Danny Amendola, Daryl Richardson Give St. Louis Rams Hot Fantasy Football Names

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIISeptember 20, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 30: Wide receiver Danny Amendola #16 of the St. Louis Rams runs after breaking breaking a diving tackle by defensive back Corey Graham #24 of the Baltimore Ravens during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at the Edward Jones Dome on August 30, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
David Welker/Getty Images

For years, the only St. Louis Rams player who was of any intrigue to the mainstream fantasy football fan was star running back Steven Jackson. Danny Amendola was recognized as a viable option when healthy, but only with the caveat that he was strictly PPR-eligible.

The St. Louis defense had been victimized by an anemic offense, playing two-thirds of many games and giving up a lot of yards and points because it was always tired.

Now the Rams defense is legitimate. However, the anemic offenses of years' past largely produced only Jackson as a consistent fantasy option, albeit rarely dynamic because of his lack of touchdown production.

On Sunday of Week 2 against the Redskins, those things changed.

Amendola started off the game with a reception near the left sideline, which he fumbled and the Redskins returned for a touchdown.

The Rams played from behind the rest of the game.

As a result of their game situation and his rapport with quarterback Sam Bradford, Amendola finished his outing on Sunday with 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. He already had recorded 12 catches, 133 yards and the score by halftime.

Amendola is currently a top-five wide receiver in standard fantasy leagues. The PPR-only tag apparently has been shed, as the slot guy is currently owned in 74.1 percent of leagues on ESPN.com and counting.

He's not the only Rams player to reach the national consciousness of fantasy owners this week, either.

The other rookie running back by the name of Richardson, Daryl Richardson, entered the game for Jackson following his perceived touchdown dive in the second quarter, and finished with 83 yards on 15 carries. Richardson added two receptions for 19 yards and trails Jackson by just eight yards for the team lead in rushing on 13 fewer carries.

Richardson provides the Rams with speed out of the backfield at 5'10" and 196 lbs. He also has legitimate quickness in between the tackles that probably has made some Rams fans forget about the team's 2012 second-round pick at the same position in Isaiah Pead.

Richardson was sprinkled into the offense in Week 1 as well, so he has a bit of staying power even if Jackson is healthy. In a competitive game against the Detroit Lions, Richardson took two handoffs for 20 yards.

If Brandon Gibson continues to find the end zone, people may begin paying attention to him, but another name to watch out for is second-year wide receiver Austin Pettis, who will be returning to the team following an impressive preseason and a two-game NFL suspension.

Of course, with all of these new weapons (or new perceptions of the weapons) at his disposal, perhaps quarterback Sam Bradford may get some looks from fantasy owners as a bye-week replacement.