In the short period that fantasy managers got to watch Cam Akers in the 2021 NFL Playoffs, he proved that he can be the primary running back of the future for one of the league’s top offenses.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Akers made just one regular-season appearance last year, but averaged 43.0 yards on 16.8 rushing attempts per game during the Los Angeles Rams’ four-game Super Bowl run. He also posted eight catches for 76 yards through the air.
Los Angeles Rams offseason moves
While the Rams traded Robert Woods to the Tennessee Titans in March, they quickly restored the wide receiver depth by signing Allen Robinson II to a three-year, $46.5 million contract with $30 million guaranteed. Coupled with a fiery passing attack, the Rams have a backfield consisting of Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr., Kyren Williams and Jake Funk.
2022 best case scenario
The best case scenario for Akers (who just turned 23 years old in June), is the Rams continue to roll him out with the first-team offense ahead of Week 1 of the 2022 season. Akers is coming off an Achilles injury, which always brings a cause for concern when discussing NFL running backs, but the fact that he was able to perform without a hitch in a championship atmosphere makes it all the more encouraging. He’s also had the entire offseason to return to 100 percent.
2022 worst case scenario
The worst case scenario for Akers is he experiences tough sledding behind the Rams offensive line to begin the season. The team has built up a lot of faith in Henderson, who performed like a foolproof RB1 (both as a runner and receiver) in fantasy football for most of the 2021 campaign. There’s always a possibility that he could be more involved in passing packages than Akers, after leading the backfield in targets (40), receptions (29), yards (176) and touchdowns (3).
The Rams aren’t afraid to throw the football when they’re ahead, let alone when they’re losing to opponents, which is commonplace in the modern NFL.. In fact, they more than welcome the challenge. Akers recorded no touchdowns in the four games he played in the postseason, and it can be said that head coach Sean McVay will almost always choose to go through the air with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and the receiving unit in the crux of matchups, before he resorts to calling plays on the ground.
That said, it cannot be debated that Akers has the makings of a workhorse back for the defending Super Bowl champions if he can remain healthy. He hardly has any mileage on his legs, and is glaring at the first full season of his career. This is a fantasy football RB that is well worth the risk somewhere in between the third and fourth rounds of drafts.