IDP Buy or Sell 2023: Los Angeles Rams

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What a difference one year can make. Who are the Rams' IDP Buy/Sell candidates who will help them take the next step and become relevant again?


The Los Angeles Rams are in complete rebuild mode on the defensive side of the ball. Here are the significant contributors from 2022 that will not be in a Rams jersey for 2023 and will directly affect their IDP Buy/Sell candidates.

They will be missing Greg Gaines and Leonard Floyd on the defensive line. At Linebacker, they will miss one of the best in Bobby Wagner. The Rams will also no longer have Nick Scott, David Long Jr., and Jalen Ramsey in the defensive backfield. This creates a ton of opportunity for multiple players going into the off-season and into OTAs.

Buy

Michael Hoecht, Defensive Line

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Michael Hoecht was an undrafted free agent out of Brown University who just completed his second year with the Rams. After making the final roster in 2021, Hoecht mainly played special teams. He did play a total of 110 defensive snaps to get his feet wet. Hoecht produced seven tackles (six solos) in his very limited action.

Hoecht's 2022 started the same way, with mainly special teams action. Again, he had minimal snaps through Week 11, with only 15 defensive snaps.

Moving On Up...

In Week 12, Aaron Donald suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Here was the chance that Hoecht has been waiting for. At 6' 4" and 310 lbs, he was ready to claim his spot in the NFL. Hoecht delivered six tackles (two solos) in his first extensive action in the Rams uniform on 84% of the defensive snaps.

He then followed that up in Week 13 with a fantastic game. Hoecht again played 84% of the defensive snaps and delivered three solo tackles, one tackle for a loss, three QB hits, two sacks, and a forced fumble. This alone was good enough to place him squarely on the buy portion of the IDP Buy/Sell.

Hoecht placed his claim on a significant Rams defensive roster spot by his performance in those final seven games of 2022. He averaged a whopping 83% of the defensive snaps. Hoecht produced an average of nearly five tackles (three solos) per game. Tackles are the barometer of the defensive line performance and what sets them apart from the masses.

In his final six games, Hoecht produced a combined four tackles for a loss, nine QB hits, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and even a kickoff return of 22 yards. He needs to be on your roster and may even be on your waiver wire.

Buy

Ernest Jones, Linebacker

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With Bobby Wagner's departure, Ernest Jones might be an obvious choice for the buy category. The real question is how big of an IDP buy/sell. How hard do you try to obtain this LB that just completed his second year with the Rams?

Jones was drafted in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of South Carolina. He was pretty quiet through the first seven weeks of the season, having only played 45 total defensive snaps.

Out With the Old...

The trade of fellow LB Kenny Young opened the door for Jones. He took advantage of the opportunity with two games of nine tackles and another game of 11 tackles. Jones showed that he belonged on the NFL field until he got hurt in Week 16 with a high ankle sprain which ended his 2021 season.

In 2022, Bobby Wagner joined the fold as a leader and mentor for Jones. How did Jones respond to the experience? He produced a very nice 114 tackles (66 solos), 4 tackles for a loss, 1 QB hit, 2 passes defended, 1 interception, and a forced fumble. Jones' year alongside one of the greats has set him up for continued success and fantasy relevancy.

With Jones taking the Wagner role all to himself, I see 150 tackles in his future and a top 10 in LB scoring. Do what you can to obtain him now. His price will only go up.

Sell

Aaron Donald, Defensive Line

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Aaron Donald is and was probably the greatest defensive lineman to play in the modern-era NFL. He is one of the true modern-day warriors that rarely misses action. Donald was selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He started as a rookie and has been the megastar since.

Donald will turn 32 in a few weeks. All of those games are starting to take a toll. He is starting to show some kinks in the armor. Donald had never missed more than two games in a season. He started every game in six of his seasons, averaging 36 solo tackles per season.

The lowest year of his career was 2022, with just 27 solo tackles. Donald averaged 19 tackles for a loss during his career, with only 10 tackles for a loss in 2022. He averaged 12 sacks a year before his career low of just five last year.

Still Fantasy Relevant

Donald still has a very fantasy-relevant name and will get a nice return. Y'all need to really look at whether it is time to move on and collect the check. He only averaged one QB hit per game when he has been as high as two and a half QB hits per game. Sell this IDP buy/sell candidate and cash out now. Do not give him away, though. He still does have value in any IDP league.


Thank you for checking out my 23′ Team IDP Buy/Sell article! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please consider becoming a subscriber!

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