St. Louis Rams Preview
Few teams had to deal with the kind of injuries the Rams did last year. Although they are getting older (Torry Holt and Orlando Pace especially), they still have the skill players to get it done. They welcomed in Al Saunders to inject life into their Offense. They have a talented QB in Marc Bulger. If he can stay healthy, he should be able to return to form. They brought in Trent Green to hold the clipboard. He’s good for a game or two in a pinch if need be. Steven Jackson held out for and eventually got the big bucks. He’s deserving, but I don’t get what took so long. He would have been better served to get into camp and get the rust off. He should be fresh from missing the preseason, but could come out of the gates a little slow. The Rams will need to be cautious with him to avoid an hamstring or groin injury, which tend to happen when you try to do too much too fast on a football field. Torry Holt is still the leader of the WR corps, but they’ll have to make due without Isaac Bruce, who moved onto San Fran. Drew Bennett is penciled in as the other starter, but he’ll have to prove he can stay healthy. Dane Looker and Dante Hall should factor in the receiving game as well. At Tight End they are hoping to get more production out of Randy McMichael, who was underwhelming in his first season with the Rams.
On Defense the Rams drafted Chris Long to help their Defensive Front. He joins Leonard Little, La’Roi Glover (6 Sacks), and second-year first rounder Adam Carriker. This should be a pretty strong unit if they can stay healthy. Will Witherspoon (110 Tackles, 7 Sacks) is an outstanding Middle Linebacker. Cornerback Fahkir Brown picked off 5 passes last year. Safeties Oshiomogho Atogwe (75 Tackles, 8 INTs) and Corey Chavous (75 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks) give them a pair of solid Safeties.
If they can stay healthy they will challenge for the NFC West. This division is pretty wide open. I still think the Seahawks will find a way to win it. The Rams will win around 8 games.
Fantasy-wise Steven Jackson is worthy of a top four selection. He is a dynamic runner that is capable of catching the ball out of the backfield. Al Saunders has a pretty good history with RBs. Torry Holt is still worthy of being a #1 WR, but he’s no longer a Top 5 WR. Marc Bulger is taking a shot on as a fantasy starter, but you should have a capable backup. Randy McMichael is worth a look at Tight End. He’ll probably start off as a reserve, but could prove worthy of a starter.