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Fantasy Football 2023: NFC North Player Projections

An NFL projections model offers valuable insights, helping fantasy football enthusiasts analyze team outcomes based on data-driven analysis. You can think of these projections as a guide.

Yes, Justin Jefferson is the WR1, but why? If you feel Jefferson will have fewer than nine total touchdowns, you may be inclined to move him down your rankings. If you think DJ Moore totals 1,200 receiving yards, he’s likely in the WR1 category for you.

These projections look to provide a median output for all players without considering an entire range of outcomes. For example, what if Jordan Love puts together the best offense that the Green Bay Packers have ever seen? Every single Packer would be a steal at ADP. It’s certainly in the world of possibilities, but it’s not captured by this model.

Note on methodology: The projections below are built using machine learning (ML) algorithms in Python. Using historical player, team and league stats/tendencies, an ML model can predict likely outcomes for NFL players. 

It’s nearly impossible to model with 100 percent accuracy. Injuries, breakouts and surprises happen in many shapes and forms every season. Each player is modeled as if the team stays healthy for 17 straight games. Of course, this is a pipe dream. 

All scoring below is in 0.5 PPR

NFC North Projections

Justin Fields Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears

Justin Fields, 331 fantasy points (19.4 PPG, QB7): 

505 attempts, 328 completions, 3,561 passing yards, 22.0 passing TDs

127 rushes, 903 rushing yards, 6.0 rushing TDs

Justin Fields has QB1 upside, but he still hasn’t proven he’s an elite quarterback in the NFL. He is draftable as a top-five quarterback given his upside.

DJ Moore, 187 fantasy points (11.0 PPG, WR18):

123 targets, 77 receptions, 1,097 receiving yards, 6.4 receiving TDs

Moore has never been valued much higher than a WR2. Expect that to continue in Chicago with him returning to a 1,000-yard season.

Darnell Mooney, 103 fantasy points (6.1 PPG, WR58):

79 targets, 50 receptions, 617 receiving yards, 3.2 receiving TDs

Darnell Mooney is the likely WR2 in the Chicago Bears’ offense, but it's projected to have the sixth-fewest passing plays. He’s no more than a matchup-based flex option.

Chase Claypool, 73 fantasy points (4.3 PPG, WR78):

54 targets, 33 receptions, 351 receiving Yards, 2.4 receiving TDs

Chase Claypool is a late-round best-ball target given his uncertainty and versatility. He’s only worth a flyer in the deepest of leagues.

Khalil Herbert, 151 fantasy points (8.9 PPG, RB33):

181 rushes, 880 rushing yards, 5.2 rushing TDs

30 targets, 23 receptions, 192 receiving yards, 0.5 receiving TD

Khalil Herbert looks to be the team’s RB1 — but likely in a committee. Though Herbert hasn’t earned a ton of targets, it’s possible those numbers tick upward with David Montgomery now in Detroit and out of the picture.

Roschon Johnson, 98 fantasy points (5.8 PPG, RB49):

108 rushes, 504 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs

36 targets, 25 receptions, 206 receiving yards, 0.0 receiving TD

Roschon Johnson’s size and pass-blocking abilities make him a better passing-work option than Herbert. He’ll likely earn that job by the end of the season.

Cole Kmet, 97 fantasy points (5.8 PPG, TE17):

74 targets, 47 receptions, 444 receiving yards, 5.2 receiving TDs

Cole Kmet signed a sizeable $50 million contract this offseason. He will likely earn red zone work and be a top target earner in this rush-heavy offense.

The Bears are projected to be the second rush-heaviest team in the NFL behind just the Indianapolis Colts. If Fields elevates his game as a passer, Chicago’s receiving core is due for a massive uptick. Still, Moore is the only guy in this group who it makes sense to want to add to your roster. Fields provides an electric spark, and Herbert has been one of the most efficient guys with the ball in his hands. 

Jared Goff

Detroit Lions

Jared Goff, 296 fantasy points (17.5 PPG, QB14): 

606 attempts, 380 completions, 4,572 passing yards, 30.3 passing TDs

40 rushes, 100 rushing yards, 1.1 rushing TDs

Jared Goff was stellar last year, finishing as the QB10. He’s one of the first QB2s it makes sense to grab in a two-quarterback format and has tremendous upside as the Detroit Lions’ offense looks to take another step forward.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, 247 fantasy points (14.5 PPG, WR6):

157 targets, 102 receptions, 1,245 receiving yards, 10.1 receiving TDs

Amon-Ra St. Brown is the No. 1 target earner in this offense. He has proven to be a massive asset in PPR formats and is a massive value at his WR9 ADP.

Jameson Williams, 76 fantasy points (6.9 PPG, WR75):

50 targets, 30 receptions, 417 receiving yards, 3.6 receiving TDs

Jameson Williams will be suspended for the first six games of the season, but upon returning, he provides a decent enough floor in the flex spots. A full year of production for Williams would have put him around WR50.

Jahmyr Gibbs, 202 fantasy points (11.9 PPG, RB12):

145 rushes, 642 rushing yards, 5.3 rushing TDs

82 targets, 60 receptions, 605 receiving yards, 3.3 receiving TDs

Jahmyr Gibbs is slated to fill big shoes and should be used massively in the receiving game; he provides a high TD ceiling. It’s not a stretch to draft Gibbs as an RB1.

David Montgomery, 190 fantasy points (11.2 PPG, RB17):

221 rushes, 879 rushing yards, 8.7 rushing TDs

44 targets, 30 receptions, 292 receiving yards, 1.4 receiving TDs

Everybody is too low on Montgomery. He’s finished as an RB2 or better in every season. Now he enters the best offense of his career with 17 vacated rushing touchdowns. 

Sam LaPorta, 93 fantasy points (5.5 PPG, TE21):

65 targets, 41 receptions, 464 receiving yards, 4.7 receiving TDs

Sam LaPorta has a sky-high ceiling. He profiles similarly to T.J. Hockenson and could immediately fill his shoes. If so, LaPorta has top-10 tight end potential.

Green Bay Packers

Jordan Love, 250 fantasy points (14.7 PPG, QB24): 

535 attempts, 340 completions, 3,876 passing yards, 21 passing TDs

33 rushes, 187 rushing yards, 2.8 rushing TDs

Love is a big question mark. If he excels, his entire team will benefit. Without having accumulated enough playing time, his projections are highly conservative. 

Christian Watson, 183 fantasy points (10.9 PPG, WR19):

113 targets, 66 receptions, 953 receiving yards, 8 receiving TDs

Christian Watson reportedly has had a lot of success with Love in training camp and the preseason. Watson should be drafted as a WR2 with a ton of upside.

Romeo Doubs, 99 fantasy points (5.8 PPG, WR61):

75 targets, 41 receptions, 506 receiving yards, 5 receiving TDs

Romeo Doubs had an interesting connection with Aaron Rodgers last season. Without him, Doubs looks to be nothing more than a late-round lottery ticket.

Aaron Jones, 183 fantasy points (10.8 PPG, RB22):

220 rushes, 940 rushing yards, 3.7 rushing TDs

66 targets, 47 receptions, 339 receiving yards, 2.3 receiving TDs

Aaron Jones has been one of the best running backs since his rookie season. His RB22 projection is frankly too low; he should be drafted as a high-end RB2. There is just a lot of uncertainty in this Love-led offense.

A.J. Dillon, 151 fantasy points (8.9 PPG, RB32):

173 rushes, 718 rushing yards, 7.5 rushing TDs

30 targets, 22 receptions, 184 receiving yards, 1.2 receiving TDs

Last season, Jones had just two rushing touchdowns to A.J. Dillon’s seven. Unfortunately, this model considers that significant, and those numbers are skewing these results a bit. Dillon was a massive disappointment in the 2022 season. Expect him to rebound this season, but he’s likely a bye-week flex option at best. Dillon’s best path to relevance is through a Jones injury.

Luke Musgrave, 67 fantasy points (4.0 PPG, TE30):

59 targets, 39 receptions, 405 receiving yards, 1.5 receiving TDs

Luke Musgrave isn’t worth a look beyond dynasty formats.

Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins, 278 fantasy points (16.4 PPG, QB17): 

615 attempts, 407 completions, 4,234 passing yards, 30.6 passing TDs

22 rushes, 68 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs

Kirk Cousins was the QB7 last season due to his incredible connection with Jefferson. We have to expect those numbers to regress. QB17 is a bit pessimistic, but a few other QBs likely provide a ton more upside than Cousins in 2023.

Justin Jefferson, 285 fantasy points (16.8 PPG, WR1):

180 targets, 121 receptions, 1,626 receiving yards, 9.2 receiving TDs

Last season’s WR1 projects to come up slightly short of his 2022-23 numbers. But if his success continues, Jefferson is worth the 1.01 in your drafts.

Jordan Addison, 121 fantasy points (7.1PPG, WR50):

96 targets, 58 receptions, 684 receiving yards, 4.3 receiving TDs

Jordan Addison should immediately earn a starting role. And as is the case with rookies, his performance should only improve as the season goes on. Despite ranking as the WR50, Addison has an incredibly high ceiling if Hockenson isn’t as involved as projected – or if Jefferson doesn’t post the kind of numbers he did last season.

Alexander Mattison, 175 fantasy points (10.3 PPG, RB27):

233 rushes, 962 rushing yards, 6.2 rushing TDs

48 targets, 34 receptions, 214 receiving yards, 1.2 receiving TDs

Alexander Mattison is the Vikings' offense’s bell cow, but he hasn’t shown enough flashes to be efficient. He’s no better than a low-end RB2 until proven otherwise.

Ty Chandler, 82 fantasy points (4.9PPG, RB54):

92 rushes, 345 rushing yards, 1.7 rushing TDs

45 targets, 32 receptions, 193 receiving yards, 0.8 receiving TD

Ty Chandler is slated to be Minnesota’s RB2 and could be catapulted into weekly relevance if Mattison suffers an injury.

T.J. Hockenson, 181 fantasy points (10.7 PPG, TE3):

147 targets, 97 receptions, 893 receiving yards, 7.6 receiving TDs

Last season, Hockenson wasn’t as good with Minnesota as he had been with Detroit, but that should change this season. These projections rely on Hockenson being utilized how he was in Detroit.

The Minnesota Vikings’ offense will continue to find success through the air, scoring 30 passing and 12 rushing touchdowns – the fifth-fewest rushing touchdowns in the NFL. These stats are what make Mattison such an unappealing candidate for the running back position and what make Addison and Hockenson so interesting. Regardless, Jefferson is set for another WR1 season, and he should be drafted as such.

Other Projections

AFC: SouthEast | West | North

NFC: South | East 

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