For the next week there are going to be a lot of moving parts with training camp, repetitions, snaps, pre-season snaps and injuries – all of which have fantasy relevance. I never used to think this way, but now that the competition is so good in a respective fantasy league anything you can do to get an edge is strongly advised, and this includes but is not limited to what impact players are doing in on their teams before Week 1 even gets here. Let’s take a look at the NFC NORTH and what you need to know.
Green Bay Packers – Here’s what we absolutely know. Aaron Rodgers is the best fantasy QB in the league this year, mostly due to his ability to run the ball. Jordy Nelson, Devante Adams, and Ty Montgomery are the only others you should be targeting. Rodgers love Ty Montgomery, and all other rookie RBs were blah in the their first preseason game. What should you do with Randall Cobb? If you get him in the 12th-13th round, you should stash him in case one of the big three gets injured. Going deeper Jeff Janis and Geronimo Allison are sleepers in deep leagues and deep dynasty/keeper leagues. Stay away from Marty Bennett as well, total trap pick, and the DEF will be just average. If Rodgers goes in your league before round 3, there’s nothing you can do. Let it go and don’t let it ruin your draft. Just think, he’ll be consistent, but he won’t be the top scoring QB most weeks. If you’re the type that just wants to get your QB out of the way…. It’s Rodgers or bust, if you miss him… wait… I mean like really wait.
Minnesota Vikings – this may be the most intriguing team from a fantasy perspective in the league. No one knows how Dalvin Cook will be and there are three legit pass catching WRs in Adam Thielen, Stephon Diggs and Laquon Treadwell. In the preseason opener, Cook looked great catching the ball but average rushing it. He’s my fave rookie RB this year, because no one stopped him in college. He’s a playmaker that would be my #1 target it keeper leagues amongst rookies. Adam Thielen almost had a 1000 yards last season, and will be a GPP gold mine for someone in the daily game. The defense will keep the offense relevant this season, so follow your conviction, but stay in the lane mentioned above.
Chicago Bears – This team is full of keeper gold until we see what they have. Mitch Trubisky looked like fantasy gold and has my full attention. Of course this is preseason, and I’m always reminded of the great pre-season Ryan Leaf once had, but Bears fans need something to get excited about so why not. The dude has wheels too, and is not afraid to pull the ball down make plays with his feet. From there you have two intriguing WR options in Kevin White and Cameron Meredith. Victor Cruz also made an appearance in pre-season, but that really helps Trubisky out. Jordan Howard has over 1600 yards from scrimmage on a bad team… probably the most underrated least talked about top 10 RB last season. 250 carries is a promising number too. If he falls to you late in the 2nd round or early third, jump on him over a Lamar Miller, or Ty Montgomery. No one is expecting much out of this team, so be ready to capitalize when other managers over look certain Bears on draft day.
Detroit Lions – I will never ignore Matthew Stafford again. Just when I though the Lions were dead in the water from a fantasy perspective, they turn out to be more efficient without Calvin Johnson. Golden Tate is a legit WR1 on the team, but WR2 in fantasy. Stafford is a great wait and snatch QB… better than Palmer, Bortles and Rivers. You can’t scoff at 4300 yards and 26 TDs, including 200 rushing yards. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones averaged 1000 yards receiving and should be on your radar. The backfield is a mess and I’m not touching it, so pick up Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah and whoever else at your own risk. The RB situation is about as dependable as a leaky umbrella, so don’t let yourself get rained on. Good Luck gamers.