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Dynasty Draft Primer: NFC West (2024 Fantasy Football)

The thought of all the fantasy weaponry in the rugged NFC West has me biting my lip with goosebumps climbing my arms. Dynasty fantasy football is both a long and short game. This division has you covered either way.

The 49ers were conference champs and topped the division with 12 wins, but the Rams and Seahawks both finished above .500 with the former earning a Wild Card berth. Even the Cardinals, under new head coach Jonathan Gannon, showed some teeth despite logging only four wins. Looking ahead at 2024 and beyond, all four teams have plenty to offer in the way of fantasy production at every position.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Dynasty Draft Primer: NFC West

Check out our dynasty fantasy football draft outlook for each team in the NFC West.

San Francisco 49ers

The Brock Purdy glow-up is certainly a sight to behold. We can’t fault him for waking up on third base convinced he hit a triple. It is what it is. A perfect offensive system teeming with elite weapons must have its catalyst, just as a towering pyre loaded with tinder needs a spark. Purdy is that ignition point, despite having less-than-stupendous passing traits himself. Hand to glove, letter to mailbox. He was QB6 in fantasy last season. The long-term prognosis is overwhelmingly positive as well. When (not if) the 49ers extend Purdy to a big money extension, they will lose their bargain basement leverage on the cap. Judging by how John Lynch has handled such maneuvering in the past it would indicate further shedding of salary on defense. This means more shootouts and more upside for the aw-shucks kid from Iowa State.

Pepperidge Farm remembers when Christian McCaffrey was “injury prone.” Nonsense. 49ers running backs were thought of in the same way and something had to give when McCaffrey was traded from Carolina. Nothing gave. McCaffrey is a legendary football player and a fantasy football Hall of Famer. If he were to fall off the proverbial “age cliff” for dynasty managers, it would have already happened. Forge ahead and reap a few more illustrious years of dynasty warfare spoils. The latest draft pick for San Francisco is athletic marvel Isaac Guerendo from Louisville. Don’t overreach in rookie drafts. 49ers RBs were deserted on the bench all season and Guerendo will struggle to usurp Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason.

The receiver room in San Francisco is even better now than it was last season. Trade rumors around Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel reached a frenzy leading up to the NFL Draft, but it was all smoke. The team added route-running ace Ricky Pearsall at the end of the first round. He is a stellar technician versus man coverage, something sorely lacking from last season’s corps in the Super Bowl. Aiyuk’s value is at a peak right now, which opens a selling window for a dynasty roster looking to transform into something younger. Samuel is a pivotal cog in the Shanahan offense and in good health will persist as a high-upside player for a couple of more years.

George Kittle is still a monster. For the fifth time in six seasons, Kittle was a top-five TE in fantasy and even cracked 1,000 yards receiving for the first time since 2019. Interesting to see the 49ers reach the Super Bowl when they involve their elite TE more often down the field. The risk will always be his running fewer routes because of his incredible blocking acumen. That still should not deter anyone from investing in the 30-year-old superstar.

Los Angeles Rams

It sure was nice to see a healthy Matthew Stafford last season. The grizzled veteran finished 2023 with six QB1 performances in his last seven games with 15 passing touchdowns and only four interceptions during that stretch. The Rams have good weapons out wide and in the backfield, setting the stage for Stafford to distribute the ball at all three levels in the potent Sean McVay offense. He is statistically a QB2 in fantasy with a very steady floor and the occasional spike week. His age and retirement teetering are already baked into his dynasty value. Stafford is a pacifier.

It was a banner season for Rams RB Kyren Williams. The Notre Dame alum was thought to be too “unathletic” to make it in the league. Turns out that if you’re good at football, nothing else matters. Williams was third in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,144 and he scored 15 touchdowns from scrimmage. That landed him at RB7 in PPR scoring despite being virtually free last offseason in dynasty leagues. Even though the Rams took Michigan’s Blake Corum in the second round of the draft this spring, I still envision a hefty workload for the Golden Domer. He plays the game how McVay envisions for his system and that means a great deal.

It was here at FantasyPros where you heard the loudest screeches in favor of Puka Nacua in 2023 rookie drafts. The BYU standout broke every rookie receiving record on the books. No, he is not someone who will lose value. When Cooper Kupp was healthy and active, it was still Nacua who drew favor from Stafford. Kupp is ducking the old “injury-prone” garbage now, which opens the window for a contending dynasty roster to make a run at him for minimal cost. There is still plenty to go around in this passing game, especially since the TE room is an abject disaster.

Tyler Higbee is on the mend from a knee injury suffered last season, but the Rams only added Colby Parkinson in response. McVay only needs a warm body to chip and catch layup throws anyway. The entire passing scheme revolves around opening windows to Kupp and Nacua, before checking down to the RB or TE. It isn’t a group I intend to pay any attention to in dynasty, even in the most dire moments of bye weeks and injury hell.

Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith turned back into a pumpkin in the accuracy department in 2023, but he wasn’t entirely to blame. Injuries to both offensive tackles forced him to hit the eject button prematurely regularly. Short-area accuracy under pressure has never been Smith’s strong suit and the team narrowly missed the postseason as a result. The line is assumed to be healthy and improved heading into 2024, with receiving weapons abound for the West Virginia standout. Is Geno more than a QB2 in Superflex formats? I have my doubts. Elite receiving corps don’t necessarily translate in fantasy, especially when the QB isn’t known for his rushing.

The dynamic duo of Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet was not as cannibalistic as it was feared, although the latter only found the end zone once as a rookie. Charbonnet is the better receiver, while Walker is an explosive playmaker. The improved offensive line situation bodes incredibly well for both, whom I consider to be valued appropriately in dynasty.

For my money, the Seahawks still have the best WR trio in the NFL. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett welcomed blue chip Jaxon Smith-Njigba to the fold last season and the rookie looked fantastic (when given the chance). Those are two target-thirsty veterans with plenty of pedigree to parch anyone downstream. The encouraging detail leading into 2024 is the hiring of Ryan Grubb as offensive coordinator. Grubb orchestrated the Washington Huskies offense that supported the trio of Rome Odunze, Jalen McMillan and Ja’Lynn Polk on the way to the National Championship game. Smith-Njigba doesn’t necessarily slide in as the third fiddle going forward either. He has more than enough game to blossom into an unstoppable WR1 in fantasy for years.

Noah Fant is still in Seattle but is far from sleepless. Ever the athletic prototype for a dominant receiving TE, he has never really taken that last jump into fantasy superstardom. It will be interesting to see if his deployment changes under Grubb, but I won’t hold my breath.

Arizona Cardinals

When did Kyler Murray become so disrespected in dynasty? It doesn’t make any sense. Out of eight games played last season after a lengthy hiatus from ACL surgery, he was a QB1 in four, despite taking a while to get his sea legs underneath him. He ran for his life with an awful line and a skeleton crew at RB. His top receiver was stud TE Trey McBride because Marquise Brown battled lower body injuries. Brown was replaced by one of the best WR prospects in decades. McBride remains as a hulking chain mover with malevolent intentions after the catch. I fully expect Murray to return to his rightful place as a top-tier fantasy QB.

Don’t ask me when James Conner has had enough. I have no idea. In a completely non-derogatory way, he is the fantasy football cockroach. His nuclear fallout era still has him aging like a Twinkie and plunging into the end zone. He is still not 30 years old somehow but has an extensive injury history and a shiny new toy in the RB room. Trey Benson transferred from Oregon to Florida State after a catastrophic knee injury derailed his Ducks dream. As a Seminole, Benson was incredible as an all-around back. A more bursty Kyren Williams, I envision a quick payoff for Benson as a rookie with a sizable contribution to the offense.

Be still, my heart. Marvin Harrison Jr. has arrived in the desert to stir us emotionally with his artistry and craftsmanship. Yes, he is that good. To watch Harrison run routes and extend his vice grip hands and tap his toes inbounds like a gymnast on the balance beam is art. He will be a WR1 from the word ‘go’ and for another decade-plus. He joins incumbents Michael Wilson and Greg Dortch in the receiving room. The former proved a more than serviceable option as an unheralded rookie last season. The latter is a stunningly under-appreciated target hog from the slot. Zay Jones was acquired as a camp invite. I’m not sure enough remains in the tank to give him a shot in dynasty.

I swoon for McBride, too. He has traits that can utterly dominate a football game. I compared him to Jeremy Shockey coming into the league a couple of years ago and he has proven that to be apt. I have him ranked as my dynasty TE3 overall, behind only Kyle Pitts and Sam LaPorta in the same elite tier. If this Cardinals squad can put together a strong defense, they will break some hearts in the classiest division under the shield.

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