Let’s take a tour of the teams in the National Football Conference, talking about a couple players on each of the teams.
Lost in the shuffle of all the Cardinals injuries last year was that Carson Palmer was on track for a sensational season. He is healthy and is worth a mid-round selection as your starter at quarterback. The situation at running back is messy, I do not see Chris Johnson as being a factor this season as he’s already nursing an injury. That opens the door for Andre Ellington, I would not count on him as my top ball carrier, but his ability to catch the ball increases his fantasy value. I will be passing on Larry Fitzgerald and instead look to grab John Brown late in the draft.
The situation at running back bears watching, with Devonta Freeman currently on the inside track. With both Tevin Coleman and Antone Smith hurting, Freeman is in line for a big season. I am cool on both Roddy White and Jacob Tamme, both seem like their best years are behind them and will have minimal fantasy impact this season.
Though the Panthers have moved on from DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart will have trouble finding running room. Temper your expectations there. The injury to Kelvin Benjamin puts the spotlight on rookie Devin Funchess and Jerricho Cotchery, both are worth considering as being able to make a fantasy impact this season.
There continues to be a solid nucleus in place here, with Jay Cutler and Matt Forte ready to once again lead this offense. Eddie Royal and Alshon Jeffery are excellent targets for Cutler, with Martellus Bennett another fantasy factor.
The Cowboys are once again going to be a high flying offense. Despite his many mistakes, Tony Romo will once again be a top fantasy player. Darren McFadden is a player worth grabbing, and you may need to bump him up a little earlier in the draft if you want him. I had him as a mid-round selection, with the idea he will see plenty of third down action, but recent reports are that he may win the job outright.
The Lions offense will once again be above average, look for Matthew Stafford to continue to pass the ball early and often. Tight end Eric Ebron is ready to take a step up, he is worth a look within the sleeper tight end list. I am seeing a split of carries at running back, so use caution and draft Joique Bell or Ameer Abdullah in an appropriate round on draft day.
Green Bay Packers
This is a team taking their lumps in the preseason, having already lost Jordy Nelson for the season. Aaron Rodgers will continue to get his, bring up Davante Adams significantly on your cheat sheet with Nelson gone. Jeff Janis becomes a late-round flier at wide receiver. I have no doubt that Eddie Lacy will be a monster carrying the ball.
Adrian Peterson is back, and that will take some pressure off the rest of the offense. The running ability of Teddy Bridgewater makes him an interesting late round selection. I see newly signed Mike Wallace as consistently catching 4-8 passes per week for the Vikings.