Steven Jackson is a high-risk pick given his injury history and a rookie quarterback.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In the next edition of the series, we head back to the NFC West and check out the last place St.Louis Rams. The Rams were 1-15 last year with the worst offense in the league, scoring just 10.9 ppg, and a defense that yielded 27.2 ppg (31st).
The team had only one viable fantasy option in 2009, Steven Jackson, and unless head coach Steve Spagnuolo is a miracle worker that will be the same for 2010.
Sam Bradford - Down the road, Bradford (ADP 212) has the tools to become a solid NFL quarterback, but as a rookie, I'd stay far away from him. His offensive line is suspect after yielding 44 sacks in 2009 and his returning receivers are a mediocre group. It might be better if he sits at the start of the season and lets A.J. Feeley guide the team until he is truly ready.
A.J. Feeley - In 23 career games, Feeley has thrown 27 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. Whether he starts a game or two for the Rams, won't alter the fact that Bradford is the team's future and will be the starting quarterback before the year is over. Therefore, Feeley has no fantasy value.
Steven Jackson - In 2009 Jackson (ADP 8) did everything you would want from your No.1 running back...except score. While he totaled 1,738 yards from scrimmage, he didn't get into the end zone until Week 8. He scored one touchdown for four consecutive weeks, but then disappeared during the fantasy playoffs, posting just 176 combined yards and no touchdowns from Week 14 - Week 16. He's still the team's best weapon and if he can just score a few more times could be a top-five selection. It's a high-risk pick given his injury history (hasn't played a 16-game schedule since 2006) and a rookie quarterback.
Kenneth Darby - Darby averaged 5.6 ypc in 2009, but only carried the ball 27 times. At best, he's insurance for Jackson owners. At worst, he gets beaten out by Oklahoma State rookie Keith Toston for the backup role.
Donnie Avery - Avery (ADP 137) is the first Rams receiver off the board, but that's not until round 12. He's not much better than the other returning veterans which means he'll have to fight to get enough targets to become fantasy-worthy.
Laurent Robinson - Robinson (ADP 182) played three games before a broken fibula ended his 2009 season. He says he's at 100% health, but until you see it for yourself, you will have to look elsewhere for your wide receiver depth.
Mardy Gilyard - If you are looking for a "late-round flyer" to develop over time, Gilyard should be your guy. As a senior at Cincinnati, he caught 87 balls for 1,191 yards and 11 touchdowns. He's quick and has great running ability after the catch. With an ADP of 265, he could be a nice choice in keeper leagues.
Daniel Fells - There isn't much to talk about here as he caught just 21 balls for 273 yards and three TDs last season. The team also drafted two tight ends so apparently they aren't sold on him. There is too much talent around the league at this position to consider Fells this season.
Josh Brown - Brown has always had a great leg and kicking indoors helped him to lead the league in 50+ yard field goals (six). Still, even if the team improves on its 10.9 ppg last season, how many opportunities can he get?
The Rams' defense finished 31st of 32 teams in fantasy points after totaling just 71 last season. They didn't sack the quarterback much (25 times) and produced just 20 turnovers (12 fumbles, eight interceptions). There isn't much to say that they'll be improved in 2010 so look elsewhere for a defense/special team.