Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paper Pigskin Point Potential NFC West Fantasy Football

Article submitted by
Darrel Wilson

This is a series on my 2013 outlook of players you would want to have on your Paper Pigskin team (fantasy football). I'll be organizing them by division. What you'll find here are my views based on years of playing experience and countless hours of geeking out researching stats, trends, and articles. I'll advise where to reach and whose hype not to believe.

Seattle Seahawks 189 passing ypg 161 rushing ypg (posted August 18, 2013)

QB: The Seahawks attempted the fewest passes in the NFL last season yet they finished 8th in touchdown passes. The passes were less and touchdowns were more in the 2nd half of the season when offensive philosophy shifted more towards the zone read. Wilson accounted for almost 500 yards and four TDs on the ground. His draft stock has taken a plunge because Percy Harvin is lost for most of the season but the team returns ALL of their leading receivers from last season. Russell is only going to get better; there's increasing evidence that he'll throw more now that he's a trusted passer and less of a game manager. Draft as a QB1 with confidence.

RB: No team ran the ball more times than they did in Seattle. They'll feature the deepest group of running backs; Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Michael Robinson and Spencer Ware will get enough combined touches to keep "Beast Mode" fresh. Since this offense doesn't throw to running backs much, none of the backups are fantasy relevant unless Marshawn Lynch is injured. Lynch will get his and your team money. With his type of workload, he's a safe early pick.

WR: Golden Tate is a play maker that is on many Paper Pigskin "breakout" lists. Sidney Rice is the #1 however, he'll get most of the down field targets if healthy. That said, Tate has the most upside due to his ability to do more after the catch. If Wilson's passing rate increases, both of these guys present value to their owners as neither of them are currently drafted before the 10th round. Keep an eye on Jermaine Kearse, even though Doug Baldwin is ahead on the depth chart, Kearse is more dynamic and should be drafted in deeper leagues that reward points for return yardage.

TE: Zach Miller was used primarily as a blocker last season. If it's true that the team will pass more, look no further than the "what have you done for me lately?" stat line from the last playoff game ~~> 8 catches for 142 yards and 1 TD. Put him on your watch list.

Defense: It's been written before on this blog to not waste any of your first 10 draft picks on a defense, even if it is "The Legion of Boom". The stingiest scoring defense in real life, a long and physical secondary. They just flat out make plays. They're a good unit to have on your side and if you have a choice, a good unit to avoid on your players' schedule.

St. Louis Rams 222 passing ypg 107 rushing ypg (posted August 10, 2013)

QB: Sam Bradford would be worshiped by all Paper Pigskin players if he can somehow channel the moxie he played with from when he was the Heisman trophy winner. He certainly has the opportunity if the young receivers the Rams have stockpiled develop. Lack of chemistry with his pass catchers have been his main downfall due to their injuries. Bradford will surprise many people this season, he's being drafted in the 20-25 range.

RB: The Rams wanted Steven Jackson to take on less of a role, in large part to the promise that Daryl Richardson showed in the early part of last season. Now that Jackson is gone, Richardson has the opportunity to be the lead guy. Isaiah Pead and rookie Zac Stacy are also in the mix. This looks like it will be a full on platoon. Richardson seems to be in line for the larger slice of the pie, if he can take advantage of Pead's early season suspension, he's explosive enough to not share much. He's not being given the respect he deserves by the fantasy. Get a leg up on your league and draft Richardson as a RB2, his upside is tremendous. There's a reason Jackson is no longer in town.

WR: The group here is why Bradford will be a hot waiver wire pickup. Everybody is talking about Tavon Austin because of his speed and elusiveness with the ball, drawing comparison with Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb. He's being selected in rounds 5/6 but remember, rookie receivers rarely make an impact. The player that should be getting all the press is Chris Givens. Givens holds the NFL rookie record of five straight games with a 50 yard reception. He'll be more than a one trick pony this season. Givens is going four rounds after Austin in most drafts, look for him in 9th at the latest. You won't be disappointed.

TE: Jared Cook is an absolute monster, he was under utilized in Tennessee last season. He has the potential to be the target that Jermaine Gresham was for Sam Bradford in college. Cook has good size, is athletic, and has a large catch radius. A career year is coming for Jared Cook. After the top five goes off the board, feel comfortable snatching him up.

Defense: This was a top ten fantasy defense last season that only forced four fumble.

Kicker: When they start giving out nicknames to kickers... I'm making it a point to mention guys that have Domes for their home stadium.

Arizona Cardinals 188 passing ypg 75 rushing ypg

QB: Carson Palmer is surely an upgrade from Kevin Kolb. This teams passing attack was brutal on so many levels last season with only 11 tds through the air and 21 interceptions. New head coach Bruce Arians is offensive minded, his reputation is of a man that likes the vertical game; last season's Coach Of the Year called more 10-plus and 20-plus-yard throws than any other coordinator in NFL. This style suits Palmer, who throws a pretty long ball, very well. I don't see Cardinals having much of a ground game, I expect Carson to air it out while playing from behind and flirting with status as a paper pigskin status. Snag him late round and stash him. Don't be afraid to start him in week 2&3 shootouts with Detroit and New Orleans.

RB: Worse rushing team last year. Not much to see here. Mendy is the starter, so I guess he should be drafted. I won't, not at the 7th round price. Ryan Williams has game breaker potential but too injury prone, then again so is Mendy. Take a late round flyer Williams if you're a gambler.

WR: Don't even look at last season's stats when evaluating Fitzgerald. Guys named Skelton and Lindley as well as Kolb completed less than half of passes to Fitz; most of them not in reach. He's being treated in drafts like he's not a top 8 wr and picked in the 3rd round, I see him as top 3 potential in this system. This system usually provides value for a speedster that stretches the field, summon Micheal Floyd as a late sleeper pick.

TE: Rob Housler was the TE leader in receptions in a division that Vernon Davis plays in. Inhale that.

Defense: Quiet as kept, this unit was one of the best in the NFL last year, playing their best in the red zone and on 3rd down. Their offense put them in too many bad positions. If you play in IDP leagues, note that Patrick Peterson will get plays in on offense too.

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