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NFC North Fantasy Breakdown



Chicago

Bears

QB: Jay Cutler

I’ve already talked about Cutler in previous work. He’s got the skills and now he’s got the system. He has solid threats on the outside, all with the ability to go deep and they won’t outrun his arm. He’s got a running game. His issue is decision-making, and he’s even come out and said he doesn’t see a drop in interceptions this year under Mike Martz. That’s mildly concerning, but he’ll also chuck it a lot.

RB: Matt Forte,
Chester

Taylor

Forte will be better than last year in this offense, but he’s not Marshall Faulk. He’ll probably outperform that mid-fifth round draft spot, though.

WR: Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, Devin Aromashodu

Three exciting options. But they’re all unproven. Talk to three different people, and they’ll all think a different guy is better. Knox at least showed he can be trusted last year. Hester still has speed and agility to turn anything into six points. And, Aromashodu seemed to be a Cutler favorite late last season.

TE: Greg Olsen

This offense typically relies on tight ends as blockers, which Olsen isn’t well-suited for. But he’s also too talented to just leave on the sideline. I feel like he has to be somewhat productive, but wouldn’t be all that excited about him as a top 10 tight end.



Detroit

Lions

QB: Matthew Stafford

He’s still young, but that first year of experience is huge. He’s got some more weapons, but I still think the Lions are another year away from being dangerous on offense. Still, if my best shot were taking three steps and trying to overthrow Calvin Johnson, I’d do it.

RB: Jahvid Best

Best is scary good. But, his concussions are also scary terrifying. He’s already impressed teammates and coaches. But the men of the NFL hit a lot harder than the boys of the Pac-10. I’m really scared for him. I hope I’m wrong.

WR: Calvin Johnson

Johnson is still a top 10 wide receiver, arguably top five. But in this offense, he’ll be double-teamed constantly. I don’t see him justifying his high draft spot. I’m not saying he won’t put up points, but I’d rather have a Roddy White, Miles Austin or some comparable runningback than take on the risk. I’ll let someone else be disappointed.

TE: Brandon Pettigrew

Pettigrew is talented, but I don’t see him delivering much yet. There are still too few weapons on offense.



Green Bay

Packers

QB: Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers was a stud last year. He’ll be a stud this year. If you pick in the back half of Round 1, you need to at least have him on your short list. He’s just getting started.

RB: Ryan Grant

Grant was fantastic last year, especially for where he was drafted. He finished as a top 10 runningback. The secret is out this year. He’s going in the second round, and with good reason. I feel way better about him being a RB2, but if he’s your RB1 and you have a stud quarterback or wide receiver, that works.

WR: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver



Jennings

was a little disappointing last year, but he’s a really good player. I still think he’s going a little early in some drafts, but if he’s there in the third, grab him. Driver is still talented enough to be a WR2. He’s going somewhere in the seventh to eighth round range, which is probably about right. Both guys will be valuable with Rodgers throwing the ball.

TE: Jermichael Finley

Finley arrived on the scene last year. He’s going in the seventh round, but could outperform Tony Gonzalez, Brent Celek and Jason Witten. He’s a bargain if you can grab him in the seventh or eighth.



Minnesota

Vikings

QB: Brett Favre

He’s obviously coming back. And when he does, he’s a top 10 quarterback. He proved last year that he doesn’t need much time to get in game shape. He can do it all again this year. He just needs to know we’re not dumb. Just say, “I’m coming back, but training camp stinks. See you in mid-to-late August.” Done.

RB: Adrian Peterson

He is a top-two pick. He’s going to run for 1,400 yards and score 15 touchdowns. The question is how much will he beat out those numbers. If you draft first, you have to choose between Peterson and Chris Johnson. The second pick in the draft is the easiest one you’ll ever make.

WR: Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian

Again, Favre is coming back. That means Rice, who is going in the sixth round, is probably at least a fourth-round talent. That also boosts Harvin and Berrian, although Harvin has these migraines. Put him down for at least two games missed. Their draft stocks all go up at least a round with Favre back.

TE: Visanthe Shiancoe

He’ll get a ton of red zone looks, but little else. Don’t base a player’s value by big plays or touchdowns only.

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