The Los Angeles Rams used timely defense to help them win the Super Bowl last year. It had been a long-time coming for a roster full of veteran players. The Rams allowed the 15th most points last year, 17th most yards, and the 11th most takeaways to help their offense win games. The Los Angeles Rams had a middle-of-the-pack defense that made big plays in crucial moments to win games. While they did give up plenty of yards and points, they never gave up too many that the offense couldn’t overcome. Also, most of these points and yards came during “garbage time” in the fourth quarter.
The Los Angeles Rams gave up the 22nd most passing yards but the second-fewest passing touchdowns. They were tied for third with interceptions as well. Just as well, the Los Angeles Rams gave up only the sixth-most rushing yards but gave up the eighth-most rushing touchdowns. The Rams were third in sacks. Overall, this team had a quality defense. With the same coaching staff from last year, including defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, this defense is set up to have another great season in 2022.
What can one say about the greatest pass-rusher of a generation in Donald? Despite being an interior defensive lineman, Donald wreaks havoc over offensive lines. He consistently gets into the backfield of an offense. Last year, Donald led the team in sacks (12.5), tackles for loss (19), and quarterback hits (25). Donald is a one-man wrecking crew that allows the rest of the Rams’ defense to perform much better. He takes on double or triple teams, meaning that a pass rusher usually has a free lane to the quarterback. Donald had 84 combined tackles as well.
In IDP, Donald is 31 and contemplated retirement. However, he wants to win a second Super Bowl. He’s terrific at the DL position in IDP for this year. You can’t trust him to be around next year yet, so have a backup plan as a contender. Yet, you can’t do much better at the DL spot than Donald. If your league has a DT spot, then he’s the DT1 in the IDP fantasy world by a large margin.
Floyd has resurrected his career with the Rams. He’s fit right in as the main pass rusher opposite Donald. Thanks to Donald’s attention, this has allowed Floyd to make many impact plays. Impact plays are crucial in IDP, and it’s incredibly helpful when Floyd gets the chance to do that. He had an interception, 9.5 sacks, 18 quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss, 70 combined tackles, and a forced fumble/fumble recovery. It was a good season for the veteran defender.
In 2022, it will be more of the same for the 30-year-old. Floyd will be the primary source of sacks opposite AD99 and help keep opposing Quarterbacks scared. I like him as a DL2 in IDP. He won’t win you weeks, but he’ll be a steady stream of points. That’s crucial to have, especially as depth. As he’s now in his 30s, only contenders should be pursuing Leonard.
Greg Gaines and A’Shawn Robinson can potentially be fantasy contributors in IDP position leagues, but in regular IDP dynasties, they are best to be left on the waivers. Donald will soak up too many tackles and sacks, while Floyd will take most of the rest of the scraps. Justin Hollins is a name to keep an eye on as he could explode this year due to Donald and Leonard’s attention.
When one of the greatest linebackers ever joined the Rams, I think we all were saying “what the fudge” as to how they could get him. The cap isn’t a myth has become non-Rams fans rallying cry and excuse. Wagner has been a Pro Bowler every season since 2013 and an All-Pro linebacker since 2013. He’s an LB1 in IDP, although now that he’s 32, his time is limited. Regardless, if you’re a contender, you want a player like Wagner on your team since he will score you big points every week.
Last year in Seattle, Wagner had 170 combined tackles, 93 solo, a sack, five pass deflections, an interception, and a forced fumble. As the Rams’ main linebacker, I don’t see why he can’t continue to post numbers near that. There isn’t anyone pushing Wagner for snaps besides Ernest Jones, who can play next to Wagner. See if you can buy him for cheap due to his age, but regardless expect another fantastic season as he helps lead the Rams’ explosive defense.
Jones is likely the future for the Rams at the middle linebacker position. He’s only 23 and entering his second year in the NFL. Last year, he had a good debut year with 61 combined tackles, a sack, two interceptions, four passes defended, and 36 solo tackles. I would expect the tackles to rise as he sees increased playing time with Troy Reeder gone. Yes, Wagner will take plenty of tackles, but Jones will get his. Wagner hurts the safeties more than Jones. Jones is a great depth piece in the IDP dynasty as he won’t likely score enough this year to be reliable. However, in a year or two, he has the makings of being a strong IDP option at linebacker. Buy low while you can.
Lewis is another young linebacker/pass rusher for the Rams. It remains to be seen how much he plays or where he’ll play. He can tackle well or rush the passer. At only 24 years old, he has a shot this year to prove he belongs long-term with the Los Angeles Rams. Last year, Lewis had three sacks and 22 tackles in 11 games. He’s a solid depth piece that could break out later this year or next. However, I wouldn’t consider him a starting option unless he wins the pass rusher job opposite Floyd this year.
The Rams don’t have much depth in their linebacker room though it makes sense since as long as Wagner is healthy, who else do they need? However, Jake Hummel and Christian Rozeboom are two names to remember should Jones or Wagner get hurt. They would be viable IDP options in any games they start, but the likelihood of them starting is low, so it’s best to leave them on the waivers for now.
Ramsey is one of the best, if not the best, cornerbacks in the NFL. Last year, the Rams deployed him in ways that could get him more tackles and impact plays. This led to him being extremely IDP relevant once again. He led the Los Angeles Rams in interceptions (4) and passes defended (16). He had 77 combined tackles, nine tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
This year, expect more of the same from the 28-year-old. He’ll be a valuable DB2 that can win you weeks with his boom games. Don’t sell the farm for Ramsey, but if you can get him for cheap, then I like it. Ramsey has multiple prime years left. It would be unfair to think he’ll provide excellent IDP scoring, but he’ll do better than most defensive backs. If your league has positions like cornerback, Ramsey is a CB1. He’s definitely worth the price in those leagues.
Rapp had his best season as a pro yet last year. However, he’s not guaranteed to be starting this year, which limits his IDP appeal. While he tied for the lead in interceptions on the Rams (4), he had six passes defended, a fumble recovery, 1.5 sacks, and 94 tackles. Sixty-four of them were solo. Rapp has proven to be a reliable DB2/3 in IDP. He’s a great flex piece or bye-week fill-in. However, if he isn’t starting this year, he isn’t worth much. Hold onto him for now and ensure he’s getting reliable playing time. If he isn’t, then sell him after a big week. Don’t get caught holding the bag.
Fuller is one of the guys taking more playing time away from Rapp. He exploded last year in a breakout campaign that saw him lead the Rams in tackles with 113. He had 63 solo tackles, an interception, and four passes defended. As the box safety, Fuller consistently made plays near the line of scrimmage. Yet, I wouldn’t expect Fuller to make nearly as many plays with Bobby Wagner now there. I’m out on him to start the season. I have to see how the usage is done and where he plays consistently. If he still gets tackles and plays in the box, he’s a good DB2. He’s only 24, so he’s not hit his prime yet. That makes him an excellent long-term option, but wait and see before acquiring him.
Scott is another player threatening Rapp’s playing time. While he’s 27, Scott had a good year in a part-time safety role. The same is true of his preseason, where he’s been dominant. Scott had two interceptions, 47 tackles, and four passes defended. Those numbers will rise a ton if he plays more than Rapp. Right now, he’s an excellent name to get off the waiver wire and stash on your bench. If he breaks out, you got yourself a valuable DB for basically nothing. If he doesn’t get much playing time, you didn’t lose anything of value. He’s got potential, but it’s a wait-and-see approach.
The Rams have plenty of defensive back depth, which will be crucial throughout the season. David Long Jr was a viable player in IDP last year, but he’s, at best, a depth option this year. Maybe stash him on your team if you have a deep bench. One potential breakout player this year is Terrell Burgess. See if you have room on your bench because should Scott miss any time, I like Burgess to get a lot of playing time. Grab Troy Hill off waivers because if the Rams use him as another linebacker/safety instead of the slot corner, it will raise his IDP value quite a bit. If he’s only used in the slot, he’s best suited for the bench but could give you some big weeks. Otherwise, the only other defensive back to keep an eye on is Derion Kendrick, who won’t see much playing time.
Do you want to become the best dynasty player you can be? Be sure to use my promo code “Darth” for 15% OFF your subscription to Dynasty Nerds! It makes it only three dollars or so! Connect with me on Twitter @DarthDbacks. I love to talk football, baseball, movies, shows, Star Wars, and Marvel, and interact with the fantasy football community. For more articles of mine, click here.
As always, May the Force be with You…