27-Year-Old Linebacker – St. Louis Rams
2013 Fantasy Football Outlook
Laurinaitis has been an IDP beast each of his four NFL seasons, and his owners will have every reason to expect a repeat for the fifth year in a row in 2013. The former Ohio State star posted 142 tack...
James Laurinaitis Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $41.5 million extension with the Rams through 2017 in September of 2012.
Laurinaitis (hip) is listed as active Sunday at Indianapolis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
James Laurinaitis: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Forced fumbles aside, Laurinaitis might be behind only Patrick Willis and Desmond Bishop when it comes to well-rounded IDP production, as he reliably posts above-average numbers in the most conventionally important stat categories – solo stops, sacks and interceptions. In his three NFL seasons, Laurinaitis has averaged 103 solo tackles per year, as well as 2.5 sacks and two interceptions. He could post career highs in all of those categories this year, moreover, as the Rams defense figures to become more aggressive and more effective in 2012 under the watch of new coach Jeff Fisher. Laurinaitis will also benefit greatly from the arrival of defensive tackles Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers – the former a free-agent signing from Miami and the latter the 14th overall pick in the 2012 draft. Langford (6-6, 295) and Brockers (6-5, 322) are both mountainous figures with big wingspans who figure to occupy three offensive linemen each play, leaving offenses with just two tackles and perhaps a tight end or running back to deal with Laurinaitis and the intimidating end duo of Chris Long and Robert Quinn. Dangerous as he is, offenses will have no choice but to leave Laurinaitis unaccounted for much of the time.
Laurinaitis is a skilled all-around linebacker who has been quite impressive in his first two seasons of NFL play. The former Ohio State star concluded the last two years with 234 tackles (205 solo), five sacks, three interceptions and a forced fumble. He needs to create more turnovers to increase his fantasy value, but in the meantime he’s an extremely reliable run stopper with a floor so high that it’s almost indistinguishable from his ceiling.
After Laurinaitis spent his rookie year minicamp with the second team, expectations dropped. A 120-tackle, two-sack, two-INT campaign proved the skeptics wrong, cementing Laurinaitis in place as the Rams’ starting MLB and as a top-10 option in IDP leagues. A year’s worth of experience and a team that has nowhere to go but up should help Laurinaitis build upon last year’s impressive numbers in his second season.
The coveted rookie out of Ohio State should enter 2009 as the Rams' starting middle linebacker despite seeing time only with the second team during early mini-camps. Laurinaitis is a every down linebacker and should help solidify the Rams' linebacking corp against the run and in coverage while allowing fellow starter Will Witherspoon to return to the weakside role he excels in.