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Fantasy Football Draft Values, Busts & Sleepers: NFC North (2023)

Fantasy Football Draft Values, Busts & Sleepers: NFC North (2023)

Thankfully the 2023 fantasy football season is just around the corner. Each year fantasy players want to construct their team with a proper mix of good-value players and upside sleepers while avoiding players with high bust potential.

In the sixth part of an eight-part series, I will identify two ADP values, two likely-to-bust candidates, and two potential sleepers from the NFC North.

Fantasy Football Draft Kit

ADP Values, Busts & Sleepers: NFC North

ADP via FantasyPros

ADP Values

Aaron Jones (RB – GB): ADP 40.3 | RB17

Green Bay’s offense will look drastically different this year compared to the 2021 season. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams are gone, while Jordan Love and Christian Watson replace them. However, the one remaining star is Jones. The veteran was the RB9 last season, averaging 12.9 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he had only two rushing touchdowns, while every other running back in the top 10 had at least eight rushing scores. Yet, the veteran has 1,121 rushing yards, a career-high. More importantly, the Packers’ offense is full of youth.

Last year their most veteran pass catchers were Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan. Both are no longer with the team. Therefore, the team will lean more on the veteran running back this season. Meanwhile, Jones was efficient with his touches last year. He ranked seventh in true yards per carry (five), 12th in yards per touch (5.6), ninth in evaded tackles (80), and ninth in breakaway runs (13). More importantly, the veteran had 272 touches and averaged 5.6 yards per touch last year, both the second-high averages in his career. While he isn’t flashy, Jones is well worth his early fourth-round ADP.

Justin Fields (QB – CHI): ADP 45.7 | QB7

While Fields started last season slowly, averaging only 16.8 passing attempts and 10.4 fantasy points per game over the first four weeks. However, everything changed in Week 5. Fields had 208 passing yards and 17 fantasy points in the matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. More importantly, it kickstarted his sophomore-year jump. From Week 5 through Week 16, the former Ohio State star was the QB5, averaging 24.1 fantasy points per game. While the quarterback was a fantasy star because of his legs, Fields was a better passer than, given credit for.

The former Ohio State star finished eighth in air yards per attempt (8.9), seventh in red zone completion percentage (62.2%), fourth in red zone accuracy rating (7.4), and 16th in deep ball accuracy rating (5.9). However, those numbers should improve after the Bears acquired DJ Moore this offseason. Furthermore, Fields only played three complete games with Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool. More importantly, the quarterback has one of the safest floors because of his elite rushing ability. After seeing Jalen Hurts have a third-year breakout after the team added A.J. Brown, Fields is my dark horse candidate to be the overall QB1 in 2023.

Bust Candidates

T.J. Hockenson (TE – MIN): ADP 42.7 | TE3

Last year Hockenson was a double-digit round draft pick in most leagues. Yet, the former Iowa star had the best year of his career. He was the TE2, averaging 10.1 half-point PPR fantasy points per game, a career-high. Furthermore, Hockenson had 86 receptions on 129 targets for 914 receiving yards and six touchdowns, all career highs. The veteran tight end was outstanding after joining the Vikings. He was the TE3, averaging 10.7 fantasy points per game from Week 8 through Week 17. Unfortunately, the former Iowa star was wildly inconsistent with Minnesota.

Hockenson averaged 10.7 fantasy points per game with the Vikings (not counting Week 18). However, he scored 27.4% of those fantasy points in the Week 16 matchup. By comparison, the veteran averaged only 8.7 fantasy points per game in the other nine contests. Furthermore, Hockenson scored more than 9.6 fantasy points in only two of those nine games. Meanwhile, Jordan Addison should have a larger target share than Adam Thielen did last year. Hockenson is a solid mid-range TE1 for fantasy players. Yet, he lacks the upside needed to get drafted ahead of Darren Waller and Kyle Pitts.

Jameson Williams (WR – DET): ADP 131.7 | WR50

The Lions and fantasy players knew Williams would have a limited rookie season because of a torn ACL. The first-round wide receiver played in six games but had almost no impact, catching only one of his nine targets. However, it was a 40-yard touchdown reception. Furthermore, the rookie had one rushing attempt for 40 yards. While the former Alabama star showed off his big play ability, Williams had another setback this offseason. The second-year receiver will miss the first six games this year after he violated the NFL’s gambling policy.

Unfortunately, the suspension severely impact’s the receiver’s fantasy value. Most leagues won’t allow fantasy players to place a suspended player in an injured reserve slot. Therefore, you must burn a bench spot for someone who can’t play until Week 7. That wouldn’t be a problem for an established star. However, I’m not burning a bench spot for six weeks on a player that doesn’t offer top-12 upside. Amon-Ra St. Brown will once again be a massive target hog. Meanwhile, Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta will likely be the next two highest-targeted Lions. Sadly, Williams isn’t worth his draft price simply because of the suspension.

Sleepers to Target

Sam LaPorta (TE – DET): ADP 162.3 | TE17

While the rookie tight end’s ADP has been on the rise lately, LaPorta is still severely underrated as the 16th tight end off the board. Amon-Ra St. Brown had 146 targets last season, earning 76 more than the next closest Lion – D’Andre Swift. More importantly, Detroit didn’t add any significant wide receivers this offseason despite losing Jameson Williams to a six-game suspension. Instead, the team invested a top-35 draft pick in LaPorta. The former Iowa star had a productive college career despite playing with awful quarterbacks, totaling 153 receptions for 1,786 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Furthermore, the rookie was dangerous after the catch. LaPorta averaged six yards after the catch per reception, finishing first among tight ends with at least 65 targets last season, a higher average than Dalton Kincaid and Michael Mayer. More importantly, he has taken most of the starting snaps in training camp. The rookie tight end has reportedly developed a strong connection with Jared Goff. Meanwhile, Detroit’s tight end unit had a combined 12 receiving touchdowns last season. Yet, nine of them came from someone other than T.J. Hockenson. While he won’t replace St. Brown as Jared Goff’s go-to weapon, LaPorta could lead the team in receiving scores.

Roschon Johnson (RB – CHI): ADP 161.3 | RB52

Many are excited about Khalil Herbert now that David Montgomery is in Detroit. However, Johnson is my favorite Chicago running back this year. The former Longhorn could be this year’s Dameon Pierce. Not only is the rookie the cheapest Bears running back to draft, but he has the most upside. Reportedly Johnson has been the pass running back in pass protection this offseason, something the coaching staff has harped about repeatedly. Furthermore, the coaching staff has praised the former Longhorn all offseason.

Johnson would have been a second-round NFL Draft pick if he didn’t split the Texas backfield with Bijan Robinson. Last year Robinson led college football with 104 missed tackles, while Johnson had 46. However, the first-round rookie forced a missed tackle on 40.5% of rushing attempts. By comparison, the fourth-round rookie forced a missed tackle on 48.9% of his rushing attempts last season. Furthermore, Johnson had a higher percentage of rushing attempts totaling 15 or more yards (9.6%) than Robinson (8.2%). The rookie’s ADP is on the rise but still vastly underrated. Don’t be surprised if Johnson leads the Bears in rushing attempts.

More Players to Target & Avoid

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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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