AOL.com's Countdown to Kickoff: NFC West preview

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NFC WEST PREVIEW
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AOL.com's Countdown to Kickoff: NFC West preview

4. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

2014 record: 8-8

Projected 2015 record: 4-12

Schedule:

Week 1: vs. Minnesota

Week 2: at Pittsburgh

Week 3: at Arizona

Week 4: vs. Green Bay

Week 5: at NY Giants

Week 6: vs. Baltimore

Week 7: vs. Seattle

Week 8: at St. Louis

Week 9: vs. Atlanta

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: at Seattle

Week 12: vs. Arizona

Week 13: at Chicago

Week 14: at Cleveland

Week 15: vs. Cincinnati

Week 16: at Detroit

Week 17: vs. St. Louis

The San Francisco 49ers have not been shy about ridding themselves of drama. Jim Harbaugh is gone. Some veterans have elected early retirement and troubled linebacker Aldon Smith, 25, was released on the heels of more reported legal trouble stemming from an arrest of suspicion of DUI, hit-and-run and vandalism.

As much as the 49ers move on from individuals, the whole does not look like it has changed much. This is still a team that will start with the run and attempt to pound you into submission offensively and defensively. Those types of teams are not necessarily the ones we look the closest at for one-week fantasy football picks in games like the $1 Million NFL Rush come opening week in September, but there are some potential opportunities for breakthroughs.

Player to Watch: Carlos Hyde. Now that Frank Gore is gone, it’s time for Hyde to step up as San Francisco’s premier back. He’ll get the majority of carries but still split some with Reggie Bush. Fortunately, Bush shouldn’t be too big of a threat.

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

3. ST. LOUIS RAMS

2014 record: 6-10

Projected 2015 record: 6-10

Schedule:

Week 1: vs. Seattle

Week 2: at Washington

Week 3: vs. Pittsburgh

Week 4: at Arizona

Week 5: at Green Bay

Week 6: BYE

Week 7: vs. Cleveland

Week 8: vs. San Francisco

Week 9: at Minnesota

Week 10: vs. Chicago

Week 11: at Baltimore

Week 12: at Cincinnati

Week 13: vs. Arizona

Week 14: vs. Detroit

Week 15: vs. Tampa Bay

Week 16: at Seattle

Week 17: at San Francisco

As little as the St. Louis Rams might be sought-after targets for one-week fantasy football action in the early going, you have to be intrigued by what might be unearthed this season, especially in training camp and preseason action. They have a new quarterback in Nick Foles, a burgeoning stud defensive unit and a fascinating battle at running back, if not loads of potential.

Everything in today’s NFL starts with the quarterback, even for a Jeff Fisher-coached team that famously features the running back. Foles comes in for Sam Bradford, who could never stay healthy and make good on his No. 1 overall draft position.

If Foles indeed is the Rams’ long-awaited answer at quarterback—even in a brutally tough defensive division—your overlooked and underpriced fantasy options in St. Louis are going to make players rich in FanDuel contests—if not for Week 1’s $1 Million NFL Rush, then thereafter.

Player to Watch: Tavon Austin. Despite blazing speed, Austin has never been a consistent threat on offense. Nick Foles at quarterback could change that, but we’ll need to see a lot more improvement from Austin if he’s going to have legitimate daily fantasy value.

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack

(Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

2. ARIZONA CARDINALS

 

2014 record: 11-5

Projected 2015 record: 10-6

Schedule:

Week 1: vs. New Orleans

Week 2: at Chicago

Week 3: vs. San Francisco

Week 4: vs. St. Louis

Week 5: at Detroit

Week 6: at Pittsburgh

Week 7: vs. Baltimore

Week 8: at Cleveland

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: at Seattle

Week 11: vs. Cincinnati

Week 12: at San Francisco

Week 13: at St. Louis

Week 14: vs. Minnesota

Week 15: at Philadelphia

Week 16: vs. Green Bay

Week 17: vs. Seattle

FanDuel players might not have the same reliance on Carson Palmer as the Arizona Cardinals, but they should know this: A healthy Palmer changes a lot for the Cards’ fantasy options. He gives them a fighting chance in the most rugged defensive division in football.

He can also help make stars out of some underpriced Cardinals fantasy options.

We have seen in years past the difference he can make with wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. The trickle-down effect also frees up production for the backs, which might be an intriguing duo for FanDuel players this season, Andre Ellington and/or rookie David Johnson. Best of all, the mediocre offensive production from late last season has kept the FanDuel prices of the aforementioned players in the value range.

Player to Watch: Carson Palmer. How will the veteran QB return from a torn ACL? He’s bounced back from injury before, but at 35 years old, no one would be surprised to see his numbers drop this season.

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

1. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

 

2014 record: 12-4

 

Projected 2015 record: 14-2

 

Schedule:

 

Week 1: at St. Louis

Week 2: at Green Bay

Week 3: vs. Chicago

Week 4: vs. Detroit

Week 5: at Cincinnati

Week 6: vs. Carolina

Week 7: at San Francisco

Week 8: at Dallas

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: vs. Arizona

Week 11: vs. San Francisco

Week 12: vs. Pittsburgh

Week 13: at Minnesota

Week 14: at Baltimore

Week 15: vs. Cleveland

Week 16: vs. St. Louis

Week 17: at Arizona

The Seattle Seahawks have a problem any franchise in America would beg for: Too many good players who deserve to be paid for production that outweighs their current contracts. If only that were the case for us in one-week fantasy football contests with the Seahawks, right?

They say it is good to be the king, but in general this hype makes the Seahawks’ primary threats a bit overpriced on FanDuel. This isn’t a flashy offensive team, either.

The addition of all-world tight end Jimmy Graham could change that, though—just in time for quarterback Russell Wilson’s new contract. The fourth-year signal-caller hasn’t had a receiving weapon that potent before and has already had some huge one-week fantasy performances without one.

Wilson’s production at the keystone position wildly outperformed his rookie contract, which is one of the key reasons Seattle could afford so many defensive stars. This will be a very interesting year for the Seahawks and their daily fantasy value, to say the least.

Player to Watch: Tyler Lockett. There will be a lot of competition for Lockett to make an impact at receiver, but he showed everyone how deadly of a return man he is during the first preseason game. With that much speed, Pete Carroll might try to get him involved in the offense earlier than we expected.

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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Welcome to the 2015 NFL season!

Every Monday through Friday, AOL Sports has been bringing you the latest projections and predictions regarding the upcoming season, and today, it's the NFC West turn. We all know who rules that bunch. Seattle has gotten even stronger, and the Seahawks certainly have a convincing Super Bowl run in them.

Scroll through the gallery above to see our predictions, along with breakdowns from FanDuel's Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack.

SEE ALSO:
AOL.com full preview package

CLICK HERE FOR AOL.COM'S FANTASY FOOTBALL PREVIEW PACKAGE

Turn your fantasy football knowledge into cash! We're hosting a one-week $1 million league on FanDuel in Week 1. It's only $5 to enter and first place walks away with $100,000. Enter now and change your lineup anytime until 9/13 at 1:00pm (ET).


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