The Rams have been anything but prolific on offense this season. Especially in the Red Zone where it matters most for fantasy targets. At first glance the Rams crop of wide receivers has the makings of WR2 and even WR1 potential. Offensive system in place that plays to their strengths. Check. Pedigreed offensive coordinator with a proven track record of showcasing QB’s and WR’s. Check. Strong armed franchise QB in place. Check.
Most important to a WR is having a QB who get them the ball downfield and in tight places. Bradford has proved he can do that. Heading into last week’s game against Baltimore going downfield this year had been a strength or Bradford. Completing all but one of his passes for 312 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. And according to ProFootballFocus.com While Sam Bradford wasn’t known as much of a deep passer last year, this year he has an accuracy percentage of 72.7% on passes beyond 20 yards; leading the league.
The problem for the wide receivers is Josh McDaniels is not calling that many passes downfield and Rams receivers have only caught two touchdown passes on the season. Alexander caught one for 19 yards against New York and was one yard away from turning a 68 yard reception into a 69 yard touchdown catch. The other came last week to Brandon Gibson to the tune of 33 yards.
So the big strike capability is there. Problem is the Rams are still reluctant to go down field often. Only eight of 91 total “aimed” passes have gone for more than 20 yards. That is less than 9%. And of those attempts all have targeted either Alexander or Gibson. And in true New England fashion McDaniels has Bradford spreading the ball around a la Mr. Tom Brady.
Ten different players have caught at least two passes and no player has more than twelve receptions through three games. That number figures to thin out even more with the return of Danny Amendola. That being said Bradford has begun to show tendencies and clearly favor some receivers over others.
Danario Alexander caught 3 balls for 122 yards and a score against the Giants. Proving even with a (very) limited workload, He’s dangerous. Meanwhile, also against the Giants, Mike Sims-Walker nearly cracked the 100 yard mark as well in a suddenly wide-open Rams offense. Aside from that Brandon Gibson has been the steady target catches 12 passes on the season.
Alexander may haul in a 60 yard bomb and go for 100+, but only on the field for 15-20 snaps a game he could go for broke. Gibson and Sims-Walker are going to get their catches but with the Rams epic Red Zone failures, is that enough? Even in PPR leagues they are not catching enough balls to merit WR1 or WR2 status.
Beyond these three the only other potential fantasy option is Amendola. Bradford’s favorite target in 2010 catching 85 balls for nearly 700 yards. Of course as the title of this post reveals ownership of any Rams WR is truly high risk high reward and any play should be looked at on a game by game basis.