Now that free agency is over, it’s time to turn our attention to the NFL Draft as we figure out our 2021 fantasy football draft boards. Earlier this week, I unveiled by AFC West fantasy football wish list. Today, we take a look at their NFC counterparts, the NFC West. Some might say “Jeff don’t you usually start with the NFC, then move to the AFC?” And to that I say yes, also, shut up. Let’s take a look at the NFC West fantasy football wish list!
Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
Picks: #16, #49, #160, #223 (MIN), #243, #247 (CHI via LAS)
Key Additions: Rodney Hudson (C), A.J. Green (WR)
Key Losses: Kenyan Drake (RB)
2021 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wish List: Running Back, Interior Offensive Line
The Arizona Cardinals mostly stood pat this offseason on the offensive side of the ball, only making three noteworthy moves. Unfortunately, one of those noteworthy moves was letting Kenyan Drake buzz up highway 93 to Las Vegas. While this hurts their depth, you can’t blame them. Drake received a two-year, $11 million contract from the Raiders, something the Cardinals probably hesitated to match. So, they should take a running back in this draft, and maybe one with #49. That could put them in the mix for one of the top-three guys (Najee Harris, Travis Etienne, Javonte Williams), which would do wonders for their squad.
The Cardinals also need to address their guard spots. They added Rodney Hudson from the Raiders for pocket lint, and he should hold down the middle of their line for the next three years, at least. But, they need more help up the middle to keep Kyler Murray from snapping in half.
Los Angeles Rams (10-6)
Picks: #57, #88, #103, #141, #209, #252
Key Additions: Matthew Stafford (QB), DeSean Jackson (WR)
Key Losses: Jared Goff (WR), Malcolm Brown (RB), Josh Reynolds (WR), Gerald Everett (TE)
2021 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wish List: Offensive Line, Backup Running Back
The Los Angeles Rams decided they had enough of Jared Goff this offseason. They’ve now moved on from Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, and Jared Goff since the end of the 2019 season. Oof, they don’t call it the Not For Long league for nothing. While Brandin Cooks fell off their cap last season, Todd Gurley and Jared Goff combine to account for $33.1 million in dead cap costs. On the flip side, their starting QB, #1 WR, and #2 WR all combine for… $31.1 million on the cap. The Rams are paying more for the Lions’ starting QB and (*spins wheel*) the Steelers’ RB2 (?) than they are the core of their passing game.
Luckily, they can still go out and get guys in the draft. They don’t have their first-round pick, but could snag an offensive lineman at #57. Unfortunately, the Rams have had a lot of trouble staffing a competent LB corps, and would be better served adding guys there instead of across the OL with their later picks. Running back isn’t a priority but the Rams would be well-served to snag a day three running back because Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson could shake apart in a hurry, and losing Malcolm Brown left them somewhat thin at that spot.
San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
Picks: #3 (HOU via MIA), #43, #102, #117, #155, #172 (NO), #180, #194, #230 (NYJ)
Key Additions: Alex Mac (C)
Key Losses: Kendrick Bourne (WR), C.J. Beathard (QB)
2021 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wish List: Quarterback
The 49ers did The Damn Thing and moved up from 12 to 3, to snag… a quarterback. We aren’t quite sure who it is yet, but it looks like Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are locked into picks one and two in this draft. The Jets traded Sam Darnold earlier this week, so it looks like even if it isn’t Wilson, they are still going quarterback at two.
So where do the 49ers go at three? The scuttlebutt from people around the league who have a vested interest in making sure websites get clicks and shows get views sure like to pass the Mac Jones narrative. But here’s the thing: there isn’t a single thing Mac Jones does better than Justin Fields, except play like Kirk Cousins. That’s right, middle-of-the-pack NFL starter Kirk Cousins. That’s who they want you to think the 49ers moved up to three to take. They’ll rationalize this with Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, and Jimmy Garoppolo comparisons. Kyle Shanahan watched two of those quarterbacks hit their ceilings in the Super Bowl and cost him rings in the last five years. For me, it’s Justin Fields.
Trey Lance is also acceptable. Mac Jones, unfortunately, is a completely unacceptable pick. Kyle Shanahan’s offense will maximize Macaroni Jones, but Mac Jones will not maximize Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
Picks: #56, #129, #250
Key Additions: Gerald Everett (WR)
Key Losses: Carlos Hyde (RB), David Moore (WR)
2021 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wish List: Offensive Line, Running Back
I’m not entirely sure what to do with the Seahawks here. They have THREE PICKS thanks to moving their other picks to get Gabe Jackson and Jamal Adams. Offensive line is a perpetual need for Seattle, so throw one their way. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny will not cut it as #1 and #2 running backs for a full sixteen games, given their injury proclivities. A depth running back is necessary for the Seahawks in the 2021 NFL Draft.