Matthew Stafford’s tenure with the Los Angeles Rams has been a tale of two seasons so far.
In Stafford’s first year with the team, he was the main cog in one of the league’s top offenses. Despite leading the league in interceptions with 17, Stafford was also top five in both passing yards (4,886) and touchdowns (41).
The 2022 season wasn’t nearly as good for Stafford and the Rams though as they went 5-12 as a team and he struggled largely due to the team’s glut of injuries on the offensive line that led to an inability to protect the quarterback.
Stafford was limited to nine games due to head and neck injuries, throwing for 2,087 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He saw his yards per game drop from 287.4 the previous season to 231.9 and his touchdown to interception ratio from 2.41 to 1.25.
Stafford does not have much value in dynasty leagues considering he is 35 and potentially nearing the end of his career. Even when looking at the 2023 season alone here are where a few prominent outlets have him ranked among QBs:
- ESPN: 22nd
- Fantasy Pros: 23rd
Why is Stafford ranked so low?
When Stafford was at his best with the Rams in 2021, he was the No. 5 quarterback in fantasy football. The experts clearly don’t see him getting back to that level, and there may be a few reasons why.
The No. 1 reason has to be Stafford’s age and health. After dealing with a concussion and neck contusion in 2022, Stafford isn’t exactly a safe bet to stay healthy moving forward going into his 15th NFL season. They say the best ability is availability, and that rings true in fantasy football as well.
Supporting cast faltered
Also part of what has lowered Stafford’s fantasy value, as well as his ability to stay healthy, is the Rams’ poor offensive line play. There is reason to believe that this group will be better in 2023 if they can stay healthy, but that is a big if and even still, there remain a lot of question marks up front for L.A.
Overall personnel around Stafford is another big reason why he is not looked at as a top fantasy quarterback. In 2021, Stafford had exceptional weapons to throw to like Cooper Kupp, who had a historic season, and Odell Beckham Jr., Robert Woods and Van Jefferson.
While Kupp and Jefferson still remain with the team, the other wide receivers are huge question marks. Most notably Allen Robinson, who didn’t develop much chemistry with Stafford in 2022.
All of this to say that Stafford likely won’t be on your radar for starting fantasy quarterbacks in 2023. He does present some high upside as a backup though and is worth a late-round flyer because if the Rams offense can get back to what it was in 2021 and Stafford can stay healthy then perhaps he will get back in the top 10. The quarterback position as a whole is stacked with young talent though and much safer health bets.