Sunday presented one of the most unusual Fantasy Football situations in years when news broke during the early window that the Los Angeles Rams were planning to deactivate No. 1 running back Cam Akers after he got 22 carries in Week 1, because the team once again wants to trade him. SportsLine offers odds on his next team, and the Detroit Lions and the New York Giants have jumped to the front of the line due to injuries to top tailbacks David Montgomery and Saquon Barkley, respectively.
Akers is in the final season of his rookie contract with the Rams. He and the team went through this possible trade dance last season for about a month where he was away from the team, but nothing could be worked out. Akers was clearly the No. 1 running back in the Week 1 win over Seattle with those team-best 22 carries, but he only managed 29 yards. Young backup Kyren Williams was better with 52 yards and two scores on 15 carries.
In Sunday's 30-23 loss to the 49ers with Akers out, Williams had 100 yards from scrimmage (52 rushing, 48 receiving) and two scores. Clearly, the Rams want to move forward with him as the featured back.
"[I] felt like that was best for our football team," Rams coach Sean McVay said after the loss regarding his decision to bench Akers. "It felt like Kyren [Williams] gave us the best opportunity. And what Ronnie [Rivers] and Royce [Freeman] have done. So that was a decision that I made."
The Rams have already contacted other teams in an effort to move Akers, according to Jay Glazer.
Entering Sunday, Detroit didn't seem like a fit. But then Montgomery left in the fourth quarter of the Lions' OT loss to Seattle. Montgomery, who had 16 carries for 67 yards and a TD, is dealing with a thigh bruise and may miss a few weeks. The only other running backs on the roster are rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, whom the team has been rather cautious with in terms of workload (he's more of a pass-catching change of pace), and journeyman Craig Reynolds, who has 18 career NFL carries at age 27.
Akers was a 2020 second-round pick of the Rams and current Lions Executive Vice President and GM Brad Holmes was L.A.'s director of college scouting then. He clearly liked Akers once.
The Giants haven't yet announced how long Barkley might miss after he sprained an ankle in Sunday's historic comeback win in Arizona. Barkley seems a sure thing to miss Thursday's game at San Francisco at a minimum, but the Giants are optimistic that Barkley avoided a high-ankle sprain and is dealing with a less severe regular sprain. That still may mean at least a few weeks on the bench for the star back. Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell and Eric Gray are Barkley's understudies.
Jonathan Taylor is also available via trade but the Colts are asking a LOT for him and Taylor is on the PUP list. Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette are free agents but may not be in game shape.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Which team will acquire Cam Akers if the Rams trade him?
- Lions +300
- Giants +350
- Colts +500
- Ravens +600
- Dolphins +700
- Chargers +800
- Buccaneers +1000
- Vikings +1000
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