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Links to similar discussions of other divisions:
Not that much is going to happen around NFL circles for the next month, save for a few trades and some third-wave free agent signings. That means it’s time to build up your drafting chops with best-ball drafts! What does each offense offer? I’ll break it down division by division. Let’s go to the NFC West, which will welcome at least one new starting quarterback this year.
Note: All ADP courtesy of Underdog
Offensive Outlook: The addition of Rodney Hudson gives the Cardinals their best offensive lineman in ages. They also improved the wide receiver group by signing A.J. Green and drafting Rondale Moore. Kyler Murray was denied his first full offseason in the NFL by covid, but he should be better prepared. This could be an offense on the rise.
Kyler Murray - 5th round ADP
Murray was on his way to being the #1 fantasy quarterback by a clear margin before hurting his shoulder. Does that mean he’s a value as the #3 quarterback off of the board or is destined to let us down because he’s too small to leave himself open to so many hits? If he’s on the board when your fifth-rounder is on the clock, he’s definitely a worthy option.
Edmonds is a little cheaper than Myles Gaskin and Mike Davis, but he has more proven competition and he’s still unlikely to be the goal-line back. The best argument for taking Edmonds is James Conner’s injury history, but if Conner can stay healthy on a lighter workload, he’ll be a solid pick as long as he inherits most of Kenyan Drake’s 10 rushing scores. The Cardinals are not a good running team so staying away from this backfield is also a reasonable strategy.
Hopkins had a red hot first seven weeks of the season, but his production was ordinary as often as it was elite in the second half of the year. The Cardinals additions at wide receiver should take some of the load off of Hopkins and make the offense less predictable, but also take some of the oomph out of his weekly volume-based ceiling. There are other wide receivers available in the second that are better picks. Moore, Kirk, and Green are all cheap enough to make any defensible picks. Moore has the highest ceiling as an unknown, Kirk had a few outbursts as a deep target last year, and Green should get Larry Fitzgerald’s volume with some chance that he’ll be more effective than Fitzgerald was last year. Green is a good late pick if you need another weekly floor play to cover for some unreliability in your earlier picks.
Unless you are in a 32-team tight-end premium league, there’s nothing for you here.
Bottom Line: If Kyler Murray becomes a more nuanced passer who meshes well with a restocked wide receiver group a la 2020 Josh Allen, he could run away with the #1 fantasy quarterback title, but it’s not clear who, if anyone, would be best to stack him with.
Los Angeles Rams
Offensive Outlook: How much better will this unit get with Matthew Stafford at quarterback? How much will the playbook open up because Sean McVay trusts his quarterback? Can Cam Akers hold up for an entire season as a bell-cow back? Will Tyler Higbee return to fantasy relevance now that Gerald Everett is in Seattle? This offense has a lot of questions, but the answers to at least a few of these should please folks who invest in it.
UPDATE: With Cam Akers out for the season, the passing game should be leaned on more heavily, making Stafford, Woods, Kupp, and Higbee more attractive picks at ADP.
Matthew Stafford - 9th round ADP
Stafford has once reached elite fantasy quarterback status. He could again this year if his value adds in the deep passing game and outside of structure returns this offense to the stratospheric efficiency levels it achieved in 2018. He’s not a better pick than Tom Brady but is worth considering if he slips a little in your draft.
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