Fantasy Football: The Rams don’t lie — and that’s important when it comes to Blake Corum

The Los Angeles Rams, unlike pretty much every other NFL team, were not trying to hide essential fantasy intelligence from us last summer.

Throughout the 2023 offseason, the Rams just kept telling us that Matthew Stafford was healthy and throwing like the vintage version of himself (which proved accurate), that Puka Nacua was absolutely feasting in camp (which carried over to the regular season in spectacular fashion) and that Kyren Williams was surging and headed for significant usage (information that might have won you a fantasy title if you were listening).

L.A.’s social media team existed primarily to produce Nacua hype — like this, and this, and this.

Basically, the Rams told no lies in the summer of 2023. If you simply listened to what they were screaming at us, you were a winner in fantasy football. Sean McVay’s team engaged in very little of the silly, performative secrecy that’s so common in the NFL. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that the best fantasy draft prep you could have done last August was simply to get caught up on Rams news, directly from team sources.

Obviously, it’s insane that the NFL is now a league in which franchises treat roster and injury information like nuclear launch codes, but that’s the current state of things. Last summer, the Rams proved to be an exception. A lot of good things were happening in camp, and they willingly shared the details.

With this fact in mind, we probably should not be dismissive of comments like these from McVay:

Under normal circumstances — expressed by any other NFL head coach — we would simply wave off those comments as the standard issue post-OTAs sunshine. As a general rule, we expect glowing reports on every player in June. But when the Rams are hyping and re-hyping a rookie, it feels like actionable information.

Blake Corum was of course one of the most productive and consistent running backs in college football last year, reaching the end zone 28 times, which is absurd. He scored multiple touchdowns in each of his last seven games while facing a series of the nation’s best defenses, including Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa and Alabama.

Corum is fantastic in tight spaces near the goal line, but he’s more than simply a short-yardage specialist. He can deliver style points as needed:

That cut was vicious and cruel, and, frankly, it has no place in a polite society.

During their pre-draft evaluation of Corum, Rams decision-makers were plenty impressed by his receiving ability, too. He’s clearly viewed as a do-everything back by his new team.

Corum isn’t the only such player on the roster, however.

Kyren Williams was only minimally active during OTAs due to a not-so-serious-sounding foot issue, but he’s expected to be fully operational when camp opens. He was a dominant force in fantasy last season when we needed him most, averaging 118.3 scrimmage yards per game and delivering five touchdowns in Weeks 14-17. Williams also led the NFL in rushing yards per game last year (95.3) while averaging 5.0 YPC. Nobody currently on the depth chart for L.A. is going to easily leapfrog a healthy Williams.

It’s become clear, however, that Corum is headed for a non-trivial role. We tend to think of McVay offenses relying heavily on specific high-volume featured runners, but that hasn’t been an inviolable or unchanging law. His team actually ran a backfield committee the year it won the Super Bowl. Let’s not assume a second back can’t have value in L.A.

Corum is a premium understudy RB at the very least, and he has a real shot to achieve weekly fantasy relevance. Again, when this team tells us they like a player, we need to pay attention.

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