Week 13 was a brutal one on the injury front. We saw several highly relevant fantasy players go down. That leaves fantasy managers in need of replacements. How much of a priority does this make someone like Cam Akers for fantasy football managers to add off the waiver wire ahead of Week 14?
The Rams’ Backfield Once Again Belongs to Cam Akers
It’s very difficult to figure out what’s going on with a team like the Los Angeles Rams that has very clearly packed it in for the 2022 season. The Rams got their Super Bowl, so it was definitely worth it. But this year, they are no longer competing.
Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Allen Robinson II are all on IR. While only Robinson has been officially ruled out for the remainder of the season, we don’t need an official designation to tell us none of them are playing again this year. The same goes for Aaron Donald. The Rams are a team best avoided in fantasy.
With that said, any starting running back in the NFL has value because there’s always the chance he falls into the end zone. Two weeks ago, it looked like rookie Kyren Williams had taken the lead role away from Akers.
In Week 12, Williams played 70% of the snaps and touched the ball 14 times. Akers had just eight carries and no targets.
Then, in Week 13, it completely flipped again. Akers played 70% of the snaps and touched the ball 18 times. Williams, meanwhile, had just three carries and a single target. Akers had his best game of the season, largely because he punched in two short touchdowns.
The conundrum for fantasy managers is Akers needs to be rostered, but there’s no way you will ever feel good about starting him. If you really want a piece of the Rams’ backfield, the best way to do it is probably on Underdog Fantasy.
How Aggressively Should Fantasy Managers Pursue Akers Off the Waiver Wire?
In shallower leagues, I don’t think Akers or Williams need to be on rosters. We are coming up on the final week of the fantasy regular season. With playoffs on the line, are you really about to trot out Akers?
Although, to be fair, we do have several injuries to key running backs as well as six teams on bye (thanks NFL schedulers!) on this most important of weeks. So, perhaps there is more of a need for Akers than there otherwise would be.
Williams is only worth rostering in deeper leagues. He’s a Day 3 rookie with a very poor prospect profile. It’s difficult to imagine him ever mattering, let alone in the fantasy playoffs. Outside of the deepest of leagues, I would leave him on waiver wires. Akers is the one worth adding. He’s available in just over 50% of Yahoo leagues.
The concern with Akers is he will be removed in negative-game-script situations. Fortunately, the Rams don’t have the toughest of schedules.
Their next three games are against the Raiders, Packers, and Broncos. That’s two teams they can hang with and one they are flat out better than. The Rams close the season against the Chargers, who are obviously a far better team but also have a terrible run defense.
If you are RB-needy, Akers is probably worth a 10-15% FAAB investment. I certainly wouldn’t be excited at the prospect of starting Akers, but as long as you’re starting him knowing he’s touchdown or bust, you won’t be disappointed.
If you play in a league that still uses the continual rolling list waiver priority system, I would not use it on Akers.