2020 NFC North Fantasy Football Outlook

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2020 NFC North Fantasy Football
SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 19: Green Bay Packers offensive players including Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) huddle during an NFC Conference Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers on January 19, 2020, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Perhaps you’ve dove into fantasy football earlier than normal by participating in dynasty drafts or just devouring as much fantasy football content that you can. As we approach summer and really start to think about our re-draft leagues I am going to look at each division to help parse out the players to target so that we can formulate our fantasy football lists. This week I’ll go through the 2020 NFC North fantasy football outlook for each team and how we can assess the players at each position.

2020 NFC North Fantasy Football Outlook

Chicago Bears

Stream at Your Own Risk

Once on the verge of fantasy stardom, Mitchell Trubisky is in no man’s land of quarterbacks that should not be drafted. The same can also be said for the former Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles. My view is that both could be sneaky streaming options in the right match-up. But, even that should be considered a stretch.

Bust or Break-Out

David Montgomery received a lot of love from the fantasy community going into the 2019 season. However, he failed to demonstrate the fantasy production of an RB2 and has fallen into a late-round flyer. The only thing going for him is his youth and the fact that there is no competition in the Bears backfield.

Mr. Overlooked

Allen Robinson should be considered a very solid WR2 if not a WR1 in all draft formats. He finished as the overall WR8 for fantasy points in 2019. Bias against the Bears’ quarterbacks might precipitate a slide down draft boards. If that’s the case scoop him up. Anthony Miller is entering his third year and some expect him to make a jump in production. He should be added to fill out your roster in all formats based on potential.

No Thank You

Free-agent signee, Jimmy Graham, and rookie, Cole Kmet hold some potential for fantasy owners. The once highly touted, Trey Burton has left for the Indianapolis Colts. And, never emerged as a fantasy tight end worthy of TE1 position. Can Graham be that tight end? Father Time might have something to say about that. Meanwhile, Kmet was one of the best tight end prospects to come out of this year’s draft. However, draft analysts peg him as a better blocker than pass-catcher. That being said, he is still worthy of a roster spot in dynasty leagues.

Detroit Lions

Padding Stats Because He Can

Matthew Stafford was the overall QB5 before his injury. I’m looking at Stafford as a QB1 if I wait until the later rounds to draft a quarterback. However, the Lions invested heavily in the offensive line and added D’Andre Swift. The offensive focus will be on the run game. But, I seem to remember the same conversation a year ago with the arrival of, offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, and Stafford flourished.

One Shall Emerge

Kerryon Johnson ran for over five yards per carry in 2019 and was primed to be a 2020 fantasy darling. His knee, however, had other plans. Now, with the drafting of Swift in the second round, the Lions have a dreaded “two-headed monster” in their backfield. Both must be drafted in all formats as the third running back on your roster. If one emerges? Fantasy gold could be yours.

Give Me Kenny All Day

Kenny Golladay is a must draft in all formats. I’ve seen rankings with him in the top ten receivers. And, he’s definitely in the conversation of WR1’s if you’ve drafted running backs early and often. Golladay finished as the overall WR9 in point per reception scoring formats. I expect more of the same. Because of Stafford’s ability to spread the ball around, Marvin Jones is still being drafted as a WR3/4. Additionally, Danny Amendola holds minimal value in point per reception scoring formats. Quintez Cephus, a rookie, should be considered in dynasty leagues.

Sophomore Success

T.J. Hockenson, drafted eighth in the 2019 NFL draft flashed the potential the Lions saw in him. His year was cut short due to injury. Fantasy owners will be on a wait and see approach with Hockenson. He’s a must draft in dynasty and should be rostered as a TE2 with the potential to emerge as a TE1.

Green Bay Packers

No Love for Rodgers

Because he’s still Aaron Rodgers, he’s a difficult pass if you’re waiting to draft a quarterback late. But, he could be falling to QB2 territory due to inconsistency with producing the elite fantasy numbers we were once used to. Rodgers had five games over twenty fantasy points with one hitting for 43. However, the rest wasn’t close to what we want from a QB1. Additionally, the drafting of Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, instead of what many thought should be a wide receiver, sent a strong message regarding the trajectory of the future of the Green Bay offense.

What is Up, is Down

The Packers are becoming a fantasy conundrum. They’ve invested high picks in both the quarterback and running back position by drafting AJ Dillon in the second round. However, most everyone agrees that Aaron Jones is an elite-level talent. He’s shown outstanding ability to run and catch passes. He should be regarded as a first-round fantasy prospect. But, others will get drafted ahead of him which, will send Jones into the second or third round of drafts. Dillon should be drafted in dynasty formats and a handcuff to Jones in re-draft. Jamal Williams has become an afterthought.

The Mainstay

Davante Adams is the class of the NFC North and shouldn’t slide past the second round in any format. Even with the uneven play of Rodgers, he is still the favored target. Additionally, the Packers failed to address the wide receiver position in the draft. Allen Lazard or Marquez Valdes-Scantling might be worth a flier for deep rosters. But, I’ll be steering clear of those two.

Don’t Call It A Rebuild

Just based on Aaron Rodgers‘s bias alone, the tight end position automatically becomes a target for TE1 in re-draft leagues. The now departed, Graham is a prime example of how that shouldn’t be the case. Whether it was talent past, in Graham’s case, or the Packers offense, the tight end position is somewhat overvalued. Marcedes Lewis is worth a flier if you roster two tight ends in re-draft. Jace Sternberger still holds value in dynasty leagues. However, the Packers drafted Josiah Deguara in the third round and should be considered in dynasty formats.

Minnesota Vikings

I Really Want To Like It

Kirk Cousins should only be considered in deep best ball drafts and as a streaming consideration on a bye week if the match-up is right. He went for over 20 fantasy points five times last season. He’ll most likely lean heavily on Adam Thielen as he builds rapport with Justin Jefferson. The Vikings pass offense could take a step back in 2020.

Really Cooking

Dalvin Cook should be drafted in the first round, if not top-five consideration in all draft formats. During the 2019 fantasy football season, Cook failed to reach double digits in only one game and the was in week 15. He didn’t play at all in the last two weeks of the season and nearly hit for 300 total fantasy points which, was good enough for the sixth-best fantasy running back. Although, we can expect more of the same, be sure to hand-cuff Cook with Alexander Mattison. Mattison has shown enough potential to carry the load if Cook goes down with an injury.

Did Someone Say PPR

Adam Thielen should get the bulk of the targets from Cousins. With Stefon Diggs signing with the Buffalo Bills and a rookie on the other side of the field, I would expect Cousins to lean heavily on Thielen. He might slide into the WR2 range of average draft picks due to bias against the Vikings run-heavy offense, the drafting of Justin Jefferson, and his return from injury. Speaking of Jefferson. The Louisiana State stand-out will be worthy of a WR3 spot on re-draft rosters due to sheer projection in the Vikings offense and could be a gem in dynasty leagues.

Changing of the Guard

Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. form the best tandem of tight ends in the NFC North. Based on age and potential, Smith is beginning to emerge as the most desirable fantasy player of the two. Smith is clearly a must for dynasty leagues. However, in re-draft, you’ll be rolling the dice if you choose either as your TE1. But, like Hockenson in Detroit, Smith has the potential to emerge as a TE1 in all formats.

Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust

The 2020 Fantasy Football Outlook for the NFC North could be described as a ground and pound division. After all, they didn’t earn the moniker of Black and Blue division for nothing. While there is still fantasy gold to be mined in the NFC North it won’t be sexy. So, adjust your rankings and find value where it can be had. The 2020 fantasy football season is it right around the corner. Good luck and I hope the fantasy football god’s smile upon your season.

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