Here’s The Game Day’s Los Angeles Rams 2021 Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, 2021 Betting Tips and 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook.
Rams 2021 NFL Preview: Los Angeles 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting
Los Angeles Rams 2020 Season Recap
- Final record: 10-6 (6-2 Home / 4-4 Away)
- Division regular-season finish: 2nd
- Result: Lost in NFC Divisional Game
Los Angeles returned to the playoffs for the third time in Sean McVay‘s four seasons at the helm after notching double-digit wins during the regular season. Despite inconsistent play from quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams rode their stellar defense and solid skill players back to the postseason, where they upset the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card Round before falling to the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round.
2021 Los Angeles Rams Offseason Changes
Los Angeles Rams 2021 Offseason Departures
- QB Jared Goff (Lions)
- DL Michael Brockers (Lions)
- S John Johnson (Browns)
- TE Gerald Everett (Seahawks)
- WR Josh Reynolds (Titans)
- C Austin Blythe (Chiefs)
- LB Samson Ebukam (49ers)
- CB Troy Hill (Browns)
- DE Derek Rivers (Texans)
- RB Malcolm Brown (Dolphins)
- DC Brandon Staley (Chargers)
Los Angeles Rams 2021 Free-Agency/Offseason Additions
- QB Matthew Stafford (Lions)
- WR DeSean Jackson (Eagles)
- P Corey Bojorquez (Bills)
Los Angeles Rams 2021 NFL Draft Picks
- WR Tutu Atwell, Louisville (Round 2, Pick 57)
- LB Ernest Jones, South Carolina (Round 3, Pick 103)
- DL Bobby Brown III, Texas A&M (Round 4, Pick 117)
- CB Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas (Round 4, Pick 130)
- WR Jacob Harris, UCF (Round 4, Pick 141)
- DE Earnest Brown IV, Northwestern (Round 5, Pick 174)
- RB Jake Funk, Maryland (Round 7, Pick 233)
- WR Ben Skowronek, Notre Dame (Round 7, Pick 249)
- LB Chris Garrett, Concordia-St. Paul (Round 7, Pick 252)
Los Angeles Rams 2021 Outlook
After losing in the NFC Divisional Game against the Packers, the Rams seemed to have realized that they had reached their ceiling with Jared Goff at quarterback, so they traded him to the Lions for Matthew Stafford.
The Rams’ 2021 outlook is improved considerably by Stafford, who has much more natural talent as a passer. After years of playing on underwhelming teams in Detroit, he could have a career year playing in McVay’s offense. Stafford will also have a strong receiving corps with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp back in the fold.
Running back Cam Akers looked ready to lead the backfield after a phenomenal finish to his rookie season, which made his torn Achilles injury all the more devastating. Darrell Henderson Jr. now takes over as the lead back. He should be able to provide efficient production in an elite offense.
The Rams will also retain four of their five starters on the offensive line, which bodes well for their outlook on offense. With Stafford under center, look for Los Angeles to have one of the NFL’s most balanced and efficient offenses this season.
The Rams may slip a bit on defense, however, after allowing the NFL’s fewest points per game last year. Some regression is to be expected after losing defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, who was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, as well as some key pieces like Michael Brockers and John Johnson. Staley will be replaced by Raheem Morris, an experienced defensive mind who helped the Falcons improve down the stretch last season while he was the interim head coach.
The main concern with the Rams is that their roster is top-heavy, making them vulnerable if they suffer injuries to key players. They haven’t had a first-round pick since taking Goff first overall in 2016, which has limited their overall depth. Their defense remains formidable, but not as strong as last year.
Having said that, they could end up winning the NFC West because they upgraded where it matters most: quarterback. Stafford gives Los Angeles a much higher ceiling than Goff did, opening up all sorts of new possibilities on offense.
The problem is that the NFC West is arguably the toughest division in football. Similar to the Rams, the Niners also have a new franchise quarterback in Trey Lance to go along with their talented defense. The Cardinals should continue to improve as Kyler Murray develops as a passer, and the Seahawks have one of the game’s top quarterbacks in Russell Wilson. This division will be an absolute grind.
Los Angeles Rams 2021 Fantasy Football Tips
Matthew Stafford finished as QB19 in fantasy points per game last season, dealing with a myriad of injuries that suppressed his production. Now with the Rams, Stafford will have the best combination of scheme and supporting cast that he’s had in his career. If he stays healthy, he could easily put together a career year.
Wide receivers Robert Woods (WR18) and Cooper Kupp (WR28) continued as solid fantasy WR2s last season, with both finishing within the top 30 in fantasy points per game (PPR). With Stafford leading the offense, both of them could potentially move into the top 20.
Cam Akers looked ready to take off as the bell cow in this offense after coming on strong down the stretch, but it’s now the Darrell Henderson Jr. show. Malcolm Brown‘s departure opens up additional carries for Henderson, who shouldn’t have too much competition from Xavier Jones. Henderson could be a top-15 running back this year, making him worth a heavy investment in fantasy drafts.
As for the supporting pieces in this offense, I’d steer clear of tight end Tyler Higbee, even with Gerald Everett now with the Seahawks. Higbee is solid but unspectacular, and I would prefer to target potential breakouts at the position like Adam Trautman or Irv Smith Jr.
Wide receiver Van Jefferson has a chance at an increased role with Josh Reynolds now in Tennessee, but I’d temper expectations. This is an offense with a narrow distribution of volume, with targets and opportunities funneled between Akers, Woods, and Kupp. Jefferson would need an injury to Kupp or Woods in order to become start-worthy in fantasy.
Los Angeles Rams 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips
Los Angeles Rams OVER 10.5 Wins (+120)
The Rams have won 11, 13, 9, and 10 games during McVay’s four-year tenure with the team, so their floor was already pretty high. Adding Stafford to the mix raises their ceiling considerably, even with potential regression looming on defense. Throw in the extra game on the schedule this year, and Los Angeles is well-positioned to hit the over this year,
Los Angeles Rams To Win NFC West (+190)
The Rams are a good value pick to win the toughest division in football. The Seahawks seem to have peaked as a team and had limited draft capital to address their issues. The Cardinals and Niners are both trending up with young quarterbacks, but this looks like the Rams’ division for now.
Matthew Stafford To Win MVP (+1800)
Stafford is in the best situation of his career heading into his age-33 season. If he stays healthy, he could be poised to set career-highs across the board. Elite production on a winning team typically results in MVP votes, making Stafford a nice value play here.
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