Fantasy Football Prescription Notes: NFC End of Season Edition
Doc breaks down his top takeaways for every NFC team from the 2021 season.
End of Season Fantasy Football Prescription Notes (NFC)
So many good things happened for the Cardinals this season including a terrific year by Kyler Murray, the emergence of Chase Edmonds, and the trade for Zach Ertz. If DeAndre Hopkins comes back at 100% the Cardinals should be making another trip to the playoffs. This is a team I want to invest in for fantasy in 2022.
The loss of Calvin Ridley was a tremendous one for both the Falcons and fantasy football managers. Kyle Pitts played well but could have had an even better season if Ridley was there to take away some defensive coverage. Cordarrelle Patterson played well in the beginning of the year but tailed off toward the end of the season. There are a lot of questions here especially with Matt Ryan who is getting up in age and I don't trust anymore.
Carolina has plenty of issues including poor quarterback play and a star running back who cannot seem to stay healthy. This team seems to be in complete disarray and has a true lack of depth across its roster. I will draft Christian McCaffrey next year as well as DJ Moore but I certainly would be happy avoiding this team altogether.
Now that Matt Nagy is fired it will be interesting to see who the Bears hire to replace him. The seeds for success are there with a good young quarterback in Justin Fields, an underrated David Montgomery, a speedy outside threat in Darnell Mooney, and a huge red zone target in Cole Kmet. A lot of their future fantasy success relies on this next coaching hire.
Dak Prescott returned from injury and played well especially towards the end of the season. Right now, I think the biggest question is actually at running back because Ezekiel Elliott hardly looks like the player we remember a few years ago. I know that fantasy football managers want to see more Tony Pollard but I cannot guarantee that will happen. CeeDee Lamb still has more upside and Dalton Schultz is a top ten player at tight end.
I would give a vote to Dan Campbell for Coach of the Year. Even though the Lions have a severe lack of talent they played hard and really showed a competitive fire that they had been lacking in years’ past. There is also some real fantasy talent emerging on this roster. D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson should all be gone by Round 5 in 2022 drafts. Even Jared Goff improved as the year went on and I think the Lions are closer to the playoffs than people might imagine.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers that we know from 2021 may be completely different from the Packers of 2022. Nobody expects Aaron Rodgers to return and if he's not there I wonder whether Davante Adams will be playing for the team either. I really like Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon but after that there is a severe lack of depth on this roster. The Packers may be a team to avoid in fantasy next season.
Los Angeles Rams
The addition of Matthew Stafford and the health of Cooper Kupp really changed the fortunes of the Rams. In 2022 expect Cam Akers and Robert Woods to add more firepower to a crowded roster. This is a team that's built to win and even the secondary pieces have serious fantasy upside.
Thankfully the Vikings have fired Mike Zimmer who really set their offense back for the past few seasons. Although Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen played well in spurts, I would argue that this team severely underperformed because their offensive game plan was from the 1970s. If the Vikings can hire the right offensive mind this team could really explode fantasy-wise next season.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have a lot of issues to address this coming offseason. They've got one of the top running backs in Alvin Kamara but outside of him there's a real lack of ability at wide receiver and tight end. Moreover, they have quarterbacks who are injured in Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. Where does this team go from here? I know I'm not willing to invest in any Saints right now outside of Kamara.
New York Giants
Say good riddance to Joe Judge. He was an awful fit from the onset and now the new GM will bring in his own guy. I don't think Daniel Jones is the answer at quarterback and I'm not sure there's an offensive coordinator who is clever enough to figure out how to use all the pieces that the Giants have. Red flags are waving all around this roster.
The Eagles have some talented players in Jalen Hurts, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert, but those three alone are not enough and the Eagles have to surround them with better players. They clearly need another wide receiver or two to help Hurts if he is going to reach the next level. I am keeping a close eye on Kenneth Gainwell who might have been a little overmatched as a rookie.
I've said for the past few months that I don't think Russell Wilson will play another down for the Seahawks. He's just done with their style of play, and he wants to move on and I can't blame him. That said there are some good players remaining in Seattle. DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Rashaad Penny are talented players who in the right system could be very successful. I'm cautiously optimistic about their fantasy chances next season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have some real issues on the horizon. With Chris Godwin injured and Antonio Brown no longer with the team, Tampa will have to go out and find another receiver to complement Mike Evans. Leonard Fournette looked terrific again and Rob Gronkowski is still a huge red zone weapon for Tom Brady. I am happy to invest again in Tampa, but it feels I am getting them on a down arrow in 2022 which I tend to avoid.
Washington Football Team
Washington has three excellent fantasy players in Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas. Now they must surround them with better players and a new quarterback. The biggest surprise was how poorly Washington’s defense played this season. It only goes to show that last year's best defense is never the next year's best defense.