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In an effort to write these columns before the start of the season, I thought I'd get some help on this issue. So I asked my wife, who is a big Green Bay Packers fan, what her thoughts were on the 2018 fantasy football season. As a note, my wife is a highly regarded researcher working on very advanced topics like how Zika is transmitted from human to human and things like that. I am an idiot who writes, well, these columns. Anyway, the conversation.....

Me: "Hey honey, I'm working on the NFC North now. What do you think of the Packers this season?"
Jen: "They'll be good."
Me: "Who should I highlight in fantasy?"
Jen: "Aaron"
Me: "Who else"
Jen: "I dunno. I don't know... I can't think of anyone else."
Me: "Can I quote you on that?"
Jen: "What? No. Don't quote me."
Me: "I've quoted you before."
Jen: "When?"
Me: "About your love of David Njoku."
Jen: "I love David Njoku"


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Chicago Bears


Six receivers made the Chicago Bears, which isn't unusual. What's unusual is how many of these names are either brand new or totally forgotten. Allen Robinson is the number one receiver in this offense, but he's fallen massively in drafts, from a fourth round talent in 12-man PPR drafts to closer to the end of the fifth. After tearing his ACL, the lack of confidence as a WR1 is understood. Keep in mind, though, that Allen Robinson is a 24-year old whose value was nuked in 2016 due to a ton of deep balls being thrown near him but certainly not to him, and coupled with a major injury means that he's going closer to FLEX territory than his true value. If you find Robinson as an option in the sixth round, I'm certainly more likely to take him than a Carlos Hyde or a Marshawn Lynch (both currently going before him.)

After that is a bit of an open field. Anthony Miller is the only other Chicago pass catcher being drafted in the top-150 overall, and while the rookie has apparently stood out in training camp , he can only be considered a dart throw as of draft day and should be drafted as such as your last pick. Following Miller are some players worth monitoring; Kevin White has been the biggest fantasy question mark after years of wondering if he'd be healthy enough to take the field, and Javon Wims is even lower on the "rookies who could be good list." We're also left with Josh Bellamy and Taylor Gabriel. Do with that information what you will.

This isn't exactly the most in-depth fantasy analysis, but anyone who is saying they can accurately estimate production-share in this offense is messing with you. Yes, the receivers are likely going in the right order as listed, we know that we have one The Great Kevin White Hope and two rookies who hopefully will adjust quickly but likely have some growing pains in the NFL. It's arguably the most interesting pass catching situation in the NFL apart from Jacksonville, which is still trying to figure out who to get the ball to long after Robinson has left the building. At least in this situation, we should see him thrive.


Detroit Lions

_________ will return his fantasy value when it comes working in the backfield

A. Theo Riddick
B. Kerryon Johnson
C. LeGarrette Blount
D. Ameer Abdullah

I get the Kerryon Johnson hype, and I don't want this column to keep hitting the note of "I don't trust rookies." In the case of Kerryon Johnson, I actually do, as it figures that Matt Patricia's offense should utilize a bit more crafty use of running backs. And with LeGarrette Blount very obviously only having value as a run-it-in endzone threat and Ameer Abdullah not having much value at all, Kerryon Johnson should see immediate impact with his running and blocking abilities.

In August alone, though, Johnson's value has skyrocketed, topping out as a fifth round pick on average (key word being average of all leagues, and not just Detroit Lions fan leagues) before settling back down to the beginning of the sixth round. That's my only issue with Johnson is that he'd have to see Alvin Kamara 2017 YPC production to meet the value of a RB2 while he's ultimately limited to around 200 touches in his rookie season. That's asking far too much out of the back in this case, no matter his talent.

Now, let's go back to the question; who is likely to return their value? The one RB we haven't mentioned is arguably the one with the best built in value. Theo Riddick is the pass-catching back in the Detroit Lions offense, and has finished between RB 18-26 in the last three seasons. As a frame of reference, running backs 18-26 per current ADP are Kenyan Drake, Lamar Miller, Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, Jay Ajayi, Marshawn Lynch, Carlos Hyde, Dion Lewis and Jamaal Williams. You can safely get Riddick about 30 running backs later, around where you're just getting backups like Austin Ekeler and James Conner. No one expects Riddick's role to change save for a little less actual ball-running, but in a PPR league, he's easily a depth running back who could serve as a BYE week replacement and, if all goes well, have some low-end FLEX potential.


Green Bay Packers

_________ are considered "fallers," and it's time to catch them.

A. Aaron Jones
B. Jamaal Williams
C. Ty Montgomery
D. Marcedes Lewis

This argument was already had much more succinctly by Tyler McGuiggan and Wai Salas last month, but Aaron Jones vs Jamaal Williams now technically has a winner in terms of ADP only. While Aaron Jones was technically winning this argument for a few weeks in July, Jamaal Williams has rocketed up draft boards. Seriously, from a low of tenth round in 12-man PPR leagues all the way to the end of the fifth.

But I agree with Tyler McGuiggan here that, post-suspension, Aaron Jones has more talent and more potential in this offense, and Jamaal Williams is.... fine. He's mostly fine. But Aaron Jones is now hovering somewhere around the ninth round in 12-man PPR leagues, so your choice is a player of Jones's caliber or potential, or someone like Adrian Peterson, Tarik Cohen, or Bilal Powell (apparently Duke Johnson has dropped this far as well, but oh my god why why is this happening guys holy sh*t draft Duke Johnson). The choice is clear if you're playing for upside, and certainly, if you're in a dynasty or keeper league and are desperate for a cheap RB who could evolve into a RB2 with some consistent usage.


Minnesota Vikings

HANDCUFF ALERT! Own _________ or you could be overpaying to trade for him.

He's already risen up two whole rounds of ADP in August alone, but Latavius Murray is the very obvious answer here. There was a while that Murray was going at Giovani Bernard-ADP level, and that's corrected itself, but if you own Dalvin Cook or hate the person in your league who does, there's arguably no better backup to roster. If you find yourself in round 11-12 seeing defenses fly off the board too early or unproven commodities being reached for, why not quietly reside next to one of the most efficient running backs in the game and see if he ends up being a value for you again. No one wants Cook to go down again, but 2017-Cook owners know that it just can't be risked.


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