Football is back! With the preseason under way, fantasy players are doing mock drafts hourly (or maybe it’s just me) to prepare for their fantasy drafts. Each year fantasy owners want to construct their team with a proper mix of good value players and upside sleepers, while avoiding players with high bust potential. In part one of my eight part installment, I will look over the NFC North and provide ADP values, likely-to-bust candidates, and potential sleepers.

Players ADP is based off of PPR scoring according to the fantasy football calculator. Remember you can practice for your fantasy drafts using the mock draft simulator. As always, happy hunting fantasy friends!

ADP Values

Davante Adams, WR, Packers (2.06) – Despite not having Aaron Rodgers for over half the season, Adams finished last year tied as the WR8 on a points-per-game basis; averaging 15.9 FPPG. While only playing in 14 games, Adams ranked second in the league with 10 receiving touchdowns. Over the last two seasons, Adams is the only player in the entire league to score double digit receiving touchdowns in both seasons.

In 2016, Adams finished as the WR9 despite Jordy Nelson finishing as the WR2 that year. The key with the Packers’ wide receiver success is clearly the health of Rodgers. Over his last three healthy seasons, Rodgers has produced a top nine wide receiver four times, including a top four wide receiver twice. As long as both Rodgers and Adams stay healthy this season, Adams is in line for a top five finish.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings (7.02) – Last season Rudolph finished the year as the TE8. However, many forget he finished as the TE2 in 2016; averaging 13.1 FPPG. Currently Rudolph is being drafted as the TE7, behind players with more risk like Jimmy Graham and Evan Engram. Rudolph is one of the most solid tight ends in fantasy football. He has averaged 9.9 or more FPPG in four of his last six seasons.

With Kirk Cousins taking over at quarterback, Rudolph has some upside to him. Last season Rudolph had a 15.4% target share. As a starter, Cousins has targeted his tight ends 24.5% of the time. Also, Rudolph tied for first on the team with seven red zone touchdowns. At the top of the seventh round, Rudolph is a great value.

Busts

Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions (5.09) – The last time the Lions had a running back run for 100 yards in a game was November, 28th 2013. Hopefully Johnson can change that, but I’m not expecting it. While Johnson is a good, talented rookie — who I really like dynasty formats — his outlook in 2018 is murky. Both LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick are locks to make the roster, while there is some belief that Ameer Abdullah will stick around for one more season.

Blount has the inside track as the early down and goal line back, while Riddick has a firm grip as the pass catching and third down role. Eventually Johnson could take over one or both roles this season. However, I don’t expect that to happen before the midway point of the season, and I’m not spending a top 75 pick on a player I have to wait half the season before I can start with confidence. If Johnson’s ADP slides down into the sixth round range, I would take him there.

Vikings D/ST (10.05) – While I’m not a hardcore “you must wait to draft your defense” kind of fantasy player, I’m not taking any D/ST this early. The weirdest part is, the Vikings are currently the third D/ST drafted behind the Jaguars and Rams. However, the Vikings’ D/ST finished last season as the D/ST14; averaging 7.3 FPPG. While they are a great defense in reality, they lack the turnovers and touchdowns needed to be an elite fantasy D/ST.

Last season the Vikings ranked 17th in sacks, tied for 13th in interceptions, tied for 28th in fumble recoveries, and tied for 23rd in total turnovers, while having just one touchdown between the defense and special teams. Furthermore, the defense will be even less of a factor this season, as the Vikings will have an even better offense led by new quarterback Kirk Cousins and a healthy Dalvin Cook.

Sleepers

Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers (8.02) – Last season the Packers’ backfield was a revolving door. However, Williams was the best of the bunch in almost every statistical category. Furthermore, Williams was the only running back to play in all 16 games for the Packers last season, as both Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones battled injuries.

Name

Touches

Scrimmage Yards

Total Touchdowns

Fantasy Points Scored

Williams

178

818

6

142.8

Montgomery

94

446

4

91.6

Jones

90

470

4

80

Currently Williams is going as the RB37 behind players like Marlon Mack, Chris Thompson, and others despite them not being the starter. Montgomery isn’t expected to have a huge workload this season but rather used all over the field and especially during two-minute drills. Jones, on the other hand, has battled a hamstring injury in camp and is suspended for the first two games of the season.

Williams is getting the majority of the work with the starters so far in camp. If Williams can start the first two games hot, he could secure the lead role in Green Bay. Once again, as the 37th running back off the board, Williams has a chance to finish as a top 15 runner.

Anthony Miller, WR, Bears (12.07) – During training camp, Miller has received plenty of hype from the media and fans. The Bears clearly view him as a critical part of their team, as they traded a 2019 second round pick in order to select him in the draft. Miller is expected to be the starting slot receiver for the Bears. While the Bears did spend $100 million in the off-season on new weapons for Mitchell Trubisky, they all come with some question marks.

Allen Robinson was the big acquisition; however, he is coming off a torn ACL he suffered last season, but will be ready for week one. Robinson barely finished as a top 24 wide receiver in 2016, even though Blake Bortles finished as the QB8 that year; Robinson may be a little over-valued.

Trey Burton has never been a full-time starter. While Burton has averaged 12.6 FPPG as a starter during his career, he has started just five games. Could Burton be this year’s Coby Fleener? Possibly. While it may just be a small crack, the door is open for Miller to be the Bear’s top pass catcher this season, which makes him one of my favorite late-round sleepers this season.

About The Author Mike Fanelli

Mike is a former journalism major who spent all four years in high school working for the school newspaper. At 25 years old, he is happy to write for Breaking Football as it gives him a platform to get his fantasy football takes and sports opinions out there.