The Bottom Of The Barrel: NFL DFS Preseason Preview – NFC North

by Chris Robin
The Bottom of the Barrel: NFL DFS Preseason Preview - NFC North

The idea of a preseason daily fantasy sports article is ludicrous. Looking ahead to events that we can only plan for when we see them is strange. That is the beauty of The Bottom Of The Barrel: NFL DFS Preseason Preview - NFC North! I have allowed myself free reign to daydream about the many roads ahead. Realistically, under any other circumstance that would be bad news for me. Yet, given the platform and green light, here we are! My pen and paper are one thing. The inner workings of my mind are another. I try and combine the two the best I can!

As we weave our way through each division of the NFL, I ask you to keep an open mind. This article is meant to be fun. Nothing is set in stone given the current time frame of summer camps. For example, the entire idea of DFS is predicated on not being stuck with a seasonal team! Being able to still have fun playing Fantasy Football and getting around the inevitability of player injuries. So, let’s have some fun. Let’s explore some of the weirder ideas for the upcoming football season!

The opening of an article can go a million different ways. Is there a checklist of items a reader goes through when discovering a new piece of written work? What about an idea where the writer tries to capture the reader in the first few sentences? Seems like a lot of pressure on both ends. One would think you and I have come to an understanding. Furthermore, we have had an open line of communication for a few years running.

Everything I put into print comes directly from a place of honesty. Have I been known to bend the truth sometimes? Sure, but at my own risk not yours. There have also been times in the past when I was grasping at straws trying to figure out a plan on the fly. Did I make it known or drag you into the trenches of battle with me? That was a rhetorical question seeing how we all know the answer.

You can find Chris on Twitter @DetroitBeastie. He is also active on Discord and will soon be sharing video content on YouTube!

The Bottom Of The Barrel: NFL DFS Preseason Preview - NFC North

As professional football fans, we all have one favorite team. If you take it a step further, then that lends itself to your favorite division. Thankfully, the NFC North is my personal favorite. The history of the North, the cities involved, and the collection of fan bases lends itself to one big whopper of a time. Being labeled a “homer” as a writer can be bad news. Depending on the specificity of content that label could play right into your hand. Personally, given the wide array of topics discussed, I try and leave the Detroit Lions fanfare out of it.

This division does something to me. Granted, I could keep you here all day as we went over every little nook and cranny of the NFC North, but I think it’s best we stay on topic. Professional football is at its best when there is a mixture of players and teams showing up and doing well. Unfortunately, the Lions have been down and out for quite some time. However, with a certain quarterback change in Green Bay and a newcomer in Chicago, this division is realistically up for grabs.

The Bottom of the Barrel DFS NFC North article was something I had looked forward to all summer. Come with me as I wade through all the coming and goings of the North. Few players I have my eyes on in this division.

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Detroit Lions

Do I drone on and on about my Detroit Lions fandom and how old I was when it started? Or do I talk about what this new regime of Brad, Dan, and Shelia have done over the years to improve the team? All of which would be a piece of cake but not very interesting for you as a reader. Let’s keep it simple and talk about some talent I believe will benefit our DFS lines all season!

Sam LaPorta, TE

As it stands now Sam has been running with the first-team offense this summer at camp. That will not change. LaPorta was drafted to be their stud TE1 and everyone on Earth knew it. Another fantastic move was made by Brad Holmes from start to finish. Meaning, trading away TJ Hockenson to the rival Vikings, mid-season, then having the patience to ride it all out until Draft Day.

While this article should hold up well throughout the season rostering Sam LaPorta in Week 1 should pay immediate dividends. Sam is a 6’3 powerhouse with beautiful hands and even better footwork. Yes, the excitement of my words is growing, and I implore you to follow suit. There may come a time when LaPorta’s price tag rises above the cutoff, and eligibility, of Bottom of the Barrel but I am ok with the “use it or lose it” mentality with Sam.

As I search for a way not to make it weird in this last blurb of his we are left with one final thought. Sam should be a consistent source of receptions, yardage, and fantasy points in our DFS lines all year round!

Kalif Raymond WR

Kalif Raymond has become an important player for Detroit in his last two seasons as both a receiver and punt returner. Raymond fits the exact mold of what it is to be a Detroit Lion. Selfless, helpful, and always willing to do what it takes to move this franchise in the right direction. For that, he continues to be rewarded by his coaches, teammates, and fans.

Kalif had 48 catches for 576 yards and four touchdowns in 2021, and he finished with 47 receptions for 616 yards last year. To us shlubs watching at home on the coach those numbers may be weak or meaningless. That would be a gross oversight by anyone in that frame of mind. To put it into perspective before coming to Detroit, Raymond played in 35 games with four teams in five seasons from 2016-20 and had just 19 catches. As an outsider looking in you probably just said to yourself, “Who cares?” I appreciate the honesty but that speaks volumes to Kalif Raymond’s character. Hence, the reason why he is a true-blue Detroit Lion.

Turning our attention to this coming 2023-24 football season, what can Raymond do on a weekly basis to help our DFS lines? The simple answer is everything! The coaching staff call him “Leef” and more importantly, “Iron Man”. Meaning, Raymond has shot early this year to rack up DFS points on punt returns, kick returns, receptions, reception yardage, and touchdowns. Unfortunately, Jameson Williams is suspended for the first six games of the year. That bumps Leef up to third on the WR depth chart. Don’t just gloss over him in Week 1 and the weeks after. I would expect his price tag to stay suppressed all year and the upside week-to-week cannot be ignored.

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Chicago Bears

Excuse me but I must get this off my chest. All that running around Justin Fields is doing has made Chicago Bears fans loopy. Adding in that new report about him being the preseason leader for the MVP award has also made Chicago Bears fans loopy. Look, I am aware I don’t have a leg a stand on here either being a Lions guy but sometimes we need to talk about these things.

Respecting the Chicago Bears franchise has always come easy for me. However, their fans, not so much. I wish you all the best of luck as you try and build on that 3-14 record from last year.

D’Onta Foreman, RB

Remember a few months back how excited people were acting when the Bears let David Montgomery walk and finally Khalil Herbert was the guy? Then, this 6’1 235lb bruiser of a running back saunters into Chicago and causes an uproar all over social media.

D’Onta was, without a doubt, a Bottom of the Barrel All-Star last season with Carolina. Plus, he lived up to the billing! We were able to plug him in our cash lines, and GPP lines, and even bet all his overs with success. Now, in Chicago, I think the sun shines even brighter on our DFS entries! Given the early nature of this article, it’s hard to say how the touches will shake out. It’s even harder to say with Justin Fields as their quarterback.

Look, I have said a lot of weird stuff in my day. I have also made outlandish claims that never panned out. As it stands, purely speculation, one would think the Bears coaching staff and front office brass have had talks with Justin about not immediately taking off with the football the second a play breaks down. Basically, let’s slow this thing down kid, and not got killed by a linebacker in the meantime.

After all this, I do think we see a more balanced offense from Chicago in 2023. Let Herbert get the passing down work while Foreman is your goal-line guy. With that entire plan, I just made up I think we see D’Onta at a reasonable price all season. FanDuel and DraftKings wouldn’t dare elevate his price tag knowing Fields and Herbert are out there too. I plan on writing about D’Onta a whole lot this coming season. Who is coming with me?

Robert Tonyan, TE

From what I have read about the Chicago Bears' offseason workouts tight end Robert Tonyan has been quite active with the first-team offense. Furthermore, the fans in Chicago now have an exciting expectation for two more tight-end sets in 2023. Two studly tight ends on the field, at the same time, Robert Tonyan and Cole Kmet. By comparison, the boys should work well together. Yet, do the Bears have a capable quarterback to distribute the football? Based on what we have seen across social media this summer most folks would say yes. Robert Tonyan is the kind of guy you want on your side inside the red zone. If used correctly Tonyan could be a huge asset to Justin Fields and our DFS entries in 2023.

Roschon Johnson, RB

I’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the rookie fourth-round pick. On the off-chance Herbert or Foreman miss time I could see a place for Mr. Johnson in our entries, later this season. God forbid any harm come to any Chicago Bears but the main selling point for DFS all these years is the idea of getting around injuries. Just make a little mental note and we can revisit later.

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Minnesota Vikings

So far so good with the North and as we hit the halfway point of the article. I have always tried to make my intentions clear with every piece of content I publish. The Minnesota Vikings franchise has never given me any problems. It’s been a healthy rivalry in my book.

Having spent some time looking over the Vikings roster it is an exciting one, offensively. Which is right up our alley here at The Bottom of the Barrel! If you’re willing to do whatever it takes each week to assemble the best DFS entry, then searching for the right opening or a vacant roster spot to be filled is an indescribable ah-ha moment! Exactly what we have here in Minnesota. Outwalks Dalvin Cook and we are all left with an immensely fulfilling number of targets and touches. That brings us to our first Viking article!

Kene Nwangwu, RB

Let’s get this out of the way first. The Vikings offense is now a pass first run later kind of team. There could be a case to make that head coach Kevin O’Connell and offensive coordinator Wes Phillips will shout from the mountain tops how they want to run the ball. So does every other football team on Earth.

Alexander Mattison is first on the depth chart and he will, without a doubt, get his fair share of targets and touches. While Kene should easily carve out a nice little chunk of playing time for himself. That is what we’re after. Given his lowly predicted salary each week there is a great chance he compliments our entries with ease. Let’s not forget that Nwangwu also returns kicks. There is a lot to like here with Kene. Not only this preseason but well into the 2023 season. A fine addition to The Bottom Of The Barrel: NFL DFS Preseason Preview - NFC North.

Jordan Addison, WR

After being drafted by the Vikings Addison set off some exciting fireworks. Not only for the dynasty crowd but also for us sports bettors and daily fantasy football players. In my notes I wanted to discuss K.J. Osborn here, so bad. Then, like a lot of other fantasy sports players, I tossed him aside as Andy did with Buzz and Woody. There is no doubt in my mind that K.J. will be a frequent flyer in The Bottom of the Barrel series in 2023.

Shoot, even Jalen Nailor has been seen taking a lot of the first-team reps but those will dry up once Addison is back on the field. Which has already happened. Last Wednesday to be specific. It is an elementary idea with the rookie wideout in 2023. Opposing defenses may be burned early on if they don’t respect the Vikes running game with the departure of Dalvin Cook. Strictly selling out to stop Kirk and the passing attack.

Once Minnesota gets into a flow of a balanced offensive plan that is when we start plugging in, both, Jordan Addison, and K.J. Osborn. Some weeks will be tougher than others but if you follow The Bottom of the Barrel you will know which weeks to strike!

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Green Bay Packers

Last but certainly not least we have the Pack. Where do all the cheeseheads go now that their ego-maniac savior Aaron Rodgers is gone? It looks as if they have thrown their support behind Jordan Love without any questions asked. Fine, be me!

If you’re so inclined, click the link and go back to the New York Jets portion of my first Bottom of the Barrel article regarding the AFC East. I talked about Aaron Rodgers at length. Let’s get back on track and chat about the Green Bay Packers. From where I stand, they will still be competitive this year. I also do believe we can squeeze every ounce of their success into our funds by way of DFS!

Romeo Doubs, WR

Going back a few months to the start of the summer there are several reports and stories where Doubs shared that he and Love worked out in the offseason multiple times and that they have developed chemistry. Well, I’m sold! How about you?

Those reports are nice. They give us warmth and fuzzies. Can they translate into real-life success? Yes and no but here we are again. Back in that same old off-season squirrel cage. Coach speaks, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed beat reporters, and the ultimate swayer of minds-fan reports unlike The Bottom Of The Barrel: NFL DFS Preseason Preview - NFC North!

We have our own way when giving good news, yet everyone’s method seems to be the same when it comes to bad news. Just blurt it out! Given the fact Aaron Jones is back on a new deal and AJ Dillion remains in the backfield the common football fan will look down and tell themselves the window for winning in Green Bay is still there! Who be it from me to tell you otherwise? What I will say is there is already a set pecking order in this Packers offense.

Jordan Love, in my opinion, is an above-average quarterback. Bodes well for the running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers. Each week of the NFL season always brings a new set of issues and problems. Using The Bottom of the Barrel is meant to be used as a key. These articles, hopefully, are used to see the future. I am telling you now Romeo Doubs will be in at least one lineup on DraftKings this season for the lucky person who hits for a million bucks.

Jayden Reed, WR

Certain professions put you in odd places, situations, and circumstances. Writing can do the same thing! If done right words can invoke all kinds of emotions! Being a sports fan, if really studied, is an odd and strange situation. Jayden Reed played college ball at Michigan State University. Now he is a Green Bay Packer. That is his circumstance. I, a sports fan, despise both programs. That’s my current emotion.

All that circumstantial nonsense aside, Reed looks to be settling into a slot role for the Packers quite nicely. A high volume of targets at short range, in a PPR scoring format, could be gold for the rookie’s value in 2023. Over the years if you take notice or study what writers say about rookie quarterbacks the term safety blanket is used often. Yet here we are with seasonal fantasy sports writers using that term with Jordan Love going into his 3rd season as a professional quarterback.

Remember that pecking order I had mentioned a few spots up? Reed and Doubs may go back and forth topping each other week after week while also raising each other’s fantasy value. What’s not to love? Not only will we have to be on the lookout for opposing defenses’ aptitude against running backs and wide receivers but take it a step further by looking into opposing linebackers’ coverage skills. Easy now, no need to panic this early in the year, I plan on doing that for you.

Jayden Reed will be a DFS asset this coming season and I am certain his price tag, across the board, stays in perfect condition for us to exploit week after week!


There you have it! All my most intimate thoughts and ideas for The Bottom Of The Barrel: NFL DFS Preseason Preview - NFC North. Thank you for tagging along and suspending belief for a short period of time. The good news is that we are going to get together a lot this coming football season. The bad news is that we are going to get together a lot this coming football season. Without you reading Bottom of the Barrel the mere idea of it all does not exist. Thank you.

Check out the Fantasy Six Pack Fantasy Football Draft Kit for Rankings, Projections, Team Previews, Sleepers, Busts, IDP, Best Ball, Dynasty, and more!

You can find Chris on Twitter @DetroitBeastie. His love for DFS has no bounds. All the crazy hair-brained schemes he comes up with seem to all work out for him in the end!

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