Fantasizing in the NFC West

When it comes to fantasy football, is the NFC West a watershed? Or a wasteland?

There’s Larry Fitzgerald, of course. The Cardinals’ catch-everything wide receiver tied for the league lead with a career-best 13 touchdown receptions last season and also has 23 100-yard receiving efforts in his first 92 games. Among the tight ends, there’s the 49ers’ Vernon Davis, who also had 13 TD catches in 2009; as well as the Seahawks’ John Carlson, who caught seven TD passes last season and will be even more involved in the passing game this season in the new offense being installed by coordinator Jeremy Bates.

At running back, there is the 1-2 punch of the Rams’ Steven Jackson (second in the league with 1,416 yards, but only four touchdowns last season) and the 49ers’ Frank Gore, who had fewer yards (1,120) but more touchdowns (10).

At quarterback, however, the Seahawks’ Matt Hasselbeck is the only proven starter in the division, and he will turn 35 in September. The 49ers are going to Alex Smith on a fulltime basis, but the last time – and only time – he played in all 16 games was 2006; Matt Leinart is taking over for Kurt Warner with the Cardinals; and the Rams are hooking their hopes to rookie Sam Bradford.

Dan Arkush of Pro Football Weekly offers some thoughts on the Top 20 players in the division – five from each team, but not all offensive players – and you can check his report here. PFW’s Pat Fitzmaurice, meanwhile, provides this four-course fantasy feast.

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