It's time to start thinking about fantasy football, and we have started going team by team to let you know what each NFL franchise can do for your fantasy squad. You can click here to see if your team has been previewed yet. If it isn't there, chances are it's coming soon.
*Rankings are based on a 12-team, standard scoring format.
QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford bounced back from his rough sophomore campaign, setting career highs in basically every passing category. His offensive line got a huge boost when the Rams were able to lure left tackle Jake Long from Miami. Bradford lost his two favorite targets to free agency, with Danny Amendola heading to New England and Brandon Gibson going to Miami. He gains playmakers in first round draft pick Tavon Austin at wide receiver and free agent Jared Cook at tight end. He will also be working with the same offensive coordinator as last season, which he hasn't done in his career. He and Brian Schottenheimer have a good comfort level, and could lead to a breakout season for Bradford. Look at him as a mid to low-end QB2 with a strong potential to outperform that. A Bradford injury would give playing time to either Kellen Clemens or Austin Davis, both of whom have been terrible this preseason. Neither would be roster worthy if an injury happened.
RUNNING BACK: There has been little doubt for the last 9 years about who would be lining up behind quarterback in St. Louis. The departure of Steven Jackson to Atlanta leaves the Rams in an unfamiliar situation. Daryl Richardson, the 2nd year man out of Abilene Christian, appears to have the inside track to the starting job. He averaged almost 5 yards per carry last season, on just under 100 attempts. Look at him as a RB3, and hopefully just a bye week fill in for you. Isaiah Pead, last year's second round pick, has struggled with ball security. In a jumbled backfield, coach Jeff Fisher will have little tolerance for fumbling the ball. If he gets past it his upside is higher than Richardson's, but he has already fumbled this preseason. Zac Stacy and Terrance Ganaway are the other options, though neither seems fit to jump the others on the depth chart.
WIDE RECEIVER: The Rams should be much improved at wide receiver this year, even with the loss of Danny Amendola. Tavon Austin is the explosive first round draft pick from West Virginia. He will be the primary slot receiver, but will also come out of the backfield and be a return man for the Rams. Keep that in mind if your league gives stats to individuals for that. I am looking at Austin as a WR3, with obvious upside. Chris Givens broke out last season. He is a fantastic deep threat, and has added muscle in the offseason. The Rams will move him around, and he is a guy who should continue to improve as he develops from "raw talent" into an experienced route runner. I like him as much as I do Austin, and think you can get him later. He is a solid WR3. The rest of the guys are probably not worth drafting, but all of them are worth monitoring as the season goes on. Brian Quick was expected to contribute more than he did last year. He has a big body, but just needs to add some polish to his game. Austin Pettis is a possession receiver who has not done much with the opportunities he has had to this point, but has the potential to contribute. Lastly, Stedman Bailey may have to wait for an injury to get an opportunity, but has very steady hands and decent speed. Like most of the Rams receivers, he is versatile enough to play inside or out.
TIGHT END: Jared Cook comes in from Tennessee, where he showed flashes of brilliance but failed to really break out. Fisher and Schottenheimer love to use tight ends, so expect him to get a heavy workload. If the receivers play up to their potential, this could finally be the year he realizes his potential. I look at him as a high end TE2, though using him as a TE1 wouldn't be terrible. Lance Kendricks overall numbers were disappointing last season, though he was much better in the second half. If Cook is injured, Kendricks would be a decent fill in option if you don't have a strong backup.
KICKER: Greg Zuerlein proved very valuable last year, especially early in the season. He was 17/20 on field goals in the first 7 games, and 6/11 the rest of the way. He did hit 7 from 50+ yards and 7 more 40-49 yarders, so he can get you some big points. Also noteworthy is that he will play 13 of his 16 games indoors. He is a fine kicker to have if he is still available for you in the last round of your draft.
DEFENSE-SPECIAL TEAMS: The Rams defense was strong last year, exceeding all expectations. Chris Long had another double digit sack season, and Robert Quinn got over 10 for the first time. They added two starters via the draft in Alec Ogletree and TJ McDonald, and brought in Will Witherspoon for linebacker depth. They will probably be a middle of the road team in terms of points allowed and interceptions, but they are arguably the best pass rushing team in football. They are a starting defense, probably in the 8-12 range.