The AFC West was one of the most active divisions this offseason with trades, off-season free agency signings and draft picks, and is now considered by many to be the best overall division in the entire NFL. This article will break down some of the most prominent players who had their fantasy stock increase or decrease due to the wild off-season around this division. 

Winner: All Broncos Skill Position Players

Last season, the Broncos were yet again held back by their quarterback play. Going into the pre-draft process the Broncos were set to make a selection ninth overall and many predicted that they would be selecting a quarterback due to the fact that their roster’s main weakness was at quarterback. Instead, they decided to make arguably the biggest move of this off-season and trade for superstar quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks. 

Wilson will come in and start immediately for one of the best young rosters in the NFL and all of the Broncos' skill position groups should greatly benefit from catching passes from a future Hall of Fame quarterback. Receivers like Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick should all put up much better numbers now that they are catching passes from Wilson. Their fantasy stocks will also increase and in PPR formats they will likely excel due to the upgrade at quarterback.  

Running backs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon should also have an easier time rushing the ball as opponents will now have to respect the Broncos' passing game more than ever and Wilson himself is also a threat to run the ball. This should open up plenty of running lanes for Williams and Gordon and will allow them to gain a lot of yards on the ground. They can also both be featured in the passing game as well so they will likely be early picks in fantasy drafts as well.  

Unfortunately, in order to acquire Wilson, the Broncos had to trade away young ascending tight end Noah Fant but Albert Okwuegbunam appears to be ready to fill his place in the offense. For insurance, the Broncos also drafted Greg Dulcich from UCLA in the third round of this past NFL Draft. Losing Fant was a blow to the offense but the Broncos seem well prepared with their current tight end duo and they should not miss a beat on offense.  

Winner: QB Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

As a result of all the other off-season moves around the division, the Raiders were often considered the odd team out as their roster did not seem to stack up to their division rivals. That all changed when they went out and traded for former Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams. Adams is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL and will now be reuniting with his college quarterback Derek Carr so the chemistry between the two is already there. 

Carr will now have two top targets in Davante Adams and tight end Darren Waller who are both top players at their positions and should be slated to put up big numbers this season both in real life and in fantasy football. Carr himself should also put up good numbers and he has always been a very underrated player despite quietly being a very good quarterback in the NFL. Carr is a great target for the quarterback of your fantasy team this year as he is now throwing to one of the top targets in the entire league and always seems to be available later in drafts than he should be. 

Winner: QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Most of the Chargers' off-season moves were focused on improving their defense. However, this did not stop them from continuing to build their offense around their young star quarterback Justin Herbert. One of their first moves was re-signing receiver Mike Williams who will continue to be a top target for Herbert in the passing attack. Then in the first round of the draft, they drafted Zion Johnson, a guard from Boston College. Johnson will be a day one starter on the offensive line and when you combine him with last year’s first-round pick Rashawn Slater and top free-agent signing Corey Linsley you are now looking at potentially one of the best offensive lines in the league. 

The Chargers also added to their running back room by drafting former Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller who will come in and form a solid one-two punch with established star Austin Ekeler. Herbert has no shortage of support on offense and looks to be in a prime position to perform at an even higher level than what fantasy players have already come to expect from him. Expect him to come off draft boards early in fantasy drafts this summer. 

Loser: RB Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos

Melvin Gordon spent last season with the Denver Broncos and split carries with rookie Javonte Williams. Gordon was a free agent after last season and after searching for a new home he decided to re-sign with Denver and join the now Russell Wilson-led offense. However this time he will likely not get as many touches. This is likely Williams' backfield to lose as he ran for 903 yards as a rookie and looked better and better as the season progressed. 

Gordon is now also 29 years old — not at all old for the average human but very old for an NFL running back. He may not be as durable as he once was. He is still a very valuable handcuff to Williams and should immediately slot in as the starter should Williams go down with an injury but Gordon’s days of being a lead back are likely behind him. 

Loser: RB Josh Jacobs Las Vegas Raiders 

When Josh Jacobs was selected 24th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, many thought that he would become one of the new top young backs in the NFL. After putting up back-to-back 1000-yard rushing seasons in 2019 and 2020 he appeared to be on that track. However last season he rushed for 872 yards and nine touchdowns which is still solid but not elite. This offseason the Raiders declined to pick up Jacobs' fifth-year option on his contract, so his days in Las Vegas appear to be numbered. In redraft leagues, Jacobs should be in line to produce similar numbers to last season but in Dynasty leagues it may be best to try to trade him while he still appears to be a lead back. 

Jacobs also has yet to stay healthy for an entire season during his career so it is possible there are some durability concerns with him. Expect Jacobs to split carries with Kenyan Drake this season in an attempt to keep him healthy for the entire season. This causes Drake’s fantasy value to go up a bit as well. He will be gaining more touches and is viewed as a better pass catcher than Jacobs so the Raiders could be featuring him out of the backfield in the passing game.