If you're a Rams fan looking for somebody to blame for your team's Week 6 loss at Miami, don't look to the offensive skill players. For the most part, they were not the problem.
Sam Bradford had a solid day at quarterback, completing two-thirds of his throws, finishing with 315 passing yards and breaking the plane on a rushing score from the 1-yard line (barely). You couldn't possibly have expected more from Bradford, not when you consider the fact that he was without Danny Amendola, his security blanket receiver.
Brandon Gibson was mostly excellent (except for an early bobble), hauling in seven balls for 91 yards, including a ridiculous one-handed snag along the sideline. Tight end Lance Kendricks made a few plays (4-for-40), Chris Givens delivered his usual field-flipping reception (a 65-yarder), and the team's running game was outstanding. Facing the NFL's top-ranked run defense, the Rams piled up 162 rushing yards on 27 attempts (6.0 YPC). The backfield also contributed six catches for 54 yards.
St. Louis actually gained 462 total yards on Sunday -- 270 more than Miami's offense, which is silly -- but they were kneecapped by penalties (12 for 94 yards) and poor special teams play. (That, and rookie corner Janoris Jenkins suffered a narcoleptic event on Marlon Moore's 29-yard TD reception). So it goes. Fantasy owners don't generally care about such things.
[Related: Why Jeff Fisher chose the Rams over Miami]
But the fantasy community certainly does care about the emergence of a backfield committee, and it appears one has formed in St. Louis.
Steven Jackson ran well against the Dolphins, carrying 12 times for 52 yards, adding three catches for 28. He was a monster between the tackles, he delivered punishing stiff-arms, and he had at least one long run negated by penalty. All things considered, it was an impressive effort from a guy who'd battled injuries earlier in the year. Jackson is healthy now, looking like his old productive self.
However, he isn't receiving the same old workload. Daryl Richardson took 11 carries in Week 6, rushing for 76 yards. He also caught two passes for 23. Richardson was basically used in a straight rotation with S-Jax. The game's first carry went to Jackson, the second to Richardson -- and the rookie exploded down the sideline for a 44-yard gain. When Richardson gets the ball outside the numbers, he's a dangerous man, an ideal complementary back for the Rams. He made an appearance when his team was inside-the-5, too.
The job-share arrangement worked so well for St. Louis on Sunday, in fact, that you have to think it will continue in the weeks ahead, as long as both players remain uninjured. This is obviously a nice development for the team, if not so great for Jackson owners. Volume hasn't been a worry with S-Jax since the Faulk years, forever ago.
If I were tied to Jackson in fantasy, I don't think I'd actually shop him today because A) his trade value remains relatively low, and B) he looked great on Sunday. Seriously great. S-Jax clearly is not cooked. But Richardson needs to be owned in many more leagues, and not simply as a handcuff. He's been a revelation, another unexpected find out of Abilene Christian. Richardson is currently available in 88 percent of Yahoo! leagues, worth a claim this week.
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