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Fantasy Football Preview: Bop or Flop 2023 – NFC WEST

Draft Season is here! Bestball Leagues are flowing! The NFL Preseason is upon us. Drafthustle is here to get you ready to dominate your drafts and get to the money and the trophies! This is part of a series I am titling "Bop or Flop". From each team, I will be choosing one player I am high on (Bop), and one player I am avoiding in fantasy drafts at cost for the 2023 season (Flop). You can check out my rankings here!

Arizona Cardinals

BOP – James Conner, RB

FantasyPros ADP – RB24, #60 Overall

DH Rank – RB17

The Running back position is all about opportunity and talent in fantasy football. What James Conner lacks in talent at this stage in his career, he more than makes up for in opportunity. The Cardinals do not have a draft worthy backup RB. 250 touches is a lock for Conner, barring injury, and there are few other players who provide that floor in the 6th round.

FLOP – None

FantasyPros ADP – N/A

DH Rank – N/A

File the Arizona Cardinals in the “Market realizes this team sucks, so they aren’t drafting their players” folder. Trey McBride is my favorite last round pick if I am looking for a backup TE. Michael Wilson is an intriguing WR flier in bestball as the Cardinals could be tanking late in the season. Keaontay Ingram is among the slew of backup RBs who could emerge as the starter if the current starter is injured. These guys are only draft-worthy in bestball.

Los Angeles Rams

BOP – Tyler Higbee, TE

FantasyPros ADP – TE16, #134 Overall

DH Rank – TE11

Cooper Kupp is amazing, but he can’t get 100% of the targets. Someone else will get receptions in this offense, and Tyler Higbee is my pick to be the #2 player on this team in targets. He had 100 targets last season and that has a chance to repeat as the Rams will be passing the ball quite a bit. If you choose to wait on TE, Higbee is a perfect guy to draft in the double-digit rounds and pair up with a younger TE late.

FLOP – None

FantasyPros ADP – N/A

DH Rank – N/A

The Rams are another team with very few draft worthy players for fantasy in 2023, thus the risk in drafting them is minimal at cost. Matthew Stafford is a great QB2 who can complement a high upside QB drafted in the early rounds. Van Jefferson is in a contract year and will start the season as the 2nd WR on the team. He has a chance for spike weeks, making him a good WR5/6 in bestball formats. Kyren Williams is a sneaky last round pick if you don’t believe in Cam Akers. He will have the passing down role and could be a sneaky flex play if Akers misses time.

San Francisco 49ers

BOP – Elijah Mitchell, RB

FantasyPros ADP – RB42, #115 Overall

DH Rank – RB38

Despite being the clear backup to Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell received a decent amount of work in 2022 when he was healthy. The buzz in San Francisco is that the 49ers will look to not overwork McCaffrey to keep him fresh late in the season. That means Elijah Mitchell will be involved even if McCaffrey is healthy. I prefer to draft him if I don’t own McCaffrey, to have that potential RB1 upside on my bench if something unfortunate happens to CMC. Love him as an RB4 in every roster build.

FLOP – George Kittle, TE

FantasyPros ADP – TE4, #49 Overall

DH Rank – TE5

The 49ers have 4 skill players being drafted in the 1st 6 rounds of fantasy drafts, and I simply do not believe Brock Purdy can support that many weapons. George Kittle is the odd man out for me. He was last in target share when all of San Fran’s top skill players were healthy. His 11 TDs last season were twice as much as his career best before last season, so expect regression there. He isn’t worth an early 5th round pick as his ADP suggests. I’ll pass.

Seattle Seahawks

BOP – Geno Smith, QB

FantasyPros ADP – QB15, #114 Overall

DH Rank – QB13

Geno Smith finished as QB5 in total points and 9th in PPG in 2022, and yet after the Seahawks spent a 1st round pick on an elite WR prospect in Jaxon Smith-Njigba, he is being drafted as the QB15 currently. I can’t make sense of it, but I love his current ADP. In non-Superflex leagues, he is my favorite to pair him with teams that I draft Anthony Richardson on. His current ADP makes him an easy player to stack in bestball with his top weapons.

FLOP – Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR

FantasyPros ADP – WR36, #85 Overall

DH Rank – WR46

I love Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s talent, but in 2023 I do not love his ADP. He is being drafted as a borderline WR3 in round 8, but I do not see the path for him to live up to that APD barring an injury. I expected the rookie hype on Smith-Njigba to wane as we get closer to the season, but it hasn’t. I have taken him as a WR3 a few times in bestball just to get some exposure, but I will not own much of him in managed leagues unless his price drops quite a bit.

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