Fantasy Football Report Card: Cam Akers

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In the Fantasy Football Report Card series, we take a deeper dive into players from the previous season, give a grade on their overall performance, and attempt to dissect their next season’s outlook.

When it comes to the Rams’ second-year running back, there is a lot of hype surrounding his future, and his average draft position (ADP) is toward the back of the 2nd Round in half-PPR scoring. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad from Cam Akers’ season in 2020.

The Good from 2020
  • Had two games as an RB1 as a rookie in a committee backfield.
  • Finished with at least 14.4 points in three games.
  • Led the Rams in rushing attempts (145) despite only playing 13 games and starting in just five.
  • Led the team in rushing yards (625).
  • Led all Rams RBs with 48.1 yards per game
  • Led all Rams RBs in rush attempts per game at 11.2
  • Was fourth on the roster in yards per reception with 11.2 behind Josh Reynolds, Tyler Higbee, and Van Jefferson.
  • Saw the most touches on offense with 156
The Bad from 2020
  • Was the RB30 or worse (much worse) in ten out of his 13 games
  • Battled injury for the early half of the season
  • Under a “running back by committee” with Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson as a rookie
  • Fell off in production after three straight games of 14 points or more
  • Did not even play in Week 16 (Championship Week)
The 2020 Resume
Week Opponent Rush Atts Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fpts RB Rank
1 DAL 14 39 0 1 4 0 4.8 53
2 PHI 3 13 0 0 1.3 78
3 BUF Inactive
4 NYG Inactive
5 WAS 9 61 0 6.1 37
6 SFO 0 0 0
7 CHI 0 0 0
8 MIA 9 35 0 1 19 0 5.9 39
10 SEA 10 38 0 0 3.8 44
11 TAM 5 15 0 1 4 1 8.4 30
12 SFO 9 84 1 0 14.4 14
13 ARI 21 72 1 1 22 0 15.9 12
14 NWE 29 171 0 2 23 0 20.4 8
15 NYJ 15 63 0 1 -1 0 6.7 41
16 SEA Inactive
17 ARI 21 34 0 4 52 0 8.6 36
2020 Final Grade: C+

I am giving Akers a lot of leeway here because he was a rookie, in a committee backfield, and fought through injury in 2020. He showed what he was capable of in Weeks 12 through 14, but was either underwhelming or completely absent the rest of the season. Weeks 6 and 7 are not blank because of a typo or because he was inactive and I didn’t put it in the table. He just didn’t do anything.

I didn’t fail Akers completely because he did show that if he is given the opportunity as the unquestioned, featured back, he can be productive. In fantasy, we want volume, consistency, and opportunity. Despite having very little time, he still pulled out some pretty good numbers in 2020 while competing with Henderson and Brown and while hurt.

2021 Outlook

I would like to save the three weeks of solid production and throw out all of the other weeks from 2020 when I am evaluating what Akers is capable of for this season. After all, a lot is going to change for him in 2021.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some criteria I like to follow when evaluating fantasy assets. These three criteria are by no means the only ones or even exhaustive, but rather, they are guidelines to get you started on evaluating fantasy players.

Somehow, Akers managed to lead the Rams in rushing attempts, yards, and yards per game despite seeing roughly 36% of offensive snaps for the first 11 weeks. He only played in nine of those games, by the way. Henderson had already amassed 120 attempts and Brown had 87 compared to Akers’ 59. When he broke out in Weeks 12 through 14, he rushed 65 times in three weeks. While Henderson will still be on the roster for 2021, Brown is now gone, vacating a total of 101 attempts up for grabs. HC Coach Sean McVay has already referred to Akers as his every-down back and a special player, which bodes well for the young RB if he can stay healthy. He will have the opportunity to get the volume and be consistent throughout the season, making him extremely valuable (potentially) late in the 2nd Round of drafts.

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