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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: Robert Woods No. 43

Robert Woods comes in at 43 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

 Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Woods finished last season as WR14 in fantasy football on a team that left a lot of fantasy stats on the field last year. The Rams offense bogged down with Jared Goff at the helm and Woods saw his yards per reception hit a career low. But now with Matthew Stafford at the helm, expectations are back and high for this Los Angeles offense.

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 43, Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams, WR

Woods had a successful fantasy season in 2020, but was buoyed by rushing statistics, as he ran the ball 24 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns while catching 90 of 129 targets for 936 yards and six touchdowns. His 10.4 yards per reception compared to the last three seasons of 12.6, 14.2 and 13.9 show just how anemic the Rams offense had become.

Competition for touches

Woods has led the team in targets for three straight years running, but is always close with Cooper Kupp. They are easily the two main targets on the team and should remain so after the the Rams didn’t add much competition this offseason. Woods also should continue to see some work on the ground after the Rams lost Cam Akers for the season to an Achilles injury.

Team offensive expectations

We’ve seen Sean McVay help a Jared Goff led offense to one of, if not the best offenses in the league. Now that Matthew Stafford is in tow, expectations will be high once again. He should be able to open the offense up and get Woods back to his normal yards per reception numbers.

What’s his upside?

Woods has shown plenty of upside when the Rams offense was cooking a few years ago. IN 2018 he caught 86 passes for 1,219 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for 157 yards and another touchdown. A similar or slightly better season is in his range of outcomes in 2021.

What’s his downside?

The Rams offense as a whole will go as Stafford goes. Other than injury, Woods’ downside is tied to how well Stafford can take in and execute the offense. But even in a down year last season, Woods still put up good numbers. Even his downside will be useful in fantasy barring injury.

Projection

85 receptions, 130 targets, 1200 yards, 6 touchdowns, 20 rushing attempts, 125 yards, 1 touchdown