On Thursday, Aug. 4, it was reported that Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford has struggled to get better from elbow tendinitis. Stafford underwent a minor process in the course of the offseason, however his elbow “did not get to a place where he really needs to be,” in line with NFL Community’s Ian Rapoport. With Stafford set to have restricted reps throughout spring, what impression does this have on his fantasy football worth, and the way does it impression the worth of these round him?
Matthew Stafford damage replace
Throughout his report on Stafford’s damage, Rapoport acknowledged that he doesn’t “sense any stress” from the Rams over the damage long run. Nonetheless, this can be a throwing arm damage to a quarterback, so it isn’t one thing that we are able to merely ignore. Head coach Sean McVay later described the injury as “irregular for a quarterback,” evaluating it to accidents that MLB pitchers take care of.
McVay additionally added that Stafford might have pushed via, however that having him accomplish that just isn’t one of the best factor. That assertion would point out that if the Rams have been enjoying their season-opener tomorrow in opposition to the Buffalo Payments, Stafford could be on the sphere and enjoying via the ache.
The opposite promising factor is that the Rams haven’t shut Stafford down fully. He nonetheless threw in 7-on-7 drills, and McVay acknowledged that he “regarded actually good” throughout observe Thursday. These are all promising indicators that Stafford’s workload is just being managed versus anything. If the ache lingers or will get worse, that’s when concern ought to actually rise.
In that scenario, might we see the Rams play the lengthy sport? Might they place Stafford on the Bodily Unable to Carry out (PUP) record to open the season? Stafford would then miss the primary six video games not less than earlier than being eligible to return in Week 7. Whereas that’s not the place the scenario is at present heading, fantasy managers ought to take heed to the likelihood.
Stafford is a gifted QB and completed because the QB6 in fantasy in 2021. His present ADP has him going because the tenth to twelfth QB off the board. His ceiling is considerably capped as a result of his lack of impression within the run sport, which is mirrored by Stafford having been a top-five fantasy QB simply as soon as in his profession (2011).
The scenario at QB behind Stafford in drafts consists of the likes of Trey Lance, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, and Tua Tagovailoa. All of these have uncertainty round their fantasy worth for numerous causes. What this uncertainty does is considerably slide Stafford nearer to that group than it does put him with the likes of Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers, who’re going simply above him on common.
Moreover, in case you are drafting early within the month, the way you view Stafford relies on your format. In 1QB codecs, Stafford’s present worth is properly definitely worth the funding. He has the upside to be a top-10 QB, and his flooring within the Rams offense is a borderline QB1. If he does miss time as a result of damage, the shallow nature of the 1QB format presents loads of choices for managers to stream a brief alternative.
Issues do change slightly in Superflex or 2QB formats. In these leagues, the depth on the QB place just isn’t as wealthy. If Stafford have been to overlook time with this elbow damage, discovering a alternative on the waiver wire wouldn’t be as easy. Due to this fact, fantasy managers could view the likes of Derek Carr or Kirk Cousins as being safer choices in these codecs.
Neither has the identical upside as Stafford, having not completed inside the highest 10 on the place within the final 4 years. Nonetheless, each have stable flooring as low-end QB1/high-end QB2s. Due to this fact, they might current a much less dangerous choice at this level within the offseason.
The opposite choice for managers seeking to draft Stafford is to ensure they get a QB3 who they be ok with in the course of the early a part of the season. Daniel Jones has been performing properly in camp, whereas Jared Goff and Davis Mills current intriguing upside choices. Pairing Stafford with a kind of as a QB3 in your roster may also help mitigate any threat of the Rams’ QB lacking time.
Is there a possible fantasy impression on Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, or Tyler Higbee?
This information does elevate some degree of concern across the fantasy worth of the Rams’ cross catchers. John Wolford could be an enormous step down when it comes to capacity if he have been to must play vital time in the course of the 2022 season. One other factor to pay attention to is that if the Rams must handle Stafford’s ache, they might not throw that a lot later in video games once they have a transparent lead or are going through a big deficit. That ought to not have a serious fantasy impression, but it surely might simply restrict some “rubbish time” manufacturing for all concerned.
Cooper Kupp flourished with Stafford underneath middle in 2021. In 2019 with Goff as QB, he was nonetheless the WR4 for fantasy. Nonetheless, he scored 177 fantasy factors in that season in comparison with 295 final yr, as he completed far and above because the WR1 in fantasy. Stafford lacking time will surely harm Kupp’s fantasy worth. He averages near 10 factors per sport (PPG) extra in PPR and eight PPG extra in non-PPR with Stafford than within the two years prior.
With there seeming to be a restricted concern proper now that Stafford misses time, it isn’t time to overreact. Kupp’s present ADP has him because the WR1, being chosen with a top-five choose in each PPR and non-PPR codecs. The present damage information for Stafford drops him nearer to Justin Jefferson, however he stays very viable because the WR1 in fantasy drafts. If information begins to develop that Stafford might miss time, then Kupp’s worth would slide again nearer to the again finish of the primary spherical of fantasy drafts.
The scenario is analogous with Robinson and Higbee. Robinson at present has an ADP on the again finish of the fifth spherical in 12-team leagues, whereas Higbee is being chosen within the closing couple of rounds. These values are tremendous if Stafford is enjoying and wholesome. Nonetheless, each would see vital decreases in worth if he misses time.
Anticipating Wolford to help three fantasy property could be extraordinarily optimistic. In his profession, he has thrown 48 passes, finishing 26 for 365 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Granted, it’s a particularly small pattern dimension, however betting on a big enchancment could be dangerous. If Wolford has to begin, each Robinson and Higbee would see a big drop in worth on a week-to-week foundation.
All three major cross catchers would nonetheless have worth if and when Stafford returned, however Kupp could be the one one that may be a must-start to open the yr if Stafford finds himself on the PUP in Week 1. Whereas that may be a hypothetical scenario proper now, it’s one thing fantasy managers drafting early within the month have to think about. Proper now, all three retain their present worth, however popping out of drafts, having a backup to Robinson that you just be ok with beginning if that you must is a great transfer.