Fantasy Football: NFC West, Atlanta Falcons

Buy the San Francisco 49ers Offense

They have arguably been the most talented team in football for the past few years now. If there ever was a year that Colin Kaepernick was going to breakthrough as a passer, there are no excuses after that contract extension and the weapons he’s been surrounded with. Frank Gore has been as solid and reliable as any back for a long, long time. You may fear that Carlos Hyde will carve into his carries, but rest assured that if both backs In Buffalo and Detroit can make an impact, the 49ers O-line will pave the way for success no matter what happens in the backfield. Anquan Boldin became the security blanket and go-to guy in his first season with the Niners. Michael Crabtree is the talented but injury-hindered wideout with the playmaking ability to make fantasy owners salivate. To protect themselves, they acquired Stevie Johnson who played well in a mediocre Bills offense. Then there’s Vernon Davis, the fastest tight end in the game that gets some burn split out wide from time to time. Now is the time that Kap has to trust his teammates by spreading the wealth, after all, his legs will break any defense’s back when they least expect it.

Buy the Arizona Cardinals Receiving Core

The Arizona Cardinals have already started to prepare for life after Larry Fitzgerald. Entering year number three is first round pick Michael Floyd, who led the team in receiving last season by eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark. Something Fitz has not reached in the past couple seasons, the hype heading into the season is that Floyd is now Carson Palmer’s favorite target. Also making noise in camp is third round pick John Brown. He has drawn praise from the GM and has worked his way up to the slot role competition, pushing Ted Ginn for those snaps. Fitzgerald has still been productive, he just missed another 1,000 yard campaign. Despite the buzz around Andre Ellington being a 20-touch feature back, Bruce Arians allowed Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck to play gunslinger, that will certainly be the case with a pair of wide outs that allocated 2,000 yards. Palmer should definitely earn consideration as a second QB or bye week fill in.

Seattle Seahawks Offense: Only Buy Beast Mode

Marshawn Lynch is the beast that will let the retirement talk, holdout, and alleged assault roll off his back. After his one week holdout, he reported to camp at a lower weight. Although he feels neglected for not getting a contract extension, the Super Bowl champs are sticking to their guns and riding the bus until the wheels fall off. Lynch is the motor of the offense and will take the hits in a physical division in the tougher NFC. They might spell him as the season comes to an end when the juice is down to the last few drops, but the man is going to get the rock. The offensive line is excellent and the handcuff here is Christine Michael, though Robert Turbin is likely to be the 3rd down back if Lynch went down. Russell Wilson and his receiving core, including the injury-prone Percy Harvin, will have to prove to the fantasy world that they are relevant. Some will reach for Harvin and you shouldn’t be disappointed that your “sleeper” pick went earlier than you had hoped. Everyone has had an eye on the playmaker, if you can snag him as your 4th receiver then I say go for it.

St. Louis Rams Backfield: Draft Zack Stacy With Knowledge of the Situation

There are so many questions looming the St. Louis Rams. The defense has garned well-deserved attention, headlines by their front-7. The offense on the other hand, well let’s just say that Jeff Fisher isn’t shy to shuffle running backs. Chris Johnson was the main attraction for Fisher in Tennessee, but it was a role that he earned after sharing it with Lendale White early on. So far with the Rams, before Stacy came into the picture it was Steven Jackson with a little Darryl Richardson sprinkled in. The coach didn’t hesitate to pull the plug on Richardson as the predecessor, and he squashed the idea of handing the keys to Isaiah Pead. In 2012 Jackson and Richardson combined for 62 catches, last season Stacy and Richardson tallied 40 in the absence of Sam Bradford. The quarterback often looks to his backfield mate to dump the ball of to. That should tell you that they couldn’t help backup Kellen Clemens, especially when you consider the suspect line and lack of targets at his disposal. Stacy could very well play the Doug Martin role, but there is ongoing buzz for backup Benny Cunningham that averaged 5.6 yards per carry. And touching on the depth of the position, rookie Tre Mason racked up 195 yards in the BCS Championship Game, and so far is doing a great job in pass protection. Stacy’s a great best to open the year, but the picture could get cloudy midway with a pair of hungry backs breathing down his back.

Buy the Atlanta Falcons Aerial Attack, Sell the Backfield

Steven Jackson is back and running at Falcons camp. He is the main back on the roster, as Jacquizz Rodgers has revealed that his value comes as a change-of-pace back. Rookie Devonta Freeman is going through the motions. I would really sell all three of these backs, they are on my draft day blacklist. I mean, you could take a flyer on the recently, injury-riddled Jackson. He was a star but age and the pounding has come into effect. Plus, the offensive line was terrible a year ago, expect them to air it out while using running backs by committee in 2014. Matt Ryan didn’t have much of an O-line nor Julio Jones last season, but Harry Douglas stepped up as the go-to guy, because Roddy White was playing through injuries in 2013 and Tony Gonzalez was getting double coverage. Now that Tony G has retired, that means that Douglas has earned a role with the team, which could result in a trio of 1,000 yard receivers for the Dirty Birds. With that said, Matt Ryan is an excellent option to roll with at the helm after surviving turmoil and still throwing for 4,500 yards. He is absolutely capable of creeping into the top 5.