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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football Questions We Need Answered: NFC North

  • The Draft Network
  • August 4, 2020
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Entering any new NFL season, so much is unknown. As the infamous quote from former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora Sr. goes: “You think you know, but you don't know, and you never will.” The best fantasy managers need to know what they don’t know and be able to research and ask questions before investing draft capital in a player. Sometimes it’s simply finding out about a player’s health. Other times it’s more complicated and one is forced to project how a player may be used differently in a new offense because of a trade, free agent signing, or a new head coach. 

This division-by-division series will look at each of the NFL’s 32 teams and ask one fantasy-relevant question that needs to be answered this season. Some will be answered by or before Week 1, others may take 17 weeks to flesh out. Let’s take a look at the NFC North.

Green Bay Packers

If Davante Adams and Aaron Jones Aren’t Open, Who’s Aaron Rodgers Throwing To?

For the second season in a row, the Packers haven’t surrounded Rodgers with the caliber of talent they should have. One year after hoping Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Geronimo Allison would step up as reliable options, Green Bay turns to Allen Lazard, Jake Kumerow, etc. to fill the voids left by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb years ago. That’s the result of the Packers electing to take their quarterback of the future and a depth running back in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, which included one of the better receiver classes in recent memory. 

Adams and Jones are bonafide fantasy stars, but there are plenty of drafts where no other Packers pass-catcher gets taken. Will someone finally emerge as a true complement to Adams or will we be destined for another 2019 season with only three (Rodgers included) fantasy-relevant Packers?

Minnesota Vikings

How Many Games Will Dalvin Cook Play?

Between his extensive injury history and threat to hold out if he didn’t receive a new deal before the season, there’s a tremendous amount of risk when it comes to drafting Cook in the first round of fantasy drafts—he’s reported to camp for testing, so we’ll see where that leads. He was awesome last season, finishing as the RB3 in total points and RB2 in average fantasy points per game. His 14 games played were a career high. 

Cook still has a top-five ADP despite all of these concerns, but he’s risky enough at that draft price to be a season-killer if he sits out a significant period of time (wilfully or due to injury). Considering he’s played just 60% of the regular season games he’s been eligible for in his three-year career (78% over the last two seasons), he’s likely the biggest high-risk, high-reward player going in the first round of fantasy drafts. 

Chicago Bears

How Much Work Will David Montgomery Get As A Sophomore?

Montgomery’s usage was a hot-button issue in Chicago throughout the 2019 season. His inconsistent usage over the first half-dozen games led to an average of 11.8 carries per game. That spiked to 17.1 attempts per game over the final 10 games of the season, which allowed Montgomery to finish tied for 13th in the NFL for most rushing attempts (with fellow rookie Josh Jacobs). Will the Bears pound the rock more in 2020?

It’s too small of a sample size to read into this too much, but Montgomery averaged 4.25 yards per carry in games in which he received at least 20 rushing attempts—he averaged 3.32 yards per carry in all other contests. Does that mean he gets better with more work or does it mean he gets more work when he’s better? That’s debatable and Year 2 will help answer that question. With so much uncertainty at the quarterback position, Montgomery will need to have a big season for the Bears to challenge for a playoff spot. 

Detroit Lions

When Will The Shift To D’Andre Swift Be Made?

The Lions spent an early second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Swift, who assumes the back-up role (for now) behind the talented, but oft-injured Kerryon Johnson. Johnson missed six games his rookie year and eight games last season. Players like Bo Scarbrough, Wes Hills, Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic, and Tra Carson were getting touches last season in his absence. That won’t be the case in 2020.

Many pegged Swift as the best running back in the 2020 class, even if he was the second player taken at the position behind LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Kansas City). Swift has the size, speed, and skill set to be a true three-down back for an offense that’s better than the average fan thinks. It’ll be fascinating to see how the workload is divvied up early on, but if Johnson gets hurt, Swift becomes a weekly RB2.

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The Draft Network