NFC North Fantasy Focus: Green Bay Packers

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2014 | 0


With the 2014 NFL season set to kick off on Thursday, September 4, when Green Bay takes on the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle, now is the prime time to formulate a winning fantasy draft strategy that will lay the groundwork for a successful run into the winter months.

In order to do so, savvy drafters need to know what’s going on around the league, and a good way to focus on that is to examine each division in terms of its fantasy relevance. Some divisions offer precious little fantasy worth, while others are seemingly overflowing with high-level talents that will take your team to the top.

In a multi-part series at TSM Plug, we’ll break down which teams you should target to take your team from mere contender to juggernaut. Let’s get started with one of the most stacked teams in one of the most stacked divisions, the Green Bay Packers of the NFC North:

The Packers field arguably the most talent-laden team in the NFC North. In most other divisions, the Pack would earn that distinction outright, but with the high-powered offenses of Chicago and Detroit nipping at their heels, Green Bay will need star QB Aaron Rodgers to stay healthy for the entirety of 2014 to solidify that spot.

Losing Rodgers for seven games in 2013 undoubtedly hurt the Packers’ chances at a Super Bowl run. He’s not cheap at his current average draft position (ADP) of 21 in standard Yahoo leagues, so make sure you have the rest of your draft planned out effectively if you decide to spend such an early pick on Rodgers.

If he does go down with another injury and you have him on your team, backup QB Matt Flynn is an erratic-at-best option, so you may be left scrambling to find a more suitable second QB on the waiver wire. Try to avoid this. If you draft Rodgers, make sure you also draft a solid backup in the mid-to-late rounds such as the Cowboys’ Tony Romo or Philip Rivers of the Chargers.

If Rodgers can stay healthy, expect some absolutely eye-popping numbers, as he has a lethal arsenal of weapons at his disposal. No. 1 wideout Jordy Nelson recently signed a lucrative contract extension, and having that out of the way should benefit his play on the field.

Not far behind Nelson, speedster Randall Cobb is poised for a huge year if he too can avoid the injury bug. Third WR Jarrett Boykin could also enjoy the benefit of defenses having no choice but to focus their attention elsewhere. The team also drafted Jared Abbreberis out of Wisconsin in the fifth round of this year’s draft; an injury to any one of the above names could immediately thrust him into a fantasy-worthy role on a good team.

TE Andrew Quarless could be poised for a breakout year, but he’s most likely a wait-and-see option in terms of fantasy. He’s looked good in the preseason; however, with more consistent options out there at the position, try to lock up someone with a more proven track record.


The Pack is equally as proficient at running the ball, as second-year RB Eddie Lacy should command a monstrous workload on the ground and through the air. At a lofty ADP of 4, Lacy is a high-risk, high-reward elite back. If you do decide to draft him, be sure to take backup RB James Starks as insurance in case Lacy gets hurt.

The Packers defense and special teams (D/ST) has steadily declined since their Super Bowl win in 2011. The loss of longtime leader Charles Woodson certainly hurts, and star linebacker (LB) Clay Matthews has been plagued by injuries. With a bevy of shootouts set to go down in the NFC North, its teams’ defenses are primarily ones to avoid, and Green Bay’s is no different.

Overall, Green Bay is set to have a massive impact upon the 2014 fantasy season. There aren’t many teams with more players who could produce at such a high level, making them a team to target early and often in order to find success on the virtual gridiron this year.

Draft the Pack and reap the benefits, but also be ready for their stars to lose a few games to injury.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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