Each week during the 2022 NFL season, Field Yates will help fantasy football managers by providing the precise intel needed on the most important, fantasy-relevant storylines, with some help from friends at ESPN, who offer the best and freshest insight into what matters most. Field's Rolodex is vast; he'll dial up whomever he needs. This is the Field Pass.
Repeating as a Super Bowl champion is extremely hard to do.
The last time it happened, I wasn't even old enough to shave. That was back in 2004, and while I still don't have to shave to this day, the point remains: going the distance in back-to-back seasons is extremely tough.
It feels like Week 6 quickly became the week where people have decided the Rams are not equipped to repeat as champions this season, a declaration I'm not quite ready to make myself, even though there have been causes for concern. Check out our awesome NFL Live cast Monday-Friday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN for more discussions to this effect.
And while the Rams might very well get on track as far as real football is concerned, fantasy football is not a game where we can always afford to be patient, and a repeat of 2021 does not look to be in the cards (except for Cooper Kupp ... more on him later).
Consider the stark differences from 2021 to 2022 so far for fantasy:
In 2021, Matthew Stafford was sixth among quarterbacks in fantasy points, throwing 41 touchdowns and looking like a weekly threat to push for 300 yards. This season, Stafford ranks 32nd among QBs in fantasy points per game, pacing for just 17 touchdowns and a robust 24 interceptions. He has faced three elite defenses already -- and that has contributed to this -- but with shaky protection and minimal receiver depth beyond Kupp, he's not in the starting QB category for fantasy right now. Far from it.
While the Rams relied upon a few different backs in 2021, one thing that you could count on was that when we knew who the starter was, good things were likely to come. From Weeks 1 to 12, when Darrell Henderson Jr. was running as the starter, he averaged 15.7 fantasy points per game. Sony Michel then stepped in for six games and averaged more than 15.0 points per game as well. This season, Henderson leads the Rams' backs in fantasy points per game with ... 7.7. That's with Cam Akers now carrying the heavier workload, and Akers is managing a paltry 4.4 points per game. Neither is startable and they're both fringe roster players at best.