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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
DeVante Parker Sep 25 9:00pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker is clearly still not 100 percent healthy, but did play during the Thursday night win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He caught all five of his targets for 69 yards in Week 3. He'll get 10 days to heal up before his matchup with the Seattle Seahawks next week. Seattle has been horrendous at stopping the pass attack this season. Parker should be a reliable WR2 for that one, assuming he's healthy.

From RotoBaller

Mark Andrews Sep 25 8:50pm ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews will look to get back on track in Week 3 against the Chiefs. After a strong start to the 2020 campaign, the 25-year-old caught only one pass against the Houston Texans on Sunday. While that performance certainly left a bad taste in the mouths of fantasy managers, Andrews should remain starting in all formats, especially since his ceiling is higher than most at his position.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Howard Sep 25 8:50pm ET

Miami Dolphins running back Jordan Howard has been having trouble finding any room to run this season. He rushed three times for one yard and one touchdown in the Thursday night win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Howard has 16 carries for 12 yards on the season, but has three touchdowns as well. Myles Gaskin has become the clear lead back in Miami, so there is little reason to keep Howard rostered in 12-team leagues. He does have a three game touchdown streak, but that won't be enough value to warrant ownership in most leagues.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Brown Sep 25 8:40pm ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown will face his most formidable task of the season against the Chiefs in Week 3. Hollywood has compiled at least five catches in each of his first two games to go along with 143 yards. While Brown hasn't found the end zone yet during the 2020 campaign, he is always in line for a productive outing, especially with so many weapons on the offensive side of the ball opening things up for him. Fantasy managers should keep him starting for the Monday night showdown with Kansas City.

From RotoBaller

Myles Gaskin Sep 25 8:40pm ET

Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin saw a heavy workload during the Thursday night victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gaskin rushed 22 times for 66 yards and caught five passes for 29 yards through the air. He has become the clear lead back in Miami, but Jordan Howard and Matt Breida will still get a few touches each game. Gaskin is quickly picking up steam in PPR formats. He'll get another favorable matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Matt Breida Sep 25 8:40pm ET

Miami Dolphins running back Matt Breida has been having issues finding any momentum through the first three weeks of the 2020 NFL season. He rushed three times for four yards during the Thursday night victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Breida has been horrendous this season and is a cut-candidate in most formats. Myles Gaskin has become the clear lead back in Miami. Breida will still get a few carries each week, but it won't be enough to have value in most formats.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Fitzpatrick Sep 25 8:30pm ET

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick put together another solid performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. He completed 18 of 20 passing attempts for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 38 yards on the ground with a rushing touchdown as well. The Jaguars had no answers for Fitzpatrick through the first half, but were able to slow him down after halftime. He'll get another solid matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4. Seattle is struggling to slow down the passing game, so Fitzpatrick could be a possible streaming option again.

From RotoBaller

New Orleans Saints Sep 25 7:20pm ET

The New Orleans Saints Defense faces a tough test against the Packers, the league's highest-scoring team heading into Week 3. New Orleans has racked up some good stats so far, including six sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown. Unfortunately, Green Bay hasn't been giving to defenses this year, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked just once and has yet to throw an interception. When you consider that this game could become high-scoring, it makes the New Orleans defense less appealing for fantasy purposes. There are better starting options out there.

From RotoBaller

Jared Cook Sep 25 7:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook will square off with one of his former teams, the Packers, in Week 3. Cook ranks as the TE16 through two weeks of play and he was a bit disappointing in the first Saints game without Michael Thomas (ankle). Still, he's arguably the best pass-catcher this offense has besides Alvin Kamara, which should make fantasy managers feel better about starting him. Green Bay has been good against tight ends this year, though they haven't faced one who can stretch the field like Cook can. Plug him into lineups as a low-end TE1.

From RotoBaller

Wil Lutz Sep 25 7:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz gets a tough matchup against the Packers in Week 3. Lutz has made all three field-goals and all seven extra-points in two contests. New Orleans will have to put up more points in this one, considering that Green Bay currently leads the NFL in points per game. Fantasy managers should keep rolling with Lutz, as this contest could become high-scoring, lending to more opportunities for the veteran kicker. A top-12 finish at the position is certainly possible.

From RotoBaller

Montez Sweat Sep 25 6:40pm ET

Washington Football Team defense will be in play again in Week 3 in a matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Washington has a high-floor as a defense thanks to a ferocious defensive line that features Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, and second-overall pick Chase Young. Washington put up eight sacks in Week 1 and should be able to put pressure on Baker Mayfield this week. Their secondary is certainly capable of getting picked apart so their upside is limited, but they are a fine starting option in this matchup.

From RotoBaller

Emmanuel Sanders Sep 25 6:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders faces off with the Packers in Week 3. Sanders saw the second-highest number of snaps in Week 2 against the Raiders, but was third in wide receiver targets behind Tre'Quan Smith and Deonte Harris. This makes the veteran wideout hard to trust against Green Bay, despite the fact that they rank 22nd in fantasy points allowed to opposing wideouts. While both Sanders and Smith are obviously risky, Sanders is even more volatile right now considering he saw so few targets in Week 2. Sanders is in the WR4 range for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Gibson Sep 25 6:30pm ET

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson led the team in carries in Week 2 and should continue his ascent up the fantasy football ranks in a good matchup in Cleveland. Gibson handled 13 carries in Week 2 and started over veteran Peyton Barber and pass-catching specialist J.D. McKissic. Gibson only has three receptions thus far in 2020 but should get more involved in the passing game as he gets more comfortable with the NFL game. Start the rookie as a high-upside RB2.

From RotoBaller

Terry McLaurin Sep 25 6:20pm ET

Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin has a tough matchup versus former Ohio State teammate Denzel Ward, but is still a WR1 for a matchup in Cleveland. McLaurin typically sees the opposing team's top corner, but the sophomore receiver has beaten good cornerbacks before as he went for 125 yards and a touchdown versus Patrick Peterson in Week 1. Washington has struggled on offense but they tend to force-feed McLaurin targets making him solid starter for fantasy managers.

From RotoBaller

Logan Thomas Sep 25 6:10pm ET

Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas made four catches in each game so far this season and is a streamable tight end in a good matchup with Cleveland. Thomas hasn't eclipsed 40 yards in a game yet this season so he is a touchdown-dependent option in fantasy, but he has been getting a good amount of targets in an offense that lacks playmakers. Cleveland has given up a touchdown to tight ends in two-straight weeks so Thomas has a chance to pay off as a streamer in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Tre'Quan Smith Sep 25 6:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith could be a sneaky play in Week 3 against the Packers. In the first game without Michael Thomas (ankle), Smith played 53 snaps, compared to Emmanuel Sanders' 47, and caught five passes for 86 yards. He out-targeted Sanders seven to three. You can't feel entirely great about playing Smith, especially against a solid Packers' pass defense. Still, he has had a knack for finding the end zone in his career and saw the most targets of any pass-catcher not named Alvin Kamara. Smith is a sneaky play in all formats.

From RotoBaller

Dwayne Haskins Sep 25 6:10pm ET

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins has played efficiently in 2020, but is not a quarterback to target in fantasy. Haskins is quickly earning the dreaded "game manager" tag as he has thrown for under 225 yards and exactly one touchdown, but no interceptions, through the team's first two games. The Browns are a solid matchup and Haskins could play well again, but fantasy managers should aim higher with their QB. In 2QB leagues Haskins can be considered a low-end starter, but he should be left on waivers in most leagues.

From RotoBaller

Evan Engram Sep 25 6:00pm ET

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram has struggled thus far in 2020 and things won't get easier in Week 3 versus San Francisco. The 49ers won't be at full strength on defense after several injuries in Week 2, but they have still allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends through two weeks. Engram has just eight catches for 74 scoreless yards this season as New York has struggled on the offensive side of the ball. Engram isn't the slam-dunk fantasy starter he was after the draft but remains a low-end TE1 for this matchup at a weak tight end position for fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Darius Slayton Sep 25 5:50pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton had a letdown game in Week 2 with just 33 yards after he exploded for 100-plus yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Slayton should be in a position to see more targets this week as Sterling Shepard (toe) was placed on Injured Reserve. New York has struggled to move the ball on offense but will catch a break this week facing a 49ers Defense decimated by injuries. Slayton should be in line for seven-plus targets giving him appeal as a WR3 in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Latavius Murray Sep 25 5:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray gets a favorable matchup against the Packers in Week 3. Green Bay has surrendered the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and has allowed a back to score in each of their two games so far. Murray saw far less touches in Week 2, though it can't be forgotten that he carried the ball 15 times in Week 1, against a much tougher Buccaneers' run defense. With Michael Thomas (ankle) ruled out, it's possible New Orleans opts for a run-heavy approach. If the veteran halfback sees at least 10 touches, he could do enough to return flex value in Week 3. The risk is the week-to-week uncertainty with his role and the fact that Kamara could gobble up all the backfield touches once again.

From RotoBaller