The NFC West is one of my favourite divisions in football. They’ve been a very successful division recently with all four teams reaching the Conference championship over the last six years, and three of those reaching the Super Bowl over the same time period. Or maybe it’s just that I love West Coast IPAs. Regardless, let’s dive into a preview of the fantasy football landscape for the NFC West for 2020.
All ADP data is taken from FantasyFootballCalculator and is for a 12 team 1QB PPR league.
2019 play selection:
48% run, 52% pass – 5th lowest pass to run ratio in the NFL
481 runs/517 passes
I expect Seattle to continue to be in the bottom 3rd of the NFL for pass to run ratio. Running the ball seems to be Seattle’s modus operandi recently, even if they have one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the game! Bottom 5 though is hard to repeat, so I expect some mild regression closer to the bottom 10-12, which means a small uptick in passing volume.
Chris Carson – 3.07
As per above, I expect Seattle to stay in the bottom 3rd of pass-run ratio which should give Carson a solid workload.
Russel Wilson – 5.09
Absolute superstar but unfortunately late round QB is always the way to go for me. I’m waiting until the double digit rounds
DK Metcalf – 4.07
Being taken a round ahead of his running mate Tyler Lockett, they should be the same. Expectation of Seattle’s continued focus on the running game means DK is a round too high for me.
Tyler Lockett – 5.07
I don’t think 2020 is quite yet the time for him to be drafted behind DK who is being taken a round ahead. Was on a roll last season until he got injured.
San Francisco 49ers
2019 play selection:
51% run, 49% pass – 2nd lowest pass to run ratio in the NFL
498 runs/478 passes
One of only 3 teams that ran more than they passed the ball so expect some regression towards passing more this season, defense likely to not be as good this year and therefore the team is likely to be leading less. This makes Jimmy Garropolo a value and someone I’m happy to target
George Kittle – 3.01
Stud. There are two ways to approach TE, get an elite one early, or wait really late. We’re expecting San Fran’s pass volume to increase, Deebo is starting the year injured, and Kittle is elite. Should be taken in the second round.
Deebo Samuel – 8.05
WR26 last year yet only surpassed 80% snaps once in the first 10 weeks. Increase for the whole passing offense. Injury discount taken too far. Going to be on a lot of my teams this year.
Brandon Aiyuk – 12.02
Deebo is likely missing the start of the season. George Kittle is the only other pass catcher of consequence. Any double digit round has minimal opportunity cost – yes please I’ll take the 49ers first round rookie receiver.
Raheem Mostert – 5.03 & Tevin Coleman – 7.12
An incredibly efficient running game in SF means I’d love to get a piece of it, I’m just not sure these prices are the right prices. If I had to pick one at their price it would be the cheaper of them, Tevin Coleman.
Los Angeles Rams
2019 play selection:
39% run, 61% pass – 7th highest pass to run ratio in the NFL
401 runs/632 passes
2017 – 24th lowest pass to run, 47/53 run pass
2018 – 21st lowest pass to run, 45/55
The Rams greatly increased their pass to run ratio in 2019 in comparison to past years. The likely causes for this are: Defense was worse which meant they were leading less, and the running game being less effective which is a combination of the offensive line, play calling, and their famed running back Todd Gurley. It’s tricky to know what their split will look like this season.
Cam Akers 5.11
A rookie running back that was taken in the 2nd round with no clear bellcow back as the competition that’s available late 5th? I’ll take one serve of Cam Akers please
Darrell Henderson 10.04
I believe Henderson to also be a value in the 10th round due to similar reasons above. Akers is a rookie. And it’s not guarantee the Rams go back to employing a bellcow approach at RB in their post Gurley era. Henderson was very efficient in college posting 3545 yards at 8.2 yards per attempt across his three years at Memphis.
Jared Goff – 13.04
I’m a late round QB kinda guy. The 13th round counts as late round. At QB19 I believe this represents very good value for Goff. In 2019 he finished as QB13 despite having a TD% of 3.5% on 626 attempts. The two prior seasons his TD rate was 5.9% and 5.7%. If Goff was to throw 626 times again at even 5.0% he would throw 31 TDs instead of 22TDs and this would’ve elevated him from QB13 to QB9. Definitely a target of mine in the late round QB sweepstakes.
Cooper Kupp – 4.03
How can you say the 2019 WR4 is overvalued in the 4th round? Kupp’s drop off in targets and snaps from weeks 13-17 concern me as the Rams moved towards more 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR) sets. I’m happy to miss Kupp if need be.
Tyler Higbee – 8.01
Higbee’s emergence came at Kupp’s expense with his big weeks being in, you guessed it, weeks 13-17. I simply don’t want to have to guess between Kupp and Higbee this year.
Robert Woods – 4.07
Would prefer Woods over Kupp straight up. As he can also play as an outside receiver role is more secure and less affected by the personnel groupings that McVay chooses to run.
2019 play selection:
42% run, 58% pass – 14th highest pass/run ratio
554 passes – 18th
8th least plays run per game
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arizona become more pass heavy as Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury becomes more confident running the air raid in the NFL and trusts Kyler Murray to throw more.
Arizona has the 3rd highest rushing yards per attempt of 5.0 in 2019. The theorised threat of the air raid theoretically lightens the boxes and makes it easier to run against. I expect some regression but for them to still be an efficient running team.
Christian Kirk – 10.07
Last year Kirk overtook Larry Fitzgerald to earn the highest target share on the Cardinals. Unfortunately this was offset by poor efficiency, Kyler Murray had a net yards per attempt of 5.8 which ranked 21st in the league. I’m expecting the addition of Hopkins and the second year of Kyler and Kliff to improve this efficiency and for Kirk to benefit from playing second fiddle. The trendy pick to be this year’s Chris Godwin is Calvin Ridley, but why can’t it be Christian Kirk?
DeAndre Hopkins – 2.05
I kept flipped Hopkins between Overvalued and Correctly valued. He’s an elite WR, however most WRs who change teams in the offseason have a drop in production. Being taken as the 5th WR off the board I think is a high bar to reach in a limited offseason with his new QB, I just think it will be too difficult to reach his draft board value. Sorry Nuk.
Kenyan Drake – 2.01
Has opportunity to finish in the top 5 at the position. Kingsbury has talked in training camp about trying to get Drake more involved in the passing game which is what you need to finish in the upper echelon of RB1s in PPR.
Kyler Murray 5.10 – I’m very much a late round QB guy but I (like many others) think Kyler could be this year’s Lamar Jackson so if I can get him after Sutton and Diggs who are going in the 3 picks after him then I’m all in.
Chase Edmonds – 10.01
This late in the draft you’re purely shooting for upside. In limited opportunity last year Chase Edmonds smashed. In week 7 against the Giants he dropped 35 PPR points, 140 total yards and 3 TDs. High high end backup. In the same vein as Chase, Eno Benjamin is someone I’m keeping an eye on the waiver wire for if there’s any news about injury to Drake or Edmonds.
Check out my other articles below.