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Fantasy Football 2023: Team Needs for Every Franchise (NFC)

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The 2022 NFL regular season has finally come to an end, and the playoffs are upon us. That means most of the league now understands where they fall in terms of next year’s draft and can start assessing their needs as they prepare for free agency and the NFL draft.

 

My first article focused on the primary needs of teams in the AFC. This article will focus on the biggest needs for teams in the NFC that can help from an NFL perspective (and also in fantasy football!) heading into the 2023 offseason.

Arizona Cardinals

Team Need in 2023: Wide receiver talent

The Cardinals are facing a complete overhaul this offseason after GM Steve Keim stepped aside and they fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury. The Cardinals will likely be without Kyler Murray to start the 2023 season, and the team has expressed that it is willing to trade DeAndre Hopkins this offseason. That leaves Marquise Brown, Robbie Anderson and Rondale Moore as the three receivers currently under contract. This team will need some pass-catching talent to survive Murray’s absence and to help him as he gets healthy to start the season.

Atlanta Falcons

Team Need in 2023: Stability at quarterback 

The Falcons have a lot of interesting pieces on their team. The offensive line performed extremely well throughout the season. Drake London had a strong rookie season (72 receptions for 866 yards and four touchdowns), Kyle Pitts flashed occasionally until a midseason knee injury, and rookie Tyler Allgeier had a 1,000-yard season. However, this team needs to find a quarterback that can utilize all of the talents around them.

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The combination of Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder played safe football but were unable to attack downfield to utilize the receiving talent on the roster. The team could opt to give Ridder a full season to develop or could try to acquire a veteran quarterback on the market to open a competitive window in a weak NFC South.

Carolina Panthers

Team Need in 2023: Find the quarterback of the future

The Panthers took a shot on the Baker Mayfield reclamation project, which ultimately failed and led to Mayfield’s midseason release. Sam Darnold looked solid down the stretch in six games of action but still only completed 58% of his passes as the team’s offense struggled with consistency.

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Carolina has the left tackle of the future (Ikem Ekwonu) and a stud WR1 in DJ Moore. Terrace Marshall and Shi Smith looked good enough throughout the season and the running back combination of D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard stepped up after the team traded Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers are in the market for a new head coach and one of the first orders of business for this team is to find a quarterback of the future.

Chicago Bears

Team Need in 2023: Everything except quarterback

The Bears should feel optimistic about Justin Fields given his performance with an offense devoid of talent. Fields completed 60% of his passes for 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while adding 160 rushing attempts for 1,143 yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Fields accomplished all this with arguably the worst receiver room in the league.

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The Bears have some pieces on offense. Rookie left tackle Braxton Jones performed well after the team selected him with a fifth-round pick. Teven Jenkins was dominant after being kicked into right guard. Chicago will have Cole Kmet, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool as their top receivers, but all three are probably complementary pieces. This team needs an absolute talent infusion. Thankfully, they have over $100 million in cap space and the first overall pick in the draft to try and get that done.

 

Dallas Cowboys

Team Need in 2023: Additional receiver help

The Cowboys made a curious decision before the 2022 season, trading Amari Cooper for just a fifth-round pick from the Browns (yes, I know it was financially driven). Dallas came into the season with CeeDee Lamb, an injured Michael Gallup and little else. The team’s passing attack struggled as a result.

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Dallas ultimately needs to make a decision on Tony Pollard going forward, but this team is in desperate need of help in the passing attack. Lamb and Gallup (a year removed from his ACL injury) is a fine tandem, but Dallas will need more than Noah Brown or T.Y. Hilton if they want to stay competitive in an excellent NFC East in 2023 and beyond.

Detroit Lions

Team Needs in 2023: Find an early-down back

The Detroit Lions are one of the more complete offenses in the NFC. They boast one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, a wide receiver (Amon-Ra St. Brown) who has been a big producer in two seasons, and will undoubtedly get more production from 2022 first-round speed threat Jameson Williams next season. Jared Goff showed enough for the team to believe that he is at least worth starting while his contract is (relatively) affordable. However, this team needs running back next season. D’Andre Swift has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career and Jamaal Williams is set to hit free agency after leading the league in rushing touchdowns. Detroit could opt to sign him or to replace him with free agency, and the 2023 NFL Draft is loaded with running back talent.

Green Bay Packers

Team Needs in 2023: Receiver talent

Christian Watson Fantasy Football NFC Offseason Team Needs

Another year, another turn in the Aaron Rodgers offseason drama. Rodgers’ massive cap hit seems to suggest that he will either be a Packer or retired, but crazier things have happened. Regardless, this is a team that needs a continued influx of talent at the wide receiver position. The Packers didn’t have a receiver consistently step up in the void left by Davante Adams. Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan will hit free agency this offseason. Rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs each flashed this season, but both struggled to stay healthy. The Packers could benefit from a veteran presence to help the young receivers to develop and help whatever quarterback is under center in the passing attack.

Los Angeles Rams

Team Need in 2023: A massive infusion of offensive line talent

The Rams wouldn’t trade their Super Bowl victory over the Bengals for anything. But the follow-up 2022 season couldn’t have gone worse. Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson all suffered season-ending injuries. The team has little draft capital to inject youth into the team and has maximized its cap to the fullest. This team will be stuck running it back in 2023 and hoping for the best and to have success, will need to add talent along the offensive line. Los Angeles allowed 59 sacks on the season, which ultimately led to Stafford’s injury. This offense will continue to struggle unless they can keep their quarterback safe in the pocket.

Minnesota Vikings

Team Need in 2023: Add an additional receiving threat

Justin Jefferson continued his ascent into arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. However, the talent around him struggled to draw attention from their opponents this season. Adam Thielen was productive but seemed to lack explosiveness and struggled to get consistently open this year.

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K.J. Osborn took another productive step in his third season. The Vikings also got a boost in the passing attack after they added T.J. Hockenson ahead of the 2022 trade deadline. However, this team is lacking another consistent threat as Thielen continues to age.

New Orleans Saints

2023 Team Need: Find quarterback stability

The Saints have gotten by for years making win-now moves to extend their Super Bowl window. Unfortunately, this season this year the gamble didn’t pay off with the Saints missing the playoffs. New Orleans seemingly hit on rookies Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed at wide receiver but will need to figure out who will be getting them the ball. Jameis Winston played inconsistently before an injury forced him to the bench. Andy Dalton was fine as his replacement but was in New Orleans on a one-year deal. The Saints are missing their first-round pick and will need to creatively figure out how to stabilize their quarterback position ahead of 2023.

New York Giants

2023 Team Need: Figure out some receiver help

An unexpected playoff berth and Wild Card victory over the Minnesota Vikings doesn’t change the fact that the Giants have real needs on offense. The team will need to make big decisions regarding Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, but most importantly, they have to add talent to the wide receiver room.

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Darius Slayton and Richie James are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Late-season revelation Isaiah Hodgins is slated to be an exclusive rights-free agent. Wan’Dale Robinson will be back at some point but will be recovering from a Week 11 torn ACL. The Giants could bring back all players at the right price, but also need to find a way to add receiver talent if they want to develop into a perennial playoff team in the NFC.

Philadelphia Eagles

Team Need in 2023: Add a running back

The Eagles are loaded on offense. They possess arguably the best offensive line in the NFL and a young dual-threat quarterback with two legitimate wide receivers (A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith) and one of the best two-way tight ends in the league (Dallas Goedert). The one need the Eagles have heading into the offseason is a new running back since Miles Sanders is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. The team could choose to re-sign Sanders, dip into the free agency pool, or could use one of their two first-round picks to upgrade the position. Regardless, running back represents the one true need on the Eagles’ offense this offseason.

 

San Francisco 49ers

Team Need in 2023: No clear needs, but pick the right QB

Trey Lance Fantasy Football NFC Offseason Team Needs

The 49ers seemed set at quarterback heading into 2022 with Trey Lance taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo. Unfortunately, a broken ankle ended Lance’s season early, which led to Garoppolo taking back over early in the season. Then Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury, giving Brock Purdy a chance to lead the offense. Purdy has been stellar, completing 67% of his passes for 1,374 yards and 13 touchdowns with four interceptions and leading the 49ers to the Divisional Round of the playoffs (and possibly beyond). The truth is, any quarterback who gets to utilize Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle is going to look great. It’s hard to envision that Trey Lance isn’t the starter to begin 2023 given the number of draft picks the team gave up to move up and select him. But it’s crucial that the 49ers get this right.

Seattle Seahawks

Team Need in 2023: Decide on the quarterback position

The Seahawks shocked everybody with a playoff berth in 2022 after trading Russell Wilson in the offseason. Now the team will have to decide how to proceed going forward armed with two young tackles, an excellent rookie running back, and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at receiver. Seattle got stellar play from Geno Smith this year, but the veteran quarterback was on just a one-year contract.

The Seahawks could opt to extend Smith and build around him with their considerable cache of draft picks (including the fifth overall pick from the Broncos) or could invest in a quarterback of the future with Smith serving as a bridge. Either way, Seattle will need to make a quarterback decision and is primed to invest in the position with a top-five selection if that’s the route they choose.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Team Need in 2023: Start figuring out life without Tom Brady

The Buccaneers struggled throughout most of the 2022 season thanks to an array of injuries to their offensive line, but when the dust settled they still found themselves in the playoffs. However, the rumors have already started swirling about Tom Brady’s next move in 2023. Brady had a near retirement last offseason before deciding to return and has already been tied to several teams ahead of 2023’s offseason. The Buccaneers still have Leonard Fournette, Rachaad White, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin under contract (and hopefully better injury luck) looking to next season, so they aren’t devoid of talent. But it’s hard to imagine the team will be content handing the reins over to Blaine Gabbert or Kyle Trask after this season. Brady’s future is the development to watch for this team this offseason.

Washington Commanders

Team Need in 2023: Find a quarterback 

The Commanders are like a lot of other teams in the NFC: They have decent weapons, but they just don’t have a guy who can consistently get them the ball. Terry McLaurin continued to provide excellent, underrated production at wide receiver. Curtis Samuel was able to play his jack-of-all-trades offensive role, and rookie Jahan Dotson popped down the field and into the red zone.

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The Commanders can cut Carson Wentz with zero dead cap ramifications after this season. Taylor Heinicke once again showed that he’s more of a quality backup than an NFL starter. Early reports indicate that Washington is planning on starting Sam Howell next season, but the right veteran player could change that tune in a hurry. Washington has a bunch of excellent-skill players, but it is hard to see them taking that next step until they find the right guy to lead at the most important position.

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