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- David Montgomery was still the clear lead back and outproduced an ADP that indicated some hesitation to accept him as a bell cow. Montgomery’s rushing efficiency was poor, but he played a large role in the passing game and scratched out seven rushing scores in an anemic offense.
- Justin Fields didn’t exactly hit the ground running as a fantasy or NFL quarterback, but it’s hard to know how much of that was based on the ongoing dysfunction in the Bears offense, which has a chance to change with the firing of Matt Nagy. We’ll learn more about the plans for Fields under new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who was a part of Aaron Rodgers' recent success in Green Bay.
- Allen Robinson’s season was a total loss for fantasy, but greener pastures are ahead in free agency.
- Darnell Mooney asserted himself as a long-term cornerstone with a 1000-yard season, which was a Herculean task in this offense. His value is trending up, and he was a hit as a late-round pick.
You Might Have Missed: Khalil Herbert averaged 86 rushing yards a game in four starts while Montgomery was out with a knee injury
Biggest Offseason Questions: What will the offense around Fields look like under Getsy? What will the Bears do at wide receiver with little in place behind Mooney?
Bottom Line: Ding dong, the witch is dead, so there’s hope for Fields to find his way down the yellow brick road to become an NFL wizard.
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- D'Andre Swift justified his ADP and then some even though he wasn’t always the best runner on the team, ceding a lot of carries to Jamaal Williams. Swift's huge passing game involvement fueled a strong campaign in PPR leagues. This outcome was foreseeable on a team with a thin wide receiver group. The 2022 season will be a big year for Swift to win over Brad Holmes when it comes time for a second contract decision.
- T.J. Hockenson also benefited from a bare cupboard at wide receiver, save for a three-game slump early in the season, but his season ended early because of a thumb injury. He hasn’t truly broken out for fantasy but is doing better than his college teammate, Broncos tight end Noah Fant.
- Amon-Ra St. Brown became the #1 option in the pass offense late in the season, after head coach Dan Campbell took over playcalling and new offensive coordinator Ben Johnson had a much larger role in the offensive game plan. St. Brown gives Johnson some of the credit for his surge, a great sign for St. Brown’s 2021 value not being dependent on the lack of other options in the passing game.
You Might Have Missed: St. Brown posted a Kupp-esque 51-560-5 line over the last six games of the season
Biggest Offseason Questions: What will the team do to upgrade at outside wide receiver? Which of the late-season changes in the offense after Anthony Lynn’s role shrunk will carry over under Ben Johnson?
Bottom Line: It wasn’t as bad as expected, and Dan Campbell was a good head coach hire.
Green Bay Packers
- Aaron Rodgers had a drop in touchdown output, but was still playing at an MVP level and justified his ADP. His future is up in the air. Jordan Love looked far away from being the heir when Rodgers had to miss time.
- Unlike Love, A.J. Dillon looked like a player worth his draft capital in his second year, but his role wasn’t large enough to have standalone value. He’ll probably have to wait until 2023 to take over this backfield with Aaron Jones coming with a reasonable price tag for 2022.
- Davante Adams is still the man and justified his WR1 price tag, although he’s an impending free agent, and like Rodgers, his future is uncertain.
- With the return of Randall Cobb, occasional flashes from Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and better health from Allen Lazard, there was once again no clear sustained #2 option in the passing game. Even Robert Tonyan Jr fell off before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
You Might Have Missed: Dillon actually had more yards, carries, and rushing scores than Aaron Jones
Biggest Offseason Questions: Will Rodgers retire? Seek a trade? Sign a new contract with the Packers? What about Adams?
Bottom Line: This offense showed 2020 wasn’t a fluke, but 2021 might have been the end of an era.
- Dalvin Cook’s touchdowns and passing game production took a hit in an otherwise typical season for him, but Alexander Mattison looked as sharp as he has yet when Cook couldn’t play in a sign of future value growth as Mattison goes into his fourth year.
- Justin Jefferson built on a historic rookie year and cemented his spot among the elite.
- Adam Thielen continued to be a value with outstanding red-zone work more than compensating for fewer downfield passes, but he broke down before the end of the season in a potentially ominous sign as he goes into his age-32 season. The new regime could look to move him and/or Kirk Cousins in the offseason.
- K.J. Osborn made some hay in his second year. The fifth-round pick could be more central in the offense under new head coach Kevin O'Connell, who is from the Sean McVay tree which stresses three-wide-receiver sets.
You Might Have Missed: Osborn scored in five of the last six games.
Biggest Offseason Questions: Will Cousins and Thielen be back? How will the existing personnel adapt to the new offense and who will be added? Can Irv Smith hit in his year-24 third campaign after a knee injury robbed him of his second season?
Bottom Line: Transition and change is coming for this reliable and predictable fantasy offense.