Todd Gurley, the Rams #10 pick in the 2015 NFL draft was looking like the Leagues top running back coming out, and he indeed showed why he was the first running back in a few years picked so high in the draft. Rushing for 229 attempts, 1106 yards, 85.4 YPG (yards per game) 10 TD’s, and averaged 4.8 YPC (or yards per carry) (Stats found on NFL.com). He looked like he was the future for the Rams, and heading into his 2nd season, everyone was hyped up on him, picking him 1st in fantasy drafts. He solidified himself as a member of an elite tier of Backs, and it was only his rookie year heading into his sophomore year.
The hype was surrounding him, but during the 2nd season he did not look like the back he had been year 1. He struggled early on, which led to an underperforming season by #30. He ended with 278 attempts (59 more than 1st year), 835 yards (271 less than 1st year), 55.3 ypg (30.1 less than 1st year), 6 TD’s (4 less than 1st year), and averaged 3.2 YPC (1.6 less than 1st year) (all stats found on NFL.com). His stats show he went down in just about everything, and he also went down on fantasy boards heading into this season.
The question is, is he a sleeper pick? Are people expecting another season full of struggles for him? In my opinion, how can anyone not be surrounded by struggles down in LA, they are an actual mess as of now. I think Gurley will improve off of last season expanding his game by catching more passes, which is just about the only stat he improved in 2016 (from 185 YDs to 327 YDs in 2016, which is 142 YDs more), I also believe he will be a better pass blocker, and overall just an improvement off his struggling 2nd season. Not a huge improvement, so do not pick him in the 2nd and 3rd rounds for fantasy, maybe 4th round in my opinion, but definitely an improvement, and definitely a choice for RB2 or a option at the flex position. I say after the season he totals around 1000 yards, 8TD’s, averaging around 3.9-4.1 YPC, 65-70 YPG, as well as receiving for around 400+ yards. Fantasy wise I expect him to average around 7-9 PPG (Points per game)
Why did he struggle? What can/will change?
Gurley is running behind a mediocre at best O-LIne, I hope for his and Goffs (if he starts) sake that the LA Rams improve it during the season and acquire some pieces to build an Offensive Line around. Put the O-Line aside, Gurley’s season was not terrible, in fact it was not that bad, but compared to his 1st outing as an NFL back, we expected more. TG was surrounded by struggles that whole season, as the Rams finished last in the conference, unable to buy a win (not like they have money to anyway) and there team as w hole faced a lot of adversity.