Position Battles to Watch: NFC North
It’s early, but now is the time to make notes on who’s getting the action in camps as the NFL season starts to warm up. These are some of the position battles to keep an eye on as things get underway…
Justin Fields vs Andy Dalton
The Bears claim that Dalton is their starter, but he’s going to be learning the playbook just like the rookie Fields is. Are they really going to roll with Dalton if Fields shows that he offers the Bears a better chance to win? I doubt it. If Chicago actually allows a competition, Fields stands a good chance of coming out on top and starting Week 1.
Damien Williams vs David Montgomery
Few RBs saw more opportunities to touch the ball than Montgomery last year, and Jd Mckissic was the only back to run more routes. With Williams added to the fold, it’s unlikely that Montgomery sees that kind of usage again. Williams has worked with OC Bill Lazor in Miami, and he’s worked with HC Matt Nagy in KC so he’s familiar with their system. If it looks like Williams is getting significant reps in camp, he could be a valuable PPR asset this season.
D’Andre Swift vs Jamaal Williams
After claiming that Swift was a “3-down back”, the Lions added Jamaal Williams to the mix, someone who OC Anthony Lynn sees as a classic “A” back. That presumably makes Swift a “B” and lowers his ceiling, if it actually plays out that way. EDITOR’S NOTE: that this is not necessarily Lynn saying one player is the “1A” or the “1B” in a sense like we would use for fantasy football or even in an intuitive way. Instead, it is simply his terminology in labeling particular types of players. Presumably, Kalen Ballage and Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley, etc. were all his “A” backs with the Chargers, but the guy who fits the “B” back mold (Austin Ekeler) is the only one we were ever interested in as a high-level option for fantasy. There are also rumors that Todd Gurley will be added to the backfield, which would only further complicate matters. Swift still offers the most upside right now, but it’ll be interesting to see just how the touches pan out in camp.
Breshad Perriman vs Tyrell Williams vs Amon-Ra St. Brown
The Lions receiving corps is a motley crew to say the least, and it’s not obvious who will be Jared Goff‘s go to come season’s start. Perriman has the speed to be a consistent downfield threat, as does Williams who also has a nose for the end-zone. It’s St. Brown that is most intriguing to me though, as he could play the Cooper Kupp role for Goff, who loves a good safety blanket.
Green Bay Packers
Amari Rodgers vs GB WRs not named Davante Adams
We’re expecting Rodgers to be the no.2 option in Green Bay, but it’s not a given – Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown are both kicking around behind Davante Adams. Chances are Aaron Rodgers isn’t under center for the Packers come fall, and Jordan Love would savor a player like Amari who has a versatile skill set who he could dump the ball off to.