White Hat Sports Headlines

Saturday, August 30, 2008

NFC North Preview Part One

Here is the beginning of the NFC North previews. If you want to see the NFC East rankings or the AFC East Rankings just scroll down as Sterling and I are both slacking and they are all on the main page.

1. Green Bay Packers-Projected Record 10-6, first in NFC North.

Quarterback: Brett Favre is still considered one of the elite quarterbacks in the game, and had one of his best seasons last year. While I don't expect him to repeat that for the Packers, I do think...wait, Brett Favre isn't with the Packers? When did that happen? Now Aaron Rodgers is the starter? Oh, well in that case, I really like Rodgers as well. If he can stay healthy (big if) he should be as good as most of the young quarterbacks out there. The defense, not Rodgers and the offense will be the difference on this team though.

Running Back: I'm going to give you guys a fantasy tip here...don't be so sure about Ryan Grant. Sure, he led multiple fantasy teams into the playoffs as a waiver pick up, but he is still completely unproven. I don't think he will be bad, but I do expect Brandon Jackson to steal some carries from him, and he may eventually take over the starters job.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver and Greg Jennings are both good targets for this team, and it seems as though James Jones is a good red zone option, but none of these guys will overwhelm. Driver has always been consistent but never great, and Jennings so far has been following that mold. For fantasy owners, I expect Jones to steal some TD's while not racking up many yards this year.

Tight End: Donald Lee is average at best, and tight end is a weakness for this team.

Offensive Line etc...: Their offensive line is good, but how good? Will they be able to protect Rodgers in the pocket enough to allow him to build his confidence? Only time will tell. The defense of this team is their key, and while they don't have a lot in terms of household names, they do have a lot of very good talent that just fits well. The special teams is average.

2. Minnesota Vikings-Projected Record 8-8, second in NFC North.

Quarterback: Tavaris Jackson is considered developmental by the Vikings, but I consider him anti-developmental. Realistically he is not the guy to get this team very far, and they need to just accept that. Whether that means taking a chance on a young talent that is benched (Brady Quinn) or try a guy that failed elsewhere ( Alex Smith) or wait until the draft I don't know, but they need to do something. Jackson not only makes the team worse, but he holds back their development in what is otherwise probably a playoff team.

Running Back: I love Adrian Peterson just like everyone else, but he is an injury risk. That doesn't mean you shouldn't draft him in your fantasy leagues (I've drafted him over L.T. this year) but it does mean don't be surprised if he misses a few games. And if he does the team won't win, despite Chester Taylor being a good back up. They have nothing explosive in their offense without All-Day.

Wide Receivers: The signing of Bernard Berrian is not what this team needed. He was an alright and inconsistent guy with the Bears who don't have a lot of receiver depth, why do they think he will be the star of their team when they are in the same situation. I will admit Sydney Rice does intrigue me some, he could be a good player.

Tight End: I'll be honest, I don't even know who they have at tight end. As a reporter that works in T.V. sports and a guy that works in radio sports on the weekends I like to think I know my sports. Never mind the fact that I am an avid fantasy sports player. Lets just move on here and consider this a weakness.

Offensive Line etc...: This is one of the best offensive lines in the league. They have the veteran talent in guys like Steve Hutchinson and Bryant Mckinnie, but also have decent youth. Their defense is also one of the best in the league, as they have probably the best defensive line. If their secondary does well they could sneak into the playoffs, but I think they are a little too weak there. Their special teams is, once again, average.

Second half of the NFC North preview to come.

Also, don't forget our fantasy league drafts Monday night, and Sterling and I be doing some ground breaking things in our coverage for it. Make sure to stay tuned.

~Aaron Jackson

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