Fantasy production doesn’t always equal success on the real gridiron. It’s a given, but sometimes the emergence of a player can benefit both communities.
The St. Louis Rams currently sit at 5-6-1. A few weeks ago they were viewed as being dead in the water. All of a sudden the team’s passing game has come alive, thanks to Sam Bradford’s connection with rookie Chris Givens. Givens has had a whopping 20 targets in his past two games, and he has hauled in 16 of them for 207 yards. He only has one touchdown in that span, but he’s shown a knack for big plays.
It’s unlikely that this two-week spurt outburst will continue, and even though the Rams had wins over divisional foes Arizona and San Francisco, it’s unlikely that St. Louis will find itself back in the playoff hunt. However, Givens has quickly established himself as “the guy” in the Rams’ passing game aside from a healthy Danny Amendola.
Here are three other guys to keep an eye on.
Jake Locker, QB, TEN. I shilled for Locker early on this year given the weapons he has at his disposal, and then he dislocated his shoulder. Well, now he seems to be back with a vengeance, posting a 309-yard game against the Texans. Sure, he threw three interceptions, but the idea here is that with the volume of attempts (85 in the past two weeks) that he will start finding the end zone.
Justin Forsett, RB, HOU. Forsett has surpassed Ben Tate on the depth chart, and last week he even outplayed Arian Foster. He won’t supplant Foster as the starter, of course, but the fact that he has emerged as the change-of-pace back in the best situation for a back in the league is cause for optimism. Should Foster get hurt or rested down the stretch, it looks as though Forsett could be a sneaky RB2 with RB1 upside in the coming weeks.
Riley Cooper, WR, PHI. Cooper has stepped into a starting role with DeSean Jackson’s season ending injury on the opposite side of Jeremy Maclin. Right now the Eagles as a mess, but as long as Andy Reid is at the helm they will continue to throw the ball all over the field. Nick Foles isn’t anywhere near the circle of trust just yet, but he is more reliable when it comes to getting the ball to his playmakers than Michael Vick.
Scott Rodgers is a graduate of Alvernia University and a staff writer at the Aiken Standard.