's Countdown to Kickoff: NFC North preview

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2014 record: 5-11

Projected 2015 record: 6-10


Week 1: vs. Green Bay

Week 2: vs. Arizona

Week 3: at Seattle

Week 4: vs. Oakland

Week 5: at Kansas City

Week 6: at Detroit

Week 7: BYE

Week 8: vs. Minnesota

Week 9: at San Diego

Week 10: at St. Louis

Week 11: vs. Denver

Week 12: at Green Bay

Week 13: vs. San Francisco

Week 14: vs. Washington

Week 15: at Minnesota

Week 16: at Tampa Bay

Week 17: vs. Detroit

 (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Fantasy might have spit out a collective groan when John Fox was tabbed to replace offensive-minded head coach Marc Trestman, but the truth is Trestman couldn’t make much of all the offensive firepower. Perhaps a defensive guy like Fox can change the culture with the Chicago Bears and make them a winner again.

As fantasy unfriendly Fox might seem to be, he is a player’s coach. Also, malcontent Brandon Marshall is no longer around to make a mess of things. Consider that addition by subtraction.

Now, if only Fox can fix quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears will rise for one-week fantasy football players again. Even with Marshall out of the picture, there is talent here with one of the truest feature backs in fantasy, Matt Forte, and star wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery.

Both of those premium players are entering a contract year, by the way. They will be motivated to produce and earn a payday next winter.

Player to Watch: Eddie Royal. Now that Kevin White is potentially out for the season, Royal could see a bit more action. Although he’s still just a slot receiver, Royal can make plenty of plays in the red zone.


2014 record: 7-9

Projected 2015 record: 8-8


Week 1: at San Francisco

Week 2: vs. Detroit

Week 3: vs. San Diego

Week 4: at Denver

Week 5: BYE

Week 6: vs. Kansas City

Week 7: at Detroit

Week 8: at Chicago

Week 9: vs. St. Louis

Week 10: at Oakland

Week 11: vs. Green Bay

Week 12: at Atlanta

Week 13: vs. Seattle

Week 14: at Arizona

Week 15: vs. Chicago

Week 16: vs. NY Giants

Week 17: at Green Bay

 (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

It has been told to us over and over again: 30-year-old running backs are fantasy death knells. This might not apply to Adrian Peterson, who is returning from a lost season due to suspension for off-the-field transgressions.

Peterson missed all but one game in 2014, and somewhat surprisingly (and disgruntledly), returns to the Minnesota Vikings. The good news is he doesn’t have the 29th year of wear and  tear. The bad news is he might have some rust coagulating.

The ugly news for Vikings opponents is the mere presence of Peterson makes everyone instantly better…and simultaneously less expensive for us in FanDuel fantasy football contests.

Player to Watch: Teddy Bridgewater. Although he wasn’t the best quarterback last season, Bridgewater showed some serious promise as a rookie. With an elite running back taking some pressure off him, Bridgewater has the chance to put up some big numbers against weaker secondaries this year.

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack


2014 record: 11-5

Projected 2015 record: 8-8


Week 1: at San Diego

Week 2: at Minnesota

Week 3: vs. Denver

Week 4: at Seattle

Week 5: vs. Arizona

Week 6: vs. Chicago

Week 7: vs. vs. Minnesota

Week 8: at Kansas City

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: at Green Bay

Week 11: vs. Oakland

Week 12: vs. Philadelphia

Week 13: vs. Green Bay

Week 14: at St. Louis

Week 15: at New Orleans

Week 16: vs. San Francisco

Week 17: at Chicago

(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Head coach Jim Caldwell might have made the Detroit Lions a contender in the NFC North, but he hasn’t done fantasy owners many favors. He is a defensive guy, after all.

Points and yards, bad. Defense and power running, good.

Blame some of the Lions fantasy disappointments on the first year of offensive coordinator’s Joe Lombardi’s system, perhaps, but really it was about the Lions playing to support their elite defense. With some heavy free-agent losses—literally in the cases of the defensive line run-pluggers—we might…we hope…see a trend back to an aggressive offensive approach in Detroit.

This is a team that boasts Calvin Johnson—aka Megatron because he is all arms and legs in the downfield passing game—so the FanDuel expectations and prices are still fairly high on the offensive side.

Player to Watch: Ameer Abdullah. One of the most impressive training camp performances in the NFL has come from the rookie RB out of Nebraska. He’ll likely start off as a third-down back, but don’t be surprised if he starts taking more touches from Joique Bell as the season progresses.

-Tyler Brooke and Eric Mack


2014 record: 12-4

Projected 2015 record: 13-3


Week 1: at Chicago

Week 2: vs. Seattle

Week 3: vs. Kansas City

Week 4: at San Francisco

Week 5: vs. St. Louis

Week 6: vs. San Diego

Week 7: BYE

Week 8: at Denver

Week 9: at Carolina

Week 10: vs. Detroit

Week 11: at Minnesota

Week 12: vs. Chicago

Week 13: at Detroit

Week 14: vs Dallas

Week 15: at Oakland

Week 16: at Arizona

Week 17: vs. Minnesota

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

It is not how you start, but how you finish. The Green Bay Packers’ Eddie Lacy knows that well, emerging in the second half each of his first two seasons in the NFL.

As long as the Packers have Lacy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, they are going to be popular one-week fantasy picks no matter the time of the year. It is worth noting, though, 17 of Lacy’s 24 career touchdowns, per, have come in November and December—the “frozen tundra of Lambeau Field” months.

If Lacy starts slow and his price drops, the value will come to us down the stretch.

Player to Watch: Richard Rodgers. The second-year tight end has been impressing in training camp. He only had 20 receptions for 225 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie season, but the 23-year-old has breakout potential in 2015, especially with another Rodgers throwing him the ball.

-Tyler Brook and Eric Mack


Welcome to the 2015 NFL season!

Every weekday for the next few weeks we will release predictions for a different division and the overall season, and today we highlight the NFC North. Last season, the Green Bay Packers finished atop the division and made a spirited run to the NFC Championship game. This year, many think they could go even further.

Scroll through the gallery above to check out each team's schedule and our projected records.

SEE ALSO: full preview package


Turn your fantasy football knowledge into cash! We're hosting a one-week $1 million league on FanDuel in Week 1. It's only $5 to enter and first place walks away with $100,000. Enter now and change your lineup anytime until 9/13 at 1:00pm (ET).

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