NFC West Fantasy Breakdown
By Steve Uetz
We now head west to cover our 3rd division! We will be covering the NFC West but first here are some reminders about what my breakdowns are all about:
The team breakdowns will contain an overarching theme for each team or more specifically each offensive core. The offensive cores will be organized into four categories: FADE, NEUTRAL, BUY, and BIG BUY! ADP and auction values will somewhat reflect this but I will be adding some personal perspective with keeping some rules of thumb in mind.
Rule of Thumb #1: Each offensive core may have specific player exceptions.
Rule of Thumb #2: Every player has value at the right price.
The breakdowns will include the players to target from each team, the players’ ideal positional count for your roster, target cost for auction budget % and round #, league type preferences, along with optional blurbs from yours truly. Throughout the team breakdowns be sure to keep your eyes wide open looking for the players with coveted “Ladder Pick” label. The “Ladder Pick” players are who I have identified as those who will help you climb the ladder of fantasy football success for the 2020 season.
I have 6 teams whose offensive core make up the BIG BUY category, 8 teams in the BUY category, 12 teams in the NEUTRAL category, and the remaining 6 teams will generally be considered as a FADE. Just so we are on the same page…BIG BUY=offensive cores to target aggressively; BUY=offensive cores that are reach worthy; NEUTRAL=offensive cores (with some players exceptions both positive and negative) to be drafted at value – not to be reached for nor to be shied away from; FADE=offensive cores to pass on at consensus ranking, players to be drafted weighing risk, or players to be drafted only if at a value, larger the discount the better; always!
I want to BUY offense with elite QBs; Russell Wilson is elite! Seattle remains a BUY despite some question marks.
QB Russell Wilson: QB1 6-7% auction budget, round 6-7, one of absolute favorite players. Efficient passing and rushing ability makes him a defensive nightmare. As long as Wilson is playing football at a high level. I honestly don’t care how corny he is. Absolute Stud!
RBs Chris Carson (RB2, 10-11%, round 4, fade at his current ADP), Rashaad Penny (priority FA), and Carlos Hyde (RB6, $1 deep auction, round 14/priority FA). This situation is a big mess. Carson’s health is a big concern for me. I love the player but hate the ADP. As of now I can’t imagine leaving a draft with him as my RB2. RB3 and exercise patience, sure.
However this is difficult to justify considering his ADP. Any RB in this offense that gets a decent work load is worth owning because Russell Wilson opens up the offense extremely well.
Carson and Penny's health issues are legitimately worrisome and in the first 5 rounds (Carson being a round 3-4 pick) I want to be as least risk averse as possible. Hyde may start the season as a tremendous value, get him for $1 in an auction, get him as the last RB on your bench and hope he does well week 1 and sell high baby!
WRs Tyler Lockett: (WR2, PPR stud, 14-15% auction, round 5) and DK Metcalf (low end WR2/high WR3, 11-12% auction budget, round 6, Best Ball target) are very different players and compliment eachother incredibly well; Russell Wilson is a lucky man. This duo will continue to shine and likely outperform their ADP. I prefer Lockett as a more reliable week to week player.
TEs Will Dissly, Greg Olsen, and Jacob Hollister are all undraftable in 12 team non-TE premium leagues and should be considered priority FAs. I want pieces of this offense so keep a close eye!
The Cardinals come in as a BIG BUY this year, already trending up, the addition of DeAndre Hopkins puts them over the top!
QB Kyler Murray: QB1, 6-7% auction budget, Round 6, an impressive rookie campaign was a wonderful showing of how he won the bet on himself choosing to go into the NFL rather than the MLB. First world problems, am I right? Murray will be the primary beneficiary of this offense that is ready to feast with one of the league best WR trios.
RB Kenyan Drake: Low-end RB1/high-RB2, 18-20% auction, early round 2, plenty of upside being the lead RB in this high powered offense. Expect Drake to have favorable looks as opposing defenses need to account for Murray’s rushing ability and the lethal trio of WRs.
RB backups Chase Edmonds (RB5, 1-2% auction, round 13), and Eno Benjamin (RB6, $1 deep auction) are late round stashes, Edmonds stash in all leagues, Benjamin deep league stash.
WR DeAndre Hopkins: WR1, 23-24% auction, late round 1,
WR Christian Kirk: WR3, 6-7%, round 8
WR Larry Fitzgerald: WR5, $1, round 14
Hopkins remains an elite WR with a new team and will lead this fantastic trio of WRs. Kirk is an excellent complimentary piece opposite Hopkins with big play ability. Fitzgerald is still solid, the addition of Hopkins hurt his targets/catches upside, but certainly worth grabbing at the end of drafts.
San Francisco 49ers
I love me a Kyle Shanahan offense but for the offense I consider them NEUTRAL overall. Fair ADP all around.
QB Jimmy Garroppolo: QB2, priority FA bye week/injury replacement candidate, I wish Jimmy G was as consistently useful for fantasy as he is handsome. Wait what? Never mind...Perhaps I’m too low on him but maybe I’m too distracted by his beautiful smile. *slapping myself in the head* STICK TO THE FOOTBALL dang it!! Good weapons, better looks, I wish Deebo was 100% (don’t we all)
RB Raheem Mostert: Low-RB2, high-RB3, 9-10% auction, round 7, a very unique career path has lead him to be a starter in a good offense. He’s a great story of determination and perseverance. He would be valued higher if he wasn’t in such a crowded backfield.
RB Tevin Coleman: RB4, 2-3% auction, round 9/10, I really love the idea of Tevin Coleman, but the reality of Tevin Coleman often leaves much to be desired. Despite mixed success, struggles with health, and being in a crowded backfield, he is still a fine depth RB selection.
RB Jerick McKinnon: RB5, $1, end of bench RB/priority FA (especially if Mostert/Coleman were to miss time). Despite not having played in an NFL game in 2 years, he is still an intriguing player, same cautions as above, but a cheap option in a good offensive system seems like a smart move.
WR Deebo Samuel: WR4, 3-4% auction, round 10, the versatile playmaker is being valued below ADP since he will start the season nursing a broken foot. If you love your draft depth and he is still available, get him and be patient, enjoy him as a flex when healthy or use him as trade bait. Love him but wish he were 100%!
WR Brandon Aiyuk: WR5, 2-3%, round 12, this dynamic prospect enters into a great opportunity with Deebo missing time. Solid depth stash can be used as a trade bait early on to a WR needy team.
TE George Kittle: TE1, 12-13%, round 2, Kittle is awesome he is worth the cost, he has that crazy look in his eye (in a good way) and is heat seeking missle that wants to destroy everything it’s way. Sign me up!
Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay leads the way. Woods and Kupp are trending up. Jared Goff could go off. Henderson and Akers are ankle breakers. Tyler Higbee will be a bust, his ADP I do not trust. This NEUTRAL offensive core should give fantasy points galore.
QB Jared Goff: High-QB2, $1, deep league late round stash, Best Ball target. Surrounded by great weapons and a with an offensive-minded head coach, Goff could be an absolute steal in drafts!
RB Cam Akers: RB3, 5-6% auction, round 8, an intriguing prospect lands in a great offense. In the 2nd round of the 2020 draft The Rams drafted Cam Akers as their first selection which is significant since they did not own a 1st rounder. He has big shoes to fill with Gurley gone, however he lands in a crowded backfield.
RB Darrell Henderson: RB3 if robust WR with elite TE, ideal RB4, 5-6% auction, round 9, left much to be desired last year, perhaps expectations were too high for him. He is one of the first player I add to my queue in drafts. Am I the only one who uses the queue?!
WR Robert Woods: Low-WR1, high WR2, PPR target, 14-15 %, round 4, if he falls to round 5 smash his name and await the groans in the draft chat. Am I the only one who looks at the draft chat during a draft?!
WR Cooper Kupp: WR2, 13-14%, round 5, Kupp and Goff have unique chemistry, having the QBs’ eye and trust is a quality trait. Draft him with confidence!
TE Tyler Higbee: High-TE2 for me, 2-3% auction, round 11, generally for me he is a fade. We can’t talk about Higbee without mentioning the way he ended his season last year. It was literally unbelievable! Dude balled out! Gerald Everett was injured during that span. Can Higbee do it again? Sure, maybe, good offense and should get good matchups. I just really worry that consensus rankings and ADP hold too much recency bias. Look, if he falls far enough I will not hesitate to draft him. He is a fade at his current ADP but every draft is different, prepare to zig when the draft zags. TE Gerald Everett is no slouch, priority FA; I want to keep a close eye on players in good offenses!
Steve Uetz has over 15 years of experience in fantasy football. He enjoys writing fantasy football content and articles. He is very passionate about Auction Leagues. Other than his own fantasy football teams, Steve is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles & Penn State! Steve (@FantasyLadder on Twitter) is very accessible and involved in the Fantasy Football Twitter community! Reach out to him anytime for questions or advice! His primary goal is to help you win your leagues.