Fantasy Football Stock Watch: NFC North risers and fallers

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NFC North, Fantasy Football (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Taking stock of the NFC North after the offseason through a fantasy football lens.

Following in the footsteps of our NFC East Fantasy Stock Watch article, we analyze the fantasy football value fluctuations of the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. In doing so, we once again start with the men up front: offensive line play has a major yet oft-overlooked impact on the fantasy football fortunes of skill position players.

The Bears return most of their offensive line while upgrading their position coach by hiring Juan Castillo, who cut his coaching teeth by overseeing the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line under Andy Reid. Expect continuity and improvement from the unit as a whole.

The Lions bid adieu to Graham Glasgow and Rick Wagner, also known as the entire right side of the offensive line. Glasgow’s departure stings and, while new right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai is an effective run blocker, he proved to be a below-average pass protector during his time in Philly.

Across Lake Michigan, the Packers’ offensive line was recently ranked fourth in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, in spite of right guard Billy Turner, a disappointment in 2019. Unfortunately, longtime right tackle Brian Bulaga packed his bags and headed for the Los Angeles Chargers; with replacement Rick Wagner inspiring little confidence, the Packers’ right side is suddenly vulnerable.

The Vikings similarly have question marks up front: Minnesota’s uncertainties lie in the interior, on either side of promising young center Garrett Bradbury. However, the unit returns four of five starters, so continuity offers promise for a group looking to grow and gel together.

While most of these four teams have questions up front, optimism reigns supreme for their teams as a whole. We start our team-by-team breakdown with the Bears.

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