2024 Dynasty Division Outlook: NFC North

With the Draft in the books, we’re covering each NFL division’s dynasty fantasy football outlook. We’ll bring you an overview of each team, highlight the best and worst positional groups, and make some predictions for the division as a whole. Let’s jump into it!

Detroit Lions

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It’s crazy to think about, but the Detroit Lions are hands down the best team in the NFC North. After falling just short of a Super Bowl appearance a year ago, the Lions look to finish the job in 2024 with a pretty familiar roster that didn’t see many major changes.

Jared Goff is back under center with a shiny new extension that should keep him in Detroit, at least through the 2027 season. We know what we’re going to get with Goff, who finished as QB16 and QB15 over the last two seasons in points per game. Each of the last two years, he’s thrown for 4,400 or more yards and 29 or more touchdowns. He’s as rock solid as they come, and I’d argue he is the best-value QB2 in all of dynasty with his surroundings and coaching staff.

Speaking of Goff’s surroundings, there are talented skill position players all over the offense. Sam LaPorta finished his rookie season as the TE1 in total points a season and solidified himself as the overall TE1 in dynasty.

Amon-Ra St. Brown recorded 119 receptions for 1,515 yards and 10 touchdowns en route to a WR4 finish on a points-per-game basis and is locked in as a consensus top-five dynasty WR moving forward.

The running back position is a bit messier with two outstanding players, but both found a way to produce in 2023. Jahmyr Gibbs, similar to St. Brown, is a top-five dynasty player at his position moving forward and had 1,261 yards and 11 touchdowns in his rookie season. David Montgomery followed that up with 1,132 yards and 13 touchdowns of his own on the way to a top-15 finish.

With Ben Johnson calling plays, the Detroit Lions are an offense that you need a piece of on your dynasty roster moving forward.

Minnesota Vikings

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An offseason of change at the most important position in sports has tempered expectations in Minnesota, but they’re hoping the future looks bright for JJ McCarthy under center after the departure of Kirk Cousins. McCarthy is what he is: the fifth quarterback selected in a loaded QB class. I think there are still some questions about how McCarthy’s game will transfer to the NFL level, but like Goff in Detroit, McCarthy will have a ton of talent surrounding him.

To start with, Justin Jefferson is the best wide receiver in football, and his shiny new contract extension will keep him in Minnesota for the foreseeable future. Jefferson is going to make it extremely easy for McCarthy to adapt to the speed of NFL defenses. Along with Jordan Addison, Minnesota has one of the best WR duos in the NFL and two top-25 dynasty wide receivers. The third receiving option on the team is TJ Hockenson, who’s recovering from an ACL injury but is still an easy top-8 dynasty TE, and when he returns, he creates a dangerous receiving trio.

The RB room is the biggest question mark on the offense by far. Aaron Jones comes over after spending the first seven seasons of his career in Green Bay. He joins Ty Chandler, who showed some flashes at the end of 2023. I don’t really want to be rostering either in dynasty at the moment. I think it turns into a committee approach as the two of them split carries.

Chicago Bears

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Another NFC North team, another rookie quarterback. However, this time, we have the Chicago Bears’ number one overall pick, Caleb Williams, under center. Williams is the consensus first-overall pick in superflex rookie drafts and is going near the end of the first round in startup drafts. Williams is going to be special, and the Bears have done everything in their power to set him up for success moving forward.

Chicago has surrounded Williams with the best wide receiver trio in the NFL: DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, and Rome Odunze. Because of their weekly volatility, I don’t know how they should be valued in dynasty startups or on the trade market, but the three of them together will allow Williams to thrive.

Outside of the receivers, the Bears have compiled a trio of running backs who are all good enough to get the job done. D’Andre Swift is probably a low-end RB2 in dynasty moving forward. The offense should be good, and he got a decent contract, but he sure isn’t getting any younger.

The odd man out here is Cole Kmet. He’s viewed as the TE15, but I don’t see any way he meets those expectations. Even with the boost from Caleb Williams coming to town, he’s now the fourth or fifth option in the receiving game on any given Sunday.

Green Bay Packers

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Jordan Love exploded onto the scene over the second half of the 2023 season and catapulted himself into the second round of superflex startup drafts and the QB1 discussion. Love looked great down the stretch, and that’s blinding people from a less-than-amazing start to the season. I think Love is probably good, but I’d love to see a few more games before we get too far ahead of ourselves.

Outside of Love, this offense is a mess for dynasty managers. It’s tricky because we know the offense is going to be good, but if you ask 20 different people for their take on the RB and WR rooms, I bet you’ll get 20 different opinions. The Packers have four wide receivers, all valued between WR33 and WR57, according to DLF’s superflex ADP. Determining who’s going to be the guy in 2024 is a nightmare, and I’d suggest taking the cheapest one, who might be Romeo Doubs at the moment, as Dontayvion Wicks’s supporters have ballooned his price. Oddly enough, Doubs was the team’s leading receiver in 2023.

At running back, Green Bay brought in Josh Jacobs on what is essentially a one-year deal that they can terminate after 2024. The Packers also drafted MarShawn Lloyd out of USC in the third round to start developing toward the future. Jacobs looked good in 2022, but his numbers fell off a cliff in 2023, so the end could be coming sooner than we might expect for Josh Jacobs, who’s currently got an ADP of RB13, which is way too expensive for me.

Even the tight end room isn’t a certainty! Green Bay selected both Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft during the 2023 draft, and each showed some sparks during their rookie seasons, mostly when the other was missing time. I don’t want either of these tight ends in dynasty, no matter the cost. I don’t believe Love will be able to support all four wide receivers and two running backs who are decent in the receiving game.

Positional Group Rankings:

Quarterbacks:

  1. Packers: A-
  2. Bears: A-
  3. Lions: B+
  4. Vikings: B

The NFC North is going to be a very interesting division for quarterback takes during the 2024 season. Chicago and Green Bay are tied at the top with Caleb Williams and Jordan Love, but I ranked Green Bay first based solely on the 2024 season. I think Caleb is going to be fantastic, but it’s not easy for rookie quarterbacks in this league.

After the top two, Goff is ol’ reliable in third place. Maybe a B+ grade is a little disrespectful for Goff after everything he’s done in Detroit, but I think that’s about right for him in terms of dynasty when you combine his new contract with his consistent QB15 finishes.

Someone has to come in last. JJ McCarthy is a rookie, so the caveats I included above for Caleb Williams also apply here. However, McCarthy didn’t throw for 10,000 yards and win a Heisman during his college career like Williams did. McCarthy is going to have to rely on Justin Jefferson and his legs to be a viable dynasty asset.

Running Backs:

  1. Lions: A+
  2. Packers: B+
  3. Bears: B-
  4. Vikings: B-

Detroit, at first, is easy with a top-five dynasty running back in Gibbs and another top-30 running back in Montgomery. After the Lions, though, we have a bunch of older running backs on their second teams with some intriguing youth behind them. I gave the slight edge to the Packers because I think Jacobs is the best #1 back remaining, and MarShawn Lloyd is an exciting day-two rookie who should hold his dynasty value throughout the season.

Wide Receivers:

  1. Bears: A+
  2. Vikings: A
  3. Packers: A-
  4. Lions: B+

This is a really hard division to rank wide receivers because of the differences between elite, individual talents, and more complete and deep collective rooms. I think it’s pretty clear that the Bears are first with their wide receiver trio, but it gets tricky after that. The combo of Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison is great, but after that, it’s a ghost town.

The third and fourth are tough. Even though Amon-Ra St. Brown is one of the five best wideouts in football, the Lions are in last because there is no one else behind him. Jameson Williams is inching dangerously close to the bust territory by the day. The Packers are safely in third, with their foursome of Reed, Doubs, Watson, and Wicks being all above-average guys who can get the job done.

Tight Ends:

  1. Lions: A+
  2. Vikings: A-
  3. Bears: B
  4. Packers: B

These rankings are somewhat similar to the RB rankings. Detroit clearly has the best tight ends in this division with Sam LaPorta, who is the overall TE1 in dynasty. After that, TJ Hockenson in Minnesota is the second-best option, even if he is recovering from an ACL injury that could limit him a bit in 2024. After those two, Chicago and Green Bay have some TE2s that aren’t real difference-makers.

Divisional Predictions:

MVP: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB DET

According to ADP, Gibbs is the RB4 but will not be selected until the 27th pick at the beginning of the 3rd round. He was RB8 a season ago in PPR points per game, but I think he has an overall RB1 upside in 2024. Detroit had the training wheels on Gibbs early in the season as they eased him into NFL action.

Over the first six weeks of the season, Gibbs scored 8, 12.6, 9.2, and 9.1 PPR points in four games and missed two others. However, from Week 6 on, he was an absolute monster. Over the last eleven weeks of the season, Gibbs averaged 18.7 PPR points per game, which would have been RB3 on the season. Over that 11-game stretch, he finished as a top-three running back an incredible six different times.

If Gibbs gets just a marginal increase in workload in 2024, he could be in store for a league-winning season.

LVP: Cole Kmet, TE CHI

I mentioned it above during the team outlook section, but I don’t think there is any way that Kmet comes close to his TE14 ADP. Even if Caleb Williams is good as a rookie, which isn’t a guarantee, I don’t think he will be able to support Kmet in this offense. Chicago’s trio of WRs are going to dominate the majority of the targets, and even D’Andre Swift has caught 40 or more passes in each year of his NFL career. Unless Kmet has outsized touchdown luck in 2024, I don’t think he is anywhere near TE14.

Most Improved: Christian Watson, WR GB

There has been so much debate this offseason about the Green Bay receiver room and who is going to emerge as the guy for the Packers. Maybe the obvious answer is also the correct answer. Watson is only entering his third year in the NFL and was the highest-selected wide receiver in the room.

When he was on the field in 2023, he still led the Packers in targets, receptions, and yards. Of course, his biggest concern is his availability, but if he can figure that out, I don’t see how he won’t improve in 2024.

Biggest Steal: MarShawn Lloyd, RB GB

I’m a MarShawn Lloyd believer. He’s currently the RB36, according to ADP, and I think that’s far too low. He’s going behind guys like Austin Ekeler, Zach Charbonnet, and Zack Moss, and that just doesn’t sit right with me.

Josh Jacobs’s production fell off a cliff in 2023. Out of 50 running backs with 100 or more attempts, Jacobs finished 47th in yards after contact per attempt and 45th in missed tackles forced per attempt. If he has another season like last year, Green Bay could easily get out of his contract. I think Lloyd will have this job in 2025 and could even provide value in 2024 if Jacobs’s decline continues.

Biggest Bust: Jameson Williams, WR DET

I think it’s time to give up on Jameson Williams; he hasn’t shown me anything in two years to make me believe that he can be a consistent contributor to the Detroit offense let alone for a dynasty team. He has 25 total catches in 18 games played.

andrew francesconi