IDP Divisional Preview: NFC North
Who are the sleepers, studs, breakouts, and busts to know from the NFC North? We dive into the mix to find the IDPs you should know about for your leagues.
Our divisional preview series marches on with the NFC North. If you missed the first installment, we’re looking at studs, sleepers, breakouts, and busts from the four teams in each division. Up this round are the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings.
Let’s kick things off with a team in the news today: the Chicago Bears.
Bust: Robert Quinn
Quinn had a strong bounce back in 2021 after being massively ineffective in his first season in Chicago in 2020. However, don’t expect more of the same. Quinn had a whopping 18.5 sacks converted from just 47 pressures on only 755 snaps last year. That’s a conversion rate just shy of 40% from pressure to sack, which is unsustainable.
The next lowest pressure total from any player who got 18 or more sacks? T.J. Watt, who got his 22.5 sacks on 67 pressures (33%).
Quinn is soon to be 33 on what will be a bad Chicago team in 2022. If you had him last year, enjoy that, because you will not be getting close to that this year.
Sleeper: Jaquan Brisker
For now, Brisker will be remembered as the player the Bears got with the 2nd round pick they got in the Khalil Mack trade with the Chargers this offseason. As we said before, Chicago projects to be a bad team on both sides of the ball. But what usually happens on bad teams in lost seasons? Rookies get a ton of play because coaches want to know what they have—and at 6’1” and 220 lbs with 4.5 speed, what they have could be a defensive anchor able to cover TEs and receivers deep and still bang in the box with the RBs. We’re not saying Brisker is going to blow the roof off at safety, but don’t be surprised if he outscores one or two of those first-round guys in 2022.
Bust: Derrick Barnes
We shouldn’t have to tell you that a player who played so poorly in such limited snaps will be a bust for your fantasy roster this season. But there is still a small sect of IDP that holds out hope for Barnes. This time last year, people were already crowning him the LB1 in Detroit. Like last year, disappointment awaits those holding out the same hope. Unless Alex Anzalone goes down, Barnes might not get a sniff. And the fact that it will take a serious injury to Alex-Freaking-Anzalone tells you all you need to know.
Breakout: Aidan Hutchinson
There’s something about these Michigan edge rushers: Rashan Gary, Kwity Paye, Chase Winovich (his gorgeous hair, not his play), David Ojabo, and now Aidan Hutchinson. Hutch is already drawing rave reviews in camp and it’s no surprise—he’s an athletic freak with a never-ending motor who was arguably the best player in college football last season. Does he come in with the pedigree of the Bosa brothers? No. But don’t let that deter you from drafting Hutch. Adam has him ranked as his dynasty EDGE6 because we expect him to explode onto the IDP scene in 2022.
Green Bay Packers
Stud: Rashan Gary
Gary was underwhelming during his first two seasons in Green Bay due to struggles with injuries and stiff competition that limited his opportunities before 2021. Some folks even threw around the B word, but then 2021 happened. A severe back injury for Za’Darius Smith opened the door a crack for Gary, who kicked that thing wide open.
Don’t for a second think that his #18 finish is the ceiling for him, though. Smith has moved on to Minnesota, so Gary will be looking to play a full slate of games for the first time in his short career. If he’s able to do that, and increase his snap share to the mid-70s, then a top 8 EDGE finish will be well within his range of outcomes.
Sleeper: Quay Walker
The Quay Walker pick might have seemed like a further twist of the knife in Aaron Rodgers’ back at the time, but now with some distance, it’s clear to see that the Packers simply fell in love with his talent. Yes, the Packers have recently run a ton of single-LB packages, so it remains to be seen if they’ll deploy Walker and De’Vondre Campbell at the same time. But we believe Walker is a “Schemebuster”—a player so talented that he changes the way teams approach their defensive scheme.
We’re not saying make Walker the centerpiece of your LB corps in 2022. But stash him on your bench, because if he hits—even late in the season—he’s a league-winner.
Stud: Danielle Hunter
It’s easy to forget now, but before his injury, Hunter was in the mix for the overall IDP1 to start the season. The good news—if there is good news with a season-ending injury—is that a torn pec isn’t a lingering concern like a neck or back injury. Hunter should be fully recovered and ready to rock and roll for 2022, and at only 27 years old, he’s still firmly in his prime. Josh has already called for him to finish as the EDGE1 this season, but even if he doesn’t hit those heights, he’s a lock for a top 12 finish if he stays healthy. Draft with confidence (especially with Z. Smith there now).
Stud: Eric Kendricks
Three-down linebackers who produce at a high rate are becoming harder and harder to find. In fact, with so many teams using multiple sub-packages and rotating guys in and out constantly, you have an immediate advantage when you find an LB who never leaves the field. Yes, Kendricks is 30, but don’t try to galaxy brain this. If you see him available in your drafts at LB 10 or later (which he usually is), hit draft. He offers a better than most of the guys going in the same region without half the red flags.
Subscribe to The IDP Show so you don’t miss an episode!
Get 10% OFF the Reality Sports Online site fee for 2022 using promo code IDPSHOW #ad
Get 40% OFF an All-22 Fantasy subscription with the code IDPSHOW #ad
Order The IDP Draft Kit today for just $20: theidpdraftkit.com
Thanks for reading The IDP Show! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.