2021 Fantasy Football Breakout - RB Cam Akers
2021 Breakout: Cam Akers
The LA Rams backfield was one I was actively avoiding last year. A 3 headed committee looked to be in place and the offensive line seemed questionable at best. These alarming preseason red flags turned into midseason nightmares for most of 2020. Fast forward to 2021 and former underwhelming QB Jared Goff has been replaced by repeat Pro Bowler Matthew Stafford, and plodding goal line vulture RB Malcolm Brown has set sail and essentially not been replaced. While the OLine remains mostly the same it is telling that the organization must feel pretty good about the group to focus more money and draft capital on luxury weapons like DeSean Jackson and rookie Tutu Atwell instead of help up front. Speaking of draft capital, let’s highlight the huge opportunity that last year’s #52 overall pick, RB Cam Akers, has in front of him.
Akers was a highly acclaimed 5 Star high school prospect that produced good not great numbers while on collapsing Florida State football team. Despite horrific blocking in front of him he was able to put together some very impressive tape that caught the eye of Sean McVay and the Rams organization. As a rookie he started slow out of the gate. He received 14 very ineffective carries Week 1 and then didn’t eclipse those touches again until Week 14. The final 4 weeks of the regular season saw him finally take over, averaging 20 carries a game and 2 catches. These were all great signs for his development yet the real encouraging moments happened in the 2 postseason games following. Akers rushed for a combined 221 yards and 2 scores against the Seahawks and Packers, finally showing what he could do with a full workload. Although there’s still explosive former 3rd round pick Darrell Henderson lurking in the backfield Akers is built to handle more touches, especially in short yardage and goal line situations. The only concern I have with him is he didn’t catch many passes as a rookie, although in college he showed he has a versatile skill set to be a complete back. His late May average draft position is as a mid 2nd round pick at RB12, however I would take him over the two guys in front of him (Antonio Gibson & Austin Ekeler), as well as Aaron Jones if Aaron Rodgers does not return to the Packers. Expect Cam to be a 2022 1st round pick if he’s anything like his last 6 games were for a full season.