NFL News & Analysis

NFC Championship: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from the Los Angeles Rams' win

Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) runs past San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (4) in the fourth quarter during the NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams pulled out the second comeback victory of the day Sunday, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship Game. The Rams now advance to Super Bowl 56, where they'll face the Cincinnati Bengals in Inglewood, Calif.

The Rams dominated the time of possession in the first half but failed to score on three of their four drives. However, Matthew Stafford & Co. made up for their early missteps by scoring three times in the fourth quarter.

As usual, star receiver Cooper Kupp led the team with two touchdowns, while Odell Beckham Jr. enjoyed his first 100-yard receiving game since 2019.

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Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties like offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams

  • Cooper Kupp: 11 receptions, 142 yards, 2 TD (5 explosive plays)
  • Deebo Samuel: 4 receptions, 72 yards (54 yards after contact), 1 TD; 7 carries, 26 yards
San Francisco 49ers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Brandon Aiyuk 48 30 7 0
Deebo Samuel 39 26 7 7
Jauan Jennings 27 20 2 0
Trent Sherfield 9 3 0 0
Travis Benjamin 4 2 1 0
TE
George Kittle 51 30 3 0
Charlie Woerner 11 6 0 0
HB
Elijah Mitchell 24 12 3 11
JaMycal Hasty 7 6 2 0
Total 51 31 25 19

 

Los Angeles Rams Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Cooper Kupp 77 48 13 1
Van Jefferson 67 42 5 0
Odell Beckham Jr. 66 44 11 0
Bennett Skowronek 21 10 1 0
TE
Kendall Blanton 61 36 6 0
Tyler Higbee 14 10 2 0
HB
Sony Michel 44 30 2 10
Cam Akers 30 16 1 13
Jake Funk 3 0 0 0
Total 77 48 41 28

Monitor the Tyler Higbee injury: The Rams' starting tight end suffered a knee injury early in the game and was ruled out in the third quarter. Kendall Blanton took over as the Rams' only tight end the rest of the game.

Earlier in the year, Blanton served as the receiving tight end with Higbee out on the COVID-19 reserve list, and he scored a key touchdown early for the Rams last week. He provided a spark in this game, catching five passes for 57 yards.

If Higbee misses the Super Bowl due to this injury, Brycen Hopkins could get some playing time on early downs or in two-tight end sets, while Blanton would remain the receiving tight end. If both C.J. Uzomah and Higbee miss time, Blanton would be the top receiving tight end in the Super Bowl.

Monitor the other Rams' injuries: Cam Akers and Van Jefferson missed significant time in this game due to injury. Both players returned but played as part of a rotation rather than their usual roles.

Akers was an effective rusher when called upon, but the Rams ended up passing for most of the game. Jefferson was barely involved in the passing game, with multiple incomplete deep targets and two short completions. It will be worth monitoring their injuries over the next two weeks. The healthier they are, the more playing time they’ll receive.

The 49ers' new top rusher: All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel took the league by storm early in the season as a receiver but started getting involved in the run game in mid-November. He ran the ball 10 times in each of the last two games, and while he didn’t quite reach that point today, he still led the team in rushing yards.

Conversely, Elijah Mitchell saw his highest workload since the first half of the regular season. He ran the ball more than Samuel, but Samuel nearly doubled Mitchell in yards per carry.

San Francisco will still rely on Mitchell to run out the clock in the fourth quarter if they have a lead, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Samuel has more rushing production than Mitchell in neutral or losing games.

This situation could get more complicated if the 49ers bring back Raheem Mostert. Mostert started the season as the starter but quickly landed on injured reserve. San Francisco could also bring in a different back to compete with Mitchell. His ADP will change throughout the offseason, depending on the moves the 49ers make. 

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