The Clem Report’s 2014 NFC West Preview

Posted: September 3, 2014 in Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

091110_NFC-West

Arizona Cardinals

SHERMAN-BLOWN-UP

Over/Under Win Total: 7.5

Odds to win division: +700

Odds to win Super Bowl: 40/1

Underrated Fantasy Player: Michael Floyd.  There are already whispers that Michael Floyd will outproduce Larry Fitzgerald this season.  While I don’t think that is necessarily the case, we do have to recognize that Floyd has taken real steps forward in his progress as a wide receiver.  Draft Floyd as a late WR2 or early WR3 and enjoy the returns.

Overrated Fantasy Player: Andre Ellington.  This is tough, because I don’t know many players that are being overrated on the Cardinals.  I think most of their ratings are about right.  But I have seen Ellington go too high in a few drafts considering his size.  He could potentially break down and will probably lose most goal line carries.  That being said, Ellington is still a high-ceiling RB2 this season.

Moment of Zen: 

Team Smokeshow: 

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Bottom Line:  Since they missed the playoffs despite winning 10 games, the Cardinals started the offseason as a popular dark horse for many people.  But a rash of injuries, suspensions, and losses in free agency has me thinking this will be a nightmare season.  I am taking under 7.5 wins.

San Francisco 49ers

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Over/Under Win Total: 10.5

Odds to win division: +175

Odds to win Super Bowl: 15/2

Underrated Fantasy Player: Michael Crabtree. Colin Kaepernick missed his favorite target for the first half of last season, but quickly became a much better player when Crabtree came back.  Now that he is healthy for his first full season with Kaepernick, I expect Crabtree to match or surpass his 85/1100/9 line from 2012.

Overrated Fantasy Player: Frank Gore.  I may be wrong every year on Gore, but sooner or later The Inconvenience Truth will break down.  I would rather be a year early on him than a year late.  But I am passing on Gore in all fantasy leagues that I am in and I am even targeting his rookie backup, Carlos Hyde for when Frankie G inevitably goes down.

Moment of Zen: 

Team Smokeshow: 

49ers 0[2w8p-Capture

Bottom Line: At the end of last season, I thought the 49ers would come back with a fury this season and win the Super Bowl.  But losing Ray McDonald and Aldon Smith to lengthy suspensions, along with NaVorro Bowman recovering from a torn ACL MCL knee, I am going the other way.  The coaching and the offense’s potential will keep the 49ers in the playoff race, even if they get off to a bumpy start.  And I am going on the record again that Jim Harbaugh will be wearing blue in 18 months, be it Giants blue or Wolverines blue.

St. Louis Rams

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Over/Under Win Total: 6.5

Odds to win division: +1200

Odds to win Super Bowl: 66/1

Underrated Fantasy Player: Tavon Austin.  In stark contrast to the Cardinals, I don’t think there are any underrated players on the Rams.  There is a chance that Tavon Austin becomes significantly more productive this year, but I don’t have any real reasons to believe that other than he was highly touted in his draft and showed some explosiveness last season.  Brian Schottenheimer’s offense is where fantasy players go to die.

Overrated Fantasy Player: Zac Stacy.  I like Stacy, but again there are no players really being rated on the Rams.  Stacy’s 2013 could have been a flash in the pan and Benny Cunningham was getting a lot of work with the first team in preseason.  If you are drafting Stacy, handcuffing Cunningham to him is a must.  <Insert Le’Veon Bell/LeGarrette Blount handcuff joke here>.

Moment of Zen:

Team Smokeshow: 

St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders

Bottom Line: Sam Bradford probably wasn’t going to fulfill his promise as a stud, number 1 pick quarterback.  But there was at least a chance for that to happen.  Now Shaun Hill steps in to keep the offense afloat.  Jeff Fisher is a good coach and I think that the division will be worse than anticipated.  Give me over 6.5 wins as I go and search for Shaun Hill highlights.

Seattle Seahawks

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Over/Under Win Total: 11

Odds to win division: -120

Odds to win Super Bowl: 13/2

Underrated Fantasy Player: Russell Wilson.  Wilson has gotten better every year as a pro and can get you “hidden” fantasy points at the QB position with his legs.  He is able to rack up yards and touchdowns on the ground while staying healthy, which is no easy feat.  I bet the Seahawks

Overrated Fantasy Player: Marshawn Lynch. Beast Mode gonna Beast Mode.  But pretty soon, all those hits and Skittles are going to take a toll on him and he won’t be able to answer the bell.  I flat out would not draft Lynch as my RB1 this year because when physical running backs start to slip, their production can fall off of a cliff.  Plus I am not sure Marshawn actually likes staying in shape or playing football, which is a pretty important thing to have in your stud RB1.

Moment of Zen:

Team Smokeshow: 

seahawksmelanie2

Bottom Line: It has been 10 years since the Super Bowl champion has won a playoff game the following season.  The Seahawks are great at home, but are only very good on the road.  The Seahawks repeating as Super Bowl champions will rely largely on whether they can get homefield advantage again throughout the playoffs.  I think they will finish at 11 wins this year, but will choose the under since it is a lot easier for a bunch of little things to go wrong instead of going right again.

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