The Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons will collide at SoFi Stadium in Week 2. This will certainly have fantasy football implications for managers all over.
Following a disappointing season opener against the Buffalo Bills, the Los Angeles Rams will host the Falcons, who also lost in Week 1. Atlanta collapsed against the New Orleans Saints, 27-26.
These are two teams going in opposite directions. The Falcons fought hard in Week 1, but they collapsed big time and dropped a tight one at home. They probably remain contenders for the No. 1 overall draft pick next April. The Rams, on the other hand, are the defending Super Bowl champions and have the pieces needed to win this game.
Many eyes will be on Rams QB Matthew Stafford as he tries to bounce back from a bad Week 1 performance. He will likely struggle against a Falcons’ defense that allowed 269 yards and two touchdowns to Jameis Winston in Week 1. Atlanta, however, has no one capable of covering Cooper Kupp down the field, so head coach Arthur Smith’s defense might be in for a long day.
FanDuel Sportsbook pegs the final score at 31-20 in favor of the Rams.
Looking ahead, aside from Stafford and Kupp, there’s another player from Los Angeles whom fantasy football managers should consider. That’s none other than running back Darrell Henderson Jr., who is the Rams fantasy football sleeper for Week 2.
Rams Fantasy Football Sleeper for Week 2
Darrell Henderson, Jr.
Cam Akers was supposed to be the primary running back in Los Angeles this season, but Darrell Henderson stepped up to be the man for the job in Week 1. Despite the Rams trailing for most of the game, Henderson had 18 touches and played 82 percent of the offensive snaps against the Buffalo Bills. He also had more yards (73 to zero), carries (13 to three), targets (five to zero), and snaps (55 to 12) than Akers, who now appears to be a distant No. 2 backfield option. Henderson has certainly ascended.
Cam Akers managers watching Darrell Henderson get all the workpic.twitter.com/EYJvHBOPBS
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 9, 2022
The Week 1 match basically blew up Rams head coach Sean McVay’s “we have two RB1s” storyline. While Akers still has the potential to be an RB1, what we all saw on the field speaks louder than any rhetoric from McVay. Henderson isn’t just the running back who gets more work than the other guy. In fact, he led all starting running backs in snap share in Week 1. The Rams issued a clear message: Darrell Henderson is the undisputed RB1.
Henderson actually gained just 47 yards on 13 carries against a tough Bills front seven. However, his passing-game use is more significant for his fantasy value. Henderson gained 26 yards on all five of his catches. If Henderson had found the end zone, that would have added tremendous value as well.
Keep in mind that 18 touches on 82 percent of the snaps is exceptional RB1 usage. If this trend continues, touchdowns will undoubtedly follow. Recall that Henderson was actually putting up RB1 numbers early last season and will very certainly do so again.
The Rams face a much more manageable opponent this week in the Falcons. They will play against a defense that battled to get the Saints off the ground last week. New Orleans ran for 151 yards and a score on 19 attempts.
The Week 2 game plan should be more beneficial for Henderson as the Rams are projected to rely more on the ground game. Henderson’s ability to catch the ball also improves his PPR ceiling. They face a Falcons defense that allowed the ninth-most catches to opposing running backs in 2021 (92).
Take note as well that the Falcons boast the 31st-ranked defensive line and 30th-ranked linebacking corps in the unit power rankings on FantasyPros. The Rams are also playing at home again and are the favorites to win by two scores or more.
The Rams should rebound in a big way, and Henderson will be at the spearhead. They should score 3-4 touchdowns this week, and it’s unlikely that they’ll all come through the air. Henderson is the best bet to take a rushing TD to the bank in Week 2.
Darrell Henderson Jr. has an excellent chance to have a breakout game against the Falcons. He’s the Rams fantasy football sleeper you should consider starting.