In the HGTV show Flip or Flop, two real estate experts take a house, renovate it, and then try to sell it for a profit. The NFC West feels a lot like Flip or Flop because there are guys you can Flip for a profit and guys that if you hold onto them they may Flop on you. And to start that process, you have to buy something first.
Chase Edmonds is our first buy for the NFC West. His rookie year he had a 21% total snap share. His sophomore year that grew to 31% snap share. The Arizona Cardinals offense is poised for a lot of plays and a lot of points giving Edmonds the opportunity to grow that snap share but still have some flex appeal. You should buy Chase Edmonds because in the lone game he started he was the RB1…THE RB1!! He scored 35 fantasy points on a 94% snap share. And I think he has a shot to be a starter because Kenyan Drake has an injury history that NOBODY is talking about. It’s the reason Edmonds started a game last year. According to Sports Injury Predictor, Kenyan Drake has had 6 injuries dating back to college so there is a chance that Edmonds will have the door opened for him.
Buy Robert Woods. He is criminally underrated. His ADP has him going as the WR26 but in the last two years he has finished as a top 15 WR in PPR. He’s gotten 130 and 139 targets respectively and that is not going to change this year with the same QB and the same coach. Hopefully, McVay can capture some of the same magic that he had in 2018, but even if he doesn’t Woods has top 15 potential. And you can get him at a much lower ADP than his actual production value.
The final buy is Tyler Lockett because he is also criminally underrated compared to his ADP. His ADP is currently WR 24. Last year in weeks 1-9 he was the WR4 but then got hurt. He still finished as the WR13. The year before he finished as the WR16. SO drafting him at the WR24 is stealing. His ADOT is 12.04 and he got 110 targets last year, the most in his career. Russell Wilson’s average ADOT to pass catchers that weren’t running backs and received more than 20 targets was 11.67. Right around Lockett’s and Lockett had the most targets last year for the Seahawks. BUY HIM.
Flip or Flop
The first sell of the NFC West is, you guessed it, Kenyan Drake. His ADP is currently RB17 which is exactly where he finished last year. There has been a narrative that when he came to Arizona he was the RB4 in PPR. However, more than half of his points with Arizona came against bottom-half teams against the run in 2019 in the Browns, Seahawks, and Rams. His first week he excelled against the 49ers who were 12th against the run, but then two weeks later he had half as many yards against that same defense and didn’t score a TD. I think he’s being overhyped because of the offense he is in. My biggest concern with him is actually what I mentioned above and that is injury. The biggest predictor of injury is prior injury. He badly broke his ankle at Alabama, sustained a concussion and broke his arm. Then in the NFL he has pulled a hamstring, had another mild concussion, and hurt his shoulder last year. I feel like this is being ignored with him and would not want that risk on my team. At RB17 you could sell him and get a good return.
Sell the 49ers Backfield. All of them. Shanahan uses the hot-hand theory, but that is not predictable and I don't want to figure out who to start. Last year not one RB in that backfield averaged more than 10.5 PPG. Mostert's ADP is RB30, and Coleman's ADP is RB49. You also can't forget about 49ers legend, Jeff Wilson Jr. and $7 million man, Jerrick Mckinnon. Then you add in two rookies in Jamychal Hasty and Salvon Ahmed. There are too many backs in this stable and as individuals, I do not think they will produce more than RB3 or flex play points for you and Mostert is being drafted above that with hopes of producing RB2 numbers.
Seahawks TEs are the 3rd flop. Greg Olsen is old and hurt, Will Dissly has been hurt and Jacob Hollister only played last year because Dissly got hurt. When he did play, Hollister had 4 double-digit games out of 11. With TEs they need to score double digits to be relevant for your team. Olsen was TE13, but he is a year older and a year closer to retirement. He missed the end of 2018 with injury and missed two games last year. He is not someone I would want to rely on as my TE1. Dissly hasn’t played more than 6 games in a season, unfortunately, so until he proves he can play more I would not buy him either.
Kyler Murray's value is SO HIGH. It should be. He got an alpha WR, he kept his ole reliable target in Larry Fitz and will have another year under his belt with Christian Kirk. Both Drake and Edmonds can catch passes too, and Kingsbury is going to try to run as many plays as he can with this potentially dynamic and explosive offense. I think he could have a very good year, but his ADP has him going as QB4. He isn’t going to pass Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes and that would still be drafting him at his ceiling, so sell him and get your maximum value. If not now at least a few weeks into the season when he tears it up.
The Rams Backfield is also a sell. They drafted Cam Akers out of Florida State with their first pick of the NFL draft…one round before that they drafted Darrell Henderson last year. McVay has said he wants to do more of the hot hand theory as well, which is more than likely coach speak, but it doesn’t bode well for either. The real problem with them, however, is that they did not improve their offensive line which was one of the worst in the league last year for rushing. So you should expect similar production from Darrell as last year and Cam is still running behind a terrible offensive line. Akers is being drafted as RB18. For this year that is DANGEROUS. For longer-term in dynasty that could make sense, but it is not worth the risk this year. Darrell is going as RB48 so if you are going to buy someone, buy him at that price, but he only averaged 3.7 yards per carry last year.
Russell Wilson is a hold. His ADP has him going as QB6 and he has been a perennial QB1 FOR HIS ENTIRE NFL CAREER. 8 YEARS. He is returning you exactly what you are buying him for even in a running heavy offense. Keep holding onto him.
The next hold is George Kittle who is going as the TE1 in ADP. Travis Kelce has been the TE1 but will be 31 this year. If anyone is going to surpass him it will be Kittle who is only 26. He is clearly the 49ers top target ESPECIALLY with Deebo Samuel getting hurt. Hold him if you have him and cherish his top-end production.
The NFC West is a good division for sleepers. All four teams could compete and have done well to develop talent with later round picks. Deejay Dallas is one that intrigues me because Chris Carson is hurt often, Rashaad Penny has not been cleared to play and they brought in Carlos Hyde. We know this team wants to run the ball, so the rookie from Miami could get a shot if the other backs go down. You should also roster Brycen Hopkins as a sleeper because both Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett could be off the team next year. The Rams have an out for 2021 on Higbee and Everett is an unrestricted Free Agent after this year. The Rams have spent a lot of money, so cutting down on these two for Hopkins could help their cap situation significantly opening up the door for Hopkins in 2021.
The new guy in town, DeAndre Hopkins, is our reader's choice this week because he has been a perennial top 5 WR no matter the QB, but people seem to think the new situation may affect him this year. His ADP is WR6, but I have seen him go later. So what are we doing with Mr. Hopkins, Buy Sell or Hold?