Week 7 Preview – Key Matchups

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

Week 7 started on Thursday with a key matchup that might help determine who wins the NFC East division this year. Of course, both teams had one win coming into the game because nobody in the NFC East is any good so every time a NFC East team can win a game, it’s a huge step towards winning the division. At the end of the week, the two night games are both key matchups between likely playoff bound teams. On Sunday night, undefeated 5-0 Seattle takes on 4-2 Arizona, while on Monday night, the surprising 5-1 Bears play against the 4-2 Rams. Both of those games will help determine who might win the NFC West and earn the only bye in the conference playoffs. Remember, seven teams from each conference make the playoffs this year, so only the top team per conference gets a bye.

In Dynasty Owner, there are key matchups all over. There are ones between teams in the Top 25 in the Chase for the Ring (Quaranteed for Greatness vs. Oh God Dalvins Cookin) and others between a team in the Chase who is facing a team with the same record (Hyenas vs. The Replacements). In the Experts League, Tim and I face off to see who has bragging rights on the podcast for the rest of the year. And finally, we have a Matchup of the Week between two teams at the top of their league.

Your matchup may not be featured here, but it could be just as important to getting you into the Dynasty Owner playoffs. To help you in your quest to win your League, every week of the regular season and playoffs, there will be a set of players presented at each position (QB, RB, WR, TE) who you should have as a Starter in your Dynasty Owner lineup as well as one player per position who should be on your Bench or Practice Squad. We won’t recommend a kicker to Start or Bench though and these won’t be the obvious choices for Starters, like go ahead and start Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce (as if you weren’t going to do that already if you have them). Instead, these will be guys to Start who might be ranked outside the top players at their position, not be highly owned or who were drafted to be a backup. For the Bench or Practice Squad choices, we’ll find typical Starters who shouldn’t be in your Starting lineup for the week based on matchups or past performance against a team. We’ll also review my Week 6 recommendations and see how those players fared.

Finally, we will look at one Dynasty Owner game, our Match-up of the Week. For the Match-up of the Week, we will look at the overall projected score and then each team’s Starters and Bench to see how their current lineups are projected to produce. If you want your Dynasty Owner team to be featured as the Match-up of the Week in the future, just tweet me (@SteveVT33).

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth 1 point for every 40 yards.

Standard Dynasty Owner scoring for kickers gives you 1 point for every extra point, while a missed extra point will cost you 1 point. It’s 2 points for a field goal of between 0 and 39 yards, 4 points for a field goal between 40 and 49 yards and 5 points for a field goal of 50 yards or longer. A missed field goal of between 0 and 39 yards will cost you 3 points, while a miss of 40 yards or more is a loss of 2 points.

For the purposes of this article, ADP and Dynasty Owner ownership statistics were current as of October 23rd.

These Guys Should be Starters This Week

First, let’s take a look at how my Week 6 Starter recommendations fared (Good, Bad or Just Ok):

  • QB: Kyle Allen – 20.8 (Just Ok recommendation)
  • RB: J.K. Dobbins – 4.9 (Bad recommendation)
  • WR: Christian Kirk – 22.6 (Good recommendation)
  • TE: Cameron Brate – 1.3 (Bad recommendation)

Two consecutive weeks with two Bad recommendations, one Just Ok recommendation and one Good recommendation. The Bad recommendations were once again at RB and TE as neither J.K. Dobbins nor Cameron Brate got enough touches to be productive. Rob Gronkowski hogged all of the TE targets in Tampa this week, leaving Brate to just one catch for three yards. And Gus Edwards got the rushing TD and had more carries than Dobbins (14 to 9), but fewer yards (26 to 28 for Dobbins). Kyle Allen was the #12 QB this week, better than lots of bigger names, and so that pick was Just Ok. Finally, Christian Kirk made the most of his two targets with two catches for 86 yards and two TDs to finish as the #5 WR for the week. That’s a good recommendation! It’s time to duplicate that Good recommendation at WR and get more at the other positions in Week 7.

Joe Burrow (QB – CIN): The Browns are one of the few teams who we can look at how Joe Burrow did against them in trying to find a weekly Starter who might be on your Dynasty Owner Bench right now. Back in Week 2, Burrow put up 32.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points against Cleveland. The Bengals trailed by two scores for most of the second half, so Burrow ended up throwing 61 passes. He’s probably not going to throw that many times this week and the Cleveland defense has been much improved recently, allowing only 31.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined in the last three games. However, Burrow has thrown the ball a league high 246 times, an average of 41 times per game, and stands to throw it a lot on Sunday afternoon at home. With that kind of volume, it’s surprising that Burrow is the #19 QB in Dynasty Owner. Bet on Burrow airing it out again against the Browns and putting up enough points to be worth having in your Starting lineup.

Justin Jackson (RB – LAC): Dynasty Owners may have forgotten that Chargers RB Justin Jackson had himself a pretty good game back in Week 5 versus New Orleans with 14.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (71 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 23 receiving yards). He has outperformed fellow Chargers RB Joshua Kelley the past two weeks and stands to do so again this week against Jacksonville. The Jaguars allow an average of 25.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to RBs per game and the fifth most rushing yards in the NFL per game so far this season. Jackson is ranked as the #67 RB for the year right now, but was a RB2 in Week 5. At only $570,000, he’s a great value and should be good for at least that this week. Go ahead and put him in your Starting lineup if he’s on your roster.

Tim Patrick (WR – DEN): When Courtland Sutton got injured, it was an open question of who the top receiver would be in Denver. After five games, it’s been Tim Patrick and Noah Fant with Patrick having more receptions (20 to 19) and yards (310 to 219) and tied with Fant in TDs (2 each). Most importantly, Patrick has more Dynasty Owner fantasy points (63 to 54.9). Of course, Fant missed last week’s game while Patrick played and had 14.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to go ahead. Even though he’s the top WR in Denver, he’s still ranked as the #37 WR in Dynasty Owner so he’s not a definite Starter. He should start this week against Kansas City after three consecutive weeks of double digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points (14.3 points in Week 3 versus Tampa Bay; 23.3 points in Week 4 versus the New York Jets; and 14.1 points in Week 6 versus New England). Last year, Sutton averaged 13.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in two games versus Kansas City without scoring a TD. Patrick should equal or exceed that this week and be in your Starting lineup.

Darrell Daniels (TE – ARI): Daniels is the top TE in Arizona, but has only scored 11.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points all year and ranks as the #58 TE in Dynasty Owner. He has played a majority of the snaps for the Cardinals in each of the past four games and this week gets to the face the worst defense in the NFL against TEs in the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have let five opposing TEs have their best game against them over the first six games of the season (Greg Olsen – 12.4 points in Week 1; Dalton Schultz – 20.8 points in Week 2; Jimmy Graham – 23.0 points in Week 3; Robert Tonyan – 33.8 points in Week 4; Irv Smith Jr. – 11.5 points in Week 6). Daniels’ best week so far this year is 5.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 5 versus the Jets, so it’s not a high bar to clear for him to have his best week of 2020 this week. Daniels is only owned in 1% of Dynasty Owner leagues even though his salary is only $690,000. If you need a TE for Week 7, go out and get Daniels in the Free Agent Auction and put him in your Starting lineup. It worked last week with Anthony Firkser and can work again this week.

These Guys Should Be on the Bench (or Practice Squad) This Week

Next up is reviewing the Week 6 Bench or Practice Squad recommendations to see how those did.

  • QB: Tom Brady – 20.3 (Just Ok recommendation)
  • RB: Aaron Jones – 13.1 (Bad recommendation)
  • WR: Cooper Kupp – 4.2 (Good recommendation)
  • TE: Noah Fant – DNP

An average week with one Good, one Just Ok and one Bad recommendation. Noah Fant didn’t play so we won’t count him. The G.O.A.T. Tom Brady finished a little bit behind our Starter recommendation Kyle Allen with 20.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to finish just outside the Top 12 QBs at #14. That counts as Just Ok. Aaron Jones didn’t have a great week, but his 13.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points was a Top 20 RB performance which means he should have been a Starter and thus, recommending him for the Bench was Bad. For the second week in a row, the WR Bench recommendation was Good as Cooper Kupp managed just 4.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. So far this year, it’s been at least one Good Bench recommendation per week, but only two of them one time. It’s time for a second week with two (or more) Good Bench recommendations in Week 7.

Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN): Tannehill has played very well this season with only one poor game (14.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 3 versus Minnesota). The Pittsburgh defense is allowing a mere 19.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game to the opposition’s starting QB through their first five games. They haven’t exactly faced the best QBs in the NFL in that time (Daniel Jones, Jeff Driskel, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz and Baker Mayfield), but have not allowed more than 24.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to any of them. They had their bye in Week 4 unexpectedly because of a COVID-19 outbreak involving their Week 7 opponent, the Tennessee Titans. Will the Pittsburgh defense be fired up to play Tennessee finally and keep their unbeaten record or will Tannehill show he’s a better QB than all the QBs who have played Pittsburgh already and expose the Pittsburgh defense as not that good? Bet on the former and Bench Tannehill this week.

James Robinson (RB – JAX): While he’s still the overall #8 RB in Dynasty Owner right now, James Robinson has been pretty average the past three weeks, scoring 12.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per week in that time. In the first three games of the season, he averaged 21.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. In the two weeks he hasn’t scored a TD, he’s only produced 10.0 and 9.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. This week, he faces a Chargers defense that has yet to allow a rushing TD to a RB this season and averages only allowing 16.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per week despite facing off against Top 12 RBs every week (Joe Mixon, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mike Davis, Ronald Jones and Alvin Kamara). Even though Dynasty Owners probably will start him anyway since RBs are so hard to find, Robinson probably isn’t worth putting in your Starting lineup this week.

CeeDee Lamb (WR – DAL): This would be Michael Gallup, but he’s ranked as the #39 WR in Dynasty Owner right now, so he shouldn’t be a Starter. Both CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are in the Top 10, but that was largely built off the work they did with Dak Prescott at QB. Both had good performances last week against Arizona (Cooper had 20.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and Lamb had 12.4 points). However, most of Lamb’s points (11.0) came in garbage time late in the third quarter and the fourth quarter when the Cowboys trailed by more than 20 points and did almost nothing but throw the ball. It’ll be tougher for Dalton and the Cowboys to throw against the Football Team as the team ranks second in passing yards allowed with 207 yards per game and ninth in sacks with 16 total. This choice could easily have been Amari Cooper as he has tended to not perform well in road games as a Cowboy, but that’s been less true this year – maybe because of the lack of crowds. Therefore, Lamb is the pick so put him on the Bench this week.

Hayden Hurst (TE – ATL):  Surprisingly, Hayden Hurst is the #9 ranked TE in Dynasty Owner right now. He was drafted on average as the #9 TE with an ADP of 93.8. He has scored 3 TDs, but is only averaging 3.2 receptions and 37.8 receiving yards per game. That’s what happens when you have Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage on your team, you become the fourth option. Now, he faces a Lions defense that has allowed only 10 receptions to TEs this season. Something tells me that Matt Ryan is going to look more towards Julio, Ridley and Gage this week against the Lions or maybe run the ball with Todd Gurley and Brian Hill against a Lions defense that gives up 123.8 yards per game to RBs on the ground. Hopefully your Dynasty Owner team has a better option so you can Bench Hurst.

Dynasty Owner Matchup of the Week – Prince of Helaire vs. Beaumont Riders

It’s time for our seventh Dynasty Owner Matchup of the Week for the 2020 season. This week, we have a battle for first place in League #37205 between the 5-1 Prince of Helaire vs. the 4-2 Beaumont Riders. Not only are they in first and second place but they just pulled off a trade with the Prince of Helaire getting Kareem Hunt in return for sending Jonathan Taylor to the Beaumont Riders. Thanks to Prince of Helaire owner Stuart Spackman (@stuspackman) for sending me the details of the trade and this matchup. The projections are close so let’s dive in.

Based on the exclusive Dynasty Owner scoring projections for each team’s current lineup, the Beaumont Riders should pull the mild upset and move into a tie at 5-2 with the Prince of Helaire. Beaumont Riders are projected to win by only 4.1 points (137.0 to 132.9). Stu must be confident in his team and that the projections are wrong if he’s sending the details of this game, so let’s look each team’s current Starting lineup:

The Starting lineups projected scores (not pictured here) are super close with Beaumont Riders holding a slight advantage (123.5 to 122.4). Both teams have outstanding WRs with Beaumont Riders spending a significant portion of their salary cap ($51 million) on three players, their Starters at WR and FLEX (Davante Adams, Mike Evans and Amari Cooper). Of course, those three guys are projected to score 58.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and if they do, it’ll be money well spent.

Let’s look at both Benches next to check out where Beaumont Riders are gaining their advantage.

The Bench QB competition between Nick Foles and Andy Dalton is projected to be a blowout for Dalton (23.6 to 15.2), which provides quite a bit of the overall Beaumont Riders advantage from Bench scoring (67.6 to 52.3). Not sure if that will turn out to happen, but we’ll find out on Tuesday.

Bravo to both owners for being able to field full Starting lineups and Benches this week. Good drafting and team management there, not surprising since both teams are fighting for the top spot and a first round bye in their league.

Conclusion

Is the Matchup of the Week going to be as close as the Giants-Eagles game? More importantly, what about your weekly Dynasty Owner matchup? Hopefully, yours is a battle for first place or at least an important one on your road to the Playoffs. For those of you in the Chase for the Ring, every matchup is important as you need victories in order to win your League, so you have a chance to win the Ring.

Please read the preview article each and every week. Maybe your team will be featured in a future Match-Up of the Week. If you want your team featured, then just tweet me (@SteveVT33) and check out next week’s preview to see if your matchup was chosen. Remember that there will be a recap article coming out every Tuesday and a preview article posted every Friday throughout the Dynasty Owner season. We will also have articles from Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21), Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) and Jay Poundsee (@jaypoundsnfl) during the season as well.

There will also be a weekly Tuesday Live YouTube podcast at 3 PM (Eastern) / Noon (Pacific). The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer will continue with weekly live videos on Wednesdays and Fridays on the Dynasty Owner channel on YouTube. You can watch them live or catch a replay anytime and find older videos and tutorials there as well. Tune in to learn more about Dynasty Owner, see how our predictions did and help you set your weekly lineup. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure to “Like” all of the videos to help promote them. Dynasty Owner has 539 subscribers on YouTube now and thank you all for watching and listening. All of this great content is available to help you win your weekly matchup, your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

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Roster Roundup: Part Two: NFC North

Taking A Dive Into The Rosters From Around The League

Author: Chris Wolf

This time of year is typically the time when teams, trainers and agents hype up their players. We know how the world has changed in recent months and the NFL is no different in its approach to returning to “normalcy”. With the news of NFL staff and players testing positive for the Corona Virus, fantasy news is taking a backseat. As a result, fantasy players are missing out on the typical hyperbole surrounding pre-season roster news and notes.

In this series we’ll take a look at who’s who on rosters and how that may help in your drafts and early waivers.

Each week we’ll examine a division’s skill position current roster and predictive depth chart heading into training camp to see how that relates to their fantasy outlook.

This week, we start in the NFC North and will follow with NFC South next week:

Chicago Bears

HC: Matt Nagy OC: Bill Lazor

QB: Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles, Tyler Bray

RB: David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce, Napoleon Maxwell

WR: Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Coradelle Patterson, Riley Ridley, Ted Ginn, Javon Wims, Darnell Mooney, Alex Wesley, Reggie Davis, Trevor Davis, Thomas Ives, Ahmad Wagner

TE: Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet, Demetrius Harris, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, JP Holtz, Jesper Horsted, Eric Saubert, Darion Clark

This QB position is one of the few in the league that might not be settled until after training camp. Trubisky is the incumbent starter since 2017 but will have competition from veteran Nick Foles. Foles has been a career backup that shined in the playoffs and won the Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2018. He was traded from Jacksonville this offseason for a fourth-round pick after starting only 4 games. Trubisky is at times, fun to watch but also cringe worthy. He’s a strong-arm talent with under-utilized wheels that plays better on the move. Foles, is a heady decision maker that might lack top arm strength but makes up for it with his wit and grit.

Montgomery and Cohen could be considered co-starters at the running back position. GM Ryan Pace said that Montgomery could be “the team’s feature back” and “could carry a heavier workload” this season. Montgomery out carried the diminutive Cohen 242-64, but Cohen earned his paycheck in the receiving game. While Cohen had his worst statistical year as a ball carrier, he had his best year catching the ball out of the backfield and from the slot. While his 79 catches on 104 targets were his career best, it came in check down territory dropping his 2018 YPC from 10.2 to 5.8 in 2019.

Allen Robinson is a damn good football player. You really do feel for this guy. He is a WR1 talent that has suffered from sub-par QB play his entire career. He led the team in every receiving category but that wasn’t saying much for the 2019 Chicago Bears that went 8-8 thanks to their elite defense and 28th ranked offense. While Robinson is an over-achiever, the rest of the WR’s just need to put up mediocre numbers. With the departure of cap casualty Taylor Gabriel, the path is clear for Anthony Miller to take a leap forward this year. Miller is a solid football talent that has been slowed by legitimate injuries the past two years. He finished the last six games of the year on fire while averaging 5.7 catches and 72 yards during that time. Miller is the unquestioned WR2 on this team that could return strong WR3 value on your fantasy team.

The rest of the WR’s won’t hold much fantasy value unless something unfortunate happens. Coradelle Patterson, Riley Ridley and the immortal Ted Ginn round out this receiving corps. We really don’t have to spend much time talking about the TE position. Jimmy Graham was dug up to play for yet another NFL team that obviously doesn’t watch his film. Cole Kmet was drafted with the 43rd pick in the 2020 draft and is an inexperienced, yet promising talent with a large catch radius. He may take a bit longer to develop but has plenty of tutors with a whopping 10 TE’s on the roster. Harris and Shaheen will get theirs but this TE group is not very inspiring for 2020.

Detroit Lions

HC: Matt Patricia OC: Darrell Bevell

QB: Matthew Stafford, Chase Daniel, David Blough

RB: Kerryon Johnson, D’Andre Swift, Bo Scarbrough, Ty Johnson, Wes Hills, Jason Huntley

WR: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Geronimo Allison, Quintez Cephus, Travis Fulgham, Victor Bolden Jr, Marvin Hall, Tom Kennedy, Chris Lacy, Geremy Davis

TE: TJ Hockenson, Jesse James, Isaac Nauta, Matt Sokol, Hunter Bryant, Luke Sellers

Coming off of a 3-12-1 record the Detroit Lions have a lot to improve on. The defense was absolutely abysmal grading out as the #31 defense per PFF. Their offense has lots to look forward to with the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, TJ Hockenson and newly drafted D’Andre Swift.

Stafford was in the midst of his most efficient season before succumbing to injuries related to his back and ankle. There is plenty to get excited about for Stafford’s 2020 outlook if healthy.

In his limited 9 full games from 2019, Stafford posted three or more touchdowns and over 290 yards in 5 of those games. Still just 32 years old, Stafford often returns numbers warranting him as a QB1 on your fantasy team. He is a great QB to rely on if you decide to draft a rookie and need a few years to plug him in as a viable starter.

The running back group has received an injection of speed with the drafting of D’Andre Swift. Swift was a dynamic back at Georgia excelling in both the run and passing game. His skill set was desperately needed in the lackluster run game of the 2019 Lions. While Kerryon Johnson carried a respectable 2019 2nd round ADP in dynasty drafts, his on the field play hasn’t quite translated to his draft status. He is an able runner who can be trusted in pass protection, his skill set best suits him in a rotational role with Swift and not as the bell-cow back that he was being drafted as. 2019 waiver wire disappointment Ty Johnson is still in the mix while plodder Bo Scarbrough looks to keep his role in the short yardage game.

This group of receivers, led by Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, is sure to get back on track with their efficiency. It’s been a bit of feast or famine for the two and you really can’t blame it all on the team executing the unimaginative play calling. When they are good, they are good. When they are not-so-good, they are horrible. Golladay recorded 5 games with over 100 yards last year with TD’s in all but one of them. Then he had five games that looked like this; 2/17/0, 1/21/0, 1/34/0, 3/44/0, 4/61/0. His touchdowns were certainly up last year(11), but his targets, receptions, and drops all took a bit of a hit.

Marvin Jones is admittedly not as dynamic as Golladay and is four years his senior. His touchdowns were comparable (Golladay-11, Jones-9) and his payroll is significantly higher (Jones- 4.29%, Golladay-1.08% of the team’s cap) but Jones may come way cheaper at a WR4-5 ADP range than his running mate Golladay is being drafted as a low end WR1, high end WR2. Entering his fourth season, Golladay is sure to rake in a big payday with a calculated market value of $18.9 million. Rounding out the WR position is the veteran Danny Amendola and Geronimo Allison. Amendola (642) and Alison (689) both saw significant snaps in 3Wr & 4WR sets last year but intriguing 5th round selection Quintez Cephus is one that may press for playing time.

The tight end position is anchored by sophomore T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James. Hockenson got more snaps running receiving routes and graded out better than James while runblocking. Hockenson had a solid rookie year and was thrown right into the fire early in the season. He is sure to be a staple of this offense for years to come. He, like the rest of his offensive teammates, is talented and would do far better with more imaginative and bold play calling.

Source: packers.com

Green Bay Packers

HC: Matt LaFleur OC: Nathaniel Hackett

QB: Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, Tim Boyle, Jalen Morton

RB: Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Jamaal Williams, Dexter Williams, Patrick Taylor Jr, Damarea Crockett, Tyler Ervin

WR: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Devin funchess, Jake Kumerow, Equanimeous St Brown, Darrius Shepherd, Reggie Begelton, Darrel Stewart Jr, Kabion Ento

TE: Marcedes Lewis, Jace Sternberger, Josiah Deguara, Robert Tonyan Jr, Evan Baylis, James Looney, Jordan Jones

The 2019 season for the Green Bay Packers told us three things; 1.) As great as he is…Aaron Rodgers had more friction with another coaching staff 2.) Rodgers desperately needed a complimentary weapon in the passing game to Davante Adams 3.) The Packers got absolutely whopped by the 49ers run game twice. The Packers 2020 draft was very entertaining and definitely told a story for those paying attention.

Instead of providing Rodgers with a weapon in a loaded wide receiver draft class, they made a statement by drafting a QB in round 1. 

Whether or not Rodgers is in the declining stages of his career is debatable. In 2019 he led first year head coach Matt LaFleur’s team to a 13-3 record while throwing for over 4,000 yards and 26 TD’s to just 4 INT’s.  He definitely took a step back in the rushing department posting his lowest yards per rush average in 11 years. But do the Packers think that Rodgers is at the end of his career or just nearing the end of their time together? Typically, you don’t find NFL teams spending a 1st round pick on a player they project to be a back-up, especially at the QB position. So, you have to assume that Jordan Love is in the Packers very near future plans.

Aaron Jones won lots of team’s fantasy championships last year. In fact, he was downright studly. While rushing for 1084 yards and 16 TD’s, he also caught 3 TD’s on 49 catches for 474 yards. Still only 25 years old, the 2017 5th rounder is in the last year of his contract and hopes to be a Packer for life. But the Packers are not known to sign their running back to second contracts so we might have some insight to why they used a second-round pick on A.J. Dillion.

Dillon is a massive man weighing in around 250lbs. He walks around on tree trunks and shows some top end speed when given the chance. He does tend to need a full head of steam to get going and is not very talented when he has to make quick decisions. He has the build to carry a full workload but will likely find himself in a committee with walk year running backs Jones and Jamaal Williams. Although there is only one ball to share, the Packers are also very high on Tyler Ervin.

As for wide receivers, you have Davante Adams…the End. Green Bay has struggled to find a consistent compliment to Davante Adams and shame on them for not drafting appropriately. Instead, they opted to build a power run game through the draft and ignore a glaring need. Although Allen Lazard rose to the top of the trash heap in 2019, Green Bay WR’s showcased very inconsistent play evidenced by the team’s 24 dropped passes. They did sign the big-bodied Devin Funchess to a $2.2 million salary, but he more or less will help replace the evacuated red zone presence of Jimmy Graham. Valdez-Scantling and St.Brown are still very young and raw and could surprise with some much needed reps. Finally, Jake Kumerow rounds out the list of notable receivers. The tight end group is led by an unaccomplished Jace Sternberger and veteran Marcedes Lewis. Sternberger was the 3rd selection in 2019 and is poised to take a leap in 2020. He is a seam stretcher with so-so blocking skills and should be good to go to replace Graham after missing half of his rookie year due to an ankle injury. He could be the most over hyped dynasty prospect to never catch a pass in the regular season. Mercedes Lewis will siphon some in the passing game while 2020 3rd rounder Josiah Deguara is a Dan Vitale clone who projects more as an H-Back.

Minnesota Vikings

OC: Mike Zimmer OC: Gary Kubiak

QB: Kirk Cousins, Sean Mannion, Nate Stanley, Jake Browning

RB: Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Michael Boone, Ameer Abdullah, Tony James-Brooks, CJ Ham, Jake Bargas

WR: Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Olabisi Johnson, Chad Beebe, Tajae Sharpe, KJ Osborn, Alexander Hollins, Dillon Mitchell, Quartney Davis, Dan Chisena, Davion Davis

TE: Kyle Rudoplh, Irv Smith Jr, Tyler Conklin, Brandon Dillon, Nakia Griffin-Stewart

Captain Kirk’s contract has caused this team to lose talent. His two-year $66 million extension is near the top of the league and will impact the team’s roster for years to come. Luckily, they kicked butt in the draft. With the early addition of Justin Jefferson falling into their laps, promising tackle Ezra Clevland and some much-needed secondary help, Minnesota had one of the best drafts based on talent alone.

Cousins isn’t considered a top talent in industry circles, but he is a fine player. In 2019 he ranked fourth in efficiency rating, 7th in yards per attempt, and 5th in completion percentage. He does not put up gaudy numbers that will make you jump out of your chair, but he does offer that even keel consistency that you look for on your fantasy team. Behind him you have the reliable but not-so-talented Sean Mannion and the 7th rounder out of Iowa, Nate Stanley.

This backfield is very talented. Dalvin Cook is in early season holdout mode but is incredible with the ball in his hands as well as off-ball play. Cook returned value for those that drafted him last year, but will we take the gamble again this year? He carries uncertainty with his holdout as well as his injury history. Cook has a problematic shoulder which resulted in two torn labrums as well has several lower body issues. He seems to be fully recovered from the 2017 grade 3 ACL tear, but he chronically has hamstring issues. Cook has all of the talent in the world, but you cannot ignore the potential holdout and injury concerns.

Next on the RB depth chart are Alexander Mattison, Mike Boone, and Ameer Abdullah. Mattison was the top backup posting 462 yards with 1 TD in 13 games. Boone is much more comparable to Cook than Mattison is and enjoyed his week 17 “breakout” with 160 total yards and 1 touchdown. Boone is a talented player and deserves a look in the late rounds of dynasty drafts.

At wide receiver we witnessed the social media outbursts of Steffon Diggs lead to his departure to Buffalo. Surviving on the roster is his former running mate Adam Thielen. Thielen has enjoyed a rather clean injury history aside from a 2016 concussion until he slid into a wall outside of the endzone in the first quarter against the Lions. Injuring his hamstring, he missed one game and attempted a comeback against KC two weeks later and re-injured the leg resulting in a 4-game hiatus. He is undervalued due to injury recency bias and is a strong bounce back candidate that should dominate the target share on his team.

To replace Diggs, the Vikings scooped up Justin Jefferson from LSU in the first round. Running nearly 80% of his routes in the slot in his final year at LSU, Jefferson figures to kick inside in 3WR sets. Jefferson offers fantastic straight-line speed (4.41) and is a nuanced route runner. This is a great example where opportunity marries talent. Olibisi Johnson has the leg up on Tajae Sharpe for the 3rd WR spot while Chad Beebe offers more talent in the slot with his short area quickness.

Kyle Rudolph seems like he has played tight end for the Vikings forever. Still just 30yrs old, he operates on third downs and in the red zone evidenced by his 367 yards for 6 TD’s last season. Meanwhile Irv Smith is a candidate for more looks following Diggs departure. Smith played 60% of the snaps as a 20-year-old rookie out of Alabama in 2019. His yards per catch (8.6) are sure to increase, he had a respectable 36/311/2 rookie campaign in a talented offense. Former basketball player, Tyler Conklin sits third on the depth chart offering plus run-blocking ability with decent hands.

That is the NFC North! We hope you enjoyed the read.

Check back soon! We will continue with the NFC South next week.

Chris Wolf is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

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