The NFC West is has very few fantasy studs in the division with only 4 players being worthy of a pick in the first 5 rounds (Fitzgerald, Lynch, Jackson, and Gore.) Outside of these players there are really only a handful of players who offer decent value in fantasy. I have done my best to find 3 players who I think offer the best value and have good potential to outplay there ADP’s. So without further ado my top bargains for the NFC West. (all points/analysis/mocks done using ESPN.com standard scoring.)
1. Doug Baldwin: Baldwin, an undrafted rookie out of Stanford made a big splash in his rookie debut recording 4 receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown against the formidable San Fransisco defense. He then went on to have an impressive year with 788 yards and 4 touchdowns on only 51 receptions. These are impressive numbers considering he played primarily out of the slot. Referencing a bleacherreport.com article I read a while back “Baldwin’s fantasy production was the same pace as Larry Fitzgerald last season, scoring half the points in half the time.” Now I am in no way saying that he has the kind of potential of Fitzgerald, I am just saying that when he gets the time and looks he can produce. He was pretty up and down last season but still ended up with a respectable 99 fantasy points scoring at least 6 points in 8 games. Currently he is being drafted as the 65th WR with an ADP of 170 meaning he is going largely undrafted in standard leagues. With Mike Williams out the door and career disappointment Sidney Rice and lackluster Golden Tate the only other wide-outs who can steal looks in the passing game, Baldwin should have a pretty solid year. I’m thinking he has 800 yard 5 touchdown upside, which is very good value for someone who can be selected in the final 3 rounds of drafts.
2. Beanie Wells: Last year Wells had the breakout season Cardinal fans had been hoping for since being drafted 31st overall in 2009 recording 1,047 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns placing 15th among RB’s with 159 fantasy points in only 14 games. Wells has be plagued by injury his short career and sophomore Ryan Williams who missed all of last season will push Wells for playing time making Wells your prototypical risk/reward pick. Wells is currently on the PUP list and had an off season procedure on his knee, but all signs point to him being fine for the start of the regular season where he should maintain his starting role. Currently Wells is being drafted as the 26th RB off the board at 67 overall putting him toward the end of the 7th round. I think that if healthy Wells should put up solid numbers worthy of a low end RB2 or high end RB3 in standard formats. I’d highly recommend you draft Ryan Williams as a very valuable handcuff to the often injured Wells who is currently being drafted as the 48th RB and 140 overall putting him in round 14-15.
3. Alex Smith: Smith is coming off of his best year as a pro with 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns, while adding 179 rush yards and 2 additional touchdowns. Smith is not a flashy player who can go in and score a bunch of points but he is a QB you could use on a bye week or as a spot starter if you prefer to wait until the late rounds of the draft for your signal caller. He is the equivalent to cafeteria food; kind of bland with not a lot of flavor but there is definitely worse options. In 11 games last season Smith had 12 or more fantasy points but also never reached 20 or more points in a single contest. A lot of people are pointing the new additions to the passing game with Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and A.J. Jenkins joining Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, concluding that Smith is in line for a big season passing the ball. I’m not so optimistic, because I look to two other additions of the offense this offseason in Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James who join Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter to create a formidable backfield. I think the 49ers will do what they always have done and try and run the ball down defenses throats, but I still feel Smith will get enough passing attempts to draft as a safe reliable QB2. Currently Smith is being selected as the 17th QB and 119 overall putting him at the end of round 12. That is right about right for his skill set this season. Like I said he wont give you eye popping numbers but 3,300 passing yards and 20 touchdowns is something Smith is capable of.
So there you have it fantasy fans another addition of my draft bargains. Hopefully this helps you as our fantasy drafts are coming ever closer. As always comments are encouraged.