With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, aka draft weekend, you are gladly (because the season is here) putting the finishing touches on your draft plan and finalizing the crucial decisions that will likely shape your entire season. Just remember, it is not where you pick that matters, only who you pick. People seem to forget in August and September that nobody will remember where players are picked come mid-October. What may seem like a reach on draft day could seem brilliant a month from now. Leave the draft with players you like and a team you feel confident in; I will touch on every NFC team today to assist you in doing that.
Green Bay Packers
Ty Montgomery will emerge as the 3rd receiver in this offense, as his skill set on the field trumps Jeff Janis‘ by a wide margin. Metrics lovers on Twitter will clamor for Janis in the late rounds as a steal, but his inconsistencies will hold him back from being a viable option each week. His speed may give him a role to play but don’t expect him to reach weekly starter status in your fantasy league. Montgomery on the other hand, as I studied his 2013 tape, rather than his 2014, displayed skills that fit this offensive system well, ala Randall Cobb. Expect Davante Adams and Ty to grab about 120 of the leftover targets by Jordy Nelson‘s season ending injury. Adams will return equal value as a 5th round pick currently while Montgomery will make a solid WR4 for your team with PPR upside in the top 25 WRs if Randall Cobb misses any time due to his shoulder sprain.
It’s difficult to take a lot from what happened with this offense in 2014 and project it to 2015, but just know 119 of around 900 plays ran went to Ben Tate and his 3.1 yards per carry. Another 164 went to Matt Asiata on the ground at 3.5 yards per tote. Also note, tight ends on this team saw over 100 targets and caught 75 total balls in 2014. Teddy Bridgewater likes to keep his completion percentage near 70%, thus while Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson will both be productive big-play WR3’s in fantasy football this year, don’t be surprised when Kyle Rudolph sees 85-95 targets himself with 60-65 receptions. Rudolph would only need a handful of touchdowns to easily crack the top 10 at the position. Best part is that you can usually get him outside of the top 100 players drafted in your league.
I have respect for the individual talents that make up the Lions backfield, but I wouldn’t recommend drafting one unless you can acquire Ameer Abdullah for his May or June price instead of his August price. Joique Bell will undoubtedly take the first snaps when this team takes the field, but as the season progresses a full blown running back by committee approach will be implemented with Joique and Ameer on early downs combined with Theo Riddick and Ameer on third downs with a dash of Zach Zenner sprinkled on top of all of it. Each guy has a role to play to help the team win and in doing so, none of them will exceed 200 total touches unless Abdullah is simply so much better than Bell between the 20s that he is handed 12-14 carries per game.
For the most part, a team I am down on. Their over/under in Vegas right now is 7 wins. And with their fairly favorable schedule, I still don’t see them having much of a chance at besting that number. More times than I can even count this offseason, I have heard Matt Forte fantasy outlook analysis mention the fact that Marc Trestman is gone and thus his receptions will plummet. Let’s not forget Brandon Marshall‘s 106 targets have departed and that this team’s defense will put them in pass-first mode early and often in 2015. Denver running backs with Adam Gase did catch 68 balls a season ago and he’d be silly not to feature Forte in the passing game – 75 receptions is his floor if Forte is blessed with another healthy season.