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Matthew Stafford's Elbow Injury: Fantasy Impact for Cooper Kupp, Rams Players

Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is not participating in team drills because of soreness in his elbow but head coach Sean McVay says there's no reason to panic.

The Los Angeles Rams open the NFL season in five weeks against the 2023 Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills.

Related: Super Bowl 57 Odds

And Matthew Stafford isn’t competing in team drills due to elbow discomfort.

While this isn’t a major concern yet for the defending Super Bowl champions, it’s still a situation worth monitoring for a 34-year-old quarterback.

Training camps are usually full of “best shape of my life” cliché quotes, but clearly Stafford is not in the best shape of his life after winning his first Super Bowl.

“This is part of the plan with Matthew,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said Wednesday. “We’re really taking it a week at a time and, really, it’s kind of a couple of weeks … The goal would be for Sept. 8 and really looking toward 17 games and hopefully some games after that, if we earn that opportunity. That’s the perspective and the big-picture approach we want to take.”

For fantasy managers, this situation should be accounted for when drafting.

Teams have no reason to be honest regarding injuries, and this is not an ideal situation no matter how much McVay downplays the issue.

There’s no reason yet to fear Stafford could miss the opener, but it’s possible this issue could linger throughout the season and affect his availability.

Stafford is ranked 11th among fantasy quarterbacks. Quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins are ranked near Stafford for those who are concerned about Stafford.

The bigger concern may be for receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson.

Kupp is ranked first among receivers off his historic season, while Robinson is ranked 30th entering his first season with the team.

These rankings are accounting for Stafford being healthy and there would obviously be a drop if Stafford has health concerns. Kupp would slip off the top spot but still remain an elite option, while Robinson could be faded for other receivers in a similar range.

Just like with Stafford, fantasy managers considering Robinson could pivot to similar options if there is fear Robinson’s value is entirely reliant on Stafford.

The Rams’ backfield could be a headache since Cam Akers (ranked 14th) didn’t impress last year upon returning from injury and Darrell Henderson Jr. has played well at times. Stafford’s status shouldn’t affect these two since the larger concern here is figuring out whether or not Akers deserves an early-round pick with Henderson looming.