AFC West Questions That Need Answers


One of the most common ways to start your fantasy football preparation for the upcoming season is not only to watch position rankings but also to the state of each NFL team’s offense.

Which teams are best prepared for success? Which teams are ready to fight? Which of these expected low-end teams has latent fantasy talent to exploit? Which of these top teams could actually disappoint fantasy managers?

Over the next few weeks, fantasy football analyst Liz Loza will sift through each division and highlight the biggest fantasy issues facing each team. Next, the AFC West.

Will we have answers to the main questions about AFC West fantasy? (Photo by Erick Parra Monroy/Yahoo Sports)

Los Vegas Raiders: Will Derek Carr be part of the top 12 FF QB in 2022?

He was the QB13 overall in 2021.

It was after his head coach quit, his deep threat was lifted, and his favorite red-zone target missed six games with numerous nagging injuries.

Subtract these problems – and add Davante Adams – and Derek Carr could flirt with the top 10 numbers.

Carr threw the rock – despite his previous reputation as the check-down king – recording 142 deep ball attempts over the past two seasons. He also managed to place in the YPA top eight and True Passer Rating top 12 in consecutive efforts. Despite all the hurdles mentioned above, it recorded an accuracy rating of 8.0 (QB2).

Josh McDaniels could strive for more balance, with more emphasis on the running game. However, given the division the Raiders play in and the question marks surrounding the team’s secondary…expect Carr’s throwing shoulder to stay nice and warm.

He’s a solid bet to clear 600 pass attempts (35 per game) on the year, and even at a reduced YPA he’s still in line for a season of 4,500. Reunion with former Fresno State teammate and get Darren Waller going back to 100% should significantly raise his TD mark to the 29-31 range.

Denver Broncos: Which Broncos wide receiver are you most willing to trust?

Matt Harmon and I have listed our five biggest winners of the offseason on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Predictions earlier this month. No surprise: Denver was on the list.

Replacing Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock with Russell Wilson is an obvious upgrade, there are still questions about which pass-catcher will emerge as Wilson’s favorite target. Right now I’m betting on Courtland Sutton to lead the charge, and have him rank six places ahead jerry jedy.

In terms of sly value and consistency when it comes to the job, however, Albert Okwuegbunam is the way to go.

Noah Fan recorded a target share of 18.3% (TE9/10) in 2020 and 2021. Fant averaged 5 looks per contest when sharing the court with Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy last year. With the former Hawkeye now in Seattle, Okwuegbunam is expected to serve as the Broncos’ starting TE and could reasonably flirt with 80 looks in 2022.

At 6-foot-6, 258 pounds and with a speed of 4.49, Albert O is a scary offset for opposing linebackers. Converted wide receiver, he knows how to work the midfield and bail out a QB. Per PFF, Okwuegbunam had the second highest passer rating when targeted (118.9) over his last two seasons at Mizzou (behind only Pat Freiermuth). That knowledge and the safety that came with it translated to the pros, as he only recorded one career fall.

No one knows how much Russ will cook in Denver…but the efficiency between him and O is at an all-time high. Expect at least the top 14 numbers from Denver’s new TE1.

Kansas City Chiefs: Which Chiefs player has the most fantastic value?

#Burnt takes being damn, Ronald Jones is an intriguing prospect — especially for zero or RB anchor enthusiasts — in the ninth round. It cannot be used on the goal line as regularly as Darrel Williams it was last year (28 attempts within 20RB27), but his skills could allow for a similar volume of rushing and receiving (nearly 12 touches per contest).

I bury the lede here, though. KC’s real asset is a receiver. And Twitter knows it:

Scott Pianoowski pounded the table for Ju Ju Smith Schuster on this week’s Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, explaining that the former Steeler was in line for an abundance of regular looks.

With more than 250 targets released in Kansas City, Smith-Schuster, Valdés-Scantling Brands and Skyy Moore have all become fashionable fantastic products. Juju’s versatility and experience as a ‘Z’ receiver give him the edge in terms of opportunities. He’ll never be the deep threat that MVS is, but he can work under routes and has YAC to flesh out his stats. He is also only 25 years old and has reportedly recovered from a pulled shoulder (no other shoulder problems recorded in his public medical history) which forced him to miss 12 games last season.

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Assuming he stays healthy, Smith-Schuster could flirt with 120 targets. Given the upgrade to QB, his YPR should be closer to 11 than 8. That adds to the top-30 potential, making Smith-Schuster a solid buy in the seventh through eighth 12-team drill sets. . If his stock continues to rise over the summer, however, I would stay pat and steal MVS after the double-digit hit.

Los Angeles Chargers: Will the presence of Isaiah Spiller eat away at Austin Ekeler’s volume and production?

I thought the best way to answer this question was to go straight to the source. So I asked my Edge of Ekeler co-hosts his thoughts on the rookie.

Here’s what Austin – who had just met Spiller at the OTAs – had to say: “He’s shown he’s a quick learner, which will increase his chances of stepping into the field.”

fans of Edge of Ekeler know that Austin is refreshingly honest about his body’s load management needs. My guy is not a workaholic and has no desire to handle the rock 20 times a game. He recorded a career-high 12.9 carries per game last year. Tom Telesco has made it clear that he wants to reduce Ek’s workload back in January.

The Spiller pick shouldn’t be a surprise…or a problem.

The former Aggie is an explosive and strong runner who has shown potential as a catcher out of the backfield. Using excellent vision, the 20-year-old can spot an opening, keep his sturdy legs moving and fight his way through the gap. A career YPC of 5.5 in the highly competitive SEC is a testament to the command he runs with. In this way, he completes Austin.

However – as Eric Edholm and I chatted on the Rookie Snapshot Pod — Spiller’s game lacks maturity. He may pick up quickly, as Austin observed, but that doesn’t mean he’s mastered the nuances of the game.

Spiller can carve out a role, working behind Austin but ahead Larry Rountree and Joshua Kelley with justin jackson is no longer in LA There is no threat, however, that a team as fast and high-flying as the Chargers will remove a skilled and fast passer like Austin Ekeler from the field.

EK remains one of the top three fantastic options for the running back. He’s in line for just under 900 rushing yards, 600 receiving yards and 15-18 total scores.

(Oh, and…keep it locked on Yahoo Fantasy for Season TWO of Ekeler’s Edge!)

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