Fantasy Football 2012: Breaking Down the St. Louis Rams

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<p> Fantasy Football 2012: Breaking Down the St. Louis Rams</p>

What can the St. Louis Rams do for you this fantasy season? Check out Athlon Sports' team report as we break down the rookies, veteran players to watch and avoid, fantasy playoff schedule and more to help you get ready for the 2012 season.

Inside the Locker Room
with Jim Thomas, St. Louis-Dispatch

Does Steven Jackson have another 1,000-yard season left in the tank?
He sure does. Jackson has been incredibly consistent, with seven consecutive seasons of 1,000 yards or more. Only five players in NFL history have had eight or more consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and four of those players are in the Hall of Fame (Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, Thurman Thomas) and the fifth is LaDainian Tomlinson, a future Hall of Famer. Jackson takes care of his body, and coach Jeff Fisher still is a firm believer in running the ball — and running it often.

What kind of role can fantasy players expect from rookie Isaiah Pead?
If things go well, and the offense is at least respectable, Pead could get 100 carries and maybe 30-40 receptions. He will be used to spell Jackson, and probably will see lots of duty on third downs as well. And if Jackson should go down with an injury and miss a game or two, Pead will be the feature back. The shifty Pead also has value in the return game, although it’s uncertain if he’ll handle punt returns, kickoff returns — or both.

Is there any receiver on the roster worth drafting?
Certainly not with your early picks, but there are some decent options late. Danny Amendola, healthy after missing 15 games last season with a dislocated elbow and torn triceps, should catch plenty of passes, although his yards per catch won’t be great. Rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens are expected to have big roles, but will they be able to learn the offense quickly enough to put up big numbers early?

Athlon's Best Bets

Sleeper: Robert Quinn, DE
Deep-Sleeper: Lance Kendricks, TE
Overvalued: Steven Jackson, RB
Top Rookie: Isaiah Pead, RB
Bounce-Back: Sam Bradford, QB
Top IDP: James Laurinaitis, LB

2012 Draft Class

1. Michael Brockers DT 6/5 322 LSU
2. Brian Quick WR 6/3 220 Appalachian State
2. Janoris Jenkins CB 5/10 193 North Alabama
2. Isaiah Pead RB 5/10 193 Cincinnati
3. Trumaine Johnson CB 6/1 204 Montana
4. Chris Givens WR 5/11 198 Wake Forest
5. Rokevious Watkins G 6/4 338 South Carolina
6. Greg Zuerlein K 6/1 187 Missouri Western
7. Aaron Brown LB 6/1 225 Hawaii
7. Daryl Richardson RB 5/10 192 Abilene Christian

Fantasy Impact: Surrounding Sam Bradford with more weapons was essential, and the Rams added two potential starting receivers with Brian Quick and Chris Givens. Isaiah Pead will work as the team’s change-of-pace back and should be handcuffed to Steven Jackson in all formats.

Fantasy Playoff Run: Weeks 14-16 (at BUF, MIN, at TB)

Steven Jackson was the only fantasy-relevant Ram in 2011, ranking 10th among RBs. Sam Bradford was the 33rd-ranked fantasy QB. No receivers or tight ends were in the top 35 of their position. If they turn it around, the Rams have an easy playoff schedule, particularly the last two weeks as Minnesota and Tampa Bay were in the bottom 16 against fantasy QBs, RBs and WRs last season.

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