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FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Training Camp Preview: NFC North

Fri Jul 24 10:02am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Lazard could start for Packers


This is the sixth preview in a series of training camp previews. We will continue to release the previews throughout the week. The previews give you a quick look at each team, going over position battles and injuries to watch in camp. The season is right around the corner.

Packers

The Packers should have an interesting training camp because of friction between Aaron Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur. The two will need to get along if the Packers hope to reach their potential, which is high. Green Bay holds training camp at the Don Hutson Center in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.

Position battle: The Packers continue to search for a legit No. 2 receiver opposite Davante Adams. The candidates to start this year are Allen Lazard, Devin Funchess and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Lazard might have the leg up to start right now but this job is up for grabs. There is nothing certain with this position. Hopefully, one of these guys can emerge and be a real help to the passing game, which hasn’t been the case in recent years.

Injury watch: Star receiver Davante Adams missed four games last year because of injury and has failed to play a full season three straight years. The Packers need a healthy Adams in their lineup for a full season if they hope the passing game has any success. There is a huge drop in talent after Adams. 

Vikings

Minnesota is close to making a Super Bowl run but just haven’t gotten over the hump in recent years. The Vikings will hope to take things up a notch this season, starting in training camp. Minnesota needs Dalvin Cook to stay on the field a full year and for Kirk Cousins to play a little more mistake free football. Training camp for the Vikings takes place at the TCO Performance Center in Eagan, Minnesota.

Position battle: Kyle Rudolph has been the starter for years in Minnesota but second-year tight end Irv Smith could push him for the job this year. Rudolph is a better blocker, which probably helps his chances to start over Smith. But Smith is a better, more explosive player in the passing game. Both should play a role offensive even if they don’t start, but the starter might hold a little more fantasy value, especially if Smith can wrestle away the job from Rudolph.

Injury watch: Dalvin Cook is a supreme talent but injuries have been an issue for him to start his career. He is yet to play a full season in three years. He had a huge season last year despite missing two games. Cook needs to shed his injury prone label and get a full season under his belt. He also is threatening a holdout this year because he is searching for a new contract, which is something else to watch during camp.   

Lions

The Lions didn’t have quite the season as expected last year, mainly because Matthew Stafford went down with injury. Getting a healthy Stafford back might be the key to the season for the Lions. The offense just didn’t function nearly as well with Stafford out. Stafford and teammates will train at the Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan.

Position battle: Kerryon Johnson has performed well in a starting role the last two seasons but hasn’t been able to stay on the field. The Lions added D’Andre Swift in the draft this year to give Johnson some competition for the job. Swift is a very talented back that can be a three-down player in the NFL. He has a good chance to unseat Johnson for the starter’s job in Detroit. You’ll want to keep a close eye on the competition in camp. It should be a good one.

Injury watch: Marvin Jones battled an ankle injury much of last year, causing him miss games while playing hurt in others. This impacted his production. He should be just fine for the start of training camp, but keep an eye on his health just to be sure. Jones could be a surprise fantasy player this year after his injury issues last year. He has the talent to produce well in this pass-friendly offense opposite Kenny Golladay.

Bears

The Bears should have a very interesting training camp, mainly because of their quarterback battle. This should be something entertaining to watch, seeing who emerges as the starter for the Bears. Obviously, getting solid quarterback play is very important for the success of the Bears season. They need one of these guys to steady the ship. Chicago holds training camp at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Position battle: The Bears brought in some competition for Mitchell Trubisky, adding Nick Foles to the roster. This will be a wide open competition for the starter’s job. Trubisky has a lot of talent but just hasn’t progressed as expected. Foles is a steady veteran that seems a good fit for the Bears offense. Foles might have the upper hand right now, but don’t rule out Trubisky if he can show improvements from the last few years.

Injury watch: Anthony Miller needed shoulder surgery this offseason. He might not be quite 100 percent for the start of training camp. His health is something to watch, especially since he has injured the same shoulder two straight years. This is an injury concern going forward for Miller. He has a wealth of talent but hasn’t quite reached that potential and this injury might be something that holds him back from reaching that potential.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Dalton Schultz Sep 23 5:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz is suddenly a viable fantasy starting tight end in 12-team leagues. Schultz led the Cowboys in targets in Week 2 with 10, catching nine passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. With that kind of usage and with another potentially high-scoring game on tap for Week 3, Schultz could see another TE1 finish. With Blake Jarwin (knee) done for the season, Schultz will remain the top receiving tight end for the high-octane Cowboys offense.

From RotoBaller

Greg Zuerlein Sep 23 5:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein is a strong fantasy kicking option for Week 3 lineups. Zuerlein has made three of his four field goal tries and all six of his extra points so far this season. The Cowboys will be taking on the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, making for another possibly high-scoring game which should lead to kicking opportunities for Zuerlein. He's a starting kicker in 12-team leagues.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Sep 23 5:20pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys Defense is not a recommended start in Week 3 fantasy lineups. Despite the team coming back to win in Week 2, it's no secret that the Cowboys defense struggled quite a bit against the Falcons, allowing 39 points. This week, they'll take on a red-hot Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in what should be another high-scoring contest. The Cowboys defense hasn't been able to put any pressure on opposing quarterbacks so far this season, and Wilson and the Seahawks shouldn't have too much trouble putting up points. Most fantasy leagues will have far better DST options on the waiver wire this week.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Sep 23 5:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper has been an effective fantasy wide receiver through two games despite not coming down with a touchdown yet. Cooper has totaled 16 catches for 181 yards on 23 targets. Facing the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, the Cowboys should have another high-scoring offensive performance and Cooper is about as good a bet as anyone to score his first touchdown of 2020. Cooper is a mid-tier WR1 for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Sep 23 5:10pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. It's not a great start to the week, but Adams still has two more days to get back on the field heading into Week 3 against the Saints in what could be a high-scoring affair. The 27-year-old went off for 14 catches, 156 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opener, but he had just three receptions for 36 yards in the Week 2 win over Detroit while he battled his injury. Adams is a must-start, high-end WR1 whenever he's playing. Keep a close eye on his practice status the rest of the week. If for some reason he can't play, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling would both become intriguing flex plays.

From RotoBaller

Michael Gallup Sep 23 5:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup has been mostly disappointing through the first two weeks of the season, but he's a solid fantasy bet for a Week 3 potentially high-scoring affair with the Seattle Seahawks. So far, Gallup has turned 10 targets into five catches for 108 yards. He's been on the field for almost every offensive play, however, seeing the field on 96% of Week 1's offensive snaps and 91% of Week 2's. In a game sure to feature some high scores, Gallup is a solid WR2 option with touchdown upside.

From RotoBaller

Michael Thomas Sep 23 5:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday while he tries to recover from a high ankle sprain. Thomas missed the Monday night loss to the Raiders and could miss several more weeks. Fantasy managers shouldn't be expecting to get the All-Pro receiver back in Week 3 against the Packers. As we witnessed against Las Vegas, you can't really count on New Orleans' other receivers in Emmanuel Sanders or Tre'Quan Smith in the absence of Thomas. This game has the potential to be a high-scoring affair, but Sanders remains a boom/bust WR4/flex for much deeper leagues.

From RotoBaller

CeeDee Lamb Sep 23 5:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb comes in right on the WR2/3 turn for a good Week 3 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Lamb somewhat surprisingly tied for the team lead in wide receiver targets with nine in Week 2. Week 3 draws another potentially high-scoring contest, with Lamb sure to see many targets for a second consecutive week. He's playing behind Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in terms of offensive snaps, but he's being targeted heavily when he in on the field. In Week 1, Lamb was in on 82% of the team's offensive snaps, with a similar 83% number in Week 2. He's certainly made the most of his snaps, turning 15 targets into 11 catches for 165 yards so far this season.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Sep 23 5:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he'd be surprised if quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) is ready to play in Week 3 against the Giants. Shanahan expects Nick Mullens to get the start. Garoppolo is dealing with a minor high ankle sprain and is week-to-week for now. The Niners have a favorable matchup against New York this week, but it seems as if their entire offense is injured at the moment. The return of tight end George Kittle (knee) would be much welcomed, but regardless, Mullens is a desperation fantasy streamer as a QB2 in superflex leagues if Jimmy G sits out this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Sep 23 5:00pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring), who aggravated his injury in the Week 2 loss to the Cowboys, did not practice on Wednesday. While the veteran Jones often misses practice and plays through nagging injuries, this is one to keep a close eye on the rest of the week leading up to Week 3 against the Bears. The All-Pro pass-catcher had just two receptions last week and will be facing a stingy Bears Defense if he plays, and he would likely be at less than 100 percent. Jones is a must-start WR1 each and every week, but he's become riskier. If he is forced to rest, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage would see more targets from quarterback Matt Ryan.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Chark Sep 23 4:50pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (back, chest) is listed as questionable for the Thursday night game against the Dolphins. Chark was limited in practice this week, so he should have a good shot at playing in Week 3. The 24-year-old has 109 receiving yards and a touchdown on seven catches through two weeks, so he'll remain a fine WR2 for Thursday night's game if he's active. If he is forced to sit out, rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. and Keelan Cole would become much more attractive as flex options in a good matchup against a Miami secondary that will be missing safety Byron Jones.

From RotoBaller

Tony Pollard Sep 23 4:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard is not a standalone fantasy option in Week 3 lineups. Pollard remains a potential league-winning backup, but as long as Ezekiel Elliott is on the field, Pollard won't get enough playing time to make much fantasy noise. In Week 1, Pollard was on the field for just 14% of offensive snaps and that dropped to 10% in Week 2. Pollard should be rostered in all formats, but shouldn't be started anywhere at this point.

From RotoBaller

Miami Dolphins Sep 23 4:50pm ET

Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones (Achilles, groin) has been ruled out for the Thursday night game against the Jaguars. Also, safety Clayton Fejedelem (pectoral) is considered doubtful for Week 3. The Dolphins secondary might be even more vulnerable in this one, which is good news for Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II and receivers D.J. Chark (if he plays), rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. and Keelan Cole. Chris Conley would also see more work if Chark is ruled inactive. Expect cornerback Xavien Howard to try and slow down Cole, who has been Jacksonville's best receiver through two games of the season. Stay away from the Dolphins Defense in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

D'Andre Swift Sep 23 4:40pm ET

Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift will go up against a Cardinals Defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing backs through two weeks. It has been a less-than-ideal start to the rookie's career, missing most of training camp and then dropping a game-winning touchdown against the Bears in Week 1. But Swift posted five catches for 60 yards last week and slowly is getting more snaps. Enter the Lions matchup against the Cardinals, a team that allowed 115 receiving yards and two touchdowns to the 49ers running backs in Week 1. This could be an opportunity for Swift to flash his potential, making him an intriguing, albeit risky, DFS selection in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Josh Lambo Sep 23 4:40pm ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars are placing kicker Josh Lambo (hip) on the Injured Reserve on Wednesday. Brandon Wright will be the team's kicker in the Week 3 game on Thursday night against the Dolphins. It sounds as if Lambo has a chance to return in around a month, barring any setbacks. The 29-year-old is perfect on his three field-goal tries through two games this year, and he's missed one of his seven extra points. You should go on ignoring Jacksonville's kicking situation for the time being.

From RotoBaller

Adrian Peterson Sep 23 4:30pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson will try and hold onto the starter's role in Week 3 against the Cardinals. After posting 93 rushing yards in Week 1, that number fell to 41 last week while splitting carries with teammates Kerryon Johnson and D'Andre Swift. The Lions running backs, however, will have a favorable matchup against a Cardinals Defense that is allowing the fourth most fantasy points to running backs through two games. Arizona has already allowed three different runners to post 10-plus fantasy points, giving Peterson a chance to provide RB3/FLEX fantasy value in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Sep 23 4:20pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will be an X-factor Sunday against the Titans in Week 3. Minnesota is 0-2 and absolutely need a victory against a Titans Defense that is allowing the 14th most fantasy points through two games. Cook has been held in check from a rushing yards perspective but already has three touchdowns on the season. The Titans have already allowed 10-plus fantasy points to three different running backs this season, setting up Cook to post RB1 numbers in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Jones Sep 23 4:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones will look to stay hot against the Saints in Week 3. Jones exploded last week for 228 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns and now has four total touchdowns on the season. Jones and Co. will face a Saints Defense is allowing the 14th fewest fantasy points to opposing backs through two games this season but their defense has certainly given up their share of points. Jones is one of the hottest offensive weapons in the NFL right now and should continue to post RB1 fantasy numbers in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Sep 23 4:10pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling could be the featured receiver against the high-powered Saints in Week 3. With star teammate Davante Adams' (hamstring) status up in the air, Valdes-Scantling could see plenty of targets as the Packers offense is off to a great start this season. The 25-year-old has 160 yards and one touchdown through two games and will face a Saints Defense that is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers. New Orleans has not allowed a receiver to post more than 79 receiving yards to a pass-catcher through two games and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been on fire in the early portions of the season. Valdes-Scantling will carry excellent DFS fantasy value for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Marvin Jones Sep 23 4:10pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. will try and jump-start a Lions offense in Week 3 against the Cardinals. Jones Jr. has struggled to fill in for injured teammate Kenny Golladay, posting only 78 receiving yards with one touchdown in two games. The Lions will face a Cardinals Defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to receivers during the early portion of this season. Jones Jr. is worth rostering in most fantasy formats but does not deserve a start in Week 3.

From RotoBaller