The burden to perform well on LA Rams wide receiver Tutu Atwell will remain greater than any other player on the Rams roster. As long as Kansas City Chiefs center Creed Humphrey continues to dominate the line of scrimmage, Atwell will continued to be viewed as losing ground, falling behind, and simply not living up to expectations.
That comparison to Humphrey's skyrocketing impact in the NFL has merely exaggerated tha slow-to-develop career of Rams wide receiver Tutu Atwell. But before the mention of his name triggers a blame-game path, the challenges that have come to Atwell's NFL career have been as much the fault of the LA Rams as that of Atwell. But perhaps that is all about to change?
When the LA Rams drafted Tutu Atwell, the team already knew that Atwell was just 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds. In spite of his small size, the Rams standards of blocking at the wide receiver position did not change, forcing Atwell to sit on the bench for much of his NFL career so far. When he did finally get to the football field in 2022, he was on the receiving end from quarterback Baker Mayfield, who connected with Atwell 13 times out of 23 targets for 111 yards. Prior to Mayfield's arrival, he had caught six out of 12 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown.
But something thinks that he has much more to offer in 2023.
Peter Schrager pleads with FF owners to load up on Tutu Atwell
The ability of Tutu Atwell to catch and advance the football, despite a beaten up Rams offense, was not lost to everyone. Good Morning Football host Peter Schrager clearly sat up and took notice of the young receiver's underestimated ability to put up huge chunks of yards instantly
And not only that, but he has used that knowledge to elevate Tutu Atwell to his 'Fantasy Football Sleeper Pick of the Year,' for the 2023 NFL season:
Does Atwell have a chance? Well, since being drafted in 2021, he has never had a greater chance to make an impact in the Rams offense.
Unlike other years on the LA Rams roster, the Rams have quite a debate over who will be thrown to more often this season behind WR Cooper Kupp. Some believe that the runner-up receiver could be Van Jefferson, some believe Ben Skowronek, while still others believe the runner-up receiver will be Tutu Atwell.
Atwell needs targets to generate yards
If Atwell is targeted 80 times this year, and hauls in just 50 catches, he could rack up over 800 receiving yards this season. That's a huge uptick from just under 300 yards from a year earlier. But does success breed success? I mean, if Tutu Atwell suddenly gets hot in this LA Rams offense, will the team reroute passes away from him to play a more balanced offense? Or do the Rams choose to stick with a hot hand?
To flirt with 1,000+ receiving yards in one season, Atwell will need to catch 60+ passes. To do that, he will need to be targeted 100+ times this season. How likely is that? Over the span of six seasons with Sean McVay piloting the LA Rams, a runner-up receiver was targeted in this offense more than 100 times 50 percent of the time: 2018, 2019, and 2020.
If Tutu Atwell gets hot this season, he could become a formidable positive impact player for the LA Rams this season. If there was ever a year for him to deliver, this is it.