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Fantasy Football in Review: NFC West Predictions

Before the season I did long series of predictions of every team and every important player that we knew about at the time. Here is how I did, starting with the NFC West:

Check out all 32 articles here to make sure I'm not lying.

The Seattle Seahawks

Tarvaris Jackson

What I Said: I predict that he could throw 20-22 TDs and 18-22 INTs, 3,000 yards, and 59% completion over a full season. He'll have a couple big games and a couple terrible ones mixed in with many underwhelming ones.

What Did He Do: T-Jack completed 60.2% of his passes for 14 TD/13 INT, 3,091 yards and 1 rushing TD. He missed one game and really only had 1 "big game" all year, throwing for 319 yards and 3 TDs against the Falcons. I was too high on his TDs and too high on his INTs but right on with the other numbers. Nobody expected Jackson to be good so he didn't disappoint anyone!

Marshawn Lynch

What I Said: If the offensive line is healthy and plays well, Lynch can get back to his rookie numbers: 1,100 yards and 7 TDs. If they aren't, he might only get 700-800 yards.

What Did He Do: Beast Mode had the best season of his career, rushing for 1,204 yards and 12 TDs but more importantly, he was one of the most consistent players in fantasy and scored a TD in 12 straight games. Also, he did it without a healthy offensive line, so in that sense I really underestimated Mr. Skittles.

Sidney Rice

What I Said: When healthy, Rice can be a good WR2 in fantasy, but he's also got to work with Jackson and a Seattle offense that could struggle. Keeping expectations low: 60 catches, 900 yards, 5 TDs. If all breaks right: 75 catches, 1,100 yards, 8 TDs.

What Did He Do: Rice played in 9 games and caught 32 passes for 484 yards and 2 TDs. (Really, it was eight games.) Injuries strike Rice once again. He had two 100 yard games and two other games with a TD, which does make him a solid WR2, but he was also inconsistent and struggled as Seattle's pass offense struggled. Next season, I would rate him very low. He just can't stay on the field.

Jump with me, won't you?

Mike Williams (BMW)

What I Said: With Rice and the new tight end in town, he should be open for a lot more of those underneath routes as a possession wide receiver. I could see him do something like 80 catches this year for 900 yards if he can stay healthy. Solid first-bench option and potentially a steal since he's not going very high in drafts.

What Did He Do: The new tight end, Zach Miller, did provide much blocking but not much else. Rice? He wasn't healthy and having a deep threat didn't help BMW like I thought it would. And BMW? He was just plain terrible. He looked like his old self and not the good old self but the Lions/Raiders/Titans old self. I'm not saying his attitude was out of check again, but the results were bad and he didn't look good out there. He finished with 18 catches for 236 yards and 1 TD and ended the season on IR. I do not expect him to be back in Seattle.

Doug Baldwin

What I Said: star of training camp and preseason and the undrafted player out of Stanford earned his way onto the 53-man roster. He returned a kick 105 yards for a TD against Denver and averaged 40 yards per return on 6 kicks (of course, that one long one helped) but he's the sleepiest of the sleepers, but you can't help but root for a guy like Baldwin.

What Did He Do: Baldwin woke up in a big way for an undrafted free agent rookie and caught 51 passes for 788 yards and 4 TDs. The slot receiver out of Stanford has a big future ahead of him. I would NOT draft him as a starter next year, but I wouldn't let him go undrafted again either.

Zach Miller

What I Said: I don't see Miller doing anything too abnormal this season and 60 catches for 750 yards and 5 TDs seems about right. He's a backend TE option in fantasy.

What Did He Do: Miller was more like the backup plan to the backup plan to the backup plan. He had 25 catches for 233 yards, 0 TDs, and was a major free agent bust in terms of being a pass-catching TE. Maybe things will change if Seattle gets a new QB.

San Francisco 49ers

Alex Smith

What I Said: Alex Smith isn't going to ever be a franchise QB, but he's capable and only 27. This is going to be his last season in San Francisco barring something unforeseen, and he might be more successful on a team with a better defense and more weapons around him. It won't happen for this team.

What Did He Do: This is kind of what I would have expected the Alex Smith ceiling to be: 61% completions, 3,150 yards, 17 TD/5 INT, though I would have never guessed he would be so good at not turning it over. Smith is not a franchise QB but he is capable. I did not expect San Francisco to win 13 games, but it's not like their offense was good. They were 29th in passing yards and Smith only threw 17 TDs, he is still not a fantasy option. It will be interesting to see how they move forward. I guess the 13-3 record covers my "barring something unforeseen" comment.

Frank Gore

What I Said: He's an elite back when healthy, but I don't think the risk with Gore is exceptionally worse than any other NFL running back. These things happen. He's only 28 years old, he should have a couple more years left in the tank to top 1,500 total yards and 10 TDs. He's a 2nd round steal.

What Did He Do: Gore stayed healthy and ran for 1,211 yards, 8 TD, and added 17 catches for 114 yards. I don't know if that's elite, but it's pretty damn good.

Michael Crabtree

What I Said: He's going about 100th overall on average in fantasy. I think that's pretty good value... I'd draft (and have drafted) him as my 4th or 5th WR. I'm plenty happy with that.

What Did He Do: The third year player finally came on strong and finished the season with the best stretch of his career. He caught 42 passes for 545 yards and 3 scores over the final seven games alone. He finished the year with 73 catches for 880 yards and will be a sleeper WR2 next year for people that took notice. Especially good considering Alex Smith was the QB.

Vernon Davis

What I Said: Davis is the 5th TE off the board in fantasy, but how much separates him and Antonio Gates? Or him and Jermichael Finley for that matter? I don't see how you can go wrong with Davis. He'll get at least 900 yards and anywhere from 8-12 TDs.

What Did He Do: Not a huge year for Davis, he finished with 67 catches for 792 yards and 6 TDs, but he's still a beast. Funny that Finley/Gates/Davis really were all about the same this year, but weren't the spectacular tight ends for once.

St. Louis Rams

Sam Bradford

What I Said: Bradford has a real opportunity here to jump into that next level of NFL QBs and be a top 10 guy, so that means you're getting great value for Bradford if you can snag him in the 10th round or later to be your backup QB. Even if you want to load up on skill players and take Bradford as your starter, that's not a terrible idea. It could be a great steal. He could easily top 4,000 yards and 25 TDs this season.

What Did He Do: Oh GOD. Can we skip this part please? PRETTY PLEASE! HOW MANY CHERRIES ON TOP DO YOU WANT?!

The Rams were the WORST offense in the NFL and Bradford took a big step back. It wasn't exactly his fault, as the offensive line was torn to shreds, but Bradford wasn't good either. His chance at stardom is far from over, but nothing helped this year. Not McDaniels. Not Brandon Lloyd. Not a damn thing.

Bradford started 10 games, completed 53.5% of his passes for 2,164 yards, 6 TD/6 INT. The Rams threw a HILARIOUS 9 touchdowns this season which is like a game and a half for Drew Brees. IT'S A GAME AND A HALF FOR MATT FLYNN!

Steven Jackson

What I Said: Expect 1,100 yards, 8 scores (at most perhaps), and 40 catches for 300 yards. Good as a RB2 drafted late round 2.

What Did He Do: Jackson ran for 1,145 yards, 5 TDs, 42 catches for 333 yards and 1 TD. Does this make up for my Bradford prediction?

Danny Amendola

What I Said: Potentially, he's a good sleeper if you make him one of your WR bench options.

What Did He Do: I just wanted you to remember that Danny Amendola exists.

Brandon Gibson

What I Said: Gibson is just one wide receiver on St. Louis who will be on the waiver wire to start the year, but could have a breakout year. In PPR leagues, he'll be even more valuable, as he could be good for 70+ if he's Bradford's true #2.

What Did He Do: Gibson made 9 starts and caught 36 passes for 431 yards, 1 TD.

Arizona Cardinals

Kevin Kolb

What I Said: I'm not 100% sold on Kolb. He is, however, probably the 2nd most talented QB to come through Arizona in awhile. I am going to predict something like 60% completion, 3,400 yards, 22 TDs, 15 INTs. He's going to have some really nice games and a few duds and he'd make a good fantasy backup QB but not someone I'd start.

What Did He Do: Kolb made nine starts and completed 57.7% of his passes for 1,955 yards, 9 TD/8 INT and I think he was outplayed by John Skelton in more than a couple of ways. Won't be surprised if Arizona makes this a competition in the off-season. In retrospect, I really over-valued Kolb, a player I never really loved. But, hindsight is 60 minutes.

Beanie Wells

What I Said: If you can draft him as your third RB option, I love it. Anything more, and you're taking a big risk. Will this be the Wells that was so dominate at Ohio State, or the one who did nearly nothing last season? I'd only take that chance at the right price, and I wouldn't make him a starter just yet.

What Did He Do: A bit of a breakout for Beanie in that he rushed for 1,047 yards and 10 TDs but I'd caution against making him a starting running back next year. He totaled most of his numbers in only a few games and can't catch the ball to save his life. Will be interesting to see if Ryan Williams can come back healthy and give him some real competition.

Larry Fitzgerald

What I Said: With Kolb in Arizona, he could return to being a 100 catch, 1,400 yard, 10 TD guy again. He's pretty unstoppable and it shouldn't matter as much that the Cards have no other great wide receivers like they used to have.

What Did He Do: Fitz caught 80 passes for 1,411 yards and 8 TDs. I was on the money with the yards but why 20 fewer catches? Larry posted a career high 17.6 yards per catch.

Early Doucet

What I Said: Early could get 50-60 catches and 700+ yards, but that's on the high side. Just monitor the situation, but Fitz-bot is the only WR worth owning in fantasy.

What Did He Do: 54 catches for 689 yards and 5 TDs. Ahhh, thank you daniel-san.

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