The Los Angeles Rams offense is playing extremely well despite losing a close game in Buffalo on Sunday. And over the last two games, we’ve seen second-year running back Darrell Henderson capitalize on his touches.
Last week the Rams had Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown and Henderson all available, but Akers hurt his ribs and Brown broke his pinky. Those injuries helped Henderson outplay Brown, despite him getting more touches. He ended up carrying the ball 12 times for 81 yards and a touchdown, while catching two passes for 40 more yards. This week, Akers was out and the two backs were Brown and Henderson. They split snaps evenly, but Henderson was the clear lead:
Rams Week 3 RB usage with Cam Akers out (PFF):— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) September 28, 2020
Darrell Henderson: 50% snaps, 20 carries, 2 targets
Malcolm Brown: 48% snaps, 7 carries, 1 target
Henderson out-touched Brown and severely outplayed him by accumulating 120 yards and a touchdown on 21 touches to Brown’s 19 yards on seven touches. At this point, it looks like the Rams can accommodate more than one fantasy back, as they’ve averaged 37 carries a game compared to 25 last season, which gives me hope that even if Akers returns next week, Henderson will have earned his touches but Akers could still get a chunk without hurting Henderson too much.
Henderson has played too well to be relegated to backup duty when Akers returns, as Akers hasn’t shown enough yet to deserve that kind of status yet. The Rams take on the Giants next week and should be in position to run the ball plenty once again. Akers will get some touches if he can play and he could win more work with an outstanding showing, but as it is, we can feel safe that Henderson has done enough to be a useful fantasy start for at least the near future.