Sports

Fantasy football advice: Rams back in the game

The St. Louis Rams have more than one player on fantasy football rosters?

St. Louis’s run of gridiron futility — which should provide perspective to a region that becomes unglued when the Patriots open their season 3-3 — has resulted in almost all of its players being irrelevant for years in fantasy football.

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The Rams haven’t made a playoff appearance since 2004 and haven’t earned a winning record since 2003.

Running back Steven Jackson showed up in 2004, and aside from a few seasons of Torry Holt and the occasional use of Marc Bulger as a desperate bye-week substitution, Jackson has been the Rams’ only fantasy mainstay since his arrival.

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These days, though, the Rams actually have an offense. Jackson remains a fantasy starter, although he is not a No. 1 fantasy back. In part, that’s because of the emergence of his backup, Daryl Richardson, who has 42 fewer carries than Jackson but only 77 fewer yards.

Richardson is worth stashing on your roster, even if you don’t own Jackson.

Quarterback Sam Bradford, a No. 1 overall pick three years ago, averages 30.8 attempts per game. He doesn’t have the touchdown numbers you need, but a bye-week fill-in? Absolutely.

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Bradford’s top receiver, Danny Amendola, is out for another month with a broken collarbone, but he was amassing Wes Welker-like statistics prior to his injury.

Now, fourth-year receiver Brandon Gibson is emerging after a seven-catch, 91-yard day against Miami.

They’re not the Packers, but the days of completely ignoring the Rams are over.

Three up:

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh: The Steelers average 74.8 rushing yards per game. That’s probably not going to improve this season, leaving the fate of the offense on Roethlisberger’s arm.

Phillip Tanner, RB, Dallas: Oft-injured starter DeMarco Murray is hurt, so oft-injured backup Felix Jones takes over. Tanner is next in line.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia: If Eagles coach Andy Reid feels like a quarterback change would save his job and his team’s season, Foles would replace starter Michael Vick.

Three down:

William Powell, RB, Arizona: Powell is getting the majority of the carries for the Cardinals, but his next two matchups are against Minnesota and San Francisco.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina: The Panthers face the Cowboys, who have allowed just 12.4 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit: Like Powell, Leshoure has brutal upcoming matchups (Bears and Seahawks).

Ed Ryan can be reached at ed_ryan@globe.com.
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