Chris Givens has been the St. Louis Rams' most dependable receiver—and a great fantasy football option—for two weeks running, but things won't be clear until we know if Danny Amendola is healthy.
For most of his increasingly impressive rookie season the St. Louis Rams have targeted Chris Givens about as often no matter what Danny Amendola is doing. All that changed Sunday, when Amendola was ruled out with a foot injury and Givens earned a career-high 14 targets, catching 11 of them for 92 yards. It was, much like Amendola at his best, a great fantasy football day if you get points for receptions.
It also knocked his average yards per reception down from 21 per catch to 17, but A) 21 just looks unnatural for that stat anyway and B) it made it clear just how much Sam Bradford trusts a receiver who, in the early going, seemed to be strictly a deep threat.
Now, at least, it looks like Givens is both. He's still the Rams' most dangerous receiver downfield, but in Amendola's absence the Rams have gone to him for the short and middle-yardage plays that used to be the province of Amendola and Brandon Gibson, who's all but disappeared over the last two weeks despite his solid play this season.
Givens isn't just part of the Rams' future—he's part of the present. But until we know whether Danny Amendola will be able to play in a capacity beyond the seven snaps he took against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12, we won't know if Givens will be the everyman No. 1 he's shown with Amendola out or the emerging playmaker he was before. So proceed with at least a little caution.