top of page
  • Writer's pictureMason Dalley

2023 NFL Season Preview: NFC WEST

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Team Totals, Player Props, and other Season Long Picks

Yahoo Sports



The NFC West!! A division of have and have nots. Arguably the best roster in the NFL and arguably the worst!! Let's rip!





Arizona Cardinals

O/U: 4.5

Super Bowl: +18000

NFC Champion: +8500

NFC West Winner: +2700



2022 Record: 4-13(8-9 ATS)

2022 Scoring Offense: 21st(DVOA 30th)

2022 Scoring Defense: 31st(DVOA 24th)

2022 Special Teams: 21st(DVOA 20th)



Free Agency


Players lost: WR A.J. Green, WR Chosen "Robbie" Anderson, TE Max Garcia, LG Justin Pugh, RG Cody Ford, EDGE Markus Golden, IDL J.J. Watt, IDL Zach Allen, IDL Trysten Hill, IDL Michael Dogbe, CB Byron Murphy, P Andy Lee


Players added/retained: QB David Blough, RB Corey Clement, WR Zach Pascal, WR Greg Dortch, RG Dennis Daley, RG Hjalte Froholdt, RT Kelvin Beachum, IDL Jonathan Ledbetter, IDL L.J. Collier, IDL Kevin Strong, LB Kyzir White, LB Krys Barnes, LB Zeke Turner, CB Antonio Hamilton, CB Nate Hairston, K Matt Prater


Draft

Round 1: Paris Johnson(6), Ohio State OT

Round 2: BJ Ojulari(41), LSU EDGE

Round 3: Garrett Williams(72), Syracuse CB, Michael Wilson Stanford WR

Round 4: Jon Gaines II(122), UCLA OL

Round 5: Clayton Tune(139), Houston QB, Owen Pappoe(168), Auburn LB

Round 6: Kei'Trel Clark(180), Louisville CB, Dante Stills(213) West Virginia IDL


Undrafted Free Agents

WR Daniel Aris, Colorado

S Kendall Brooks, Michigan State

RB Emari Demercado, TCU

LS Matt Hembrough, Oklahoma State

TE Joel Honigford, Michigan

LB Marvin Pierre, Kent State

DL Jacob Slade, Michigan State

LB Kyle Soelle, Arizona State

CB Quavian White, Georgia State

TE Blake Whiteheart, Wake Forest



2023 Preview


The Arizona Cardinals are going to be depressing in 2023. Kyler Murray won't be on the field until week 5 at the absolute earliest, and even in that very unlikely best case scenario, the roster is gutted, and the front office is unstable.


Murray isn't going to play in 2023. It just doesn't make sense to risk another injury in a season that is lost already. The Cardinals in all likelihood want Murray to sit out so he can maintain some trade value and can maybe get a first round pick out of a desperate team.


I also don't know how new head coach Jonathan Gannon will be. Defensive coordinators working with an embarrassment of riches on defense and are always playing with a lead getting jobs scares me. Especially when said coordinator is challenged by a great offense in a high leverage game and is pantsed. I really don't care about press conferences or quirks or whatever else that isn't football related. I care about what you do with your weapons. Gannon is going from a Philly team that had the pleasure of pass rushing most of the time due to how often they were up. That covers up any fundamental issues your defense might have. He also didn't deploy his secondary in a way that made sense against the Chiefs when they had the personnel to give KC headaches. The Eagles could have copied Cincy schematically, but they ran what they ran all season expecting it to work. Everything I've described is exactly what happened when Matt Patricia became the head coach of the Detroit Lions. Patricia was hailed as a good defensive coordinator in New England, when he got to deploy really good players all over the field and play with a lead most of the time. Brian Flores became the play caller the next year, the defense was more aggressive, used the same pieces in much smarter ways, and the Patriots held the Rams to 3 points in the Super Bowl they year the Rams were re-running the Greatest Show on Turf.


Jonathan Gannon scares me as a hire. Steve Keim left the GM position under dubious circumstances and his track record has been poor. I have no idea whether or not Monti Ossenfort's a good player personnel guy, but I did really like his first two picks, Paris Johnson and BJ Ojulari. Bare minimum he understands the value a good tackle and a good edge have and those two should step right into starting roles and be direct improvements over a veteran who'd be starting if they weren't there. They also got an extra 1st round pick in 2024 out of the draft by trading back with the Texans. It was a good draft overall, but unfortunately won't have much impact with the way the Cardinals are currently constructed.


A rookie head coach with a combination of Colt McCoy and Jeff Driskel at QB. A defense losing Zach Allen, JJ Watt, Markus Golden, and Byron Murphy, all starters, will be worse than it was last year. AJ Green and Robbie Andersen are gone leaving Marquise Brown as the number 1 receiver, a role he just isn't suited for. The TE room is maybe the worst in the NFL. It consists of old man Zach Ertz, Trey McBride, and Geoff Swaim. McBride is more of a OT who can move than a true pass catching TE, which does have value on offense for sure. Swaim has never caught more than 31 passes in a single season and he has never had more than 242 receiving yards in a season. Ertz playing a whole season is less and less likely year over year, so it's just bleak.


James Conner will score touchdowns, for all you fantasy players out there, but there's little else to be excited for in the RB room in Arizona.


I do think the offensive line will improve with the arrival of Paris Johnson. Johnson's listed at 6'6, 313LBS, with 36 1/8 inch arms, and 9 1/2 inch hands. He's a monster that can move too, with a 9/2 foot broad jump. The footwork is good, the hands are good, and he's just a solid player that should step right in and hold off pass rushers. This will help an offensive line that ended ranking 27th in DVOA in 2022 creep back towards average.


The defense is ultimately what is going to cause a poor season for Arizona. For as good as Budda Baker and Isaiah Simmons are as a safety pairing is, it is not enough for a defense lacking in every other aspect. 2nd year EDGE Cam Thomas and Rookie BJ Ojulari will likely end up the bookends of the pass rush this season, and they have a lot of potential. They've lost their entire interior with the retirement of JJ Watt and departure of Zach Allen. Zaven Collins is trending towards bust so they don't even have an off ball linebacker to fill gaps efficiently.


The best thing Cardinals fans have to hope for is a season so bad they end up with Caleb Williams as their starting QB in 2024, and 1st round pick for Kyler to bolster the roster for Caleb.


OVER OR UNDER

4.5 is low. Lower than most teams should be listed. I think that's going to hit.


Player Prop

James Conner OVER 725.5 rushing yards at -105 is intriguing. Conner has missed a couple games each season of his career, but if he can get to 15 games played I think he hits that number. Last year he only played in 13 games and ran for 782 yards, and in 2021 he put up 752 yards on 202 carries in 15 games. It's a pretty consistent hit and with the Cardinals likely relying on the run instead of Colt McCoy, it feels good




Los Angeles Rams

O/U: 6.5

Super Bowl: +6500

NFC Champion: +3500

NFC West Winner: +1000

The Times


2022 Record: 5-12(7-11 ATS)

2022 Scoring Offense: 27th(DVOA 23rd)

2022 Scoring Defense: 22nd(DVOA 18th)

2022 Special Teams: 16th(DVOA 23rd)


Free Agency


Players lost: QB Baker Mayfield, RB Malcolm Brown, WR Brandon Powell, RG David Edwards, EDGE Leonard Floyd, IDL A'Shawn Robinson, IDL Greg Gaines, LB Bobby Wagner, CB Jalen Ramsey, CB David Long, S Taylor Rapp, S Nick Scott, K Matt Gay, P Riley Dixon, LS Matthew Orzech


Players added/retained: TE Hunter Long, C Brian Allen, RG Coleman Shelton, IDL Michael Hoecht, IDL Marquise Copeland, CB Shaun Jolly


Draft

Round 2: Steve Avila(36), TCU OG

Round 3: Byron Young(77), Tennessee EDGE, Kobie Turner(89), Wake Forest IDL

Round 4: Stetson Bennett(128), Georgia QB

Round 5: Nick Hampton(161) Appalachian State EDGE, Warren McClendon(174) Georgia OT, Davis Allen(175) Clemson TE, Puka Nacua(177), BYU WR

Round 6: Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson(182), TCU CB, Ochaun Mathis(189), Nebraska EDGE, Zach Evans(215), Ole Miss RB

Round 7: Ethan Evans(223), Wingate P, Jason Taylor II(234) Oklahoma State S, Desjuan Johnson(259), Toledo IDL


Undrafted Free Agents

LB Kelechi Anyalebechi, Incarnate Word

K Tanner Brown, Oklahoma State

WR Braxton Burmesiter, San Diego State

CB Timarcus Davis, Arizona State

CB Tyron Davis, Tulsa

S Collin Duncan, Mississippi State

K Christopher Duncan, NC State

RB Tiyon Evans, Louisville

WR Tyler Hudson, Louisville

S Tanner Ingle, NC State

WR Sam James, West Virginia

EDGE Matthew Jester, Princeton

S Quindell Johnson, Memphis

CB Jordan Jones, Rhode Island

C Sean Maginn, Wake Forest

C Mike McAllister, Youngstown State

OL Grant Miller, Baylor

TE Christian Sims, Bowling Green

LB Ryan Semeda Jr., Wake Forest

WR Xavier Smith, Florida A&M

LB DeAndre Square, Kentucky

S Rashad Torrence, Florida

LS Alex Ward, Central Florida

QB Dresser Winn, Tennessee-Martin

LB Jaiden Woodbey, Boston College




2023 Preview



Back in the 18th century, there was a German playwright named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He created the character Faust who makes bargain with the Devil, who calls himself Mephistopheles. If Mephistopheles can grant Faust an experience of transcendence on Earth, a moment so blissful that he wishes to remain forever, Faust will instantly die and serve Mephistopheles in Hell. Faust eventually is reborn and his soul saved, but no before falling to Hell.


Since this play, the Faustian Bargain has been a staple in all of storytelling across all mediums. Spiderman has even been a part of a Faustian Bargain with Mephisto. It's become a storytelling trope.


The Los Angeles Rams are currently in the "serving eternally in Hell" portion of their bargain. They mortgaged their future by trading an obscene amount of draft capital for proven NFL players. It ended up working with them winning the Super Bowl. The Rams had an abysmal, injury riddled title defense in 2022. That was not the Hell part of the bargain. That was just unlucky. This season is the bad part of the bargain kicking in.


I don't mention later round picks or UDFA's during these typically because those players end up on Special Teams or on the Practice Squad. It's not a bad thing or that they're even bad players, but just the nature of how NFL roster construction works. Players who would be considered good depth pieces are now being forced into rotational or even starting roles. This season is going to be full of mistakes and growing pains, which is not conducive to competitive football.


To be very fair to the Rams, they had a great draft and targeted the right profile of player for UDFA's. They did have the worst pick in the entire draft and lit a draft pick on fire by drafting Stetson Bennett. For a team that could not afford to light a pick on fire, they sure did light a pick on fire. That aside Steve Avila, Byron Young, and Kobie Turner are day 1 contributors and Nick Hampton and Puka are going to be getting significant snaps.


The Rams defense will be average as long as Aaron Donald is healthy. He is that transformative of a player.


The Rams' offense will be good as long as Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are healthy. The offensive line will be at least average, especially with the arrival of a mauler like Avila.


The coaching staff is proven and actually didn't have much churn to deal with like most off-seasons.


OVER OR UNDER

Health permitting, I think the Rams end up in the 7-10/10-7 range. That's an OVER. It is flimsy because it is health permitting I like it at +110


Player Prop

If Cooper Kupp plays a full season he will over 1250.5(-110) on the season. It's what he does.



Seattle Seahawks

O/U: 8.5

Super Bowl: +3500

NFC Champion: +1300

NFC West Winner: +200

Matthias Schrader / The Associated Press


2022 Record: 9-8(7-11)

2022 Scoring Offense: 9th(DVOA 14th)

2022 Scoring Defense: 25th(DVOA 21st)

2022 Special Teams: 3rd(DVOA 4th)


Free Agency


Players lost: RB Rashaad Penny, RB Travis Homer, WR Marquise Goodwin, C Austin Blythe, RG Gabe Jackson, IDL Poona Ford, IDL Al Woods, IDL Quinton Jefferson, IDL L.J. Collier, LB Cody Barton, S Johnathan Abram


Players added/retained: QB Geno Smith, QB Drew Lock, LG Phil Haynes, C Evan Brown, IDL Dre'Mont Jones, IDL Jarran Reed, IDL Myles Adams, LB Bobby Wagner, LB Devin Bush, LB Nick Bellore, LB Jon Rhattigan, CB Mike Jackson, S Julian Love, S Ryan Neal, K Jason Myers



Draft

Round 1: Devon Witherspoon(5), Illinois CB, Jaxon Smith-Njigba(20), Ohio State

Round 2: Derrick Hall(37,) Auburn EDGE, Zach Charbonnet(52), UCLA RB

Round 4: Anthony Bradford(108), LSU G, Cameron Young(123), Mississippi State IDL

Round 5: Mike Morris(151), Michigan EDGE, Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan C

Round 6: Jerrick Reed II(198), New Mexico S

Round 7: Kenny McIntosh(237), Georgia RB


Undrafted Free Agents

QB Holton Ahlers, East Carolina

EDGE MJ Anderson, Iowa State

LB Michael Ayers, Ashland

WR Jake Bobo, UCLA

CB Lance Boykin, Coastal Carolina

LB Cam Bright, Washington

CB Arquon Bush, Cincinnati

IDL Robert Cooper, Florida State

TE Noah Gindorff, North Dakota State

WR CJ Johnson, East Carolina

WR Matt Landers, Arkansas

WR Tyjon Lindsey, Oregon State

LB Patrick O'Connell, Montana

S Ty Okada, Montana State

S Morrell Osling III, UCLA

G Kendall Randolph, Alabama

RB Chris Smith, Louisiana- Lafayette

LS Chris Stoll, Penn State

S Jonathan Sutherland, Penn State

EDGE Jacob Sykes, UCLA

IDL Jonah Tavai, San Diego State

S Christian Young, Arizona




2023 Preview


The Seattle Seahawks completely and totally overperformed all projections. The team came into the season projected to be a bottom feeding, tanking for Bryce type of team. Then a journeyman QB revived his career and took a team to the playoffs the year after trading away the greatest player in franchise history. Geno Smith wasn't just good, he was great. Smith tossed 4,282 yards and 30 TD's to only 11 INT's, and a league leading 69.8% completion rate, good for a passer rating of 100.9, 5th in all of the NFL. What sort of change happened to propel Geno Smith forward into a top 10 QB in all of the NFL?????? Circumstance.


Smith was drafted by the best comedy in town, the New York Jets. The team has had several different combinations of front office and coach, but in all of Woody Johnson's tenure as owner of the team, the Jets figure out a way to ruin otherwise good players. They occasionally have a great defender pop up, but they haven't seen a competent offense since Chad Pennington was the QB. He spent some time as a backup with the Giants and Chargers before arriving in Seattle in 2020. In 2021 he started 3 games in place of Russel Wilson where he played well in spite of the team losing 2 out 3 of his starts. Smith had a completion percentage of 68.4%, 5 TD's to 1 INT and 702 yards on 95 attempts. We saw those numbers extrapolated out to a full season in 2022 and it all has to do with the fact that Pete Carroll and John Schneider are rock solid when it comes to game plans revolving around personnel. The roster is great.


Offensively they are trotting out a young, improving offensive line lead by tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have a proven track record at this point. They're going to make big plays deep consistently. Now they have someone in the slot that's going to take advantage of it in Jaxson Smith-Njigba. JSN barely played in 2022 at OSU because of a "soft tissue injury" but his 2021 was absurd. 95 catches for 1606 yards and 9 touchdowns, operating all over the field but being lethal from the slot. Noah Fant, Will Dissly, and Colby Parkinson form a more than good enough TE room that will be able to take advantage of the single coverage forced by the three headed monster Seattle has at wideout. Oh yeah, they added Zach Charbonnet as a change of pace back for bell cow Kenneth Walker. The offense clicks and Geno runs it well. He can also hit guys over the middle since he's 6'3, and an offensive coordinator loves having the whole field to work with.


The defense was poor last year, which is mostly having to do with their inability to stop the run. Seattle rankled 25th in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, DVOA for short, and that is due to their poor play in the interior defensive line and off-ball linebacker positions. DVOA measures efficiency on a down over down basis compared to the rest of the NFL and functions as a consistency oriented marker, which can be more useful than raw stats when it comes looking at how good or bad a team is at something. While I think that they still will be bottom half of the league against the run again, I think they will be better with the return of Jamal Adams from injury, the Bobby Wagner signing, and the drafting of Cameron Young out of Mississippi State. Teams will be looking to run anyways because the Seahawks secondary is nasty. Adding Devon Witherspoon to a secondary already containing Quandre Diggs, Tariq Woolen, Michael Jackson, and Jamal Adams is transformative. Witherspoon is an athletic freak that will be able to eliminate a third of the field, press on the line, and make big slot's lives' hell for Pete Carroll. A team that was already average at pass defense, sitting 17th in DVOA, adding a weapon at a high value position can catapult the pass defense into top 10 territory. A better defense means they can survive some regression from Geno Smith, but I think he's just in the Kirk Cousins zone of "wow this guy is good but I just wish he was a little better so their team can contend".


OVER OR UNDER

Over. They're better than they were last year and the NFC is weaker than it was last season.


PLAYER PROP

DK Metcalf OVER 900.5 receiving yards. I know JSN has arrived and there will be targets underneath for him to eat up, but that just means DK will end up in single coverage more often. Metcalf plays every game consistently and has hit at least 900 yards every season of his career. Take it.




San Francisco 49ers

O/U: 10.5

Super Bowl: +1000

NFC Champion: +400

NFC West Winner: -165

AP Photo/Mark Zaleski


2022 Record: 13-4(11-6-1 ATS)

2022 Scoring Offense: 6th(DVOA 6th)

2022 Scoring Defense: 1st(DVOA 1st)

2022 Special Teams: 18th(DVOA 4th)



Free Agency


Players lost: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RT Mike McGlinchey, RG Daniel Brunskill, EDGE .

Charles Omenihu, EDGE Samson Ebukam, EDGE Jordan Willis, IDL Hassan Ridgeway, IDL Maurice Hurst, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, CB Emmanuel Moseley, S Tarvarius Moore, S Jimmie Ward, K Robbie Gould


Players added/retained: QB Sam Darnold, LT Matt Pryor, LT Colton McKivitz, LG Jon Feliciano, C Jake Brendel, WR Jauan Jennings, TE Ross Dwelley, EDGE Clelin Ferrell, IDL Javon Hargrave, IDL Austin Bryant, IDL Kevin Givens, IDL T.Y. McGill, LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, CB Isaiah Oliver, CB Myles Hartsfield, S Tashaun Gipson, LS Taybor Pepper, K Zane Gonzalez



Draft

Round 3: Jy'Ayir Brown(87), Penn State S, Jake Moody(99), Michigan K, Cameron Latu(101) Alabama TE

Round 5: Darrell Luter Jr.(155) South Alabama CB, Robert Beal Jr.( 173) Georgia IDL

Round 6: Dee Winters(216), TCU LB

Round 7: Brayden Willis(247), Oklahoma TE, Ronnie Bell(253) Michigan WR, Jalen Graham(255), Purdue LB


Undrafted Free Agents

RB Ronald Awatt, Texas-El Paso

FB Jack Colletto, Oregon State

OL Joey Fisher, Shepherd

CB D'Shawn Jamison, Texas

RB Khalan Laborn, Marshall

OL Corey Luciano, Washington

OL Ilm Manning, Hawaii

LB Mariano Sori-Marin, Minnesota

IDL Spencer Waege, North Dakota State

WR Shae Wyatt, Tulane

S Avery Young, Rutgers


2023 Preview


Remember all the way back in the early spring of 2021? The one where the 49ers traded up to the 3rd overall draft pick? Who knew that was just to preface the experiment of trying to win in the modern NFL with exclusively replacement level quarterbacks while assembling the best roster in the NFL otherwise.


There is a world where the 49ers drafted Mac Jones and he got to set rookie passing records and play in a Super Bowl by year 2, and then there's the world we have where the 49ers drafted Trey Lance 3rd overall and he's about to get cut and just has not played football since 2019. We are in the world where John Lynch being unable to evaluate the quarterback position led to Matt Patricia coaching offense and Trey Lance is going to be out of football playing less than 100 snaps at any level in 4 years.


Seriously, the 49ers are one of the most talented rosters that's been assembled in the 21st century and they just don't have a quarterback. John Lynch loves guys who look good in shorts like Jimmy G and Trey Lance while Kyle Shanahan likes quarterbacks who, you know, stay on the field and can play football. It makes them very difficult to evaluate because the most important position in sports is a complete question mark for what other wise should be the odds on Super Bowl favorite.


Let's talk about what we do know. Even with the quarterback position being a total unknown, the offense has the most amount of skill in the NFL. The loss of Mike McGlinchy hurts because he is a quality lineman, but 4th year RT Colton McKivitz has shown to be a great pass blocker and should fill in nicely. George Kittle is the most complete TE in all of the NFL. He's a weapon as a blocker and a pass catcher and setting him in motion does nothing to tip the defense off as to whether they are passing or rushing. It's lethal to have a mauler at TE that also can have a 1,000 yards receiving. Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Jajuan Jennings are arguably the best top 3 receivers on any team in the NFL. I also love Ronnie Bell and I would not be shocked if he lands a roster spot and produces in this offense. The running back room is headlined by Christian McCaffery, but count on big contributions from Elijah Mitchell, Jordan Mason, and Khalan Laborn. The stars of the show on this offense are full back Kyle Juszczyk and left tackle Trent Williams. The two are all timers at their respective positions, Williams might even be the best the player in the whole NFL. He's a mauler in the run game and stonewall in the pass game. Juszczyk opens up big holes in the the run game and is a threat with the ball in his hands and is easily the best full back of the 21st century. He is a lot like Kittle where you can send him in motion and defense just has no idea what's happening when the motion happens. It's poetry in motion when Williams, Juszczyk, Kittle, and even Aiyuk are mauling open a hole for a violent run.


The defense was amazing last season, and health permitting it should be a top 10 unit in 2023. Losing Charles Omenihu hurts less when you sign Javon Hargrave. The Front 7 is awesome on the whole and Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Javon Hargrave, Dre Greenlaw, and Fred Warner are all at worst top 10 in their positions in all of the NFL. Talanoa Hufanaga is likely going to continue to improve in year 3, and the rest of the secondary just has to hold up long enough for one of Bosa, Armstead, or Hargrave to get to the quarterback. The loss of DeMeco Ryans hurts, and defenses have a hard time maintaining excellence year over year to begin with. I expect a top 10 finish, but still a high impact unit that produces highlights every Sunday.


The big question mark, honestly the biggest question mark in the entire NFL, is will they have production out of the quarterback position for the first time since Colin Kaepernick in 2015? The 49ers have been winning with glass bones Jimmy G and an assortment of journeymen and rookies for years now, and there is no clarity in 2023 at the position. Brock Purdy should have been a 4th round pick at the latest but the NFL's obsession with trying to recreate Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen leads to Zach Wilson and Trey Lance being bigger busts than Ryan Leaf. Purdy was awesome in high school, awesome at Iowa State, where he holds every record a QB can hold, and looked awesome in the NFL. Why is he so good you may ask? Because he plays within a system and gets the ball out on time and can make a throw when he needs to. Frankly, that's all this roster needs. It's why Shanahan wanted Mac Jones who has the NCAA record for completion percentage in a single season. I do like Purdy, but I have no idea what a UCL injury for a Quarterback means. I know he didn't need Tommy John surgery, he just needed a partial reconstruction not a full one, but an elbow injury to a thrower of the football can't be good and may have long term effects on his ability to play the position. Trey Lance has been mentioned already, but man, what whiff. The other QB is Sam Darnold. To be fair to Sam Darnold, he has never played for a good coach for a full season. He's always shown flashes that he could be something, especially in Carolina, but he always follows it up with line that looks like you played two minute quarters in Madden. It'll be interesting to see if he wins the starting job, and if that means it really is all about environment for a quarterback.


Over or Under

Health permitting, over, regardless of who is at QB


Player Prop

Fred Warner if he's healthy will rack up at least 125 combined tackles. for 3 straight seasons he's reached that number. -110 is as solid as they come for that.








9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Kommentare


bottom of page