The Rams re-tool and the Cardinals pull off the heist of the year. Meanwhile, the Seahawks and 49ers stay the course in their quest for NFC West dominance. You can make an argument that each team will push for playoff contention. Fantasy footballers have their sights set on the young gun in Arizona with a strong arm and sweet feet. The Rams will pass, a lot. And the Seahawks and 49ers will run, a lot. While some things change, others remain the same. Get ready to adjust your rankings. The 2020 NFC West fantasy football outlook will be a wild ride.
2020 NFC West Fantasy Football Outlook
Kyler Murray is quickly rising up the ranks. How much is that attributed to the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins? It helps. But, the dynamic Murray was expected to make a giant leap regardless of Hopkins. With the exception of two duds in weeks seven and eight, Murray was everything we expected. He ran and passed his way to post an average of over 20 fantasy points per game. However, he wasn’t able to keep the pace over the last third of the season averaging only 14 fantasy points. Expectations are his going into his sophomore year. Rightfully so. I like Murray as a QB1 in all formats. He might not be Lamar Jackson hot but, you have to like where the needle is pointed.
Dr. Drake Remoray
The Cards are gonna score so many points. How does Kenyan Drake not get drafted in the first three rounds of drafts? It’s because the nature of the offense doesn’t lend itself to high running volume for running backs. Drake’s true value is in PPR leagues as he was the overall RB10 compared to RB18 in standard-scoring leagues. I like Drake as an RB2 on my roster or an RB1 if I’m waiting until round three to go after running backs. Chase Edmonds will see a percentage of snaps but not enough to depress Drake’s value. In fact, Edmonds could be viewed as a Tevin Coleman-type of back in Kliff Kingsbury‘s offense. Definitely worth a flyer late in drafts.
I covered the heist of the century in my AFC South fantasy football outlook. How good must you be living to land DeAndre Hopkins for an aging running back? This receiving corp is like the Blue Angels. Hopkins, Christian Kirk, and the Frank Gore of wide receivers, Larry Fitzgerald. Explain to me how Murray fails in his second year? He won’t draft em all!
Not on My List
Name a tight end on this team. I dare you. Maxx Williams, Dan Arnold, and Darrell Daniels. Point proven. Move on.
Los Angeles Rams
Goffed up a Lung
Daniel Jones finished higher on the final rankings than Jared Goff. What in the name of Sean McVay‘s evil genius is going on? Goff attempted less than 30 passes in only three games. Given the weapons at his disposal, we expected more. So, how do we view him on our rankings for the 2020 NFL fantasy football season? I’ve got him in the tier of late-round quarterbacks that I’m willing to gamble on only if I wait until late in re-draft leagues. I don’t like it. I think good quarterback play has gained value in average draft positions.
No Gurley, No Love
Who is actually running the ball for the Rams? Does Sean McVay even believe in a running game? Darrell Henderson, Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown, and John Kelly. That order is how it will most likely play out. I like Akers to emerge as a too-good-to-keep-off-the-field type of player. Henderson will get the first crack. 2019’s rookie darling will have every opportunity to take the job and I can see a sell-high scenario after the first three or four weeks of the season.
Cooper Kupp will be a PPR monster. Additionally, Robert Woods should be drafted as a WR2 on fantasy rosters. Kupp and Woods are both ultra-talented in a high pass volume offense. Target both as solid WR1/2 type receivers in PPR leagues. Rookie Van Jefferson is going to replace Brandin Cooks. Add Jefferson in your dynasty leagues. However, Josh Reynolds has earned a crack as the WR3 in the Rams offense. I don’t expect Jefferson to overtake Reynolds until later in the season.
Tyler Higbee came on at the end of 2019 and is a very popular choice in the 2020 fantasy football outlook in the NFC West. However, let’s not forget about Gerald Everett. Everett, when given targets, proved his athleticism and talent. In the four games that he got at least eight targets, he was able to produce double-digit fantasy points. One might argue that Higbee did more with less. However, that wasn’t the case. Higbee was highly involved in the offense over the last third of the season and it showed. He did not get fewer than eight targets and he was able to produce an average of 20 fantasy points in PPR leagues. Both should be added but it could be a headache when dealing with a two-headed monster.
San Francisco 49ers
Too Much Run
Is Jimmy Garoppolo quietly becoming a version of Russell Wilson? He’s very efficient with his passing attempts and has the ability to create and lead with his arm. Additionally, he provides a running ability to move the chains. All the while quarterbacking a run-heavy offense. Jimmy G is as solid a QB2 you want on your roster and will occasionally touch 30 fantasy points for your best ball teams.
Raheem Mostert is a must-start. Matt Breida, traded to Miami, has now freed up the running back rotation. Mostert is clearly the RB1 in San Francisco and Tevin Coleman is as good as he’s ever been in the RB2 role with the ability to take over a game himself. And, no one knows if Jerick McKinnon will ever see the field again, Jeff Wilson should be kept on your watch list. He’s proven himself and should be number three on the depth chart. Rookie JaMycal Hasty and power full-back Kyle Juszczyk round out the backfield. I’m focusing on Mostert and adding Coleman late in drafts, especially in PPR leagues.
Watching Deebo Samuel run roughshod over the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, you could smell the brains of fantasy football players everywhere shoot him up the wide receiver charts. Then came news of a Jones fracture surgery and the wind left the sails. However, all is not lost. The 49ers are planning on him missing six games and he’s planning on fewer. A loss of a quarter of a season isn’t the end of the world especially for a healthy Samuel entering the season fresh. Brandon Aiyuk will be highly coveted in dynasty leagues and should be one of the top receivers drafted in established dynasty leagues. His average draft position has gained steam due to Samuel’s injury status. Kendrick Bourne, however, is who I like as a sleeper candidate a little later in drafts.
Kittle’s and Bits
George Kittle is just a TE1 in all formats. Given Samuel’s injury status Kittle should be that much more integral to the passing offense to start the season. I like Kittle as the top tight end to be drafted ahead of Travis Kelce.
Wilson, No More Twitter Videos
Russell Wilson‘s aw-shucks persona is really kind of nauseating. But, what isn’t is his performance and consistent performance as a top-ten fantasy football quarterback. The emergence of D.K. Metcalf has only solidified the passing offense. Wilson is a solid QB1 to target in your drafts.
Who to Trust
Chris Carson is the best running back despite his fumbling issues. Carlos Hyde was brought in and he’s no slouch. Rashaad Penny has been a work in progress but is capable of handling the load. Deejay Dallas was drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL draft and Travis Homer is still on the roster after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft. So where does that leave us? Carson is not an RB1 but as solid as it gets in the RB2 category. I’m not afraid of Hyde or Penny taking his touches. However, keep tabs on Carson’s availability as he has had to miss much of camp due to personal family issues.
Lockett and Metcalf: Buddy Cops
What happened to the buddy cop genres Well, the Summer of 2020 happened and it’s put that movie genre on hiatus for the foreseeable future. Ironically, in Seattle, Lockett and Metcalf will have cornerbacks locked up. Both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are solid choices in that second tier of wide receivers. Both form a dynamic duo for the hyper-efficient Wilson. Like Kupp and Woods of the Rams, this duo should be targeted as WR1/2 for your roster.
One Last Dance
The venerable Greg Olsen goes coast to coast, moving from Carolina to the Pacific Northwest. Does he have it in him for one last ride? Often overlooked, always reliable. Jacob Hollister came on for an injured Will Dissly and performed admirably. He scored double-digit points in four of nine games he started, in PPR format. I like Olson but this situation makes me a little uneasy. Health and availability have me passing on this tight end group.
Wild, Wild West
The 2020 NFC West fantasy football outlook is a wild one. Each team has a legit shot at the title and each team has wealth of fantasy options in strong offenses. Adjust your rankings. The 2020 NFL season is fast approaching. Good luck and good fantasy!
Embed from Getty Images