Fantasy Football: One QB, RB, WR, and TE who are primed for huge Week 1 performances

Baltimore Ravens v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Baltimore Ravens v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
2 of 4
Cody Barton, Cam Akers
Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

RB. Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have ruled out All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp for their Week 1 matchup against the Seahawks due to a lingering hamstring injury that he originally suffered during training camp. Kupp is the engine that drives the Rams offense and leaves a huge void that needs to be filled, and running back Cam Akers could be the biggest beneficiary of that.

Unfortunately, we have seen this before with Kupp when he was forced to miss the final seven weeks of the 2022 season due to a high-ankle sprain, and head coach Sean McVay leaned on Akers throughout that stretch. Per StatMuse, Akers averaged 16 carries per game for 78.4 rushing yards, while providing an additional 1.6 receptions and 14.1 yards per game as a receiver out of the backfield in the Rams’ last seven games of 2022. Akers also had a nose for the end zone during that stretch, scoring six touchdowns (three of which came against the Broncos in Week 16).

The Seahawks were one of the worst teams in the NFL in terms of defending the run last season, allowing the third-most rushing yards per game (151.9) to their opponents. Akers fared well against the Seahawks in their two meetings last season, totaling 186 yards from scrimmage and scoring two touchdowns.

Currently 5.5-point underdogs per DraftKings Sportsbook, the Rams do not want to get into a shootout with the high-flying Seahawks offense. Their best chance of winning is by controlling the clock and keeping the ball out of Geno Smith, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s hands.

Now over two years removed from Grade 3 Achilles Tear, Akers has had a full offseason to prepare without needing to focus on rehab. This should enable him to get off to a fast start against a Seahawks defense that couldn’t defend the run in 2022.