NFC West Fantasy Football Grades
By Guest Writer EJ McKinley:
The NFC West is quickly becoming the best division in the NFL. The 49ers and Seahawks have a slew of weapons on offense while the Rams and Cardinals are steadily improving. This is will be a highly competitive division for the NFL and a fantasy gold mine for the rest of us.
Arizona Cardinals: B-
Analysis: The quarterback position is strengthened by the arrival of Carson Palmer. And with Palmer the entire offense is strengthened. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s performance is expected to skyrocket and runningback Rashard Mendenhall could be much better than expected. If second year wide receiver Michael Floyd can improve we could see one of the better wide receiver tandems in the league. Look out for Andre Roberts to be the sleeper of the team.
San Francisco 49ers: A+
Analysis: The emergence of Collin Kaepernick was a huge plus for the offense. He has a great possession receiver in Anquan Boldin who can produce in clutch moments. Whenever Michael Crabtree becomes healthy he can be a top 20 receiver and Mario Mannigham is a tear if he can get his catches. We’re also waiting for former first round pick A.J. Jenkins to show the talent worthy of his draft place. The tight end position is filled by the most athletic tight end in the league, Vernon Davis, and backed up by future star (rookie) Vance McDonald. The runningback position is stacked with top 10 back Frank Gore receiving the most carries and change of pace backs Lamichael James, Kendall Hunter, and Anthony Dixon able to come in and do a solid job. It’s also worth noting the 49ers offensive line is one of the best in the NFL.
Seattle Seahawks: B+
Analysis: Seattle’s rating would be higher if it weren’t for all the injury trouble they’ve had. Golden Tate is a slightly below average receiver and Sidney Rice has great talent but needs to stay healthy and be more consistent. Obviously Russell Wilson is going to destroy defenses with his arm and legs while runningback Marshawn Lynch will finish as one the leaders in yards and touchdowns. Tight end Zach Miller has some great skills but just needs to get more catches. The Seahawks also boast a talented stable of young runningbacks behind Lynch.
St. Louis Rams: C
Analysis: If and only if Sam Bradford can make a big improvement and reach his full potential this offense will soar. Rookie receiver Tavon Austin is blindingly fast while Jared Cook and Chris Givens both have a nice set of skills. There are questions at runningback but we’ll have to see just how that shapes out. We could see anything at this point.