t do much this offseason to improve the receiving corps.

Schottenheimer calls Brian Quick 'most improved player'

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 11:03pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Rams WR Brian Quick had a good day, jumping out early with a good route down the seam for about a 20-yard touchdown from Bradford. He even got his share of work with the first team offense.

Quick is entering his third season, and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer spoke glowingly of the young wideout after practice.

"Probably the most improved player I've seen is Brian Quick," Schottenheimer said. "He's doing a great job. Another guy that we're giving an opportunity to, he's competing for playing time and he's made the most of his opportunities. He started today, again just moving guys around in and out of the lineup trying to create competition, and he's stepped up and made a lot of big plays for us."

Fantasy Impact:

There is opportunity in the Rams' passing game, but it's not clear who will get starter's snaps. Tavon Austin figures to be the frontrunner, but it's wide open after that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 11:01pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Rams RB Isaiah Pead has been lost in the shuffle a bit since the Rams found their top two backs in Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham, and then added Tre Mason in the third round of this year's draft. Midway through last season, Pead took a role on special teams and apparently excelled in the role to the point where the Rams view him as one of their most valuable contributors there.

In looking at his role for this season, special teams again figure to be a big part of the plan.

Friday, June 13, 2014, 5:56pm

NFL Nation - [Full Article]

During the team's recent organized team activities, Rams WR Tavon Austin has returned fully healed from the ankle injury and much more advanced in his understanding of the position than when he first arrived.

"I understand coverages better, I understand the plays, the depth of my routes, the splits and everything, so I’m way better off right now," Austin said. "I’m just glad to come out here and make some plays to keep on going."

"The game is slowing down right now for me, and hopefully it will just keep on slowing down some more," Austin said. "I feel like it will if I keep in my book and (keep) listening to (receivers) coach (Ray) Sherman and I think I’ll be fine."

Fantasy Impact:

Austin had a disappointing year by most accounts, but it wasn’t necessarily his fault. He had trouble staying on the field, playing just 50% of his team’s snaps. His FP/T (0.95) was respectable for a rookie, though it seemed like OC Brian Shottenheimer wasn’t sure how to utilize Austin’s skill set. HC Jeff Fisher said that he expects that the team will do a better job of that in 2014. In the end, Austin did lead the Rams’ WRs in catches (40).