After cresting prior to last week's bye week the St. Louis Rams' defense fell by 25 percent on the fantasy football waiver wire during their bye week, proving once again that keeping a mid-tier defense around on your roster in the average casual league should not be a major concern. All of the popular Rams fell off, predictably—even poor Michael Hoomanawanui fell from 0.4 percent ownership to 0.2. Coming into this week's return to action against the San Francisco 49ers the usual Rams suggestions apply—consider Sam Bradford as a readily available backup with a little upside; consider wide receivers and tight ends at your own peril; consider remembering to put Steven Jackson back into the lineup before Sunday morning.â†µ
Bradford, who's thrown five touchdowns without an interception in his last three starts, began in October to move from "pretty good for a rookie quarterback" to pretty good. The personnel around him is less than perfect—he's got Danny Amendola, who might still be useful in a really deep league, and a cast of long-shot possibilities—which restricts his value, but his 25 of 32 performance against the Carolina Panthers was incredibly exciting, and the 49ers pass defense isn't as sturdy as its run defense.â†µ
Of course, now that Steven Jackson's had another week to rest his broken body it might not matter—the Rams would hand him the ball 25 times if the 49ers defense were literally a brick wall erected at midfield.â†µ
But the big Rams play is their defense, which might still be sitting around on your waiver wire. The 49ers' 137 points scored ranks 30th in the NFL, and the Rams' defense is coming off its fantasy-friendliest performance of the season—three sacks, three interceptions, and 10 points allowed. The 49ers, meanwhile, have no idea who will be starting at quarterback. Saying he likes both of them was a wonderfully La Russa-ian move by Mike Singletary, but it was cold comfort, I'd imagine, to Alex Smith and Troy Smith.