St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is out for the season after suffering an ACL tear against the Cleveland Browns on Saturday night. It is the same injury that kept the Oklahoma product out for most of 2013.
There was hope that Bradford could parlay some of his success last season – 14 touchdowns, four interceptions in seven games – to a fantasy breakout in 2014. Alas, the Heisman winner can’t stay on the field: Bradford will enter next fall having missed 31 of 80 possible contests.
The Rams will turn to Shaun Hill to helm the offense. Though not the most enticing name, Hill has been relatively stable under center, owning 41 career scores against 23 picks and a 13-13 record as starter. Individually, he’s not a person of interest to fantasy rosters, but his presence won’t hurt the values of St. Louis receivers. If anything, tight end Jared Cook might see a slight bump in worth, as Hill tends to favor the shorter, West Coast routes rather than the deep ball.
Also seeing a rise in stock is the Rams backfield. With Hill as the field general, envision the St. Louis attack to be a conservative, traditional scheme. Translation: run plays early and often. Zac Stacy is already a top-15 pick in most fantasy ranks; Bradford’s injury cements this standing. Benny Cunningham should see an increase in opportunities as well. Cunningham has enjoyed the best training camp out of the running back corps this preseason, and was already expected to see more chances this fall than most believed.
One player unaffected by this circumstance: Tre Mason. The rookie rusher, while displaying the occasional highlight-reel play, remains a raw, undisciplined product. Though he may have the occasional burst or two, he does not warrant a spot on your fantasy roster at this juncture.