The St. Louis Rams were not likely to try to re-establish “The Greatest Show On Turf” this year anyway, but with quarterback Sam Bradford out for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee again a very conservative offensive approach is now definitely coming with Shaun Hill taking over under center. Zac Stacy is firmly in place atop the depth chart at running back for the Rams, and all indications are Benny Cunningham will start the season as his immediate backup.
Rookie Tre Mason has not been particularly impressive so far in the preseason, with 110 yards on 37 carries, and he has struggled with consistency in pass protection as well. Even though he’s currently No. 3 on the depth chart, the Rams wouldn’t have used a third-round pick on Mason without some sort of plan to use him in a prominent role in the very near future.
Mason led the SEC in rushing last season with 1,816 yards, but he was not a productive pass catcher at Auburn with just 19 receptions over his last two seasons. Even though Cunningham has earned the No. 2 spot on the depth chart with a solid preseason (5.3 yards per carry through three games), if Mason shows progress as an all-around back he is the superior talent and should easily usurp Cunningham on the depth chart.
Mason’s fantasy stock is down at this point, which could make him a potential value in dynasty league drafts and he’s well-worth stashing in that format. He is obviously not a must-own in re-draft leagues as a handcuff right now, but I don’t think it’s mandatory to have used an early round pick on Stacy to still think about drafting Mason as a RB5 in deep leagues.