Training camp fantasy players to monitor: NFC West

There is some serious wide receiver intrigue in the NFC West, says Dan Schneier, but it all starts with an interesting second-year RB.

| 11 months ago
(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Training camp fantasy players to monitor: NFC West

The fantasy tides are changing the NFC West heading into 2016. We got a glimpse down the stretch in 2015 on a new look we can expect from the Seahawks, but an uptempo and pass-first offense for a full 16-game slate is something else. The 49ers are fantasy relevant with almost the same exact dormant 2015 roster simply because of Chip Kelly’s fast-paced scheme.

The NFC West also features two of the top candidates in the running for RB1 overall. David Johnson and Todd Gurley haven’t seen too much change around them, but their talent alone has many projecting a big step forward in 2016.

This is the final installment of our division-by-division look at four to five players to track during training camp and the preseason (catch up on the divisions so far here). From now until the start of the season, the only real information we’ll need to gather is about a player’s role and chemistry within his offense. Let’s jump in.

Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Even if he were healthy, Rawls probably wouldn’t have the kind of RB1 overall shine Johnson and Gurley have garnered, but he was arguably a better pure rusher than either player in 2015. In standard scoring leagues, from a pure upside perspective, it’s hard to argue that Rawls’ ceiling isn’t sky high. The Seahawks’ offensive line projects as one of the NFL’s worst — as I broke down here — but Rawls succeeded in 2015 behind a unit that was only slightly better. Still, Rawls’ minimal involvement in the passing game, small sample size, ominous recovery from an ankle injury and status as a former undrafted free agent are all factors that deserve consideration when projecting his outlook.

The narrative: Rawls will take over as the Seahawks’ lead back

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Dan Schneier is a staff writer for PFF Fantasy, a former FOX Sports NFL scribe, and an auction format enthusiast.

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