Tre Mason will enter the regular season as the Rams RB1 as first-round pick Todd Gurley continues to rehab from ACL surgery. By handling 18.1 touches per game over the final nine weeks of the season, Mason proved he can handle a decent workload last year. While rushing for 765 yards and four touchdowns on just 179 carries, he even finished as fantasy's RB24 despite not playing for the first six games. The upside here is if Gurley suffers a setback, Mason should be a solid RB2 given the Rams' run-first approach. And even if Gurley is healthy, Mason will have every opportunity early in the season to prove he deserves touches.
HC Jeff Fisher didn't draft Gurley with the 10th overall pick because he thought the former Bulldog would look great in a committee. The plan is once Gurley is ready, he'll be the RB1 in St. Louis and he has the ability to be an every down back once he's 100 percent. Thus, even if Mason plays well as the team's lead back in the first month of the season, he'll be on borrowed time. The other problem is the Rams offensive line, which replaces four starters from a year ago and is chockfull of inexperience. It could be months before that unit gels, which would have a negative effect on the team's rushing attack as a whole.
Mason is currently our RB42 and is going in the seventh (12-team) and ninth (10-team) rounds of drafts. He is a valuable handcuff for owners who are willing to roll the dice on Gurley in the middle rounds and if Gurley suffers a setback at any point, Mason will be a low-end RB2. We wouldn't fault owners who prefer to stay away from the Rams backfield altogether, but Mason will have some fantasy value early in the year. Keep in mind, Jeff Fisher wants new OC Frank Cignetti to run the ball early and often so volume won't be a problem for the Rams' starting RBs this year.