Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
Bill Belichick, Brian Flores, and the New England Patriots defense stifled the Los Angeles Rams and their high-powered offense in the Super Bowl, but the Rams have an incredible number of young dynasty contributors found all over their offense.
Jared Goff (FEB ADP: 96.83, QB7)
Dynasty players are extremely susceptible to recency bias, and Goff’s abysmal Super Bowl performance is likely causing the general public to discount what he’s done in his career under Sean McVay to this point. Goff isn’t an elite quarterback, but he’s good enough to run McVay’s offense and has shown that he can be a very valuable fantasy quarterback in this scheme. He’s still just 24 years old and is coming off a finish as this year’s QB7.
The one concern with Goff is that the Rams could choose to move on in two seasons if they continue to fail to win with their current roster. However, this is not enough of a factor to make me want to move off of him in dynasty. Goff is under his rookie contract for one more season — plus his fifth-year option in 2020 — and to me is a buy if his owner values him at or below his QB7 ADP.
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Sean Mannion (Free Agent) – (FEB ADP: N/A, QB N/A)
Mannion is an impending free agent, but carries no dynasty value either way. Even if he returns to the Rams, he won’t be roster-worthy barring an injury to Goff.
Todd Gurley (FEB ADP: 3.67, RB4)
Gurley’s situation is unusual, to say the least. For the second year in a row, Gurley totaled at least 1,800 yards and 19 touchdowns, putting up monstrous numbers during the fantasy regular season and carrying teams to the playoffs.
Unlike 2017, however, things were a bit different from weeks 14-16 this year. Gurley sputtered in week 14, rebounded a bit in week 15, and then sat out the final two games of the season. His nagging knee injury prompted Los Angeles to sign C.J. Anderson, who was a more than adequate replacement. Once Gurley returned to the field, things were… different. Previously the unquestioned workhorse on the team, Gurley began splitting carries with Anderson in order to stay fresh. Later, Gurley — claiming to be at full health — continued to take a backseat to Anderson.
Most analysts assumed Gurley wasn’t fully healthy down the stretch, which could potentially be the case, so it’s odd that they wouldn’t commit to giving Gurley more touches if he was healthy. Spelling him more frequently next season may be prudent, but for Gurley’s value to bounce back, it would be best if that player were someone other than Anderson. However, the Rams have committed to Gurley long-term with the richest contract ever given to a running back. He is going to be their feature back.
I consider Gurley a buy at this depressed price tag. He is still very young and plays for one of the highest-powered offenses in the league. Most of his owners may be frustrated with him, and some may be panicking. It’s worth testing the waters with the Gurley owner in your league.
C.J. Anderson (Free Agent) – FEB ADP: 191.83, RB66)
Anderson spent time on three different teams this year but showed he clearly had something left in the tank down the stretch for the Rams, compiling 316 yards and two scores in the final two games of the regular season. He is an impending free agent and could return to Los Angeles, but I expect him to try to earn a role elsewhere. However, he’s unlikely to be a starter anywhere in the league and would be most valuable returning to the Rams on another one-year pact.
Malcolm Brown (Restricted Free Agent) – (FEB ADP: 228.00, RB85)
Brown is a restricted free agent this off-season. If Anderson leaves, I think the Rams may try to retain Brown. He’s a pedestrian talent but has shown the ability to produce in the scheme, has familiarity with the system, and should be cheap. Brown is only worth a roster spot if he stays in Los Angeles and Anderson leaves.
John Kelly (FEB ADP: 235.00, RB91)
Kelly was a favorite among draftniks last off-season during the pre-draft process but wasted away on the Rams during his rookie season. He is the most talented of the remaining rushers on the Rams, but his pass protection woes were what allegedly spurred Los Angeles to sign Anderson in the first place. If he wins the backup job, Kelly will be worth rostering and will hold value, but he’s an end-of-roster guy right now, especially with Gurley signed long-term.
Justin Davis (FEB ADP: N/A, RB N/A)
Davis has talent, but is towards the end of a crowded depth chart. He’s not worth a roster spot unless Anderson and Brown both land elsewhere and if the Rams don’t add another player at the position.
Brandin Cooks (FEB ADP: 29.00, WR14)
Cooks keeps getting bounced from team to team but manages to keep producing at an elite level. Cooks set a career high in yardage this year, catching 80 passes for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns, and added another 68 yards and a score as a rusher. Finishing as this year’s WR13, Cooks actually was producing at a higher level before Cooper Kupp’s injury. Kupp’s absence from the lineup caused Goff to struggle, which likely is one of the causes for Cooks’ decline.
Cooks has always been a talented player that has inconsistent results from game to game due to his role and skill set as a deep threat. Looking ahead to 2019, Cooks should thrive with more room to operate once Kupp is back on the field. He’s a borderline WR1 in fantasy leagues, and though he is safest in best ball leagues where you don’t have to set a weekly lineup, is a safe investment at his WR14 price tag. He’s also younger than his teammate Kupp.
Robert Woods (FEB ADP: 38.00, WR15)
Woods has been an underrated player for many years, but his ADP has finally caught up to his production. Woods had the best season of his career in 2018, building on his successful first campaign with the Rams by catching 86 passes, totaling 1,376 yards, and scoring seven times.
Like with Cooks, Woods suffered a bit from Kupp’s absence in the lineup due to the decline in quality of Goff’s play. I expected to see a more drastic split in targets after Kupp tore his ACL, but he was seeing nearly identical targets before and after the injury.
Woods is still extremely young for a player with six years of experience in the league. He’s still 26 and is just a year older than Cooper Kupp. Despite this, though, I believe Woods is a sell at this price tag. His 2018 season, where he finished as the WR11, is his ceiling. If you could sell him for Kupp plus another piece on top, that is a move I’d consider looking into.
Cooper Kupp (FEB ADP: 47.00, WR22)
Kupp will be 26 in 2019, which is really old for a third-year player – but he continues to produce at a very high level when he’s on the field. He caught 40 passes for 566 yards and six touchdowns this season in eight games, which includes the two contests he left early due to knee injuries.
The Rams almost exclusively run plays with three receivers on the field, and Kupp has been Goff’s favorite target since entering the league in 2017. Goff just supported two top-13 wide receivers this season without having his biggest red zone threat available. At a WR22 price, Kupp is a screaming buy to me, even coming off a torn ACL.
Josh Reynolds (FEB ADP: 168.00, WR73)
Reynolds is a talented player, but simply doesn’t get many opportunities with the top three receivers healthy.
Reynolds is certainly worth a roster spot and may be worth buying in a month or two as his price tag continues to decrease, as he’s a productive player when given the opportunity.
KhaDarel Hodge (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Mike Thomas (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
JoJo Natson (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Austin Proehl (FEB ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Hodge was the one of these four players who saw a slight uptick in playing time after Kupp’s injury, but all of them have no dynasty value and likely will continue to be largely irrelevant for the foreseeable future.
Gerald Everett (FEB ADP: 209.83, TE24)
Everett is a talented pass catcher, who, like Reynolds, doesn’t receive as many opportunities as he likely deserves due to the myriad weapons the offense possesses. Because the Rams prefer to use formations that feature a running back and three receivers, they typically only have one tight end on the field at a time. Everett is basically a bigger wide receiver that isn’t much of a blocker, so he often plays behind the superior blocker, Higbee.
I’m not actively looking to acquire Everett, but he’s the type of player that could flourish on his second contract. He’s probably going to be cheapest after the NFL Draft brings the league a new influx of tight end talent, and that is when I’d look to inquire what his owner would need to move him.
Tyler Higbee (FEB ADP: N/A, TE N/A)
As mentioned above, Higbee is on the field more than Everett, but rarely contributes much in the passing game and is probably best left on waivers.
Johnny Mundt (FEB ADP: N/A, TE N/A)
Not worth a roster spot. Probably a nice guy, though.