2015 DRAFT GUIDE
NFC North

2012-07-10 12:27:30
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Cobb vying for playing time

Packers

The Packers had a tremendous regular season last year but came up short in the playoffs, which was a big disappointment. Expectations will be high for the Packers this year as much of their top talent remains in place and is in the prime of their careers. Things are looking good for the Packers once again in 2012. Green Bay begins their quest for another Super Bowl on July 26 at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis.

Position battle: The Packers have their top receiver spots all sewn up but after Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, Green Bay has three options competing for playing time. How this sorts out in camp could go a long way to figuring out what player gets more targets for the coming season. The three receivers looking to move up the depth chart are James Jones, Donald Driver and Randall Cobb.

Injury watch: Alex Green missed most of his rookie season with a torn ACL. He was hurt pretty early in the year, though, and has a chance to be ready for the start of training camp. He should be healthy enough for Week 1 although he could be eased into action, especially with the Packers having a few options ahead of him on the depth chart.

Vikings

Minnesota is a team in transition after a season of turmoil but things seem headed in the right direction with a quarterback in place and their star running back returning from injury. Even with that said, the Vikings have an uphill battle in a tough decision. They still might not have the talent to compete for a playoff spot just yet. But things seems on the up and up for the Viking, who get camp started July 27 at Mankato State in Mankato, Minn.

Position battle: The Vikings need a starter at receiver while Jerome Simpson serves a suspension the first three games of the season. Simpson should start once he is activated after his three-game suspension but someone will need to start while he is out. Up for that job are Michael Jenkins, Greg Childs and Devin Aromashodu. You would have to think Jenkins is the favorite because of his past starting experience but he hasn't exactly lit it up when starting, so he won't be handed anything.

Injury watch: Adrian Peterson tore his ACL late in the season last year. He has made great progress since the injury and hopes to be ready for Week 1 but that probably is a tad too optimistic. Peterson likely is going to miss a few weeks to start the year but should be ready to go shortly after the season opens. So expect Peterson to see his stats dip some with the missed time but he should be up to speed before long. Toby Gerhart will start while Peterson is out.

Lions

Detroit is a team on the rise that seems to be gaining a lot of fans. They have an offense that might be the best in all of football and seem to just be hitting their stride. Big things are expected from this group in 2012. The Lions hope to build on the momentum started last season. Detroit gets camp started July 28 at the Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Mich.

Position battle: The Lions have two talented, young receivers pushing veteran Nate Burleson for playing time. Titus Young started making more things happen at the end of last season and rookie Ryan Broyles is an exciting talent that seems a good fit for a starting spot in the NFL. Burleson could be the odd man out but he played well in a starting role last season, so don't count him out just yet.

Injury watch: Jahvid Best missed much of last year because of concussion issues. He has a history of concussions, which is a huge concern going forward. It looks like he'll be cleared to play for training camp and the start of the season but the Lions are likely to take it slow with him. If he suffers another concussion, his career could be in jeopardy.

Bears

The big change for the Bears this offseason comes at offensive coordinator. Mike Tice takes over for Mike Martz and will install a much more conservative offensive attack. The Bears will still throw and take chances but the days of Jay Cutler taking a beating because of a lack of protection are likely over. Cutler might be happiest to see Tice on board and calling plays. But with that said, the Bears have a lot to learn before the start of the season, so training camp will be very important for this team to take another step forward. Camp opens July 26 at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill.

Position battle: The Bears finally have a No. 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall but the second starting spot is up for grabs. Rookie Alshon Jeffrey is the future at the position but the Bears will make sure he is ready to start before throwing him the in lineup. Earl Bennett and Devin Hester will give Jeffrey the competition at the position. Jeffrey is the favorite to start, though, unless he really struggles to pick up the playbook.

Injury watch: Johnny Knox continues to recover from back surgery. There is a chance he doesn't play at all this coming year. His season is up in the air as he recovers from this major surgery. The Bears haven't rule him out for Week 1 but the chances of him playing early in the year seem a little slim right now.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

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