Commentary

2016 NFL Draft: Los Angeles Rams fantasy implications

The NFL Draft isn’t just a time for fans to get acquainted with their new talent, it’s also a time for fantasy owners to see some prospective draft picks and see how they affect the other players on their respective teams. This draft had plenty of fantasy impact on the Los Angeles Rams roster.

Newcomers

Jared Goff, QB – Former California quarterback Jared Goff is the first overall pick and the man chosen to lead the Rams into Los Angeles. Goff has the skills to become an elite fantasy quarterback down the line, but it’s hard to imagine him reaching that level this season. The Rams just don’t have the weapons in the passing game to expect Goff to deliver big fantasy numbers every single week. Down the road when the Rams add a few more weapons in the passing game and Goff continues to develop, he may be a stud quarterback. This gives him more value in dynasty and keeper leagues, but not much immediate value for the 2016 season. Draft Worth – Late round flyer (Rounds 12-15)

Tyler Higbee, TE – The Rams have shown in the past that they love going to their tight ends, despite having mediocre players at the position. Tyler Higbee was a risky pick by the Rams due to off-the-field issues, but if he can stay on the field he has a ton of fantasy sleeper potential. He’s likely a player that will go unnoticed by most fantasy owners and he has the potential to be the top red zone target for the Rams. Higbee could be a breakout tight end this year and could be a deep sleeper for fantasy owners. Draft Worth – Late round flyer (Rounds 12-15)

Pharoh Cooper, WR – Pharoh Cooper is a solid addition to the Rams offense. He has Day 2 talent, and the Rams were able to snag him early on the final day. He will likely see playing time immediately, but I don’t expect him to have much fantasy impact. At best, he’ll become the third option in a passing game where receivers already don’t have much fantasy value. If you’re high on Cooper, keep an eye out for him on the waiver wire, because there really isn’t a need to draft him. Draft Worth – Undrafted

Impact on Current Players

Todd Gurley, RB – UP – Todd Gurley’s already high fantasy value got a little higher with the addition of a new quarterback. If Goff can elevate the Rams passing game from non existent to existent, Gurley’s value goes up. Literally all the Rams need to do is show defenses they can actually throw the football and teams will have no choice but to put less men in the box. This will free up room for Gurley to work. He was already a first round pick, but this may as well make him the No. 1 overall selection. Draft Value – Top three overall

Tavon Austin, WR – NO CHANGE – Tavon Austin’s stock slightly increases with the addition of an improved quarterback, but I believe the addition of Pharoh Cooper brings it down a notch. Cooper and Austin have similar skillsets and bringing in Cooper will result in a handful of Austin’s plays going to him instead. Austin was already known for his inconsistency and bringing in a similar player won’t do anything to change that. Draft Value – Mid-Late (Rounds 10-12)

No other players on the Rams offense should currently be on the draft radar.

Steve Rebeiro is a staff writer for Rams Talk and an undergraduate student at Marquette University. For more of his opinions, follow him on Twitter here.

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