• Navigating the Cam Akers Injury

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    The Cam Akers injury was devastating. If you have him rostered, how do you go about replacing him without losing much value?

    Here is to a speedy recovery for Cam Akers.  I think we were all excited about how his season progressed last year and were anticipating a big season for his second year back. Now comes the question of what will the Rams do and how should you approach navigating the Cam Akers injury for your fantasy team. 

    The Replacements

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    Darrell Henderson

    Darrell Henderson appears to be the next man up for the Rams. He has battled injuries himself throughout his short career and they had hoped he would be the heir to the Gurley kingdom before his departure. Henderson has shown flashes of being able to carry the load for the Rams, though he finished last season on the IR. 

    Akers and Henderson had identical seasons for the Rams in 2020. Henderson appeared to be the hot hand at the beginning of the season, running for 195 yards in weeks two and three while Akers took over when given the opportunity at the end of the season. Akers finished with 625 yards and 2 touchdowns, while

    Henderson tallied 624 yards and 5 touchdowns. Henderson will be a viable option to step up. The real question will be if he is durable enough to handle the workload.

    Xavier Jones 

    Jones went undrafted out of Southern Methodist University in 2020, though later signed with the Rams. He has yet to have an offensive snap in the NFL. Jones rushed for 1,276 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2019 as a senior, so keep an eye on him as camp begins.

    Jake Funk

    Jake Funk was drafted in the seventh round this year by the Rams. Funk, out of Maryland, had an injury-plagued college career but flashed in his final year. Much like Jones, Funk is someone to be mindful of as camp starts. If nothing else, he will provide a Funking cool fantasy team name. 

    Outside Candidates

    There is a good chance the Rams will bring in an outside candidate to either be the backup running back or even to compete for the starting job. Could there be a Todd Gurley reunion? What about veterans Le'Veon Bell or Duke Johnson

    Another possible scenario is a trade. The Texans have a loaded backfield after free agency and may part with a back. Marlon Mack, Melvin Gordon, and James Robinson are also fun trade candidates to speculate about. Season-ending injuries are terrible, but they also bring about speculation. Along with a trade scenario, the Rams could simply wait until training camp cuts and pick a running back then. 

    The Fantasy Perspective

    If you are like me and have Cam Akers on any of your fantasy rosters, you have probably gone through the stages of fantasy football grief by now. I have Akers rostered in three dynasty leagues, and in my opinion, you have three options if you are an Akers owner. You can wait it out, trade away Akers, or trade a depth piece for an RB. Hopefully, you have enough depth pieces that the Akers injury does not force you to make a move you did not want to make. 

    Cam Akers, up until this week, had a ranking of RB8 and an ADP of 12.25 in the IDP Guys ADP. The sting of this injury to those who drafted this summer is bound to cause frustration. If you drafted Akers in the prestigious Scott Fish Bowl recently, and are lacking in running back depth, I am sorry and I feel for you. 

    Below are the teams I have Akers on and the other starting RBs I have along with him. For the sake of space, I won’t list all the backup RBs rostered. 

    Team 1- Akers, Gaskin, Gibson, Montgomery. I also have Le'Veon Bell still rostered in hopes he plays somewhere (maybe Los Angeles). 

    Team 2- Akers, Gibson, Mixon. Le'Veon Bell and Gurley are stashed on this one as well. 

    Team 3- Akers, Ekeler, Gaskin, David Johnson

    Do Not Fret

    The first thing to remember is not to panic, especially if you roster Akers in a dynasty league. You are likely going to get a few offers from your league mates who want Akers for cheap or that want to offer you Henderson. In my personal opinion, I recommend you not overpay for Henderson or to panic sell Akers.

    Henderson has not proven he can stay on the field or manage the workload, so I would not offer more than a second-round pick in a dynasty league for him. Remember, in most leagues, you only need to start two running backs. If you can fill in at wide receiver, you will be fine. I believe, with the addition of Stafford, we are going to see the ball in the air more often than not with the Rams. 

    Not long after the Akers news broke, I was offered Josh Jacobs and Jarvis Landry for Cam Akers and Curtis Samuel on team two. I will likely regret it, but I declined the trade. Instead of making a knee-jerk reaction, I decided to wait things out and see how the season plays out. While I may be short at running back moving forward, I have enough wide receivers to cover.

    If you need help or want another point of view with your Akers situation, my DMs are open on Twitter (handle below). Feel free to reach out!

    The Unknown

    The Achilles injuries are tough because there have not been a large number of success stories regarding comebacks. There also have not been an overwhelming amount of Achilles injuries. One thing is for sure, the comeback road is long for Cam Akers.

    Every player is different and every body is different. The Cam Akers injury is devastating, but he could come back as strong as ever. Or, we could be wondering what could have been after his attempted comeback. Let’s hope for a comeback as strong as ever. 

    Thank you for reading! You can find me on Twitter @ClintonHolmgren and @IDPGuys. Check out all of my IDP, Devy, and Offensive work at idpguys.org. Be sure to order our rookie draft magazines, which we load with fantastic player profiles and landing spot analysis.

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