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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2023 Draft Rankings

Cooper Kupp Note
Cooper Kupp photo 13. Cooper Kupp WR - (at SF)
Cooper Kupp was originally in the S Tier of my 2023 WR rankings, but I moved him down in regard to concerns about Matthew Stafford's health. However, I still think Kupp will produce at an extremely high level if he and Stafford are healthy. Last year he led all WRs in points per game (18.4) while commanding the league's second-highest target share (31.3%) before his injury.
7 days ago
Cam Akers Note
Cam Akers photo 44. Cam Akers RB - (at SF)
Cam Akers was a total zero from the get-go, getting benched in Week 1 and he looked like he was going to be outright cut by the Rams. Eventually, Akers inherited the Rams' RB1 role and he delivered as the fantasy RB4 during the last six weeks of the season. With LA in a rebuilding year, Akers will again be a truly polarizing player. Did he do enough in the final 6 weeks as the NFL's leading rusher averaging 85 rushing yards per game to retain bell-cow-type usage?

The good news is that Sean McVay is remaining in Los Angeles, which bodes well for Akers to remain the go-to guy in the backfield. Recall, that Akers played 100% of the snaps in the Rams' season finale.
And with so many needs on the Rams' current roster, they did not add any running backs in the draft until the sixth round. That means Akers will be competing for volume with Zach Evans, alongside Day 3 scrubs Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers.

And although it seems impossible considering his career arc, Akers isn't even 24 years old yet. With free agency on the horizon, the Rams have all the reason in the world to ride Akers into the ground during a contract year.
4 weeks ago
Matthew Stafford Note
Matthew Stafford photo 134. Matthew Stafford QB - (at SF)
After leading the Rams to a championship two seasons ago, Matthew Stafford struggled through the first nine games of 2022 before a spinal cord contusion ended his season. In 2021, Stafford averaged 287.4 passing yards per game and threw for 41 touchdowns. Last year, he averaged 231.9 passing yards and threw for 10 touchdowns. Stafford has become increasingly interception-prone in his twilight years, with 25 INTs in his last 26 regular-season games. The 35-year-old Stafford might have fuel left in the tank, but the red flags in his statistical profile make him a low-end QB2 for 2023.
15 weeks ago
Tyler Higbee Note
Tyler Higbee photo 145. Tyler Higbee TE - (at SF)
Tyler Higbee was busy in 2022 but not wildly productive. He finished fourth among tight ends in targets (108) and fifth in receptions (72), but with 620 receiving yards and three touchdowns, he only finished TE9 in fantasy scoring. His first touchdown of the year didn't come until Week 15. Higbee has become a decent fantasy option at TE, though he has never lived up to the promise of his spectacular late-season run in 2019, when he piled up 43-522-2 over the last five games of the year.
15 weeks ago
Van Jefferson Note
Van Jefferson photo 225. Van Jefferson WR - (at SF)
Los Angeles Rams Note
Los Angeles Rams photo 239. Los Angeles Rams DST - (at SF)
Zach Evans Note
Zach Evans photo 254. Zach Evans RB - (at SF)
Zach Evans spent his first two college seasons at TCU, seeing seldom usage alongside fellow 2023 draft prospect Kendre Miller. Evans was the clear frontrunner in the backfield to start his sophomore campaign but suffered a turf toe injury that cut his 2021 season short. Evans would go on to transfer to Ole Miss at the start of the 2022 season, where he posted his best college counting stats to date with a 17 percent dominator rating. His 15% boom percentage per Sports Info Solutions led all RBs in his class.

However, he failed to fully take over at the backfield as he did at TCU, losing out on touches to freshman running back Quinshon Judkins.

The fact that Evans has struggled to fully take over a backfield at the college level -- along with no contributing role as a receiver -- is a major red flag as he makes his way into the NFL, but his efficient play when on the field suggests he can deliver when called upon. His career average of 3.47 yards per play ranks second-best among the incoming rookie RBs I sampled earlier this offseason.

Yards per play is a great indicator of future success, with recent late-round standouts in that category the past two years including Elijah Mitchell, Rhamondre Stevenson, Rachaad White, and Tyler Allgeier. Evans also boasts decent size at 5-foot-11 and 202 pounds - albeit the weight he measured at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine was much lighter than his listed weight at Ole Miss (216 pounds).

At the Ole Miss pro day, Evans posted a 4.45 40-time, ran a 4.26 20-yard shuttle and finished the 3-cone drill in 7.08 seconds.

In the 2023 NFL Draft L.A. traded No. 252 and a sixth-round pick in 2024 to the Bills for Pick 215, where they selected the Ole Miss running back. Evans' best-case scenario was landing on a weak depth chart, and there is nobody threatening behind Cam Akers in the Rams backfield.
4 weeks ago
Kyren Williams Note
Kyren Williams photo 273. Kyren Williams RB - (at SF)
Puka Nacua Note
Puka Nacua photo 353. Puka Nacua WR - (at SF)
Tutu Atwell Note
Tutu Atwell photo 378. Tutu Atwell WR - (at SF)
Ben Skowronek Note
Ben Skowronek photo 388. Ben Skowronek WR - (at SF)
Tanner Brown Note
Tanner Brown photo 443. Tanner Brown K - (at SF)
Tiyon Evans Note
Tiyon Evans photo 455. Tiyon Evans RB - (at SF)
Hunter Long Note
Hunter Long photo 456. Hunter Long TE - (at SF)