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. For my fantasy readers, this is part eight of eight installments where I will go division by division giving you two players with great ADP value, two players with high bust potential and two sleepers that could help put your team over the top. Today is the NFC West. Players ADP and rankings is based off standard scoring according to the fantasy football calculator. So let’s begin and as always, happy hunting fantasy friends!
1. Draft Todd Gurley
2. Start him Week 1 vs. Colts
4. Trade him for Zeke
— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) August 19, 2017
Todd Gurley RB Rams (2.06)- Last season was a major disappointment for Gurley owners, yet he managed to finish as a top 20 running back. Gurley was ranked too high last season and is better ranked this year, currently as RB11. As a low-end RB1, Gurley offers upside to finish as a top five running back but also has a solid floor thanks to his high workload. Last season the Rams had the worst looking offense in the league, thanks to a poor coaching staff and team around Gurley. In the offseason the Rams improved both the offensive line and recently traded for Sammy Watkins. Both should play key roles in helping Gurley put up similar numbers he did as a rookie.
Pierre Garçon WR 49ers (8.05)- Kyle Shanahan is the new head coach in San Francisco and his first move as the head coach was signing Pierre Garçon. In 2013, while playing under Shanahan in Washington, Garçon had his best year finishing with a league-high 113 catches on 181 targets for 1,346 yards and five touchdowns. As the team’s only proven wide receiver, Garçon has the experience in the offense and the proven ability to handle a high target workload; expect that to happen this season. Currently being drafted as the WR36, Garçon has a chance to be a steal in PPR leagues and a solid FLEX option. I expect Garçon to have close to 90 catches and 1,000 yards this season, even with Brian Hoyer throwing to him.
Carlos Hyde getting a ton of work tonight. Either he's the definite RB1 in San Fran, or he's getting traded
— Mike Randle (@FtsyWarriorMike) August 20, 2017
Carlos Hyde RB 49ers (3.11)- Last season was a career year for Hyde, who played in 13 games, had 217 rushes for 988 yards and six touchdowns. Hyde also had career-highs as a receiver with 27 catches and three receiving touchdowns. However, the coaching staff and front office that drafted him is no longer there, leaving Hyde having to prove his value again. With a history of injuries and reports that Hyde could be on the roster bubble, there are safer running backs to draft. Currently Hyde is being drafted as the RB17, but with better options behind drafted behind him like Ameer Abdullah, Hyde has too much risk of being a bust for me to draft him in the third round.
Eddie Lacy RB Seahawks (7.10)- Injuries and weight concerns have affected Lacy’s career so far and his production has diminished each year. Lacy signed a one year, $4.25 million prove it deal with the Seahawks in the offseason. Lacy doesn’t have a clear path to a feature back role with Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise on the roster. Currently drafted as the RB35, Lacy doesn’t offer much upside given his injury history and crowded backfield. Lacy could leave fantasy owners disappointed early in the season.
Carson Palmer QB Cardinals (13.01)- Last season was one to forget for Palmer; after a strong 2015 season that got selected to the Pro Bowl, the 2016 season was a let down. Yet, Palmer finished as the QB17 last season ahead of players like Cam Newton, Joe Flacco and Eli Manning. Currently Palmer is being drafted as the QB20 but he has the potential to finish in the top 12. If the Cardinals offense can rebound to similar numbers they produced in 2015, Palmer could return to his 2015 numbers of 4,617 yards and 35 touchdowns. Even if the Cardinals offense doesn’t rebound that well, Palmer is an excellent bye week filler or QB2 in two quarterback leagues.
Joe Williams RB 49ers (12.07)- Reports out of San Francisco state that Williams is struggling in camp but looked good in the preseason thus far. Everyone should know by now why the 49ers drafted Williams, and that matters. However, Williams probably won’t have much fantasy value till mid-season. For redraft leagues, Williams should be on your watch list but not drafted unless you also drafted Carlos Hyde. However, for keeper and dynasty leagues, Williams is the 49ers running back you want to own. Hyde will be a free agent after the season and is expected to sign elsewhere, opening the door for Williams to be the starter in 2018 and beyond.