The Clem Report’s 2014 NFC North Preview

Posted: September 3, 2014 in Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Chicago Bears


Over/Under Win Total: 8.5

Odds to win division: +325

Odds to win Super Bowl: 20/1

Underrated Fantasy Player: Alshon Jeffery.  Everyone likes to talk about how Cutler and Marshall are BFFs, but Alshon is more athletic than BMarsh and got a ton of love from Cuts last season.  And while this shouldn’t weigh extremely heavily into your decision, Marshall has a history of mental instability that gives me some pause.

Overrated Fantasy Player: Jay Cutler.  I’ve heard all the rhetoric about how if you took the combined 2013 stats of Cutler and Josh McCown, you would have a Top 5 fantasy player.  But that isn’t how fantasy works.  Cutler hasn’t played a full season since 2009 and always leaves you wondering what kind of performance you will get from him.  It may seem like a smart pick at the time, but when you check your team the next morning and see Jay Cutler as your starting QB, you will have instant buyers remorse.

Moment of Zen: 

Team Smokeshow: 


Bottom Line: If the Bears defense isn’t the 2nd worst defense in the NFL (behind the Cowboys, obviously), it will be a huge win for them.  Considering that many of their issues were a result of injury, I think the Bears improve and make the playoffs this season.  I have been a Mark Trestman believer since he made Rich Gannon an MVP.  So over 8.5 it is.

Detroit Lions

lions snow

Over/Under Win Total: 8.5

Odds to win division: 33/1

Odds to win Super Bowl: +425

Underrated Fantasy Player: Joique Bell.  With Joe Lombardi taking over for Scott Linehan, I expect some more focus on power running in Detroit this season.  Bell is a much tougher runner than Reggie Bush and is still a talented pass catcher.  You can usually get Bell

Overrated Fantasy Player: Reggie Bush.  Take that last paragraph, flip it and reverse it.  I am avoiding Bush in all of my leagues this year.  And while we are on the subject of Reggie Bush, I have always found Kim Kardashian to be EXTREMELY overrated.

Moment of Zen: 

Team Smokeshow: 

lions fan

Bottom Line: The Lions have been the most fraudulent team in football the last few seasons and hiring Jim Caldwell as their coach isn’t going to help matters  I think the Lions finish in dead last in the division and I absolutely love under 8.5 wins.

Green Bay Packers


Over/Under Win Total: 10.5

Odds to win division: -150

Odds to win Super Bowl: 10/1

Underrated Fantasy Player: Jarrett Boykin.  Being the third wide receiver on the Packers has been a decent spot for players like James Jones to make their mark on the fantasy world.  It also means you are one injury away from becoming a legit WR2 in all leagues.  There are worse ideas in the world than taking a late flier on Boykin and saving him on your bench.

Overrated Fantasy Player: Randall Cobb.  Jordy Nelson is clearly the best receiver to own on the Packers while Cobb relies on geting a lot of targets to be effective.  Add that to his injury history and you have a one-time value pick being drafted too high.

Moment of Zen: 

Team Smokeshow: 

packers fan

Bottom Line: The Packers will again be one of the best teams in football.  Considering they made the playoffs with a mash unit of injuries (including half of Aaron Rodgers’ season) was extremely impressive.  I expect Rodgers and Lacy to battle with the Saints for the title of Best Offense in the NFL this year.  Over 10.5 wins is the pick.  -150 to win the division doesn’t really have much value for me, though.

Minnesota Vikings


Over/Under Win Total: 6.5

Odds to win division: +1000

Odds to win Super Bowl: 75/1

Underrated Fantasy Player: Kyle Rudolph.  After the top tier of tight ends, there is a big glut of players that will either surprise or disappoint this season.  I think Rudolph is going to play tremendously.  We saw what Norv Turner has done for players like Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron.  Kyle is a big, strong pass catcher with surprising wheels for a big man.  After this season, his Pro Bowl MVP won’t be the defining moment in his career.

Overrated Fantasy Player: Cordarelle Patterson.  I love Patterson and recommend drafting him if the price is fair.  But I have seen him drafted in the as the 9th wide receiver in the draft.  While Turner’s system will make for a much more passing-friendly offense, I think it is crazy to take him over proven players with significantly better quarterbacks.  That being said, every time the Vikings appear on the Red Zone channel, I hope that I am about to see Patterson do something on a football field that I have never seen before.

Moment of Zen: 

Team Smokeshow: 

vikings fan

Bottom Line: I like Mike Zimmer as a coach and this team is being built the right way.  Their offense under Norv Turner should be much improved, while Zimmer should be able to get the most out of the talent on defense.  I think the Vikings are going to be one of the surprises of the season and only a tough schedule will stop them from making the playoffs.  But I am going to go over 6.5 wins and enjoy the ride.



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