NFL Fantasy Sleepers for 2014: NFC North


Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata (44) is tackled by Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch (55) during the second quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Summer is approaching fast and so are preparations for NFL fantasy leagues.  Here is an updated list of potential sleepers from every team in the NFC North.

Green Bay Packers:  Richard Rogers – TE

Tight end is wide open at this point for the Green Bay Packers.  Jermichael Finley is gone and Andrew Quarless is not the most enticing target for Aaron Rodgers.  That creates a big opportunity for rookie Richard Rogers out of Cal.  Despite questions about his weight, he’s a natural pass catcher with excellent size and enough speed to threaten down the middle.  He still needs more polish to his game and stability in the offensive system but if nurtured properly he’s tailor made fit what the Packers do.

Minnesota Vikings:  Matt Asiata – RB

Adrian Peterson is still the main man for the Minnesota Vikings and in most NFL fantasy circles.  At the same time it can’t be ignored that he’s 29-years old and can’t keep carrying the offense alone, especially now that key backup Toby Gerhart is in Jacksonville.  That means somebody else needs to step up and help.  The next in line for that opportunity is fourth-year man Matt Asiata.  He got plenty of carries down the stretch last season for Minnesota and produced some solid outings such as a three-touchdown effort against Philadelphia and posting 115 yards against Detroit.  He has NFL fantasy appeal, provided the new coach staff maintains the status quo

Detroit Lions:  T.J. Jones – WR

Most of the fanfare regarding the new Detroit Lions offense will center around additions like free agent Golden Tate and first round pick tight end Eric Ebron.  That is fair.  At the same time it has caused perhaps one of the most underrated draft picks of 2014 to go completely unnoticed.  Notre Dame wide receiver T.J. Jones isn’t flashy in terms of speed, size or power.  What he is centers around technique, polish and hands.  Any time a quarterback needed a big catch for the Irish, Jones was always the guy making the play.  He has the perfect skill set to carve a home in the slot for the Lions, giving Matthew Stafford yet another weapon.

Chicago Bears:  Marquess Wilson – WR

It’s easy to overlook a player like Chicago Bears receiver Marquess Wilson.  A seventh round pick in 2013, he was buried on the back of the depth chart last season.  On top of that he was chastised by many for quitting on his team at Washington State due to a dispute with coaches.  He’s only 21-years old.  Why should anyone pay him mind?  Well before that dispute scouts claimed he had first round talent, stands 6’3″ with good speed and hands and flashed some of his potential last year, mainly in the preseason.  He has spent the entire off-season working with teammate Brandon Marshall down in Florida to get bigger, faster and stronger.  If the trend holds true like it did for Alshon Jeffery a year ago, Wilson could be yet another big offensive weapon for Chicago to offer NFL fantasy owners.