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M21 NFC West Preview

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Old 08-31-2020, 08:29 PM   #1
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M21 NFC West Preview

Team Ratings:
Arizona - 80 OVR (T-19th)
Los Angeles - 78 OVR (T-24th)
San Francisco - 89 OVR (2nd)
Seattle - 85 OVR (T-7th)


Arizona Cardinals - Anthropic Pawn
Key Players:
WR DeAndre Hopkins (98 OVR): Hopkins is arguably the game's best receiver. With elite route running and catch ratings coupled with strong physicals, Hopkins is an absolute monster... but his 99 CIT, 99 SPC, 99 RLS, and 99 JMP ratings put him at the top of my rankings. Nuk should be a huge addition to one of the league's most exciting young offenses.

FS Budda Baker (86 OVR): The 24-year-old Baker is now among the league's highest paid safeties and will need to prove he belongs in that group. Baker can do a little bit of everything, but is he good enough to play to the level of his contract? He'll have to be if AP is going to contend in this division.

Building Blocks:
QB Kyler Murray (77 OVR): Murray is one of the game's top young talents and an elite athlete at the quarterback position. With 91 SPD, 90 AGI, 92 ACC, and high 70s / low-to-mid 80s accuracies, AP will surely be catering his offense to Kyler's skillset. Whether that's a good or bad thing remains to be seen in a heavily defensive division.

SS Isaiah Simmons (78 OVR): Like Murray, Simmons is an absolutely elite physical talent with 93 SPD, 91 AGI, 93 ACC, and 85 COD. Will he play LB or S? The game has him as a SS, and that's where I envisioned him during the draft process. AP will likely be moving him around the field in a Polamalu-type role.

Outlook:
This is a really fun starting roster and was one of the most requested teams because of it. There are a handful of guys that are going to be really annoying to play against combined with some strong veterans. I think Pawn's going to compete for division titles regularly with this roster... but I think this is going to be the toughest division in AWFL. I've got AP 4th to start, but he'll work his way into the playoffs in this cycle's NFC.


San Francisco 49ers - G$
Key Players:
George Kittle (98 OVR): Kittle is the perfect tight end and is just 26 years old. Look for G$ to feature Kittle in his offense after trading a 1st for an older, lesser version last cycle. 88 SPD, 98 CTH, and 84 TRK... if there's a piece on this offense to worry about, it's Kittle.

CB Richard Sherman (91 OVR): The front seven on this roster is absolutely loaded... more on that later... but for G$ to contend, the secondary needs to hold up, and that starts with Sherman. He's still a really good player and could still be a solid starter in S3... but I know G$, and he wants to win every game. He's going to need Sherman to perform at a high level.

Building Blocks:
The WRs: San Francisco has invested heavily in the receiver position, and two young pieces really stand out to me. Deebo Samuel (24 YO) has is 1st Team All-Name and boasts 92 SPD, 91 AC, 87 AGI, 87 COD, and solid receiving skills. Rookie Brandon Aiyuk (22 YO) is nearly a Deebo clone at 91 SPD, 91 AGI, 92 ACC, and 87 COD with solid receiver ratings. Both need some development, but G$ has excellent accent pieces to Kittle and Mostert.

Can I say the entire front 7?: Whew, the 49ers are loaded up front. 3 guys - Nick Bosa (89 OVR, 22 YO, 91 FMV), Javon Kinlaw (76 OVR, 22 YO, 80 PMV), and MLB Fred Warner (87 OVR, 23 YO, 88 PUR, 83 ZCV) really stand out to me. I don't know what the cap looks like, but if G$ can hold onto those three for the cycle, his defense should lead this team.

Outlook: I for one am really hoping this is the year G$ makes a jump into the playoffs. He's got a great team, is back in the states, has the game early, and is already labbing and taking notes. There's no one in AWFL who puts in more time than G$ - he's always looking to improve and is as competitive as anyone. I've got him 3rd to start, but can see him jumping up or down as the cycle advances. This is going to be a really tough division.



Seattle Seahawks - Danny
Key Players:
QB Russell Wilson (97 OVR): Aside from Mahomes, I'd take Wilson over any other QB in the file. He's the perfect video game QB (maybe just the perfect QB?) with athleticism, 91 THP, and mid-90s accuracies across the board. He's going to be in great hands with Danny, who won a lot of games with Quitness / Turbo's garbage at the position last cycle.

MLB Bobby Wagner (98 OVR): Much like RW3, Wagner is the protoypical backer and captain of the defense with 84 ZCV, 96 TAK, 92 POW, 90 BSH, and 97 PUR. Opposing teams better know where he is at all times & are going to feel his presence (literally - it hurts the soul) on every tackle. It remains to be seen how long Wagner will be this good and in Seattle, but you have to believe he's going to be an impact player early for Danny.

Building Blocks:
WR DK Metcalf (79 OVR): The 22-year-old receiver is 6-3 229 with 95 SPD, 93 ACC, 96 JMP, and 89 SPC. We know how this is going to go. Let's hope he doesn't get leapfrog again.

SS Jamal Adams (91 OVR): On any other team, Adams is probably listed as the "key player" in this writeup... but at just 25-years-old already with 86 MCV, 91 ZCV, 90 PUR, and 95 POW, he falls into the building blocks category. Seattle gave up a lot for him, but I think the move pays off in AWFL. Adams will be a force all over the field for Danny, and opposing offenses should be worried about the havoc he and Wagner will wreak.

Outlook: The preseason Super Bowl champ comes in 2nd in my preseason rankings. This team is built to win now, but there are also a ton of young pieces that will keep them competitive all cycle. I anticipate Danny winning his fair share of division titles, making every user season playoffs, and contending for the NFC's birth in the SB on an annual basis... but can Danny win the big game? I think he can... but he needs to prove it in AWFL first.



Los Angeles Rams - WeaponX
Key Players:
QB Jared Goff (76 OVR): Goff is locked in to a long term deal, and for WeaponX to have success, he's going to have to play at a high level. WX has showed that he can win and win often with Goff under center, and I don't anticipate it being an issue. 89 THP, 89 SAC, 85 MAC, 83 DAC is plenty good to win in this league.

MVP Aaron Donald (99 OVR): Honestly, Aaron Donald is the best player at his position of all time. 99 OVR, 99 STR, 99 AWR, 99 PMV, 99% muscle. He's an absolute god, and in a league where guys tend to hold onto the ball a bit too long, we're destined to see some high sack numbers from the league's most dominant player.

Building Blocks:
Cam Akers (73 OVR): Noles legend Cam Akers was the first back taken this draft for good reason - he's really good but played on not so great teams. WX is heavily reliant on a great run game, and Akers (21 YO, 90 SPD, 93 AGI, 94 ACC, 86 JMV) is going to be the featured guy.

CB Jalen Ramsey (94 OVR): Noles legend Jalen Ramsey is possiblyyyy still a little overrated in the game, but with 95 ZCV and 95 MCV, he's the game's top young corner (25 YO). Ramsey will be the guy in the Rams secondary for the duration of the file and should benefit from an excellent pass rush.

Outlook: This is WX division. In all seriousness, WX is one of AWFL's most underrated players, and he's really tough to play against as his playstyle (especially his user defender) is pretty unconventional. I think he's the team to beat (at least until 2K comes out) in what I feel is the most competitive division from top to bottom.



Best Rivalry: WX vs G$
I think the playstyles of these two are going to lead to some really competitive games in really meaningful situations that will have some old school, run-first offenses against stout defenses with great players.



Best Out of Division Game: Week 12 - Seattle at Philadelphia
Could this be an NFCCG preview? Either way, it's going to be an important late-season game showcasing two of the NFC's top users and rosters.
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