Last time we spoke about fantasy, we broke down the AFC east, starting with the Super Bowl champion Patriots. This time, we will head west and cover the NFC west, starting with the Super Bowl losing Seahawks.
Signed Marshawn Lynch to a 2-year contract extension. Beast mode is staying put in Seattle for, presumably, the rest of the prime of his career. Maybe they’ll remember to give him the ball on the goal line in the 4th quarter the next time they’re in the Super Bowl. The biggest trade in the offseason saw Seattle acquiring Jimmy Graham from the Saints. This finally gives Russell Wilson a pro-bowl caliber pass catcher and is a huge upgrade for the offense.
They cut Zach Miller – don’t need him now, and besides, they have the other Willson for 2 TE sets. They also lost center Max Unger (as well as 2015’s first round pick) in the Jimmy Graham trade. This trade is still a net gain for the Seahawks offense, as they already have a center on the roster that filled in for Unger while he was out for 10 games last year.
Michael Bennett wants a new contract after just getting a new one last year. So far, he hasn’t reported to voluntary workouts. The Seahawks haven't made a ton of moves, their roster is already rather stacked (at non-fantasy positions)! They still just have Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse at WR, and added Graham. I think all they need is Wilson and Beast-mode.
Signed Mike Iupati, a stellar guard from the 49ers. Iupati is signed to a 5 year deal, so he should anchor their line for quite some time. They also signed LaMarr Woodley, veteran LB who was on the Raiders last year.
Jonathan Dwyer – after his arrest, that’s a “no duh”. Rob Housler is no longer their TE, but that’s not really a position of great focus on this offense. Antonio Cromartie went back to the Jets. Larry Foote retired, Ted Ginn was released and signed with the Panthers and Darnell Dockett (D-lineman) was released to allow salary cap space.
The Cards need a QB, and they're going to wind up going with one less as they haven't offered a deal to Ryan Lindley. Maybe they want to draft one? They kept Larry Fitz, and they will ride with Ellington / Stepfan Taylor and Kerwynn Williams at running back.
Torrey Smith signed with the team, leaving the Ravens. He’ll be teamed up with Anquan Bolden for quite the 1-2 punch. Reggie Bush will provide a great change of pace behind an impressive Carlos Hyde. They also signed Darnell Dockett, Jerome Simpson, and of course Jim Tomsula as their new head coach.
Frank Gore, who seemed eternal in San Francisco, is finally gone and went to Indy. Patrick Willis and Chris Borland both retired due to future injury concerns / they didn't want to destroy their body playing football. They also lost (addition by subtraction?) coach Jim Harbaugh. Mike Iupati went to Arizona, Michael Crabtree signed with Oakland, and they cut Stevie Johnson.
The biggest change has got to be the coaching staff and the fact that there will be a new system. There's a ton of fantasy potential on this team now, so the 49ers could be in for a big turn-around, if they can get their in-house stuff in order. Of course, if you listen to our podcast, we both basically decided that it’s most likely that the 49ers finish last in the division this year.
Nick Foles is their new starting QB, one would assume, after acquiring him from the Eagles in a trade. They signed Nick Fairley, one of the best DL's in the league who played with Suh and joins the team that had the best line last year. They also added LB Akeem Ayers from the Pats - they will have a great defense again this year. Case Keenum has been signed from Houston as the backup QB, which is a rather important role in St Louis in recent years.
Sam Bradford & Shaun Hill have been shown the door. I'm sure people in St Louis are saying "good riddance" to these guys. The Rams must be sick of Bradford's annual injuries and swapped him for Nick Foles. I’m not sure if the mad genius Chip Kelly just doesn’t like Foles, or if he has some crazy grand plan with all of his QB’s. What I do know is that the Rams didn’t really upgrade or downgrade their QB situation, but I suspect that Foles has a higher upside.
The Rams vs Steelers in week 3 should be sweet, as defense usually is stronger early, before the offenses can get rolling. Games that feature strength vs strength are always entertaining. They still only have Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin, so the receiving core is awful for now. Jared Cook is not likely to pick up the slack (ala Jimmy Graham). Tre Mason is still a bit unproven, but could be excellent if there are other playmakers on the offense to take some attention away from him. This is all going to be on Nick Foles to make something out of the offense.