With fantasy drafts approaching, many are rushing to find the players they want on their team. Here is a list of the fantasy targets for the NFC North division for the 2018 season.
Without a doubt the best QB in the division, Rodgers is currently being drafted as the first QB taken off the board. Rodgers is being taken anywhere from the first round to the fifth round. This puts his average draft position (ADP) in the third round. Capable of dropping insane fantasy numbers on any given Sunday, Rodgers is a QB any team would love to have. However, while he is a “baaaaad man”, quarterbacks are easier to come across in fantasy than say an RB1 or WR1. Should you draft Rodgers earlier than his ADP of the third round, proceed with absolute belief that he will post more than his seasonal fantasy points average of 22; you’ll need it from an early round pick.
Likely to receive most of the targets in Green Bay, Adams broke out last season with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb battling injury. With Nelson now on the Raiders, and Cobb recovering from injury on what could be one of his final seasons in the game, look for Adams to build upon last season. Adams is and will be the apple of Aaron Rodgers’ eye this season; he looks to be a low-end WR1 as his ADP has him getting taken in round two as the seventh WR off the board. I agree with that ADP given the volume of targets he is expected to see.
While Aaron Jones is the clear cuff in Green Bay and clouds the backfield situation, I trust Williams will keep and possibly expand his workload. His current ADP has him being taken in the eighth round which is right about where he should be. No doubt, Williams will be a flex play heading into this fantasy season.
Coming off a Super Bowl win with the Philadelphia Eagles as the backup to Zack Ertz, Burton has signed with Chicago. Already, Burton has seemed to have built a rapport with his QB in the preseason. Yes, yes, I know it’s preseason, but with how shallow the talent pool feels for TE this year in fantasy, why not try to be ahead of the curve? Burton’s ADP currently has him being drafted early in the eighth round which I believe is a steal being the ninth TE taken. I would take Burton as high as the sixth round depending on who else would still be on the board.
A solid RB2, Howard’s current ADP has him being drafted late in the second round. The reason Howard is an RB2 is because he has issues catching the ball out of the backfield so the human joystick, Tarik Cohen, will take passing down snaps from Howard. Howard still will get the majority of the touches on Sundays, but bear in mind that Cohen is waiting for a 3rd and 4 (or longer) situation to steal points. I wouldn’t drafted Howard earlier than the third round.
Another new face in Chicago, Robinson is looking to be the number one WR for the Bears. Robinson is currently being taken as a bottom end WR2 with an ADP in the fifth round. His ADP could be higher if this were his second season in Chicago, but this is his first season coming off a knee injury and with a new team; expectations need to be tempered. I wouldn’t draft Robinson higher than his ADP; any later than the sixth round would be a steal.
Golden Tate III/Marvin Jones Sr.
Matthew Stafford’s “ol’ reliable”, Golden Tate will be a solid WR2. However, due to his target split with Marvin Jones, Tate is a low end WR2 being taken late in the fourth round as his ADP shows. His ADP is accurate as I wouldn’t draft him any sooner due to Stafford spreading the ball around.
As stated above, Jones will be splitting targets with Tate as he did last year. Currently being drafted as a flex play with WR2 upside, Jones’ most notable trait is his ability to catch 50/50 balls. Definitely a deep threat on Detroit’s offense. Jones is currently being drafted a whole round later than Tate and that can be purely based on Tate’s unwavering rapport with Stafford. However, that does not mean Jones cannot outperform Tate by the end of the season. Both receivers also have to worry about one Kenny Golladay on the come-up. Time will tell.
Definitely the RB to watch in this division, Cook is a dual threat back being able to catch out of the backfield as well as run between the tackles. He will probably split carries with Latavius Murray early on due to Cook coming back from an ACL tear, but I expect Cook to resume his lead back duties that he had last season leading up to the injury. Cook is currently being drafted early in the second round as RB number ten. Cook is one of those backs on the cusp of being an RB1; I believe he has that ability considering what we were seeing last season. The question is whether or not Cook will be 100% heading into the season that will determine if the early second round pick will be worth it. Proceed with caution.
Stefon Diggs/Adam Thielen
A new deal and a new QB. Stefon Diggs, and fantasy owners, will want a better output this season than last and the trust from the organization will do nothing but help his confidence towards that. There’s just two problems: a new QB to build a rapport with and a teammate that has been lighting it up in the receiving game in Adam Thielen. The two teammates are currently being drafted right after each other in the third round (Diggs being drafted first). Obviously this makes for a tough decision to make when being forced to choose.
It is very rare for teammates at the WR position to have identically great seasons. Usually that means the team’s offense is the best in the league. Hopefully for fantasy owners, the Vikings wind up with a top 3 offense and can satisfy owners of both Thielen and Diggs. If I had to choose though, I would go with Diggs who has bigger play ability. Thielen has been more successful as a slot receiver, where his playmaking ability is more limited.
Rudolph is currently being drafted as TE number seven in the seventh round. Given his new QB who loved to throw to his TE during his days in Washington, I argue that Rudolph could be taken higher. In fact, I argue that drafted Rudolph in the seventh round could be a steal. Rudolph has been a great TE that the numbers haven’t always backed up. As far as fantasy goes, he will be the biggest beneficiary of Kirk Cousins’ arrival. I can see myself drafted Rudolph as early as the late fifth round.
Another new face in the NFC North, Cousins is now with a team that can contend in the conference for a shot at the Super Bowl. He has plenty of weapons to choose from and a good defense that can back him up. The question remains how quickly he can master and utilize the offense to put fantasy numbers on the board? Being drafted in the eighth round, fantasy owners are hesitant Cousins can finish as a top five QB. I say that Kirk Cousins can with the weapons that he has at his disposal. And yes, I do “like that”.