NFC North Divisional Breakdown Podcast Recap
As we get closer to the “official” start of the fantasy season, we are back with three shows a week! To kick off July, Andy, Mike, and Jason start with divisional breakdowns, and today we begin with the NFC North.
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Let’s Get Divisional – NFC North
Before we dig in, this is a general overview of the teams – the guys are going to concentrate on off-season changes, an overview of the offense last year and how it might function in 2022, and some takes on who could win the division. If you want to dig deeper, check out the UDK+ with the consistency charts, the market share data, and the team opportunity charts.
Green Bay Packers (13-4)
The Last Dance tweet that went out at the end of the season proved to be prophetic as Davante Adams was traded away, and Aaron Rodgers moves on without him. They also lost MVS. The Packers added The Lizard King, in addition to drafting WRs Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samouri Toure, making a brand new WR room. Rodgers has been so consistent for fantasy football in the past, and Mike wonders if he can keep this up if he genuinely does not have a clear dominant WR1. He is currently going as the QB11, which is too rich for Jason’s blood. When it comes to QBs who have lost a fantasy WR1 over the last decade, those QBs, on average, scored 2.5 fewer points per game the following year. Andy favors Lazard in the receiver room but mentions that the biggest beneficiary of vacated targets is often the RB. Aaron Jones should have a great season and AJ Dillon could benefit as well, especially if Jones falls to injury. The Packers are projected to win 11 games this season and are the favorites to win the NFC North.
Minnesota Vikings (8-9)
The Vikings played in more one-score games than any team ever – 14 out of their first 15 games were one-score games. The team has a new head coach and offensive coordinator, and the fantasy community is intrigued. Jason has Kirk Cousins as a top 10 QB and advises you to get him anywhere you can late in your draft. The return of Big Irv Smith added to offensive powerhouses Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Adam Thielen only adds to the potential of the Vikings in 2022. People forget that Cousins has had the 5th highest TD rate over the last three years in the NFL. Even in a potentially pass-happy offense, Andy believes in Dalvin Cook. Cook simply had bad TD luck inside the five last year, and Mike thinks he will punch more of those in this season. Thielen is still TD dependent, so proceed cautiously and also look into KJ Osborn. Minnesota is projected to win nine games this year.
Chicago Bears (6-11)
Trying to course-correct after an anemic 2021, the Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy and replaced him with Matt Eberflus, in addition to a new OC in Luke Getsy. The Bears decided not to go after any significant additions to aid in Justin Fields‘ development. They decided to make the road even more difficult by shipping off Allen Robinson and Jimmy Grandpa – Fields has a mountain to climb. Even with a lousy offense, there still are some potential fantasy players here. Fields’ legs can help him (and you), and Jason loves Cole Kmet as a late-round TE option. Darnell Mooney is a volatile WR option, so Andy is nervous about consistency, even with some upside. David Montgomery might be your only solid option, even if it is just through his guaranteed workload. Vegas projects a 6.5-win year for the Bears.
Detroit Lions (3-13-1)
Dan Campbell’s Lions fought hard for their record last year, even with being the fourth-best against the spread. Garbage time was their bread and butter in 2021, but fantasy owners did not always hate that. On the back of a fantastic end to 2021 comes the conundrum that is Amon-Ra St. Brown. Andy is higher on St. Brown than Mike and Jason, believing he will get himself into the top 20 simply by volume. Mike says with Brown; it comes down to how much you really believe in the player. Detroit also added DJ Chark and Jameson Williams to their WR room, and we might not even see Williams play until the second half of the season. D’Andre Swift is once again a solid fantasy option this season and is so involved in the receiving game, he is almost game script proof. Detroit is projected to win 6.5 games in the 2022 season.
The Ballers somewhat begrudgingly agree that the Green Bay Packers should win the division. When it comes down to the toughest player to project in the division – it is Amon-Ra and Allen Lazard. To close out the show, the guys think the sneakiest player for 2022 or a sneaky dynasty add could be WR Romeo Doubs, Amari Rodgers, KJ Osborn, or Velus Jones Jr..