Odell Beckham Jr. going to the Los Angeles Rams, instantly downgraded the fantasy values of wide receivers Robert Woods and Van Jefferson. The Rams signed a big name like Odell Beckham in order to use his skills as well as draw attention away from the other receivers because of Beckham’s reputation. His addition to an already potent Rams offense was going to impact the targets of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Van Jefferson. For fantasy purposes, Van Jefferson seemed the odd man out, with Robert Woods also taking a hit in targets and opportunities to score.
Friday’s news that Robert Woods tore his ACL in practice sent more shockwaves across the NFL and fantasy football world. Odell Beckham was already projected to slot in as the number 2 wide receiver behind Cooper Kupp, but with Woods out, it looks like the number 3 role returns to Van Jefferson before OBJ even takes a snap as a Ram.
Fantasy advice: Do not drop Van Jefferson from your fantasy team and temper expectations for Odell Beckham
Initially, Odell Beckham’s addition to the Rams meant that Van Jefferson’s role would become redundant. Both players are deep threats on the field with Kupp and Woods occupying possession/short to intermediate route roles. Before Woods’ injury, Beckham was already projected to take more targets away from Kupp and Woods while also playing the deep threat role that Van Jefferson had all year. Of course, the Rams could have used 10 personnel packages (1 RB, 4 WRs) or other variations where all 4 wide receivers would be on the field at the same time.
Now with Woods out of the picture, their depth takes a hit, and they will have to adjust accordingly. OBJ will continue to vulture targets from Kupp and other receivers, including TE Tyler Higbee. While Beckham learns the Rams’ playbook on the fly, expect Van Jefferson to resume his role on the outside as a deep threat. QB Matthew Stafford and head coach Sean McVay will certainly look to get OBJ involved in deep looks, but Van Jefferson’s value as a deep threat remains because of his familiarity with the role.
For fantasy purposes, Van Jefferson’s rest of season outlook should remain the same as OBJ’s fantasy value should increase with a better QB in Stafford and other weapons in a pass-happy offense. Don’t expect Odell Beckham to suddenly return WR1 value, but expect Jefferson to keep his flex appeal dependent on grabbing a long-bomb TD reception.
If anything, Beckham and Kupp will draw more attention from opposing defenses, allowing Jefferson to find more running room against single coverage. Fantasy managers could find more value in holding onto Van Jefferson than Odell Beckham, who hasn’t been as consistent or provided boom fantasy games since he left the New York Giants.
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For DFS, Jefferson’s value remains as a cheap lottery option in certain lineups. Odell Beckham’s name brand, on the other hand, already has an effect on DFS prices. DraftKings has him at $11,100 while FanDuel has him at $10,000 for tonight’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. These prices are steep for a player who has barely scored 10 fantasy points twice this season. Fantasy players will find out quickly tonight (and Week 11 after OBJ gets a full week of practice with his new team) whether OBJ’s name matches the premium price.