NFC North Fantasy Review

| 4 years ago
Brandon Marshall

NFC North Fantasy Review


There are different stats I like to look at when looking back at the season. As with any stats, some are limited by injuries, sample size, or just regular prejudice. Each stat will be the same throughout the series, but putting together a comprehensive review would take forever and frankly would be 400 pages long. Luckily for you, I have split up each one into the most important (and unusual) stats to compare with each division.

With the majority of free agency settled, the players have been moved into the appropriate division. Player movement is included in the notes and commentary follows each table. I have included any relevant players, based on team changes and popular “sleeper” candidates. Stats are based on PPR (points per reception).

 

Quarterback

Three of the four quarterbacks in this division are going nowhere. Christian Ponder appears to be getting another shot to show improvement, but the Vikings brought in Matt Cassel to back him up.

Player

Points Per Drop Back

Points Per Game

Jay Cutler

0.347 (25th)

11.47 (27th)

Matt Stafford

0.339 (27th)

16.44 (12th)

Aaron Rodgers

0.515 (7th)

20.56 (2nd)

Matt Cassel

0.230 (37th)

8.00 (37th)

Christian Ponder

0.325 (30th)

11.25 (29th)

Aaron Rodgers put together another phenomenal year, but you have to wonder how frustrated he is getting not getting deeper in the playoffs. Matthew Stafford took a small step back in terms of overall production, but staying healthy all year for the second straight is a good sign after early injury concerns in his career. Rodgers lost Greg Jennings but has up-and-coming Randall Cobb to take his place. Jay Cutler, with the gift of a cannon attached to his shoulder, is finally getting some weapons for him to use. Alshon Jeffery will return healthy to go along with new acquisition Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall. Marc Trestman, the new Bears coach, will put Cutler in the best position to succeed. The Vikings have a mess at quarterback, which bodes well for Adrian Peterson not losing any carries.

 

Running Back

The biggest free agent running back, Reggie Bush, landed in Detroit and figures to be a top PPR back this year. Green Bay has an identity problem at running back, so that situation will have to be monitored this summer and in training camp.

 

Player

Touches/Missed Tackle

Carries/15y+ Run

Points Per Snap

Points Per Touch

Matt Forte

12.7 (96th)

20.7 (40th)

0.308 (53rd)

0.75 (51st)

Michael Bush

7.2 (55th)

38.0 (82nd)

0.340 (37th)

0.70 (74th)

Reggie Bush

7.3 (56th)

14.2 (19th)

0.348 (34th)

0.77 (50th)

DuJuan Harris

7.2 (54th)

34.0 (77th)

0.442 (12th)

0.87 (36th)

Alex Green

12.8 (97th)

45.0 (86th)

0.221 (96th)

0.50 (109th)

Adrian Peterson

5.5 (27th)

8.7 (3rd)

0.437 (15th)

0.89 (32nd)

Matt Forte should not be ranked 96th in touches per missed tackle. That doesn’t show confidence in his ability to break tackles. Trestman’s west coast offense may put Forte in the open field more, giving him a better chance to make defenders miss. DuJuan Harris played well in his time with Green Bay, which is why he received 67% of the carries in the Packers’ two playoff games. Alex Green was the primary running back down the stretch of the regular season, but the Packers still flirted with Steven Jackson before he went to Atlanta. Reggie Bush will have ample opportunities to make highlight-reel plays like the ones he made at USC on screens and stretch plays.

 

Wide Receiver

Percy Harvin pouted his way out of Minnesota to Seattle and Greg Jennings pulls off the rare in-division switch to the Vikings.

Player

Points Per Snap

Points Per Catchable Target

Brandon Marshall

0.337 (4th)

2.55 (54th)

Alshon Jeffery

0.177 (81st)

3.03 (14th)

Calvin Johnson

0.295 (14th)

2.56 (53rd)

Jordy Nelson

0.273 (22nd)

2.90 (20th)

James Jones

0.221 (41st)

3.38 (3rd)

Randall Cobb

0.363 (2nd)

2.60 (49th)

Greg Jennings

0.222 (40th)

2.54 (56th)

Jarius Wright

0.318 (8th)

2.54 (56th)

 

James Jones scored a league-high fourteen touchdowns on the year, aided by injuries to Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson. Aaron Rodgers can support three wide receivers for fantasy, so all three should be coveted in drafts. Greg Jennings loses a lot of fantasy luster by switching from Rodgers to Christian Ponder. Who knows, maybe Jennings will be able to mentor the bright quarterback. Alshon Jeffery was extremely productive before breaking his hand, ranking fourteenth in points per target. With Brandon Marshall on the other side, Jeffery is bound to have his opportunities around the goal-line, provided he doesn’t land on his hand again.

 

Tight End

Martellus Bennett left the Giants and joined the Bears in Chicago. The other three tight ends remain on their respective teams.

Player

Points Per Snap

Points Per Catchable Target

Brandon Pettigrew

0.180 (16th)

2.08 (39th)

Martellus Bennett

0.156 (23rd)

2.42 (19th)

Jermichael Finley

0.199 (9th)

2.02 (44th)

Kyle Rudolph

0.161 (22nd)

2.65 (9th)

 

Kyle Rudolph was the second most surprising story coming from Minnesota during the year, racking up nine touchdowns and 493 yards. Martellus Bennett had a good year despite Eli Manning putting up four terrible fantasy weeks and a slightly down year. Jermichael Finley will have to continue to work on his hands after tying for the third most drops among tight ends last year. Tied with Finley was Brandon Pettigrew at nine drops each. Each one of these tight ends have risk heading into the year based on changes within the team. Luckily none of these players will have a high price tag in upcoming drafts.

 

Kicker

Just kidding. But yes, kickers are people too.

 

Allen has lots of interesting stats and somewhat funny jokes on Twitter: @Allen_Bassett … and don’t forget the main PFF Fantasy feed: @PFF_Fantasy

 



Business Consultant working in Albuquerque, NM (yes, that's a state). I love football and I love statistics.

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