Fantasy News & Analysis

Jahnke: Fantasy football reactions from the Rams' MNF win over the Buccaneers

Tampa, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) drops back to pass during the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

An excellent weekend of football concluded with a potential playoff preview between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Neither team found much success running the football, which meant the team that fielded the superior passing offense would end up victorious. In this case, it was the Rams' offense, led by its starting receivers, outplaying Tom Brady and his big-name receivers. It was a frustrating night for fantasy football managers, as several of the players who scored touchdowns were not the players who were starting in most lineups.

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As always, this collection of fantasy reactions will include snap counts for skill players on each team, along with notes on players who saw their fantasy stocks rise or fall during the action. 

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Los Angeles Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Robert Woods – 68 snaps Chris Godwin – 68 snaps
Josh Reynolds – 65 snaps Mike Evans – 61 snaps
Cooper Kupp – 52 snaps Antonio Brown – 43 snaps
Van Jefferson – 4 snaps Scotty Miller – 15 snaps
Tyler Johnson – 7 snaps
Tyler Higbee – 52 snaps Rob Gronkowski – 54 snaps
Gerald Everett – 41 snaps Cameron Brate – 29 snaps
Johnny Mundt – 6 snaps Antony Auclair – 6 snaps
Darrell Henderson – 33 snaps Leonard Fournette – 36 snaps
Malcolm Brown – 27 snaps Ronald Jones – 25 snaps
Cam Akers – 12 snaps
Total – 72 snaps Total – 69 snaps

Winner: WR Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

The winner's spot was definitely going to a Rams receiver; the only question was which one. Cooper Kupp caught 11 of the 13 passes thrown his way for 145 yards, while Woods caught 12-of-15 for 130 yards. Woods ends up narrowly beating out Kupp because he scored the first touchdown of the game.

A single Rams wide receiver has caught 10 passes just six times in the last four seasons coming into the game. This Monday Night Football performance now brings the total to eight. We might never have another game where both Kupp and Woods both play this well together.

Loser: RB Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jones was coming off a career game that saw him rack up 192 rushing yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. It seemed like the early-down role could finally be his with how well he’d been playing. Instead, he was largely ineffective tonight. He took all 10 first- and second-down snaps in the first quarter, gaining 16 yards on six carries. Over the rest of the game, Leonard Fournette ended up taking over 60% of the early-down snaps (leading to more carries) while also playing over 90% of the third-down snaps. Fournette also took the goal-line snap, giving him the game's only rushing touchdown. Going forward, Jones can only be trusted in games against weaker run defenses.

Player To Cut: Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams

The Rams' running back rotation was as frustrating as ever, with Darrell Henderson playing roughly half of the early-down snaps and Brown and Cam Akers splitting the remaining half.

Brown remained the third-down back but was stuck pass blocking a lot of the time, leaving him with one target for 8 yards. Brown’s value has been helped by the fact that he typically played a significant amount of the time when the Rams were close to scoring. Tonight, when the Rams were within 10 yards of a touchdown, all three backs played two snaps.

Brown still has more value than Akers this year because of his pass-game work, but a decrease in early-down snaps and decrease in goal-line work removes the value he once had.

Dynasty Watch: WR Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams

Jefferson, a second-round rookie, scored his first NFL touchdown tonight. Early in the season, the Rams rotated Jefferson with Josh Reynolds. That experiment stopped in Week 3, but Jefferson continued to see a few snaps each game. He’s ranged from three offensive snaps to 14 in recent weeks, but he has recorded a catch in five consecutive games.

Reynolds is an unrestricted free agent next offseason, and the Rams won’t be in a position to sign many players. Jefferson has graded better than Reynolds — albeit on a small sample size — and he should outperform Reynolds if he can keep the starting role next year. He is someone worth trading for within the next few weeks, just not in the next few days since his touchdown probably raised his value a little bit.

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