Los Angeles Rams
Fantasy owners likely don’t have a choice but to start Todd Gurley, who cost an early-round pick and is the focal point of the offense. Even though this is an offense that somehow hasn’t scored a touchdown, Gurley is a high-volume workhorse with the talent to capitalize on them. The idea of Gurley being an elite fantasy option is fading, but he is still a RB2 with a decent floor. There is a place in fantasy lineups for a player like that even if he hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Tavon Austin’s team-leading 21 targets is encouraging for a player who draws a Buccaneers defense that has been susceptible to giving up plenty of yards through the air. The question is whether the Rams’ offense is competent enough to capitalize on it. It’s hard to have any faith that it does, but in the event it happens, Austin will likely have something to do with it. He is a boom-or-bust flex option.
Though Kenny Britt quietly posted yardage totals of 67 and 94, it is a lot to ask fantasy owners to play him in situations that aren’t desperate. Case Keenum can be left on waivers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans posted 70 yards and a touchdown while dealing with Patrick Peterson for most of a long afternoon, but Peterson got the better of the matchup after Jameis Winston threw Evans’ way 16 times. Evans is once again a solid WR1 as usual and should have smoother sailing in Week 3.
Charles Sims will start in place of Doug Martin, and could assume that designation for weeks while Martin recuperates from a hamstring injury. Sims’ pass-catching prowess will give him a decent floor for every week Martin misses, and he can be considered an RB2 against a Rams defense that has stymied the run thus far.
Winston began the season so strongly that whispers of him having a potential MVP-caliber season began to surface. All of those whispers seemed to stop after a 40-7 shellacking from the Arizona Cardinals. Winston is in line for a bounce-back game, although the Rams’ shutdown of Russell Wilson needs to raise eyebrows. Winston can be considered a fringe QB1/QB2, but is not considered a must-start for Sunday.
Jacquizz Rodgers projects as a change of pace back for Sims and doesn’t have any standalone value. Cameron Brate no longer has to battle Austin Sefarian-Jenkins for snaps, but should be left on benches for the time being. Vincent Jackson can also be safely stashed.