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What to do with Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown in Week 14 fantasy football

We go over the fantasy football outlook of Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown ahead of the Rams Week 14 matchup against the Patriots on Thursday Night Football.

Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) celebrates after rushing for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at State Farm Stadium.  Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13 provided a level of clarity to the Los Angeles Rams’ backfield that we haven’t seen all year. Now we have to wonder if it will stay that way Thursday night against the New England Patriots.

Fantasy Football analysis: Rams RBs Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr., Malcolm Brown

Back in Week 12, Akers played the fewest number of snaps (17) among the three RBs here. Yet, he stood out the most, running nine times for 84 yards and a score. The rookie was rewarded in Week 13 by seeing 63 percent of the snaps, the greatest snap share for any Rams running back this season. He wasn’t as explosive against the Cardinals, but Akers certainly didn’t flop either. He recorded 72 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. He also added a 22-yard reception. By comparison, Henderson and Brown handled only three carries each. Henderson gained 49 yards, 38 of which came on his fourth-quarter sprint to the end zone.

On the other end of the spectrum, Brown took his carries for minus-3 yards. He has become the third man in this backfield, that much we know. The question is: Will Akers remain the lead dog against New England, or did that late-game explosion earn Henderson more touches? It’s impossible to say. Akers appears to have taken a firm hold of this job, and will now go to work against a New England squad that has a middle-of-the-road run defense. Akers gave fantasy owners a scare early in the week when he didn’t practice because of a shoulder injury. But the Rams removed him from their injury report Wednesday.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Akers, understandably, is the most expensive player in this backfield on DraftKings; he costs $5,100 while Henderson is at $4,900, and Brown is at $4,000. That is a fantastic price for a player who could handle 20-plus touches and has scored in three straight weeks. Until the Rams insert more chaos and uncertainty here, Akers is an RB2 in season-long formats. The Patriots have allowed only two touchdowns to running backs over their past five games — both to Kenyan Drake — but Akers’ presumed usage should lock him into most lineups.