Football is back! With the preseason under way, fantasy players are doing mock drafts hourly (or maybe it’s just me) to prepare for their fantasy drafts. Each year fantasy owners want to construct their team with a proper mix of good value players and upside sleepers while avoiding players with high bust potential. In part seven of my eight part installment, I will look over the NFC West and provide ADP values, likely to bust candidates and potential sleepers.

Players ADP is based off of PPR scoring according to the fantasy football calculator. Remember you can practice for your fantasy drafts using the mock draft simulator. Check out the previous installment here. As always, happy hunting fantasy friends!

ADP Values

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals (3.12) – If fantasy owners want a very consistent PPR scoring wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald is your guy. Over the last three seasons, Fitzgerald has finished as the WR11 or better every year, including as the WR4 last season despite catching passes from three different quarterbacks. While Sam Bradford is expected to start the season, at some point Josh Rosen will take over. Many draft experts considered Rosen the best, most pro-ready quarterback in this year’s draft. No matter who is throwing Fitzgerald the ball, his floor is super high.

Over the past three seasons, Fitzgerald has been a stud; averaging 108 catches per season while catching 71% of his targets. Over that time span, Fitzgerald has received at least a 23% target share and scored six or more touchdowns each season. Last season, Fitzgerald finished as a top-24 wide receiver nine times, including as a WR1 six times. Furthermore, over his 14-year career, Fitzgerald has missed just six games.

Fitzgerald and David Johnson are the team’s only proven weapons, and with the Cardinals expected to be in negative game script a lot this season, Fitzgerald should top the 100-catch marker once again, providing a safe floor to fantasy owners.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers (5.01) – Despite not being drafted this time last year, Marquise Goodwin finished the year as the WR31; averaging 10.5 FPPG. However, once Jimmy Garoppolo took over as the starting quarterback, Goodwin really broke out. In those five games, Goodwin averaged 5.8 catches on 8.6 targets for 76.8 yards and 15.1 fantasy points per game; over a 16-game slate he would have finished as the WR8 last season.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense has a history of peppering his number one wide receiver with targets. Over the last five seasons as a head coach or offensive coordinator, Shanahan’s number one wide receiver has averaged 146.2 targets per season.

Year

Team

#1 Wide Receiver

Targets

2017

49ers

Marquise Goodwin

105

2016

Falcons

Julio Jones

129

2015

Falcons

Julio Jones

203

2014

Browns

Andrew Hawkins

112

2013

Redskins

Pierre Garcon

182

Some fantasy owners would argue that Pierre Garcon is the 49ers’ number one wide receiver. However, during the preseason Goodwin has clearly looked like the team’s top option. Garcon has just five targets in three games compared to 10 for Goodwin in three games. Goodwin has had the better preseason and training camp all around, including this beautiful highlight of him beating former First-Team All-Pro Richard Sherman in practice.

Busts

Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams (5.03) – During his four year career, Brandin Cooks has played with two future first ballot Hall of Famers in Drew Brees and Tom Brady; is Jared Goff in the same class? Of course not. Despite playing with two of the greatest quarterbacks ever, Cooks has never finished better than the WR10 in a season. With Goff throwing to him, and taking over the Sammy Watkins role from last season, there is no way Cooks comes close to his WR15 finish from last season.

The Rams traded away a first round pick for Cooks and then gave him a five year/$81 million contract extension, so they do value Cooks a lot. However, Cooks was brought in to replace Watkins’ role in the offense and Watkins had just 70 targets last season; finishing as the WR41. While Cooks is clearly a better receiver than Watkins, Cooks’ has seen 114 and 120 targets over the last two seasons.

Last season, Watkins had a 13.5% target share while Cooks had a 19.4% with the Patriots. While Cooks should have a higher target share this season than Watkins did last season; where on the Rams offense do the targets come from? Currently, Cooks is being drafted as the WR24 and that’s too high. However, if I can get him as my WR3 or starting flex player, I love the value there. Unless Cooks’ ADP comes down, he has too much risk for the price.

George Kittle, TE, 49ers (12.04) – After George Kittle suffered a separated shoulder injury in week one of the preseason his ADP started to fall. However, he is still being drafted as the TE13 and I don’t understand why. Two tight ends are currently being drafted behind Kittle that I rather have, Eric Ebron and Ricky Seals-Jones. Last season, Kittle finished as the TE19 while averaging 7.1 FPPG, despite finishing fourth on the team in targets with 63.

Many argue that Kittle should see plenty of red zone work as the 49ers starting receivers — Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin — have never been big touchdown-producing fantasy players. However, last season Kittle struggled to be the clear red zone weapon as Garrett Celek was a thorn in his side.

Targets

Catches

Yards

Touchdowns

FPPG

Kittle

63

43

515

2

7.1

Celek

33

21

336

4

4.9

Despite seeing almost twice as many targets as Celek, Kittle only averaged 2.2 more FPPG. When looking at these two tight ends numbers from within the five yard line, Celek outdoes Kittle in every category.

Targets

Catches

Yards

Touchdowns

Fantasy Points

Kittle

1

1

5

1

7.5

Celek

3

2

6

2

14.6

To say Kittle will see plenty of red zone work this season simply isn’t true based off of the time share with Celek last season. While I don’t think Kittle should be drafted as a top-14 tight end, he should be a good streaming option for fantasy owners this season.

Sleepers

Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams (7.11) – Cooper Kupp is my favorite Rams wide receiver to own this year, as I feel he is the only one fantasy owners can start on a weekly basis with some confidence. Last season Kupp finished as the WR25; highest of the Rams wide receivers. While Todd Gurley may be Jared Goff’s best weapon, Kupp is his most trusted weapon.

Last season Kupp lead all Rams wide receivers in catches on third down and in the red zone. Kupp’s 23 catches on third down tied for 11th in the league with Julio Jones and Jamison Crowder, while his 13 red zone catches ranked third in the league behind Jarvis Landry and Davante Adams. Outside of Gurley, Kupp had the highest catch rate of anyone of the team at 66%.

Not only is Kupp reliable in key situations for Goff, but he has some sneaky upside for fantasy owners. Last season Kupp finished as a top-13 wide receiver in 40% of his games. While Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods may get more recognition, Kupp is easily my top Rams’ wide receiver this year.

Tyler Lockett & Brandon Marshall, WR, Seahawks (12.09 & undrafted) – When Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson, and others left in free agency, it opened up 216 targets from last year’s team. Doug Baldwin is dealing with a knee injury that he himself said he will have to manage during the season. Baldwin had 116 targets last season and a 21% target share. Even if Baldwin was healthy, how many of the 216 available targets could he take on? Probably not many.

Recently the Seahawks signed Tyler Lockett to a three year extension worth up to $37.8 million. Last season, he had a career high 71 targets. Lockett is currently being drafted as the WR58, but if he can take on Paul Richardson’s role from last season, he has a chance to be fantasy relevant. Last season, Richardson finished as the WR39, while ranking fifth in the league in yards per catch among receivers with at least 80 targets.

While it isn’t a lock, Brandon Marshall should make the final roster, as he has performed well this preseason. The Seahawks don’t have a tight end on the roster who can replace Graham’s production from last season, but Marshall has a good chance to do that. Graham had 26 targets and 10 touchdowns while averaging 5.6 FPPG in the red zone. Marshall is currently going undrafted, but he’s worth a look with one of your final picks. At the very least, Marshall should be on your watch list to start the season.

For both Seahawks’ wide receivers, they have a chance to step into roles that produced solid fantasy contributors from last season. While both are late-round lottery tickets and long-shots to succeed, if either pops, fantasy owners will have themselves a value at the end of the draft.

About The Author Mike Fanelli

Mike is a former journalism major who spent all four years in high school working for the school newspaper. At 25 years old, he is happy to write for Breaking Football as it gives him a platform to get his fantasy football takes and sports opinions out there.