Okay. In early October it’s not quite the Frozen Tundra of NFL lore, but it might as well be. For a team as young as this Rams group they have yet to experience an environment as hostile and tough on opponents as Lambeau Field. It has been a tough four games for any owner of a Rams player. Only DX has had value over more than one game.
Heading into this matchup there is not much to like either. Defending champs, at home, against what has been a very disappointing and underachieving Rams team. Other than Steven Jackson or Danario Alexander I would be hesitant putting any Ram in my starting line-up this week. Bradford is a desperation play at best. The offensive line has not held up thus far and nothing leads me to believe they will provide him any more time to throw this week than in previous games.
The silver lining, and I hate myself just a bit for what I am about to say, is that there should be a lot of garbage time against Green Bay. Looking to being playing from behind, most likely from the opening kickoff the Rams will be throwing a lot. And with the game well in hand and Green Bay lulled to sleep by the start of the 4th quarter the potential is there for a big play or two and some meaningless scoring. However…what is meaningless to the actual outcome could be quite meaningful to a fantasy owner.
Here are this week’s plays.
Steven Jackson: Packers are quite stingy against the run giving up the 4th fewest FPG to RBs but he should get as many touches as possible and GB giving up 7 catches per game to RBs. Which helps because by all accounts Rams will be out of this early and looking to throw.
Cadillac Williams: Packers are giving up over 7 catches per game to RBs if desperate. A healthy Steven Jackson means little to no rushing work for the Cadillac. Take a look at Week 4: Zero carries. Only real chance is if Jackson goes down early.
Sam Bradford: Packers do give up 4th most FPG to QBs right now and he should be playing from behind so a chance for garbage time production. Packers do give up big plays in the secondary, but they also generate turnovers. Beware.
Josh Brown: Great kicker but the fear is they fall way behind thus rendering him useless. May have a garbage time field goal or two. And the Rams well documented Red Zones failures could mean an opportunity as well.
Lance Kendricks: Has a chance if they have to throw it a lot as expected but not easy to trust. He was all sorts of disappointing in the four weeks before the bye. He will be a part of the game plan but who knows how much.
Danario Alexander: Green Bay secondary may be improving but a big play is possible with a lot of pass attempts. Someone desperately needs to step up for the Rams, and Alexander, with his big-play potential, is as good a guess as any. And has been THAT target through 4 games. Unfortunately, what works against him: unpredictability among Rams WR’s and unpredictability as to where the holes in the Packers' secondary lie from week to week.
Mike Sims-Walker: He's the Rams' leader in targets (26), and the Packers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing WR’s. But be leery until he shows he can make the big catch. Which he has not so far.
Brandon Gibson: Packers are still giving up 4th most FPG to WRs and Sam Bradford might lean on Gibson as a possession type, knowing he's going to have to throw a good share once the Packers put him in an early hole. Heads up, there's PPR sleeper potential here.
Austin Pettis: He's the Rams' No. 4 WR…nuff said
Greg Salas: See above and change to No. 5 WR…
Rams D: Pass rush has been non-existent of late and no secondary …AT ALL and it's Aaron Rodgers. But Packers without 2 of their starting O-line in Clifton & Bulaga will help.
Chris Long: #14 DL play according to ESPN. With Chad Clifton out this week and the Packers relying on the pass as much as they do Long will have his chance to pick up a sack or two.
Quintin Mikell: #13 DB play according to ESPN. Surely to be very active on Sunday as often the Packers pass. Mikell has had knack for finding the ball so an interception isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Craig Dahl: Most likely to be matched up against TE Jermichael Finley so he’ll have the opportunity for a lot of tackles and pass defenses. At the same time he is more than likely going to be scored on…a lot.
James Hall: Again, the loss of Clifton helps a Ram D-lineman. But it doesn’t just open the door. Hall will look to take advantage early of how often Rodger’s will pass. If the Packers get ahead early which we all expect them to and turn to the run he value will take a slight hit but he will continue to be in on the tackles.
James Laurinaitis: #8 LB play according to ESPN. Laurinaitis is one of the league's better IDP options at linebacker, and he can be expected to post especially strong numbers if the team's offense keeps struggling. With the Packers passing a lot look for him to be active.
Robert Quinn: With Clifton out and a lot of the focus on Long Quinn’s speed of the edge could earn him a sack. Tackles will be less as Green Bay’s pass to run ratio is heavily in favor of the pass. However his tendency to over pursue along with Rodgers mobility could negate any sacks he has a chance at.