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Dynasty & Redraft: Rams RB Cam Akers


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Fantasy Winners & Losers: Matthew Stafford & Jared Goff Trade (2021)

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Cam Akers  (RB – LAR)

Akers dealt with early-season injuries and underutilization to kick off his first NFL season, but he finished the campaign on a high note, racking up 86 attempts across his last four regular-season games, including a 29/171 rushing line in Week 14 in a huge win over New England. He was equally impressive in the postseason, going for 272 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns across the Rams’ two playoff games. What does the change at quarterback mean for Akers’ 2021 outlook, though? In 2020, Akers faced eight men in the box on 37.93% of carries – fourth-most in the NFL. Fellow rookie and Matthew Stafford teammate D’Andre Swift, on the other hand, faced stacked boxes on just 22.81% of carries. Does this suggest that opposing defenses respected Stafford more than Goff? That’s a fair assumption, and it’s likely Akers enjoys some bigger holes and additional running lanes in 2021.

 

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Speaking Thursday, Rams coach Sean McVay called Cam Akers an every-down back. 

"I think he's an every-down back, I think he's a very special player," was McVay's exact quote. Just 11 of Akers' 156 regular season touches were receptions, while he drew only three targets during the Rams' two-game postseason run. Akers' early-down workload will be voluminous enough on its own to make him an RB1 in 2021, but increased passing-game usage could vault him into the top 3-5. Akers caught 30 balls his final year at Florida State, so it is not an alien concept to him. The 21-year-old's fantasy arrow is screaming upward. 

SOURCE: Stu Jackson on Twitter 

Feb 25, 2021, 3:38 PM ET

 

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I know McVay is FOS but he did call Akers an every down back and gave him the rock down the stretch to that effect. I'm surprised people don't think he is going to be the guy.

I think I have to rank Swift higher for 2021 because his PPR ceiling is just that much higher, it just is. But since folks are getting into it over in the trades thread, here is a bump for the Akers thread. 

This is definitely a "watch out for in your ear" situation with McVay but I'm betting they ride him as a true 3 down back. I don't think Henderson goes away by any means and it isn't going to be a true bellcow domination of touches. But Akers is going to get fed this year and they will probably be protecting a lot of leads.

Henderson may be going way too low, though, even if I'm right. If I'm wrong about Akers, then DH is criminally undervalued right now.

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6 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

I know McVay is FOS but he did call Akers an every down back and gave him the rock down the stretch to that effect. I'm surprised people don't think he is going to be the guy.

I think I have to rank Swift higher for 2021 because his PPR ceiling is just that much higher, it just is. But since folks are getting into it over in the trades thread, here is a bump for the Akers thread. 

This is definitely a "watch out for in your ear" situation with McVay but I'm betting they ride him as a true 3 down back. I don't think Henderson goes away by any means and it isn't going to be a true bellcow domination of touches. But Akers is going to get fed this year and they will probably be protecting a lot of leads.

Henderson may be going way too low, though, even if I'm right. If I'm wrong about Akers, then DH is criminally undervalued right now.

Henderson is going to be a must have handcuff to Akers.

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14 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

Henderson is going to be a must have handcuff to Akers.

Yes and one of the few situations where we know who the cuff is. There are other known backfield situations but it doesn't always go to who we think it will. Cuffs are tricky to identify. In dynasty I don't care about cuffs but in redraft it can be a very big deal. Even then I will often avoid trying to guess who it will be, but in this case I agree and think Henderson is a must own cuff to Akers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Rams look for a more complete Cam Akers this season
 

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THOUSAND OAKS — Cam Akers’ rookie year with the Rams was a mix of pain and promise. 

The pain: The running back fell on the ball awkwardly on a red zone carry in his second game and missed most of the next month, and he had to play through an ankle sprain late in the season. 

The promise: He finished on fire, rushing for 92.1 yards per game over the final two months, an average that would be third-best in the NFL if he kept it up over a full schedule. 

How much of that promise Akers can fulfill in his second season has been a topic during the Rams’ organized team activities (OTAs) the past two weeks. 

Last year’s second-round draft pick from Florida State, who turns 22 on June 22, notices his own improvement. 

“Mentally, everything has just slowed down, everything is easier for me,” Akers said recently. “I understand the playbook a lot more, I understand blocking schemes, I understand who I need to block.” 

That’s vital if true. If Akers is a more reliable blocker on passing plays, Coach Sean McVay will trust him to be on the field for every down. 

“I think it’s just continuing to become more and more complete,” McVay said Friday. “He’s got the skill set. He’s capable.” 

Akers began 2020 alongside Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown in a three-man running-back committee trying to replace Todd Gurley, and ended up as the Rams’ leading rusher (625 yards), topping Henderson by 1 yard, while trailing Henderson in yards from scrimmage (rushing plus receiving), 783-748.

His production should increase. It usually does for good running backs in their second season. The seven backs drafted in the second round from 2016-19 – starting with Derrick Henry – saw their yards from scrimmage go from an average of 770 in year 1 to 1,094 in year 2. 

Akers said that going into OTAs as the Rams’ No. 1 back doesn’t change his thinking. 

“Mentally, I just take it day by day and prepare,” he said. “I don’t make it more than what it is.” 

But the Rams naturally dream of seeing more of what Akers gave them in a December victory over the Patriots (29 carries for 171 yards, 2 catches for 23) and the playoff victory over the Seahawks (28 for 131, 2 for 45). 

“(If) a young, talented back (is) on the field more often and with more of the playbook available to them, I think that’s when you really see them take that leap,” Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth, who’s going into his 16th season, said of players going into their second. 

Said cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Akers’ fellow Florida State alum: “I can’t wait to see him grow from here. I just pray that he can remain healthy and can help lead the offense, because we need him.” 

Ramsey said that in January before the Rams traded for quarterback Matthew Stafford to try to improve their passing game. 

But the importance of revving up the running game remains the same for McVay, who preaches that a good offense needs balance. 

“He’s obviously a great runner, but he’s got ability as a pass-catcher coming from the backfield, and we can displace him and put him in the slot or the outside receiver location,” McVay said of Akers. “There’s not any limitations, but we’ll see how it comes to life.”

 

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I have noticed that people are not talking about Akers competition for playing time in the same way they are talking about this with Swift and Dobbins and I dont understand why?

Henderson is a better RB in my opinion than the guys Swift and Dobbins are competing with.

This lack of analysis and discussion regarding Akers /Henderson/Rams offensive changes seems off to me.

It's like everyone just decided Akers is the man and nothing further to discuss. I dont think Akers sample size is large enough for any one to be that certain about it as they seem to be.

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34 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

I have noticed that people are not talking about Akers competition for playing time in the same way they are talking about this with Swift and Dobbins and I dont understand why?

Henderson is a better RB in my opinion than the guys Swift and Dobbins are competing with.

This lack of analysis and discussion regarding Akers /Henderson/Rams offensive changes seems off to me.

It's like everyone just decided Akers is the man and nothing further to discuss. I dont think Akers sample size is large enough for any one to be that certain about it as they seem to be.

I think it's because of the usage at the end of last year (granted, Henderson had been hurt) mixed with the performance and the coachspeak from this year. I think that's why the ceiling is so high for Akers right now compared to Swift and Dobbins, who both have quality backs (Jamaal Williams and Gus Edwards) that can catch and run behind them and who have both -- Williams and Edwards -- proven it at an NFL level. The likelihood of Edwards and Williams, who were, respectively, a second-round tender and a RFA, eating into work seems to be greater than an unproven Henderson eating at Akers's expense, at least in people's minds.

I think Henderson is going too low, and would acquire at his current cost. That's my thinking, anyway.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, rockaction said:

I think it's because of the usage at the end of last year (granted, Henderson had been hurt) mixed with the performance and the coachspeak from this year. I think that's why the ceiling is so high for Akers right now compared to Swift and Dobbins, who both have quality backs (Jamaal Williams and Gus Edwards) that can catch and run behind them and who have both -- Williams and Edwards -- proven it at an NFL level. The likelihood of Edwards and Williams, who were, respectively, a second-round tender and a RFA, eating into work seems to be greater than an unproven Henderson eating at Akers's expense, at least in people's minds.

I think Henderson is going too low, and would acquire at his current cost. That's my thinking, anyway.

Alright well lets talk about that usage.

1	2020	2020-09-13	1	1	21.083	LAR		DAL	W 20-17	*	14	39	2.79	0	1	1	4	4.00	0	100.0%	4.00	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	24	33%	0	0%	0	0%
2	2020	2020-09-20	2	2	21.090	LAR	@	PHI	W 37-19	*	3	13	4.33	0	0	0	0		0	0.0%		0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	3	4%	0	0%	0	0%
3	2020	2020-09-27	3	3		LAR	@	BUF	L 32-35	Inactive
4	2020	2020-10-04	4	4		LAR		NYG	W 17-9	Inactive
5	2020	2020-10-11	5	5	21.111	LAR	@	WAS	W 30-10		9	61	6.78	0	0	0	0		0	0.0%		0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	13	19%	0	0%	0	0%
6	2020	2020-10-18	6	6	21.118	LAR	@	SFO	L 16-24											0.0%		0	0							1	2%	0	0%	0	0%
7	2020	2020-10-26	7	7	21.126	LAR		CHI	W 24-10											0.0%		0	0							3	4%	0	0%	0	0%
8	2020	2020-11-01	8	8	21.132	LAR	@	MIA	L 17-28		9	35	3.89	0	1	1	19	19.00	0	100.0%	19.00	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	20	21%	0	0%	0	0%
9	2020	2020-11-15	9	10	21.146	LAR		SEA	W 23-16		10	38	3.80	0	0	0	0		0	0.0%		0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	18	26%	0	0%	0	0%
10	2020	2020-11-23	10	11	21.154	LAR	@	TAM	W 27-24		5	15	3.00	0	1	1	4	4.00	1	100.0%	4.00	1	6	0	0	0	0	0	0	12	17%	0	0%	0	0%
11	2020	2020-11-29	11	12	21.160	LAR		SFO	L 20-23		9	84	9.33	1	0	0	0		0	0.0%		1	6	0	0	0	0	0	0	17	27%	0	0%	0	0%
12	2020	2020-12-06	12	13	21.167	LAR	@	ARI	W 38-28		21	72	3.43	1	1	1	22	22.00	0	100.0%	22.00	1	6	0	0	0	0	0	0	52	63%	0	0%	0	0%
13	2020	2020-12-10	13	14	21.171	LAR		NWE	W 24-3	*	29	171	5.90	0	3	2	23	11.50	0	66.7%	7.67	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	50	79%	0	0%	0	0%
14	2020	2020-12-20	14	15	21.181	LAR		NYJ	L 20-23	*	15	63	4.20	0	3	1	-1	-1.00	0	33.3%	-0.33	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	36	61%	0	0%	0	0%
15	2020	2020-12-27	15	16		LAR	@	SEA	L 9-20	Inactive
16	2020	2021-01-03	16	17	21.195	LAR		ARI	W 18-7	*	21	34	1.62	0	4	4	52	13.00	0	100.0%	13.00	0	0	1	1	0	0	0	0	48	66%	0	0%	0	0%

Akers basically had one really good game against the Patriots who only scored 3 points which is a big part of why the Rams could just give the ball to Akers 29 times.

Lots of touches vs the Cardinals and Jets but his production in those games was not that great especially that last game less than 2 yards per carry on 21 attempts. It gets helped out by Akers having 4 receptions but this was the only game that Akers had more than 2 receptions.

So why the face? This is not that great.

Last season Henderson had 4.5 ypc and Akers had 4.3 so its not like Akers was a more effective player than Henderson either.

How does Akers have more upside than Swift or Dobbins? Not based off this surely.

Edited by Biabreakable
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Posted (edited)

Looking at this ADP for dynasty and they have Akers is the 15th player overall, RB 8 ahead of Swift and Dobbins and ahead of Aaron Jones as well.

Why?

Then the FBG dynasty trade chart Akers is 11th overall and RB 6

I am not seeing anything in Akers performance that would cause me to project numbers for him that would put him nearly this high and I think Akers is being massively over valued.

Edited by Biabreakable
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35 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Alright well lets talk about that usage.


1	2020	2020-09-13	1	1	21.083	LAR		DAL	W 20-17	*	14	39	2.79	0	1	1	4	4.00	0	100.0%	4.00	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	24	33%	0	0%	0	0%
2	2020	2020-09-20	2	2	21.090	LAR	@	PHI	W 37-19	*	3	13	4.33	0	0	0	0		0	0.0%		0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	3	4%	0	0%	0	0%
3	2020	2020-09-27	3	3		LAR	@	BUF	L 32-35	Inactive
4	2020	2020-10-04	4	4		LAR		NYG	W 17-9	Inactive
5	2020	2020-10-11	5	5	21.111	LAR	@	WAS	W 30-10		9	61	6.78	0	0	0	0		0	0.0%		0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	13	19%	0	0%	0	0%
6	2020	2020-10-18	6	6	21.118	LAR	@	SFO	L 16-24											0.0%		0	0							1	2%	0	0%	0	0%
7	2020	2020-10-26	7	7	21.126	LAR		CHI	W 24-10											0.0%		0	0							3	4%	0	0%	0	0%
8	2020	2020-11-01	8	8	21.132	LAR	@	MIA	L 17-28		9	35	3.89	0	1	1	19	19.00	0	100.0%	19.00	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	20	21%	0	0%	0	0%
9	2020	2020-11-15	9	10	21.146	LAR		SEA	W 23-16		10	38	3.80	0	0	0	0		0	0.0%		0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	18	26%	0	0%	0	0%
10	2020	2020-11-23	10	11	21.154	LAR	@	TAM	W 27-24		5	15	3.00	0	1	1	4	4.00	1	100.0%	4.00	1	6	0	0	0	0	0	0	12	17%	0	0%	0	0%
11	2020	2020-11-29	11	12	21.160	LAR		SFO	L 20-23		9	84	9.33	1	0	0	0		0	0.0%		1	6	0	0	0	0	0	0	17	27%	0	0%	0	0%
12	2020	2020-12-06	12	13	21.167	LAR	@	ARI	W 38-28		21	72	3.43	1	1	1	22	22.00	0	100.0%	22.00	1	6	0	0	0	0	0	0	52	63%	0	0%	0	0%
13	2020	2020-12-10	13	14	21.171	LAR		NWE	W 24-3	*	29	171	5.90	0	3	2	23	11.50	0	66.7%	7.67	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	50	79%	0	0%	0	0%
14	2020	2020-12-20	14	15	21.181	LAR		NYJ	L 20-23	*	15	63	4.20	0	3	1	-1	-1.00	0	33.3%	-0.33	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	36	61%	0	0%	0	0%
15	2020	2020-12-27	15	16		LAR	@	SEA	L 9-20	Inactive
16	2020	2021-01-03	16	17	21.195	LAR		ARI	W 18-7	*	21	34	1.62	0	4	4	52	13.00	0	100.0%	13.00	0	0	1	1	0	0	0	0	48	66%	0	0%	0	0%

Akers basically had one really good game against the Patriots who only scored 3 points which is a big part of why the Rams could just give the ball to Akers 29 times.

Lots of touches vs the Cardinals and Jets but his production in those games was not that great especially that last game less than 2 yards per carry on 21 attempts. It gets helped out by Akers having 4 receptions but this was the only game that Akers had more than 2 receptions.

So why the face? This is not that great.

Last season Henderson had 4.5 ypc and Akers had 4.3 so its not like Akers was a more effective player than Henderson either.

How does Akers have more upside than Swift or Dobbins? Not based off this surely.

Bia, I don't think your chart is showing what you want it to show. It's just a bunch of numbers without headings. I'd look at the formatting again. That's not snark. It's just that I can't understand anything from that chart.

I looked up Football Perspective's stats for Akers during the year.

He had 22, 32, 18, and 25 touches his last four regular season games. Then he suffered the ankle injury. When he returned, he was immediately thrust into a starting tole in the playoffs, where he had over 30 touches one game and 19 in the other.

That means his usage over his last healthy games he was averaging 156/6 or 26 touches a game.

That's a lot.

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Sorry the data I posted is just the game log from PFR maybe its easier to look at this way.

Akers only had 16 touches vs the Jets not 18  and 31 vs the Patriots otherwise that all looks the same.

He had 94 touches over these 4 games and 436 yards. That is 4.6 yards per touch over that time frame which isn't all that great.

Dobbins had 6.1 yards per touch last season and Swift had 5.5 yards per touch. Both better than Akers.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Sorry the data I posted is just the game log from PFR maybe its easier to look at this way.

Akers only had 16 touches vs the Jets not 18  and 31 vs the Patriots otherwise that all looks the same.

He had 94 touches over these 4 games and 436 yards. That is 4.6 yards per touch over that time frame which isn't all that great.

Dobbins had 6.1 yards per touch last season and Swift had 5.5 yards per touch. Both better than Akers.

I was counting targets as touches, I guess. Which I thought made more sense unless you're going to study YPC or YAC. You're really looking for how many opportunities the coaching staff gave him. What he did with those chances becomes another story. Maybe that's not standard for running backs. I don't know. That might be really wrong. But that was a total of three touches in total, so...

I think I'd rather see it my way when thinking about opportunities to touch the football. Then efficiency rates can come into receiving and rushing outlooks.

But my math is also wrong, apparently. It's 146 touches divided by six, which gives you twenty four and a half touches per game.

That's still a lot of opportunities. That's what I'm saying people are banking on, not his efficiency with those touches.

Anyway, if you think he's being overvalued, by all means take Swift and Dobbins in your drafts. I think consensus is that they're blocked on their way to having that type of touch count. Efficiency can't really make up for twenty-five touches when the efficient guys are only getting eighteen a game or so, which is probably even on the plus side for any Dobbins or Swift prognosticator.

Edited by rockaction
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Agree that the value of Akers relative to Dobbins/Swift is expected higher workload expected for Cam.

Not sure I agree that Henderson is as good - or as much as a thorn in Akers' side - as Gus or Jamaal is relative to Dobbins and Swift, respectively. Gus and Jamaal are very well regarded by their coaching staffs and there are already signs that they'll be used heavily. In contrast, McVay seems to more inclined to ride one guy and unless something has changed, Akers seems to have put Henderson in the rear view mirror (although I admittedly could be wrong on that).

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54 minutes ago, zamboni said:

Agree that the value of Akers relative to Dobbins/Swift is expected higher workload expected for Cam.

Not sure I agree that Henderson is as good - or as much as a thorn in Akers' side - as Gus or Jamaal is relative to Dobbins and Swift, respectively. Gus and Jamaal are very well regarded by their coaching staffs and there are already signs that they'll be used heavily. In contrast, McVay seems to more inclined to ride one guy and unless something has changed, Akers seems to have put Henderson in the rear view mirror (although I admittedly could be wrong on that).

Perception-wise I think the way some look at it is we know what Edwards and Williams are while some are still holding out hope Henderson can still elevate his game to another level...I think Akers will be decidedly better than Henderson but I do think there are still holdouts who think this won't be the case.

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Is 20 touches per game considered a long shot or something? I'm sure he won't hit the high water mark he was at towards the end of the season last year, but 20 seems pretty reasonable. I expect running efficiency metrics to improve with Stafford there. They're supposed to be throwing more but if that is successful then they're going to have better running efficiency IMO. And game scripts. I do agree with the idea that Henderson is undervalued (in redraft at least).

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Posted (edited)

I am clearly on an island in regards to this and I am okay with that.

This gap in opinion or perception about the talent level of Akers is not new for me. I had this opinion before any of these RB played a down in the NFL that Swift and Dobbins were higher tier talents than Akers is.

Some of the data I have presented on this only confirms my opinion about that.

I also have an outlier opinion about Henderson that I have not completely turned the page on yet. I give all players 3 seasons before I fully accept that they are who they are. Henderson still has another year left although I would agree that the coaches do sound like they have already moved on to Akers.

Edited by Biabreakable
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5 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

I am clearly on an island in regards to this and I am okay with that.

This gap in opinion or perception about the talent level of Akers is not new for me. I had this opinion before any of these RB played a down in the NFL that Swift and Dobbins were higher tier talents than Akers is.

Some of the data I have presented on this only confirms my opinion about that.

I also have an outlier opinion about Henderson that I have not completely turned the page on yet. I give all players 3 seasons before I fully accept that they are who they are. Henderson still has another year left although I would agree that the coaches do sound like they have already moved on to Akers.

I don't think there is anything weird or strange about having Swift and Dobbins above Akers on talent. I would agree. I don't think the gap is very large but it is more than nothing. And you're not on an island. I have found that many, many people think it is crazy to draft Akers as a top RB in the last half of the 1st round or early 2nd of redrafts. I was personally shocked to hear that people were shocked about that, but that's why it's worth reexamining these things sometimes. Maybe I'm wrong about him. I think the people that are shocked have this notion that us truthers expect those 26 touches per game still. I don't. 20 is more reasonable and still highly valuable.

But games of 25+ are within the range of outcomes. Seems like a slamdunk good pick to me in a hobby where getting stud starting RBs is a challenge that needs to be met. Only other RBs I like there are available a round later. I have Tyreek above Akers but a redraft start of Akers/Diggs or Tyreek/Gibson seems just fine to me here and there. If I go RB/RB then Akers is almost an autopick at the end of the 1st. 

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4 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

I don't think there is anything weird or strange about having Swift and Dobbins above Akers on talent. I would agree. I don't think the gap is very large but it is more than nothing. And you're not on an island. I have found that many, many people think it is crazy to draft Akers as a top RB in the last half of the 1st round or early 2nd of redrafts. I was personally shocked to hear that people were shocked about that, but that's why it's worth reexamining these things sometimes. Maybe I'm wrong about him. I think the people that are shocked have this notion that us truthers expect those 26 touches per game still. I don't. 20 is more reasonable and still highly valuable.

But games of 25+ are within the range of outcomes. Seems like a slamdunk good pick to me in a hobby where getting stud starting RBs is a challenge that needs to be met. Only other RBs I like there are available a round later. I have Tyreek above Akers but a redraft start of Akers/Diggs or Tyreek/Gibson seems just fine to me here and there. If I go RB/RB then Akers is almost an autopick at the end of the 1st. 

For your sake I hope you are right about Akers opportunity and I am wrong about him. He doesn't need to be in the uber tier of talent to get the ball a lot and be very valuable in FF. Much lesser talents (in my opinion) have had great fantasy seasons before.

I want no parts of drafting him that high and I dont worry about it because he is always gone before I would consider him.

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Rams head coach Sean McVay said there are no "limitations" on how the team can use RB Cam Akers. 

This might qualify Akers as the NFL's new Mr. Unlimited. “He’s obviously a great runner, but he’s got ability as a pass-catcher coming from the backfield, and we can displace him and put him in the slot or the outside receiver location,” McVay said. Probably Akers -- who became the team's workhorse back in the final month of the 2020 season -- won't see much time at wideout this year, but McVay's comments indicate Akers won't be treated as an early-down back in LA's retooled offense. Last year, Rams running backs had the third fewest receptions (50) and the ninth fewest receiving yards. Akers ran a meager 8.9 pass routes per game and saw 14 targets in 2020. At the peak of its powers, McVay's offense generated 87 targets for Todd Gurley in 2017. Akers could shape up as one of the most reliable backs in fantasy this season. Meanwhile, Darrell Henderson would absorb most or all of Akers' workload should he miss time in 2021.

RELATED: 

Darrell Henderson

SOURCE: ProFootballTalk.com 

Jun 7, 2021, 11:56 AM ET

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Faust said:

 

And this is the big difference between Akers and Swift and Dobbins this year. Akers’ coach is talking about getting him more and more touches. The others’ coaches are hinting at less touches and competition.

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On 6/5/2021 at 4:10 PM, Biabreakable said:

I am clearly on an island in regards to this and I am okay with that.

This gap in opinion or perception about the talent level of Akers is not new for me. I had this opinion before any of these RB played a down in the NFL that Swift and Dobbins were higher tier talents than Akers is.

Some of the data I have presented on this only confirms my opinion about that.

I also have an outlier opinion about Henderson that I have not completely turned the page on yet. I give all players 3 seasons before I fully accept that they are who they are. Henderson still has another year left although I would agree that the coaches do sound like they have already moved on to Akers.

Time to catch up

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Cam Akers covered a lot of ground in Rams rookie season despite pandemic restrictions

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With the NFL’s offseason program conducted virtually last year, Cam Akers missed out on real-time, on-field opportunities to learn coach Sean McVay’s offense.

Akers, a second-round draft pick from Florida State, proved a quick study, emerging as the starter for the season opener. Injuries sidelined him for three games, but Akers finished with a dynamic second half and established himself as a key player for a team that, following the addition of quarterback Matthew Stafford, is regarded as a Super Bowl contender.

Akers, who turns 22 on June 22, spent the last few weeks participating in organized-team activity workouts. On Tuesday, the Rams begin a three-day minicamp that will conclude Thursday with a practice before fans at SoFi Stadium.

The Rams’ running back corps also includes third-year pro Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais and rookie Jake Funk. But Akers is the lead back — and comfortable with the status.

“The only thing you can do is prepare and make sure you’re doing all you can to be at your best for your team, so that’s what I’ve been focusing on doing — whether that’s being a leader or making plays,” Akers told reporters. “Just doing what I can do to help this team. I don’t make it more than it is.”

Despite suffering a rib injury in the second game and an ankle injury in the 14th, Akers finished the season with 625 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He gained a career-best 171 yards in 29 carries in a victory over the New England Patriots. He rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown in an NFC wild-card playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Akers said he has worked this offseason to focus on the mental and physical aspects of his game.

“Making sure I know the playbook like the back of my hand,” he said. “Making sure I’m sharp on footwork. Just the little things. Sharpening up the little things.”

Akers showed his running and receiving skills as a rookie. Now, in Year 2, Akers is expected to master “the detail and what his job entails every single snap,” McVay said.

“It’s just continuing to become more and more complete,” McVay said.

Akers’ teammates are confident he will continue to progress.

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth has blocked for many running backs in his 15 seasons. It was apparent “early on” that Akers was “really wired the right way,” Whitworth said. Akers displayed confidence by communicating and encouraging older teammates regardless of whether a play went well or poorly.

“He’s not in any way star-struck,” Whitworth said, adding, “He’s just so relaxed back there, like, ‘Man, just got to give me this or that and I’m going to make a play with it.’… That’s a trait and mentality that shows you he’s wired different and he’s somebody that expects to perform well, and I think guys are excited to see him do his thing and continue to grow.”

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/7/2021 at 2:21 PM, kutta said:

And this is the big difference between Akers and Swift and Dobbins this year. Akers’ coach is talking about getting him more and more touches. The others’ coaches are hinting at less touches and competition.

Situation matters as much as talent.  Dobbins seems like a really talented RB but his situation holds him back.  

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5 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Glanced at FantasyPros rankings last night after getting my draft slot and was surprised to see Akers 12th overall in standard. Seems high but not a lot of guys behind him I’d move up either. 

Great pick

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5 hours ago, flapgreen said:

Took this guy in the second last year after taking Swift in the first. Team still sucks but would be nice if they both worked out. 

in an all rookie draft?  How did akers drop so low?

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9 hours ago, flapgreen said:

Took this guy in the second last year after taking Swift in the first. Team still sucks but would be nice if they both worked out. 

In for the obligatory "I wish I played in your league."

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6 hours ago, Deamon said:

in an all rookie draft?  How did akers drop so low?

I thought that's how it went. Pretty sure I took Swift and then Akers. Been a year so my memory may be off

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1 hour ago, flapgreen said:

I thought that's how it went. Pretty sure I took Swift and then Akers. Been a year so my memory may be off

Either way, getting both of them is crazy.  Unless you traded and had 2 1sts.

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On 6/29/2021 at 11:23 AM, Deamon said:

Either way, getting both of them is crazy.  Unless you traded and had 2 1sts.

I'm an idiot. I looked back. I guess I did have the 5th and 6th pick last year 

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This is from the great Rich Hribar piece that I mentioned in the Zeke thread.  It's promising that they stayed with him in the postseason (although Henderson was hurt) but this is something to monitor.  Akers' value will take a major hit if Henderson becomes the GL back. 

Another rookie here at the bottom is Cam Akers. Akers was 40th in red zone production despite ranking 25th in expected points in that area of the field while sharing a backfield for the majority of his rookie season. Akers converted just 3-of-33 red zone touches for scores as a rookie while converting just 1-of-8 carries inside of the 5-yard line. Malcolm Brown converted 4-of-7, but left the team via free agency while Darrell Henderson converted 4-of-9 of those carries for scores in 2020. Akers had seven of the eight team backfield touches in the red zone during the postseason and scored on two of them.

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Independent of whether I take Akers, I am targeting Henderson in the double-digit rounds. Same same with Mattison and Pollard. I don’t try to handcuff my backs. I just like to have a lot of lottery tickets and Henderson has a clear path to RB lF the unthinkable happens.

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As I've stated before in this thread, in this point in time, I believe Akers is more of a product of his surroundings (scheme, volume and OL play) than the talent. In fantasy, the surroundings can sometimes trump talent, but that's not a smart thing to bet on year to year. The talent will always win out regardless of surroundings. BUT, when the surroundings start falling apart like injuries to the OL or QB, the true identity will often come out. And that is what I'm afraid of but not necessarily sold that Akers can't succeed, I just feel he needs a lot of things to go right for him to be successful.

I saw too many runs where he was untouched bc of his elite OL and downfield blocking. I saw many holes where he left yards on the field. I saw a lot of tentativeness when it was crowded and he didn't have a huge opening. (This was evident in his goal line efficiency from last year.) His ability to manipulate his blockers vs. relying on his blockers to create the hole. Can he create on his own is my question. This all has to do with vision and he's very average to me in that respect. His surroundings have camouflaged his weaknesses but I think many fantasy people tend to look the other way and take the stats at face value as a reflection of individual success/talent. 

The funny thing is, I believe he will continue to make me look bad bc of the improved QB play that I expect from having Stafford back there as opposed to Goff. If my eval of Akers is correct, this year is his window. He gets one more season from Whitworth and the element of surprise of having a new starting QB in the system where opposing teams don't have any tape on Stafford's tendencies in a new environment. They know his tendencies in Detroit, but they don't know what they are in LA yet. That usually takes one season for the news to get out.

If Akers can show me through improved vision and decision making, I will change my tune. But until then, I see Akers as a sheep in wolf's clothing and that his true talent or lack thereof probably wont be fully revealed until 2022. 

Edited by Teezee
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1 hour ago, Teezee said:

As I've stated before in this thread, in this point in time, I believe Akers is more of a product of his surroundings (scheme, volume and OL play) than the talent. In fantasy, the surroundings can sometimes trump talent, but that's not a smart thing to bet on year to year. The talent will always win out regardless of surroundings. BUT, when the surroundings start falling apart like injuries to the OL or QB, the true identity will often come out. And that is what I'm afraid of but not necessarily sold that Akers can't succeed, I just feel he needs a lot of things to go right for him to be successful.

Tell that to Saquon and his 16 carries for 5 yards.

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On 7/11/2021 at 2:23 PM, Teezee said:

As I've stated before in this thread, in this point in time, I believe Akers is more of a product of his surroundings (scheme, volume and OL play) than the talent. In fantasy, the surroundings can sometimes trump talent, but that's not a smart thing to bet on year to year. The talent will always win out regardless of surroundings. BUT, when the surroundings start falling apart like injuries to the OL or QB, the true identity will often come out. And that is what I'm afraid of but not necessarily sold that Akers can't succeed, I just feel he needs a lot of things to go right for him to be successful.

I saw too many runs where he was untouched bc of his elite OL and downfield blocking. I saw many holes where he left yards on the field. I saw a lot of tentativeness when it was crowded and he didn't have a huge opening. (This was evident in his goal line efficiency from last year.) His ability to manipulate his blockers vs. relying on his blockers to create the hole. Can he create on his own is my question. This all has to do with vision and he's very average to me in that respect. His surroundings have camouflaged his weaknesses but I think many fantasy people tend to look the other way and take the stats at face value as a reflection of individual success/talent. 

The funny thing is, I believe he will continue to make me look bad bc of the improved QB play that I expect from having Stafford back there as opposed to Goff. If my eval of Akers is correct, this year is his window. He gets one more season from Whitworth and the element of surprise of having a new starting QB in the system where opposing teams don't have any tape on Stafford's tendencies in a new environment. They know his tendencies in Detroit, but they don't know what they are in LA yet. That usually takes one season for the news to get out.

If Akers can show me through improved vision and decision making, I will change my tune. But until then, I see Akers as a sheep in wolf's clothing and that his true talent or lack thereof probably wont be fully revealed until 2022. 

Interesting. I saw something completely different. First, he was a rookie during Covid who got hurt early. So his slow start was understandable. But once he got the job, he was very good. I thought his vision was outstanding - he seemed to find holes where there weren't any. And, rarely did the first guy get him down. And, he made a lot of guys miss in the open field when he got there.

I think he's primed to be a top 5 RB, and I'd be surprised if he's not a top 5 redraft pick in 2022.

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30 minutes ago, kutta said:

Interesting. I saw something completely different. First, he was a rookie during Covid who got hurt early. So his slow start was understandable. But once he got the job, he was very good. I thought his vision was outstanding - he seemed to find holes where there weren't any. And, rarely did the first guy get him down. And, he made a lot of guys miss in the open field when he got there.

I think he's primed to be a top 5 RB, and I'd be surprised if he's not a top 5 redraft pick in 2022.

If you wouldn’t mind providing video evidence of multiple instances that support what you saw, I’d be happy to take a look! 
 

On the flip side, I invite you to pull up any of Akers’ YouTube highlights and I will gladly show you what I see..

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5 minutes ago, Teezee said:

If you wouldn’t mind providing video evidence of multiple instances that support what you saw, I’d be happy to take a look! 
 

On the flip side, I invite you to pull up any of Akers’ YouTube highlights and I will gladly show you what I see..

Well, I went and looked before I originally posted and watched this vid.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=djdhmBrZ4KI

I guess two people can watch the same thing and see two different things…

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  • Faust changed the title to Dynasty & Redraft: Rams RB Cam Akers

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