Can fantasy owners trust Cam Akers in crowded Rams backfield?

Yahoo Fantasy's Matt Harmon and Dalton Del Don break down the loaded running back corps in Los Angeles and wonder who Sean McVay will lean on. Subscribe to the Yahoo Fantasy Football Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Video Transcript


MATT HARMON: Several people that I really respect are all in on Cam Akers, the Rams rookie running back, but I've been kind of hesitant on that. And Coach Sean McVay said this past week, we feel we've got three really good backs. And what we wanted to do is get a group that we felt really good about. That enables us to say we're not necessarily committed to any approach. It's a feel for the flow of the game.

Cool, that's what we all want to hear in terms of predictable fantasy value. Do you think this is coach speak or should we be worrying about a committee approach with Akers, Daryl Henderson, who I really liked last year, and of course still everybody's favorite, Malcolm Brown?

DALTON DEL DON: A ton of question marks here. First off, I'm not a big college guy, so I rely on the Graham Barfields and the yards created and all that. Apparently his offensive line was historically bad, so he's used to that from the Rams. The Rams are so interesting.

I'm out on Todd Gurley, and I really do think his knee is gonna be a problem. You look at the Atlanta, what they're saying, but at the same time you look at Christopher Harris-- the video I've linked to a couple of times-- and he points out how bad the offensive line was last year with the Rams. I mean, that was obviously a problem.

But the year before that, it was like McVay, he would create the mismatches. It was all about him, not the actual players. So now they're gonna mix a little mixture of both with the 11 and 12 personnel. I'm curious your opinion on what they're gonna do with that moving forward.

So my general thinking here is that Daryl Henderson I was wrong about last year. He just looked flat-out bad. And the Rams, I believe, even traded up for Akers when they needed a ton of other positions on this team. And as I've said, I really like the shootouts in this division. So I personally ranked him aggressively as my number 19th back.

MATT HARMON: I think it's interesting that this team spent two back-to-back day two picks on running backs. I mean, generally I don't love that approach to team building. But I think you could take it in a couple of different directions, which is, number one, does this team just really, truly believe in this committee approach?

And that's an interesting total pivot from what they were with Todd Gurley. There was nobody that played more than-- maybe not played well. But the last two years, Todd Gurley was on the field all the time in terms of snap rate and everything like that. And does this become more of a change for McVay where he does become more of this committee approach? Because again we haven't seen that so far in his play-calling career.

Also, does this just mean, yeah, that they're willing to kind of just wash their hands of Henderson after one year? Again, who I really liked coming out of the draft last year.

DALTON DEL DON: Or is it super hard to pick up McVay's system right away and I should be wary of that for Akers and now maybe Henderson picked it up? But I think the Memphis situation there is a little different. And they've called Akers a three-down back, so I really think he can get the receptions.

And even with a messed up Gurley knee, he still got a lot of touchdowns last year. And the poor offensive lines. He was still plenty valuable in fantasy just because of this situation.

So I think, yeah, the Rams are weird with the cap with Goff and Brandin Cooks and the way they're spending. But I still think I believe McVay will put up points. And therefore I think the fact they traded up and Akers and the fact that Henderson might just be a total, total bum, I see the upside there.