decline of elite RB performance

The Injury Files: Cam Akers

The Injury Files: Cam Akers

In this series of articles, I’ll be looking at players who missed significant time last year  and how it’s affected their Fantasy Football value for the 2022 season. Some of these guy’s may have had people step up in their absence, their team signed another player to fill the void or they could be heading to a new franchise off the back of an injury. I’ll be diving into several players, at numerous positions and how their value differs from last off-season. 

Cam Akers

Following on from Robert Woods, we’re gonna be staying with last year’s Superbowl champs. Unlike his former team mate, Akers is back in LA and ready to attack 2022. At Florida State he had 2 1000 yard rushing seasons out of 3, and was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft. The Rams eased Akers into the offence in his rookie year. Darrell Henderson led the backfield for the most part as Sean Mcvay’s team made the playoffs, but Cam emerged as the starting RB late on in the season. The former Seminoles star showed flashes of brilliance including 194 scrimmage yards against the Patriots in Week 14. Akers missed a few games his rookie year through injury. A high ankle sprain and rib separation accounted for 3 missed games over the 16 weeks. 

Going into his sophomore year, Akers was very highly touted for a year 2 breakout. A week before training camp began, the 22 year old had the devastating injury of a torn achilles. On average, NFL players are usually out for around 9 months with this kind of injury.

Fast forward to Boxing day 2021, where the Rams activated Cam Akers from the IR. Remarkable! Unheard of! Quite frankly, bonkers! Akers returned in Week 18 vs. the San Francisco 49ers. They went on to enjoy superbowl success, on home turf vs. the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi stadium. 

Leading the backfield

Personally, I wasn’t overly in on Cam as a rookie or sophomore. The worry of Darrell Henderson being a very competent runner was enough to put me off drafting Akers. The reason being is how much volume would the former round 2 pick actually get? Would he lead the LA backfield? Well, 2022 is more of the same story. Although Akers is very much the lead guy after taking the role back from Henderson in the playoff run, Henderson is still in town. However, Henderson himself has injury woes(12 games, 2021) so will likely serve as a handcuff/change of pace back. 

This year the draft capital is very different to before last season. Before injury Akers was being drafted within the top 10 running backs. Bonkers for someone who had an “alright” rookie campaign. As of now you can wait until round 3 or 4 before pulling the trigger. (current Underdog fantasy adp, 33.3 – RB14 as of 24th March) 

If the value doesn’t rise to the ridiculous heights of the 2020 off-season, I’d be happy to take Cam Akers as my RB2. He’s gonna be the focal point of the Rams run game. With the injury in his rear view mirror, he should easily pay back an RB2 value with strong RB1 upside on the 2022 season. 

Lewis – @lvenes1

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