Let’s face it, the AFC West is no longer the Divas of the NFL. Yes, Peyton Manning is still tossing the pigskin around but without Ryan Clady protecting his blindside, who knows? We are looking further west-ish for our NFL Champions? But for our fantasy football championships? Uh yeah, there are fantasy gems to be found in this division.
San Diego Chargers
Best Pick: Denzel Perryman, Linebacker, Round 2 (48)
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Most Surprising: Patrick Robinson, Cornerback, Free Agency
Biggest Sleeper: Craig Mager, Cornerback, Round 3 ( 83)
The Chargers are bulking up and that is only good news for your IDP fantasy team. Perryman is a beast. You want him on your team. Mager is athletic but raw. The Chargers picked him up a round earlier than draft predictions. But Mager is a four-year starter who is aggressive and competitive. Look for him to make a move as a starter and as a waiver wire pick up for your fantasy team.
Robinson is good. He experienced a bounce back year last year with the New Orleans Saints. However he is in a crowded and good secondary.
Best Pick: Dan Williams, Defensive Tackle, Free Agency
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Most Surprising Pick: Mario Edwards Jr. , Defensive Tackle, Round 2 (35)
Biggest Sleeper: Malcom Smith, Linebacker Free Agency
Really, most surprising and biggest sleeper are interchangeable for this category. Smith is a Super Bowl MVP. But we all realize it is about him playing out of his mind for that one game. He isn’t a regular season MVP. He is good. But will he be your MVP for fantasy season?
But last season the Raiders were 22nd against the run. Anyone who can help that will start immediately and have an impact on your fantasy team.
Kansas City Chiefs
Best Pick: Tyvon Branch, Safety, Free Agency
Most Surprising Pick: Marcus Peters, Cornerback, Round 1 (18)
Biggest Sleeper: Ramik Wilson, Linebacker, Round 4 (118)
If this was about traditional fantasy leagues, yes, Jeremy Maclin would be the best pick. But it isn’t and truly they need more. So for your IDP team? We know the Chiefs defense consists of some very reliable players. But did you realize they allowed the fifth-most rushing yards in 2014? The newly acquired acquisitions should help with that.
Branch is injury prone. But if he can stay healthy he has the tools to make an impact. Getting Ron Parker back is your handcuff, or visa versa.
Best Pick: Shane Ray, Defensive End, Round 1 (23)
Most Surprising Pick: Shane Ray, Defensive End, Round 1 (23)
Biggest Sleeper: Lorenzo Doss, Cornerback, Round 5 (164)
OK, so the AFC West had a perplexing off-season, with the exception of the Raiders … whhaattt! The Broncos lost a lot during free agency and did little to recoup those losses during the draft. The Chiefs were (are) in desperate need of a wide receiver who understands the concept of the end-zone and did little to remedy that during the draft.
But the Raiders added seemingly reliable weapons on both offense and defense. Truth be told after the acquisition of Khalil Mack last year, they are riding the wave of good picks.
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