The 2021 fantasy football season has suffered its first major injury blow, as the Rams have lost Cam Akers due to a torn Achilles, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Akers, a popular breakout candidate in fantasy circles, was coming off the board in the second round of most mock and best-ball drafts, so his loss is a very significant one.
The Rams will now look to lean on Darrell Henderson as their top running back. He did show some flashes last season, especially during a four-week stretch at the start of the year when he scored 19 or more points three times. He was the RB11 during those four games, averaging 15.5 touches and 16.4 fantasy points. Henderson would only score double digits twice more the rest of the season, however, as injuries and the emergence of Akers decreased his role. Now, Henderson is in a position to make a bigger impact.
I won't rank him as highly as Akers, who was my RB12 before news of his injury broke, but Henderson is certainly on the radar as a No. 2 fantasy runner. I'd put him on the same tier as runners like David Montgomery, Mike Davis, and Myles Gaskin at this point.
However, the Rams don't have much depth behind Henderson as the team has just Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais, and Jake Funk behind him on the depth chart. That makes it likely the Rams will go out and add a veteran to the mix. The immediate name that comes to mind is Todd Gurley, who knows the offense and is a free agent. There are several veteran free agents backs available, so this backfield could be overhauled by training camp.
For savvy dynasty owners, now might be the best time to buy low on Akers.
Stay tuned to SI Fantasy for all the latest on Henderson and the Rams' backfield.
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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!