2014 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

Tony RomoJul 27 10:59a

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will sit out practice Friday, July 25 as part of a preplanned day off, according to Jason Garrett. Romo is scheduled to take [ More ]

Brian TymsJul 27 10:12a

The New England Patriots signed WR Brian Tyms (Browns) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Geno SmithJul 27 10:05a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith received 16 snaps with the first-team offense during practice Saturday, July 26, while QB Michael Vick received three snaps. Smith has received 42 [ More ]

Davin MeggettJul 27 09:02a

The Indianapolis Colts re-signed RB Davin Meggett (Redskins) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

J.T. ThomasJul 27 01:12a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE D.J. Tialavea (quadriceps) and LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of injuries. Thomas was carted off the field after suffering his injury.

Darius JohnsonJul 27 01:02a

Free-agent WR Darius Johnson (Falcons) was arrested in May by the Atlanta Police Department for driving under the influence, expired or no driver's license on person, failure to have [ More ]

Willie YoungJul 27 12:32a

Chicago Bears DE Willie Young (quadriceps) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of a sore quadriceps, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Quentin GrovesJul 27 12:12a

The Houston Texans will sign free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Browns).

Lawrence SidburyJul 27 12:12a

Updating a previous report, the Houston Texans have signed free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Andre JohnsonJul 27 12:02a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson said he will be moved around to different spots in head coach Bill O'Brien's offensive system.

Brian HoyerJul 27 12:02a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer (knee) said he will wear a brace on his surgically repaired knee during the entire season. He said he does not believe it will affect his play much.

Cam ThomasJul 26 11:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers DEs Cam Thomas, Brian Arnfelt and Stephon Tuitt all received snaps at left defensive end with the first-team defense during practice Saturday, July 26.

Ben GardnerJul 26 11:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during practice Saturday, July 26, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.

Mike NealJul 26 11:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot, knee) is close to coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list and participating in practice, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

Lawrence SidburyJul 26 10:22p

The Houston Texans are expected to sign free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts), according to a source.

Tim FuggerJul 26 10:12p

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) and LB Tim Fugger (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, July 26.

K. ThompkinsJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins (undisclosed) was not able to finish practice Saturday, July 26, after he slid on the ground during the later portions of practice. The [ More ]

Tommy KellyJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Tommy Kelly (knee) participated in some of the team's walkthrough Saturday, July 26, and has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Vince WilforkJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon responded well during one-on-one rush drills during practice Saturday, July 26.

Tyler GaffneyJul 26 09:02p

Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney (knee) will miss the entire 2014 season because of a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.

Jimmy StatenJul 26 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks OG Nate Isles (hand) suffered a left hand injury during practice Saturday, July 26, while DT Jimmy Staten suffered a leg injury.

Phillip TannerJul 26 07:32p

Free-agent RB William Powell (Eagles), RB Orwin Smith (Packers) and Phillip Tanner (Cowboys) worked out for the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, July 26.

Rokevious WatkinsJul 26 06:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived OG Rokevious Watkins (back) with the non-football injury designation.

Alex OkaforJul 26 06:32p

Arizona Cardinals OLB Alex Okafor is filling in for OLB John Abraham (personal) as the starting weakside linebacker.

Mark AsperJul 26 06:12p

The Buffalo Bills released OG Mark Asper.

Tony MoeakiJul 26 06:12p

Buffalo Bills TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) will be out a significant amount of time with a hamstring injury. TE Chris Gragg (dehydration) is expected back by next week.

Aaron RossJul 26 06:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn Achilles'.

Dominique JonesJul 26 06:02p

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent TE Dominique Jones (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 26 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger concentrated on strengthening his throwing arm in the offseason and said it is the strongest it has been in his career. He also worked [ More ]

Bobby RaineyJul 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James is working with the second-team offense Saturday, July 26. It's still early, and Bobby Rainey could still figure into the mix at the [ More ]

Sean McGrathJul 26 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Sean McGrath has decided to retire, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Devon StillJul 26 03:52p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Devon Still (back) has been cleared to practice. Still was listed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.

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