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2020 Fantasy Beat: Los Angeles Rams

Count the Los Angeles Rams out of the list of potential suitors for Leonard Fournette. A day after Fournette was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Rams head coach Sean McVay confirmed Los Angeles will not be placing a claim on on the former first-round pick. 

“He’s a good player, but we feel good about the guys we have in-house,” McVay said on a conference call Tuesday, via Eric Williams of Sports Illustrated. “We’re not looking at anybody externally. I’ve been very pleased with our backs.”

Los Angeles will roll the dice on a rotation that includes Darrell Henderson, Cam Akers, and Malcolm Brown, a trio that makes a combined $3.39 million this season — significantly less than the $9.2 million Todd Gurley made last year. Gurley rushed for 857 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games, averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. All the Rams running backs have to accomplish are numbers greater than Gurley’s in 2020 and they’ll receive tremendous bang for their buck at the position. 

Which running back is slated to start amongst the committee? Los Angeles still hasn’t made that decision, but running backs coach Thomas Brown wants a “clear-cut guy” as the starter.

“I think it’s whatever helps up win a football game,” Brown said last week. “I think every single situation is going to be different. Obviously, I think you’d prefer to have a clear-cut guy to take the majority of reps and having certain guys that have a role in that offense, but I think it’s all about how those guys continue to develop and what they do well for us offensively and what can help us win football games.”

Akers has the most potential out of the group — the Rams’ 2020 second-round pick rushed for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns (5.0 yards per carry) behind a poor offensive line in his junior season at Florida State. Akers’ explosiveness and physical play translate toward becoming a three-down back at the NFL level, but he might need time to get his feet wet in the league — especially with no offseason minicamp and a limited training camp. 

Henderson carried the ball 39 times for 147 yards in his rookie season, playing sparingly in 13 games as the third option. Brown might be best suited for a No. 2 role or as a goal-line back, after rushing for 255 yards on 69 carries and five touchdowns as the backup to Gurley last season.

The Rams drafted Akers based on his potential and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him start Week 1, but Henderson and Brown are putting up a good fight for the job. Who the Rams decide to go with is anyone’s guess right now. 


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