Packers and Vikings fantasy preview

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Lost in the hysteria surrounding Brett Favre this offseason was the Vikings transformation into one of the NFC's elite teams. Their two major offseason additions, receiver Bernard Berrian and defensive end Jared Allen, should pay dividends in Minnesota but also for fantasy teams. Allen, one of the league's most prolific sack artists, makes Minnesota's defense one of the most coveted on draft day, and Berrian's presence could take a few defenders keyed on stopping Adrian Peterson out of the box.

Though the Packers were quiet in free agency, they return several attractive fantasy players. Fantasy owners everywhere are curious to see what Ryan Grant can do with a full season of carries, and Donald Driver and Greg Jennings are still draftable even without Favre.

Vikings: Tarvaris Jackson
Packers: Aaron Rodgers
Stats: Jackson, Rodgers

Jackson won't be drafted in fantasy leagues, that's for sure, but Rodgers is worth keeping an eye on. He's surrounded by solid weapons and the Packers obviously thought enough of him to push Favre out the door. It wouldn't be all that surprising if Rodgers put up better stats than Favre this year. Because of his inexperience, Rodgers should be around late in most fantasy drafts, making him a potential sleeper.

Running backs
Vikings: Adrian Peterson
Packers: Ryan Grant
Stats: Peterson, Grant

If you like to live dangerously, Peterson may be the number one overall pick in your draft. No running back has a higher ceiling, and while LaDainian Tomlinson may start to decline due to age, Peterson should only get better in his second season. He is the only running back in the NFL with a legitimate shot at 2,000 yards. But Peterson will still give up some carries to Chester Taylor and has big time injury concerns. If you end up with the second pick in your draft, he's a wonderful consolation prize.

Grant burst onto the fantasy scene last year in a big way, rushing for eight touchdowns and over 900 in his final ten games. Though he's been in a contract dispute throughout training camp, Grant will be there when the Packers take on the Vikings Week 1. He's likely a second or third round pick in most leagues.

Wide Receivers
Vikings: Bernard Berrian
Packers: Donald Driver, Greg Jennings
Stats: Berrian, Driver, Jennings

Don't expect much of a fantasy drop-off from Jennings or Driver without Favre. The Packers are still going to throw the ball a lot, and both receivers have proved to be dependable weapons. Driver was as consistent as ever last year, but scored only two touchdowns. Expect that number to more than double this year. Jennings was one of fantasy's biggest surprises last year, and Rodgers will certainly be looking to get him the ball early and often.

If Berrian was paired with a better quarterback, his fantasy stock would be higher. But going from Rex Grossman to Tav Jackson isn't much of an improvement. Berrian is still Minnesota's only proven receiver and they should look to throw it to him often to get defenders away from Peterson. He is worthy of a mid-to-late round draft pick.

Tight End
Vikings: Visanthe Shiancoe
Packers: Donald Lee
Stats: Shiancoe, Lee

At 6-4, Lee is a nice, big target for Rodgers to look to in the end zone. Last year was a career year for him as he tripled his former career high by scoring six touchdowns. Still, neither of these guys are options in most fantasy leagues.


The Vikings boast one of the NFL's top defenses. Expect them to be one of the first five team defenses off the board in most fantasy drafts.

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