Sunday - Jan 20, 2019

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Replacement Killers – Ram Tough

So, you lost Mark Clayton last week who had a nice start and was gobbling up targets like Pacman does power pellets. Now he is done for the season and you are scratching your head as to who Sam Bradford is going to throw the ball to?

I can tell you Bradford is the real deal. He has shown remarkable progress during the transition from his college days to this young NFL season. Most fantasy team owners think he may be a few years off from even a second-tier quarterback. I believe he puts up pretty good numbers due to the fact that the Rams must throw the ball to stay in ball games.

That being said, here are the
replacement killers for this particular franchise:

WR Danario Alexander

Alexander had a strong 2009 season for Misoouri but saw his NFL plans shattered by a left knee injury suffered at a Senior Bowl practice in late January and subsequent surgery. He went undrafted and wasn’t cleared to play and practice until August. Alexander held a pro day in Houston after he received medical clearance, and said he ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and posted a 41-inch vertical leap.

I’ll take his word for the speed as I have seen him play. This 6-foot-5 inch receiver runs like a gazelle. Alexander’s career at Missouri was limited by three earlier operations on the same knee. This sounds like the Rams recruiting office willing to take a chance on an often injured receiver. Love the upside of this guy provided the knee is healthy.

TE Michael Hoomanawanui

Hoomanawanui [pronounced ‘Oh-oh-mah-NAH-wah-NEW-ee’] had a very good preseason and was hurt early in the season. He makes a return this week. He has had good chemistry with Bradford and I expect that he gets involved early since veteran tight end and halfback Bilyl Bajema is out. Bajema was Bradford’s security blanket this season on the check down. When things got hot it was dump it off to Bajema.

Daniel Fells is also in the mix, but is not as good of a receiver as ‘OH-OH mah.’ Everyone knows that a tight end is a young quarterback’s best friend. I think the former Iowa standout is primed for a huge impact this year. At 6-foot-4, 264 lbs he can move.

WR Laurent Robinson

Robinson is barely worth mentioning. He has been often injured and is yet again out with a mild foot sprain.

WR Brandon Gibson

Gibson was dealt to the Rams in the trade for linebacker Will Witherspoon last season. He started strong with seven catches for 93 yards in his first appearance last year. He has contributed lightly, eight catches for 117 yards and one touchdown this season. He is currently on the back of a milk carton. I would have kept Witherspoon, Enough said.

WR Marty Gilyard

Gilyard is more of a punt returner than a receiver at this stage of his young career. I think that he makes more contributions on special teams.

WR Danny Amendola

Amendola is scrappy at 5-foot-11, 186. He is a poor man’s Wes Welker without the targets until now. I am apprehensive to think that the loss of Clayton will translate into more work for the Texas Tech product. Bradford does has to throw it to someone, right?

Stick with what you know. Amendola will be the benefactor of increased targets until either someone breaks him or another receiver steps up. I think the tight ends will get more work unless Alexander is really a star. Expect that to take some time in either case.

All of these guys should be available in
Shallow, Deeper and Kiddie leagues. Thanks to a very special e-mail this week from loyal fan and reader Dana Elzenbeck who identified that my 12-team, four-keeper, (start two wide receivers) with room for four max on the roster is a
“kiddie league” despite its fruitful 22-year history which spans pre-internet.

It goes back to the days where answering machines were used to record lineups and players were hand-written on game sheets by the commissioner. The scores were tabulated after viewing the box scores from Sunday and Monday’s local newspapers.

I wanted everyone to know that despite my dislike for being called one that participates in a
“Kiddie League,” that I read all of your e-mails and respond regardless of the topic.

I think, however, that prior to saying that one participates in an “inferior” league to yours that you need to understand that some leagues with as much history as mine are not going to change because we enjoy being able to make moves freely.

I do agree that Dana had a valid point that my opinion didn’t necessarily aid him in any acquisitions. It frustrated him because the players that I was referring to were long gone in his league which had more teams and larger rosters.

Going forward, I vow to continue to identify possible solutions for the reader and base my recommendations to the general audience. I have a hard time believing that any experts need my help, but rather I may bring up a good argument as to why a player is relevant. Identify the players folks, watch for trends, document notable injuries and immerse yourself in college football. This will help lead you to your future, whatever it may be, in this addiction called fantasy football. Thanks for the read folks!

Questions, comments and concerns to michaelfsarmento@gmail.com.

I do answer them all! Even if you think I am a half wit.

Twitter: @Audiblefantasy

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