Heading into the 2017 fantasy football season, we take a look at each NFC West quarterback and build out our fantasy football rankings!
This is part two of an ongoing 8 part Fantasy Football Rankings series for each division’s quarterbacks and their fantasy football outlook for 2017. The NFC West features three teams who for better or worse, know who their starting quarterback is going to be and a fourth in the San Francisco 49ers, who are wishing they could just fast forward to next March so they can sign Kirk Cousins or draft someone…anyone in the first round to replace the Brian Hoyer/C.J. Beathard fantasy travesty currently on the roster. Lets take a look shall we.
Fantasy Football Rankings – Best of the West
It’s almost impossible to imagine there was once a day where Wilson was in a legitimate quarterback competition with Matt Flynn and Tavaris Jackson, but just six short years ago that was exactly what was taking place. Three Pro Bowls, Two Super Bowl appearances and One Super Bowl victory have placed those days way back in Russell’s rearview.
During that time Wilson has also grown into a viable fantasy starter, culminating with his stellar 2015 campaign where he threw for 4,024 yards 34 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. Last season saw Wilson take a step back, despite throwing for the most yards in his career, he also threw a career low 21 touchdowns to go along with a career high 11 picks.
Most of Wilson’s issues last year can be traced back to the fact that he struggled with an assortment of injuries throughout the season. Ankle and knee issues hampered him from week three until the conclusion of the year.
The main concern this year is pretty much the same concern from last year. Seattle’s offensive line was flat-out awful last year and could not provide adequate protection for their franchise QB. Offensive line coach Tom Cable will be asked to resurrect the career of former number 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel and hope that second rounder Ethan Pocic comes along quickly . If things go as planned Wilson is a high-end QB1 and a weekly start.
Fantasy Football Rankings – Second by Default
If you had Carson Palmer as your starting QB in 2015, there was a good chance you were playing deep into your leagues playoffs. If you had Carson Palmer as your starting QB in 2016, there was a good chance you spent a lot of time on Sunday’s spewing expletives and throwing random objects at your T.V.
Palmer’s career has been a series of up’s and down’s and last season was no different. Palmer was drafted way to early in most drafts by owners hoping for a 2015 like payoff. There really should have been a bit more caution exercised for a QB whose last appearance of 2015 saw him receive a drubbing of epic proportions in the NFC Championship game.
However, with all that being said, Palmer was still able to put up 298 points in standard league formats by throwing for 4,233 yards and 26 touchdowns. Those totals were good for 9th and 10th in the league respectively.
Palmer will turn 38 in December and his viability as a weekly starter is clearly trending downward. If you can grab him in the later rounds this year he will provide great value as a borderline QB1. However, counting on Palmer as your starter week in and week out is a risky bet at this stage, but he’s still good enough to get you through a few weeks if an injury hits or you need a bye week starter.
If you think I’ve been too hard on the ginger from USC, I’ll leave you with this. If Carson Palmer had no legs and no arms, I would still start him over either of the two guys remaining on this list.
Fantasy Football Rankings – Hey, Someone Has to be Third
Let’s be straight here, Goff places third on the basis of potential not production. It became clear pretty early on in the 2016 preseason that owners who had selected Goff in dynasty leagues would be waiting a good while before seeing a return on that investment. When the now departed Jeff Fisher, realized that he was doomed no matter what, and finally handed the reigns over to the number one overall pick, the results were pretty vomit inducing.
Goff went win-less in 7 starts, and threw for a paltry 1,089 yards with 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. If I’m being completely fair, you can’t put all the blame on the rookie. He received very little help from his 2nd year Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley. The offensive line was beyond atrocious, his receiving corp pedestrian and the coaching staff was borderline incompetent. I think that about covers the 2016 Rams.
So is there any reason for optimism and should you go anywhere near Goff in your draft this year? Well in truth there are a couple of positive signs for Goff. First off the Rams hired Sean Mcvay as their head coach, a man who knows offense and quarterbacks. They also hired Matt LaFleur, who served as Matt Ryan‘s QB coach last year in Atlanta, to be their offensive coordinator. At the very least Goff will have coaches who will attempt to play to his strengths and know a thing or two about the position.
The Rams didn’t have a ton of draft capital, having blown most of it last year to acquire Goff. However, they did attempt to give their young signal caller some more weapons by drafting TE Gerald Everett (South Alabama) and Wide Receivers Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington) and Josh Reynolds (Texas A&M). They also looked for a short-term fix on the offensive line by signing 35-year-old Pro Bowl tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Bottom line is if you have Goff in a keeper league, exercise patience and say a few Novenas. If you don’t, then let someone else take the gamble. There are too many better options available to take a flyer on him this year.
Fantasy Football Rankings – Oh God Please No!
Let me be as clear as possible. There are only two reasons you should have Brian Hoyer as the starting quarterback for your Fantasy Football team. The first is you belong to a 36 team league. The second is if you actually happen to be Brian Hoyer and even then I think that might be a stretch.
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Hoyer actually performed well in his five starts for the Bears last year before going down for the season with a broken arm in week seven. Hoyer threw for 1,445 yards with 6 touchdowns and zero picks. However, even with a decent body of work last season, Chicago couldn’t have moved on any faster.
They signed Mike Glennon to a huge contract and then shocked the world by trading up to select Mitch Trubisky in this years draft. Hoyer went on to sign with the 49ers, who project to have one of the worst offenses in the league this year. Hoyer will have trouble putting up even average numbers throwing to the likes of Pierre Garcon, Bruce Ellington and Vance McDonald.
Hoyer’s injury history is also a concern. He has never started a full season in his 9 years in the league and it would be a suckers bet to think he will do so this year. Add to the mix the fact that Niner brass will probably want to get a look at quarterbacks Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard and it becomes even more obvious that you should look elsewhere to fill your quarterback needs.
Stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for all your fantasy football rankings as we head towards the start of the NFL season!