St. Louis stink bomb
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Thursday night NFL games are usually pretty awful both from quality-of-play and fantasy perspectives, but the St. Louis Rams went above and beyond Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Sam Bradford completed just 19 of his 41 pass attempts, which is pretty difficult to do when most of your passes are thrown both eight yards away from the line of scrimmage and between the hash marks. He had 202 yards, one touchdown and two turnovers.

Sadly, that was as good as it got for St. Louis.

The 49ers came into the game having allowed the most fantasy points to running backs in the NFL, so there was some hope Daryl Richardson would contribute, especially when the Rams made Isaiah Pead a surprise healthy inactive before kickoff.

Nope. Richardson had 16 yards on 12 carries, caught one pass for eight yards and was manhandled in pass protection.

There doesn't appear to be a serious threat to his job, however. It's telling that the team was comfortable sitting Pead even after Richardson played just two snaps in Week 3 due to a foot injury. If the team viewed Pead as the guy to challenge Richardson, he would have been active Thursday night.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Friday that Pead was inactive for "no particular reason" and that he planned on using rookie receiver Tavon Austin more out of the backfield until the team fell behind, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The other running backs on the roster are rookie fifth-rounder Zac Stacy, who has one carry this season, and undrafted rookie Benny Cunningham, who has 22 yards on 10 carries. Richardson should have a few more chances before we see either one of those players get a shot, so he's worth holding.

Amazingly, Richardson's fantasy future is less uncertain than any St. Louis receiver.

Four Rams receivers -- Austin Pettis, Chris Givens, Jared Cook and Austin -- were targeted at least eight times Thursday night; none had more than five catches or 59 yards.

Austin, a rookie the Rams picked eighth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft to provide a new element to the offense, had two catches for six yards. Through four games, he's averaging 6.2 yards per catch.

Since catching seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener, Cook has produced 10 receptions, 99 yards and zero scores in three games.

Austin leads the Rams with 8.5 targets per game, Cook and Pettis are averaging 7.75 targets and Givens is averaging 6.75. Those numbers are certainly enticing for fantasy owners, but they haven't been yielding fantasy-worthy results. Bradford has completed just 55.3 percent of his 123 targets to those four players.

Even with a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars on the schedule in Week 5, fantasy owners are going to have to be pretty desperate to start any member of this Rams offense.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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