When the Bills take on the Rams this week, you may see some old-school style defense and ground and pound football. There should just be a constant loop of Chris Berman’s “rumblin’, bumblin’ stumblin.” Just kidding. That would drive anyone crazy, but you get the picture. These are two of the league’s most inefficent offenses. According to Football Outsiders, The Rams rank dead last in yards per drive with just 23.7, and the Bills aren’t far behind. Buffalo ranks 28th with 27.34 yards per drive. This may be a low-scoring game, so which players deserve to be fantasy starters?
The Rams still have arguably the best defensive line in the NFL. They are very capable vs. the run, allowing just 3.7 yards per carry through four games. Unfortunately, the Rams offense leaves a lot to be desired. This in turn leaves their defense on the field for much of the game. Running backs can eventually accumulate enough touches to have a meaningful day versus the Rams. LeSean McCoy is questionable with an injured hand, though it appears he will play. If he is unable to go, that would likely leave the backfield up to Mike Gillislee and Jonathan Williams. If for whatever reason McCoy can’t go, I would probably just avoid playing either backup without knowing who would get the majority of the touches. It would likely be Gillislee, but the Bills are high on rookie Jonathan Williams as well and may want to see what he can do. The bad matchup with a strong Rams front seven is only negated by McCoy’s talent. Neither backup possesses the talent LeSean has. McCoy has faced some stiff competition thus far and has produced like an RB1. At worst, he is an RB2 against the Rams, especially in PPR with his passing game usage.
Over the offseason, the Rams lost star corner Janoris Jenkins in free agency along with safety Rodney McLeod. To this point, the Rams have allowed the 23rd most passing yards per game. This statistic is a little misleading when you consider the only 300 yard game they allowed was to Jameis Winston, and it was a 400 yard air raid in an attempt to come back from a big deficit. Buffalo doesn’t exactly have the passing game to exploit the Rams the way Tampa Bay could. Tyrod Taylor without Sammy Watkins has been a little uninspiring. Taylor’s rushing stats often salvage his fantasy performances. With that being said, he is a more of a QB2 this week.
Taylor will be looking for Robert Woods early and often as he is the de-facto top receiving threat the Bills have. Woods is a solid flex option with WR2 potential this week, especially in PPR leagues. Charles Clay is questionable to play, but played with the same knee injury last week. Even if he plays, he is not fantasy relevant in most leagues. The Bills don’t have any other consistent weapons to this point. Marquis Goodwin is nothing but a deep threat.
Players to start for the Bills:
- LeSean McCoy
- Robert Woods
Players to sit for the Bills:
- Charles Clay
- Tyrod Taylor (QB2)
- All other Bills receivers
- Can the Bills take advantage of a mediocre Rams secondary?
Los Angeles Rams
The Bills have been average against the pass this season. Against the Rams, it doesn’t matter. None of the receivers that call Los Angeles home are all that relevant for fantasy purposes. At points during the season, Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, and Brian Quick have all had their moments. However, none can be counted on consistently with Case Keenum as their quarterback. This isn’t a high powered offense, and Keenum won’t feed any single receiver the ball every week.
This offense is centered around getting Todd Gurley the rock. He is averaging 22.5 touches per game. Unfortunately for Gurley, defenses are well aware of this game plan. The University of Georgia standout has averaged 2.63 yards per carry, and the offensive line hasn’t helped one bit. The Rams have been getting their star running back more involved in the passing game more (five catches for 49 yards last week) and he is always a threat for a touchdown or two. He is a start despite the tough matchup.
Case Keenum isn’t worth a streaming play despite doing just enough for this team to lead it to a 3-1 record. He is a game manager, not a fantasy star. Leave him on the waiver wire along with the Rams receivers.
No tight end on the Rams is even worth rostering.
Players to start for the Rams:
Players to sit for the Rams:
- Case Keenum
- All Rams WRs
- All Rams TEs
- Can a wide receiver consistently put up fantasy points and establish a #1 target for Keenum?
- Can Gurley overcome the lack of talent around him and overcome his own inefficiencies?