It's almost impossible to make any sweeping fantasy judgments from this game. The Colts are so bad and got so blown out in this game that it became a scrimmage at a certain point. The Colts rolled over and the Rams throttled back down the stretch. This game is a reality for the Colts but not necessarily reality for the Rams…or maybe it is?
What we learned about the Colts is -- go all in against them for fantasy. Terrible on offense and defense...and some of that due to injury (Luck, Davis, Geathers, Kelly). Mostly it is 'poorly run' by former GM Ryan Grigson and the inheritance wunderkind owner.
What we learned about the Rams is -- they are good enough to take care of business. Had the Rams struggled here it would have been bad news. However, they pummeled Indy and sent a message with sharp play and an assassin's mindset. Now, we have to see if they can do this vs. a real NFL team.
If the Rams beat Washington this week, then my over/under win total bet made on the Rams in May is going to be gold.
-- Another week another Todd Gurley (19-40-01, 5-56-0/6) disaster running the ball -- 2.1 yards per carry.
I don't know if it's the O-Line. I don't know if Gurley is just wildly overrated. I don't know if Gurley is secretly hurt or degenerating from his old ACL. All I know is the output numbers don't lie. He's been terrible for 90% of his NFL career running the ball.
You have to assume this is who Gurley is. Everything was better for the Rams vs. the Colts….I mean, everything improved...defense, Goff, O-Line. Everything was better versus the sad Colts EXCEPT Todd Gurley. We have to accept this reality.
Now, I was worried about this Gurley issue during the summer but I also saw what McVay was doing to combat it -- getting Gurley more involved as a receiving threat. He'll be an RB2 in PPR on his receiving to go with his 20 carries for 40 yards rushing and rushing TD every other game. No team has less depth at RB than the Rams. Gurley is plenty safe from getting usurped.
-- Speaking of overrated Rams offensive players – Sammy Watkins (5-58-0/5) saw all of five targets in the opener. Honestly, if you didn’t know the name and media hype that comes with the name…and you just watched this game, you’d think Watkins was a nice backup WR. He's capable, competent and does not stand out in any way.
Cooper Kupp (4-76-1/6) is a more exciting and important WR for the Rams.
Watkins is 'just another guy' here for L.A., and is shaky to be a WR3 the next few weeks/the season.
If Les Snead is the desperate fool I think he is…he'll sign Watkins long term because Snead has no conviction about players except what the group-think believes about them. You'll have to convince me Snead is watching football and not at the beach August-December/July. Sean McVay is going to save Snead's job. He ought to tithe to McVay.
-- Marlon Mack (10-24-1, 1-21-0/1) played early and often. He's going to be a factor every week…especially as the Colts keep losing, and especially if Indy gets wise and trades Frank Gore.
Something you need to know…
I don’t think Marlon Mack is a very good runner of the ball between the tackles…i.e the thing workhorse RBs need to do. Mack has NFL speed/burst all day long. He doesn’t have 'it' running up the middle…and I noticed that scouting him in college. He hesitates when things are congested and his first instinct is to kick everything outside…because he could in college.
Mack reeled off a 24-yard run on a run in the second half…kicking it to the outside. He had nine carries for zero yards on his other runs. Most all 3 yards or less.
Mack scored a TD in this game, and he almost had a second TD…which was a score on replay but the Colts never challenged it. It was a screen pass that Mack took OUTSIDE and raced to the pylon and was judged out a yard short. The Colts then tried to send Mack up the middle for the score on two runs…-1, +2, no score came of it. it's just not his thing. Had Mack had two TDs, people would have lost their fantasy minds.
Mack has talent and a role in the NFL, but long-term workhorse is not one of them. He's a sell hot for fantasy 2017, I think. Not hot enough yet. He will be soon.
-- Jared Goff (21-29 for 306 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) was really good in this game. Granted, all the Colts factors, etc. -- but Goff was hitting medium and deep passes all over. Guys like Carson Wentz making a living throwing various screens and bubble screens and getting yardage from simple passes…then they might complete something downfield versus prevent defenses in two-minute drills. Goff has an 'it' factor as a QB to make throws in the middle and medium-deep. That's a gift not too many QBs have. He doesn’t have the greatest arm or feet, but he has great QB instincts.
Now, let's see it versus better teams. But this is a great start in the right direction for a much-maligned QB.
-- Speaking of QBs, Jacoby Brissett (2-3 for 51 yards, 0 TD/ 0 INT) will start Week 2 because the Colts have groomed a backup QB for 2+ years (Tolzien) and traded for a QB from New England who was about to be cut – and that QB is better coming in cold than the guy they've groomed for two years. That's why the Colts are awful at football.
Brissett is a worse Tyrod Taylor...not a terrible QB, but not great…but will run and gain FF points with his feet. Taylor is a much better athlete/runner.
-- Keep in mind – the Rams are improved offensively under Sean McVay. The Rams are going to get into scoring position more and they also have a good defense – so they'll be able to fight in low scoring games…which means field goals are fine by them…which means Greg Zuerlein (3/3 FGs and 5 XPs) may make a run at the top kicker spot for fantasy this year. You know we've loved him since his draft year! It may finally pay off in fantasy.
-- Colts DB Matthias Farley (10 tackles) led all tacklers in this game – a 2016 UDFA out of Notre Dame. 5'11"/205 and ran a 4.50 40-time with 7.13 three-cone. Nothing special, but he will hit you – and he did that very late when everything was backups…making several tackles because the Colts couldn’t stop anything at the line of scrimmage.