Depth Preview: NFC West
The NFC West has turned into one of the most fascinating divisions in football. Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll have the Seahawks as a mainstay while the San Francisco 49ers fell one quarter shy of shaping their championship rings last season. That doesn’t even consider an unbelievably talented Los Angeles Rams squad and an up-and-coming Arizona Cardinals conglomerate.
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NFC West Preview and Draft Needs
Seattle has been the cream of the crop in the NFC West for years now and they remain dangerous again this season after an 11-5 record in 2019.
Russell Wilson is still there and not else much needs to be said. With that in mind, there’s no other QB on the roster, so, they need to add a backup or pick someone up in the draft.
Chris Carson has been a stud the last two seasons. While Rashaad Penny is rehabbing a knee injury, he’s still expected to back up Carson next season. Travis Homer remains under contract too and it appears they’re unlikely to add at this position with so much talent on the roster.
Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf both flashed moments of brilliance last season and they should continue to hound the targets this year. They also signed Phillip Dorsett to a one-year deal but they could look for one more wideout in the draft to add some depth.
Greg Olsen and Jacob Hollister were both signed in the offseason and that has them in a good spot for this year. Olsen doesn’t have many years left though, so, they could look for a tight end of the future in the draft. Will Dissly remains under contract as well, though. Look for this team to fill out their offensive line and defense in the draft and avoid many of these fantasy-relevant positions.
San Francisco 49ers
This is the best team in the NFC West and one of the deepest clubs in football. A 13-3 record backs that up and that’s why they remain mostly unchanged.
Jimmy Garoppolo was added as the franchise guy a few years back and he got this team all the way to the Super Bowl last season. That means he’s their guy for now but there is still some skepticism that he’s the best option. C.J. Beathard remains there as a backup but the draft will be a telling sign on how much they truly trust Jimmy G.
The Tevin Coleman-Matt Breida-Raheem Moster trio is frustrating for fantasy owners but it makes this one of the best backfields in the NFL. All of these guys ooze with talent and one would believe they won’t add anyone at this position. With that said, Shanahan loves his RBs and he could add another wrench into this committee.
This is definitely the 49ers biggest need. Emmanuel Sanders was acquired from the Broncos last season but he chose to sign with the Saints last week. That leaves Deebo Samuel, Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin which simply isn’t good enough for a contender. There honestly isn’t much else in free agency in terms of wideouts, so, look for them to grab another in the draft. CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III or Jeudy Judy would be a fantastic selection with their 13th pick in the draft.
George Kittle is a beast and doesn’t need much help. Ross Dwelley is a formidable backup and they likely won’t do anything else at this position either.
Los Angeles Rams
This team was a huge disappointment last season but they have the ability to win the NFC West with all the talent that they possess.
Jared Goff was one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in the NFL last season but he should have a fairly long leash as their play-caller. John Wolford is the only other QB under contract though, so, look for the Rams to add one in the draft. How high they take one is dependent on how much they trust Goff.
Todd Gurley was released and his impressive run with the Rams is now a thing of the past. That leaves Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and John Kelly as the only backs on the roster. That means a back is a top priority right now. Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift and JK Dobbins would all be viable picks in the draft or they could sign a veteran free agent like Carlos Hyde, Devonta Freeman, or Lamar Miller. This is one of the biggest focuses for Los Angeles in this offseason and it could be a huge deal for fantasy owners once they do add someone.
Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp all remain under contract. There is some word of Cooks being traded though and that’s something to keep an eye on. If he’s moved, look for the Rams to add a WR in the draft.
Tyler Higbee had a breakout in the second half of last season which followed up a breakout from Gerald Everett in the first half. These two should be fully healthy by September and make for a great TE duo.
While Arizona’s five wins were the lowest total in the NFC West last season, this is one of the most dangerous teams in the league. That will become evident in about two minutes when you read this.
David Johnson has been one of the best RBs in football for the last five years but he was traded off to Houston at the commencement of free agency. Kenyan Drake was brilliant after being acquired from Miami last season and an $8.5 million contract proves that he’s the go-to guy now. Chase Edmonds is a nice complimentary back but they’ll likely add someone else with those two being the only ones on the roster. Don’t be surprised to see them draft one in the first four rounds of the draft and have him compete with Drake for touches.
With DeAndre Hopkins being sent back in that DJ trade, this WR corp is set. He pairs up with Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk beautifully, making this one of the most dangerous offenses in football. With Larry getting older, they could land one late in the draft though to sit behind he and Hopkins to learn from some legends.
Maxx Williams and Darrell Daniels make for an ugly tight end combo but this is a club that usually doesn’t ride any tight ends. That makes me believe that they won’t do anything in the draft or in free agency but it’s definitely one of their weaker positions on this offense.
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