Let's face it: The Rams have been one of the unluckiest teams in terms of their receiving corps in recent years. Yes they were able to land Brandon Lloyd, who has been a breath of fresh air amongst a group of rag-tag misfits. But past him, the team is either dealing with players who aren't consistent or have had their year cut short with injuries. The team lost Mark Clayton early in the 2010 season after his chemistry with Sam Bradford started going through the roof. Then Danny Amendola came on the scene, only to be knocked out for the year with a triceps injury. Greg Salas, who was the team's new slot receiver, started gaining fantasy value after racking up 12 receptions in two weeks. Guess what? Now he is knocked out for 2011 with a broken leg.
Hopefully this week's Sleeper Special will not only give PPR owners some hope, but will also manage to stay healthy for the rest of the year.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Rams WR Austin Pettis.
Before I give reasons why Pettis might be worth a look in your PPR league, lets go back in time and look at Pettis' college career when he was at Boise State (Per Wikipedia):
He was drafted by the Rams in the 3rd round, 78th overall, in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Pettis finished his Boise State career as the school's all-time leader in both receptions (229) and touchdown catches (39). His 2,838 receiving yards rank second on the all-time list. He was a four-year starter in the Broncos' high-powered offense. Pettis set career highs with 71 receptions and 951 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior and earned First-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors for the second consecutive year.
As a junior, in 2008, Pettis had 63 receptions for 855 yards and 14 touchdowns and was a First-team All-WAC selection. Pettis was named Second-team All-WAC after his sophomore season (2007), catching 49 passes for 567 yards, averaging 11.6 yards per catch and nine touchdowns. He was also named to the All-WAC academic team. In 2007 as a true freshmen, he finished season second on team with 46 receptions and finished second on team with six TD catches and third with 465 yards receiving.
The one big reason why I absolutely love Pettis' chances of making a name for himself: Sam Bradford is check-down Charlie. He will look to his slot receiver a lot in certain games, as we had seen from Salas' numbers. And with Pettis' knack for racking up catches, that could be a great combination.
Pettis managed 4 catches for 43 yards against the Cardinals Sunday. And three of those came on the Rams' final 16 offensive plays of the game. The Browns are top dog against receivers, allowing a mere 12.4 fantasy points. So because of this, I can't recommend Pettis as anything more than a desperation option at best. Not to mention that Mark Clayton could be taken off the PUP if his Achilles improved while out.
But if Pettis can somehow show he is competent enough to put up decent stats this week, he could be a quality option with the Rams facing Seattle, Arizona, San Francisco and Seattle again in Weeks 11-14. All 3 teams have a fairly soft secondary that Pettis can take advantage of.