NFC North 2020 Fantasy Breakdown
By Steve Uetz
Welcome back! We now head North as we finish our tour of the NFC! This division will revolve around one primary theme: QB quality. But before we travel North, below is the foundation of the team breakdown by division series.
The team breakdowns will contain an overarching theme for each team or more specifically each offensive core. The offensive cores will be organized into four categories: FADE, NEUTRAL, BUY, and BIG BUY! ADP and auction values will somewhat reflect this but I will be adding some personal perspective with keeping some rules of thumb in mind.
Rule of Thumb #1: Each offensive core may have specific player exceptions.
Rule of Thumb #2: Every player has value at the right price.
The breakdowns will include the players to target from each team, the players’ ideal positional count for your roster, target cost for auction budget % and round #, league type preferences, along with optional blurbs from yours truly. Throughout the team breakdowns be sure to keep your eyes wide open looking for the players with coveted “Ladder Pick” label. The “Ladder Pick” players are who I have identified as those who will help you climb the ladder of fantasy football success for the 2020 season.
I have 6 teams whose offensive core make up the BIG BUY category, 8 teams in the BUY category, 12 teams in the NEUTRAL category, and the remaining 6 teams will generally be considered as a FADE. Just so we are on the same page…BIG BUY=offensive cores to target aggressively; BUY=offensive cores that are reach worthy; NEUTRAL=offensive cores (with some players exceptions both positive and negative) to be drafted at value – not to be reached for nor to be shied away from; FADE=offensive cores to pass on at consensus ranking, players to be drafted weighing risk, or players to be drafted only if at a value, larger the discount the better; always!
Green Bay Packers
I believe a team’s overall fantasy outlook begins with the QB. Aaron Rodgers makes this offense a BUY. He is still among the league’s best and his presence can open up the running game which will open up throwing lanes which will open up the running game which will open up the throwing…Rodgers is good!
QB Aaron Rodgers: Low-QB1, 3-4% auction, round 10, Rodgers continues to be a QB1 IRL and for fantasy. Since I believe a team’s overall fantasy outlook begins with the QB, I will be getting him a lot if his ADP stays where it is. I love him in the Key & Peele sketch but I love him more on the field and on my rosters.
RB Aaron Jones: RB2 14-15% auction, late round 2, Jones exploded with 19 TDs last year. I see that number going down enough to benefit Rodgers more but still not enough to have me shy away from drafting him. Lead back in a good offense, should have plenty of scoring upside, QB play open will open up running game.
RB AJ Dillon: RB 5, 3-4% auction, round 13, Packers drafted him in the 2nd, raised some eye brows at the time, but this thicc and highly productive college RB is a backup worth rostering. His thighs have been the highlight of GB training camp…can we please get to the games already?!
RB Jamaal Williams: RB 5-6, deep PPR target, $1, last round/priority FA, has been productive when given the chance, this now crowded backfield, mainly made up of Dillon’s thighs, now hurts Williams upside a bit. Worth keeping an eye on!
WR Davante Adams: WR1, 20-21% auction, late round 1-early round 2, this target machine will continue to have Rodgers’ eye. Easy to imagine that he can lead the NFL in targets.
WR Allen Lazard: WR 5, 1-2% auction, round 14, as of now I believe he is the clear WR2, and amazing upside can be had if he is the bottom of your bench. At that cost you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. WR-Marquez Valdes-Scantling, priority FA, has flashed but should only be rostered in the deepest of leagues right now.
TE Jace Sternberger: TE2, $1 deep auction, priority FA, this breakout candidate is now healthy and longer in Jimmy Graham’s shadow. Keep an eye out!
The QB theme is clear in this division: if the QB has (or doesn’t have) real life and fantasy upside then I am targeting (fading) those players. The Lions remain NEUTRAL with Stafford leading the way with a very nice duo of WRs, a TE on the rise, and a backfield with upside.
QB Matthew Stafford, QB1, 3% auction, round 10-11, huge arm and nice weapons is a nice cocktail for fantasy intrigue. Best ball target!
RB D’Andre Swift: RB 3, 7-8% auction, round 7 is ideal, at one point in time Swift could have been considered the top RB prospect of his class. If you are a believer, you will be happy to see the dynamic group he was drafted with push down his value. Questions of committee usage linger. Difference maker in college, he could really boom with Stafford
RB Kerryon Johnson: RB4, 5-6% auction, round 9, looking to be splitting duties with Swift; Kerryon limitations have nothing to do with his talent but everything with his game day availability. I’m excited to get one of the two on my rosters!
WRs Kenny Golladay: (WR1, 16-17% auction, round 3) and Marvin Jones (WR3, 5-6% auction, round 8) are an excellent duo! I’m happy to roster either one. Golladay looks to further excel his gameplay and Jones is always a deep ball and TD threat, I’d be aggressive with him in Best Ball. WR Amendola deep PPR league target.
TE TJ Hockenson: High-TE2 with TE1 upside, 2-3% auction, round 13, he would be a full on TE1 if his ankle concerns weren’t lingering, but they are. Tons of upside but I would look to draft or stream another TE if he isn’t 100% to start the year. He may be fine still but would exercise caution.
The Vikings continue to play as an “old school” team. Gary Kubiak is the new OC and with a young TE on the rise and adding a 1st round WR, the Vikings are a Neutral offensive core with players primarily draftable at ADP. 2 Ladder Picks incoming…
QB Kirk Cousins: QB2 priority FA, $1 deep auction, the QB position is so deep that Cousins is undraftable in 12 team standard rule leagues. Having nice weapons in a good offensive make him intriguing as a bye week/injury replacement.
RB Dalvin Cook: “Ladder Pick” RB1, 25-27% auction, round 1, Dalvin is my RB4 and 4th overall player. The Vikings offense will go through him as HC Mike Zimmer look to run the ball, play good defense and limit TOs with efficient passing (like with passes to Cook). Volume!
RB Alexander Mattison: RB4-5, 2-3%, round 12, Dalvin Cook’s injury history made Mattison an extremely appealing asset in drafts last year. Cook kept him irrelevant. If Cook were to miss time he is the backup worth rostering.
WR Adam Thielen: “Ladder Pick”, WR1, 16-17% auction, round 3, one of my favorite players now stands alone as the top dog in this receiver corps. He will be an absolute target machine. OC Gary Kubiak has a stout history of feeding his WR1 targets. Volume!
WR Justin Jefferson: WR 4-5, 2-3% auction, the Vikings 1st round pick looks to fill big shoes with Stefon Diggs out of town. He comes into the season with a chip on his shoulder from the NFL draft being vocal about his displeasure becoming the 5th WR drafted. He will look to make the teams who passed on him sorry. Vikings got a steal and now have a highly motivated player. Buy!
TE Irv Smith Jr.: TE2, priority FA for starter injury/bye week replacement, Big buy for dynasty, TE Kyle Rudolph is still around, keep an eye out in deep leagues
In the NFL QB is king, so this offensive core will be a FADE for me this season. QB play limitations and a good defense could be a recipe for QB game managers and controlling the clock. Of course this is an over-generalization but Trusbisky under center doesn’t excite me.
QB Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles: We aren’t drafting these QBs, but I prefer Nick Foles to Trubisky at this point of their careers. I really like the idea of Mitch Trubisky but inconsistent execution has soured his outlook.
This is a shame because he has a nice duo of WRs in Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller, and unique Swiss Army knife in Tarik Cohen that have their potential capped. These players are preferred with Foles under center.
RB David Montgomery: Low-RB2 (robust WR or elite TE), high-RB3, 10-12% auction, round 6, disappointing rookie campaign has lowered his cost, post-hype sleeper with upside. If he is your RB2, I would make RB a priority for the next 2-3 rounds after drafting him. Fingers crossed for a more efficient season.
RB Tarik Cohen: Low-RB3 while going robust WR, 5-6% auction, round 9, this zeroRB target is best utilized in PPR formats. A very unique player that has great pass catching upside.
WR Allen Robinson: Low-WR1, high-WR2, 13-14%, round 3, love the player, amazing talent, but has terrible QBs throwing him the ball for his entire career, including this year. Highly preferable to have Foles be the one throwing him the ball.
He is essentially QB proof but considering the other WRs that are drafted around him, I typically look elsewhere. He is exceptional but the offense is a FADE that is why I prefer to get him at a value rather than at ADP.
WR Anthony Miller: WR4-5, 3-4% auction, round 12, an excellent complimentary receiver opposite Robinson, a great value late in drafts being an offenses’ 2nd WR. He is one of the first players I look to add into my draft queue.
The Bears are a team with 27 TEs (only 7, actually) and none of them draftable. Cole Kmet is an intriguing prospect for dynasty. Old TE favorite Jimmy Graham is worth keeping on your radar especially if Nick Foles is the QB.
Steve Uetz has over 15 years of experience in fantasy football. He enjoys writing fantasy football content and articles. He is very passionate about Auction Leagues. Other than his own fantasy football teams, Steve is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles & Penn State! Steve (@FantasyLadder on Twitter) is very accessible and involved in the Fantasy Football Twitter community! Reach out to him anytime for questions or advice! His primary goal is to help you win your leagues.