In terms of schedule, the NFC West drew the NFC North and the AFC West this year. Those are some tough defenses. Right away, the schedule is an issue.

This division is in transition. For years, the Seattle Seahawks were the team to beat. But last year the team just missed the playoffs and over the off-season they lost a bevy of talent, with the most prevalent fantasy losses being that of Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham .

Carson Palmer retired from the NFL, so the Arizona Cardinals brought in veteran Sam Bradford , and drafted hopeful Josh Rosen . Both quarterbacks are the small story, because the big story is the return of fantasy football legend David Johnson .

The Rams went from worst to first and are looking to build in their sophomore season with 2017 NFL Coach of the Year, Sean McVay.

Last but not least, the San Francisco 49ers boast a roster led by a quarterback who remains undefeated in the NFL. Their offensive minded head coach, Kyle Shanahan, wants to keep that streak alive for as long as possible.

All that is fine and dandy, but let’s talk about how that translates to fantasy, with the stats to back it up.


In 1901, team owner, Chris O’Brien, bought the old and faded maroon jerseys from the University of Chicago, and decided that they were “cardinal red.” The bird didn’t even become part of the logo until 1947. They were originally founded as the Morgan Athletic Club in 1898, making them the oldest continuously run professional football team in the United States. They now hold the longest active championship drought of North America sports at 70 consecutive seasons because the Cubs finally won it after 108 years of drought.

Sam Bradford joined his fourth team in five years when he signed with the Cardinals during the off-season. In 2016, Bradford set the NFL record for completion percentage (71.6) – (until Drew Brees broke it in 2017 with 72.0) and posted a career-low 0.9 interception rate. He only played in one full game during the 2017 season. In that game, he threw for 346 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and won NFC offensive player of the week.

At UCLA, Josh Rosen finished his three years as a starter with 9,340 yards, 59 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions. Sam Bradford missed 17 games over those same three years.

In 2016, David Johnson posted 879 receiving yards. That is only 6 fewer receiving yards than what Davante Adams put up in 2017 as the 12th highest scoring fantasy wide out. But on top of those receiving yards, he also posted 1,239 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.

In 2004, Larry Fitzgerald ’s 780 yards were the fewest he’s ever posted while playing in the NFL. He was a rookie. And he still scored eight touchdowns.

Chad Williams , Brice Butler and rookie Christian Kirk are in a competition for the No. 2 spot on the wide receiver depth chart. Last year, 62 percent of Fitzgerald’s routes run were in the slot. In college, Kirk played about 93 percent of his routes out of the slot. He is also a dynamic return specialist. Kirk will either play outside or compete with Fitzgerald for time in the slot. Regardless, Kirk is “in the mix” for the No. 2 job.

Ricky Seals-Jones only caught 12 passes last year, but they went for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Five of those passes went for 20+ yards. This former wide out has an estimated 15th to 18th round ADP.


The Los Angeles Rams started in Cleveland in 1936. They were the fourth short-lived Cleveland based football team, following the Cleveland Tigers, Cleveland Bulldogs, and Cleveland Indians (the football kind). They won the NFL Championship game in 1945, and moved to Los Angeles the following season. They are the only team in NFL history who won a championship and then changed cities the year after.

Jared Goff ’s completion percentage improved 7.5 points from his rookie to sophomore season in the NFL. His passer rating improved by 36.9 percent which is the second-highest increase from a quarterbacks’ first to second year in NFL history, second to only Nick Foles and his crazy successful run in 2013.

Todd Gurley sat out of a meaningless Week 17 game, and still led the league in scrimmage yards (2,093) and total touchdowns (19). Gurley competed for Team USA in the 110-metres hurdles at the 2011 World Youth Championships in Athletics.

Gurley’s handcuff could become sixth-round rookie John Kelly , who’s dominated in the second half of every preseason game thus far. But as of now, Malcolm Brown continues to be at the top (right below Gurley) on the depth chart.

Robert Woods averaged 5.1 yards after the catch, tied for 12th most among wide receivers with at least 50 catches alongside Keenan Allen , Nelson Agholor , and Sterling Shepard .

Brandin Cooks put up 1,000-plus yards in each of his last three seasons. Cooks performed a bow-and-arrow motion at the end of big plays in 2016 as a reference to the Bible verse in which a boy named Ishmael used his archery to survive in the desert after almost dying without food or water. That was also the same year that he famously declared, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.”

Brandin Cooks is only 24 years old. His birthday is September 25, 1993. This will be his fifth year in the NFL on his third team. Sammy Watkins was on the Rams last season and 2018 will be his fifth season in the league. He just turned 25 on June 14 and is also going to play for his third team in the NFL. Cooper Kupp is 25 yards old. His birthday is June 15, 1993, one day after Sammy Watkins and over three months before Cooks. He was a rookie last year.

Last season Cooper Kupp led all rookie wide receivers in catches and finished second in receiving yards behind JuJu Smith-Schuster . He also tied for second in the league with 23 red-zone targets last season. Sadly, the result was just five touchdowns.

Josh Reynolds was a bit of sleeper pick in 2017 fantasy circles, but he’s currently dealing with an injury and low on the wide receiver depth chart.

Gerald Everett was the first draft pick made during the Sean McVay era, but he’s been out with a shoulder injury. Tyler Higbee now has a firm grip on the top spot on the tight end depth chart.


In 1960, the San Francisco 49ers were the first NFL team to use the shotgun formation. It was named by the creator of said formation, 49ers coach Red Hickey.

Jimmy Garoppolo is still undefeated as a starting quarterback in the NFL. He put together 21 red-zone scoring drives over the last five games of the 2017 season, which was tied for the most in the NFL over that time span. The San Francisco Zoo named one of its snow leopards Jimmy G, which is straight up cool.

Jerick McKinnon injured his calf during practice and we will be held out of the rest of preseason action. McKinnon was brought in during the off-season to supposedly be the next bell cow back in a Kyle Shanahan offense. But you won’t see any of that until the start of the regular season, at the earliest. He entered the league in 2014. He’s never rushed for more than 570 yards. His absolute best year as a receiver was in 2017 when he caught 51 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns. Before that, he’d never gone above 255 receiving yards in a season.Last year only one time did Jerick McKinnon play in more than 59% of the team’s offensive snaps. Over the last two seasons he’s averaged only 3.59 yards per carry. He’s scored 12 total touchdowns in four years. That’s a three per year average.

Matt Breida will also miss the rest of the preseason due to a shoulder injury. Last year Breida rose to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart after joining the team as an undrafted free agent. He only broke two runs of over 20-yards on 105 carries, but he still managed a strong 4.4 yards per carry.

During his two seasons under Kyle Shanahan as an offensive coordinator in Washington, Alfred Morris averaged 1,444 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns and 4.72 yards per carry. After McKinnon suffered his calf injury, the 49ers signed Morris.

The consistent message is that Marquise Goodwin is Garoppolo’sfavorite target. From Weeks 13 to 16, with Garoppolo under center, Goodwin averaged 6.75 catches and 89.0 yards per game.

Pierre Garcon suffered a neck injury in Week 8 of last season. He missed the remainder of the year. Unable to play with Garoppolo and instead working with struggling players under center, Garcon caught 40 passes for 500 yards in eight games. Zero touchdowns.

Trent Taylor is the No. 3 wide out on this team and scored a touchdown in his preseason debut. The 49ers also drafted Dante Pettis in the second round of his year’s draft.

George Kittle caught 43 passes for 515 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie season. 281 of his 515 yards came after the catch. But even that stat line was hampered by nagging injuries. While Kittle only missed one game, he was listed with four separate injuries throughout the year.


On November 4, 1979, Seattle managed to post negative seven yards of total offense in a 24-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. That is considered the worst offensive performance in NFL history.

Russell Wilson , known as a mobile quarterback, scored a league-high 37 passing touchdowns last season, although he posted a career low completion percentage and yards per attempt. Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham caught 16 of those touchdowns and they are no longer with the team.

Chris Carson won the starting job last season as a seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma State. Unfortunately, he broke his leg and only played in four games. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry and was named the starter early in training camp this year.

The Seattle Seahawks selected Rashaad Penny in the first-round of the NFL Draft this year, but he started off camp heavy, then broke his finger and hasn’t been able to play for over a week after surgery. Chris Carson has the starting job for now, regardless of draft pedigree. But if Penny gets a chance, Penny forced 80 missed tackles last season alone at San Diego State, the absolute most in the draft. On his career, 57.6 percent of his plays have gone over 20-yards, giving him Pro Football Focus’ highest breakaway percentage in the draft class. His skill set still makes him an interesting late-season upside stash.

Pete Carroll said that Doug Baldwin would “for sure” be ready for Week 1, so we might as well get that out of the way. Baldwin had the best drop rate in the league last year of any receiver over who logged at least 40 receptions on the year. He dropped only one pass.

Tyler Lockett also only dropped one pass, but he only had 45 catches on the season, so his drop percentage was a hint higher. Lockett’s yardage has decreased every year of his career. He went from 664 receiving yards his rookie season, to 597 yards, to 555 yards.

Former Arizona Cardinal, Jaron Brown , is likely the third wide receiver on the roster. He hasn’t gone over 500 receiving yards or scored more than four touchdowns in a season. He’s been in the league for five years.

The Seattle Seahawks brought in Ed Dickson over the off-season. Dickson is 31 years old. His best season came in 2011 with the Ravens when he caught 54 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns. Since then he hasn’t gone over 440 yards or scored more than two touchdowns.

The Seahawks drafted Nick Vannett in the third-round of the 2016 Draft. Last year he only caught 12 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown. But in the preseason opener, Vannett caught two of his three targets for 20 yards and caught Russell Wilson ’s first touchdown of the year.