As anyone who has played fantasy football knows, it’s good to know which way the wind blows. The ocean of fantasy assets stretches out before us and expands from horizon to horizon, making any thought of mapping it all out a daunting task. The NFC (or NF-Sea?) holds plenty of dark corners and treacherous pitfalls. It takes a true fantasy explorer to know how to navigate.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here! Only the strong can survive and dead men tell no tales.

Each week, we brave souls enter the depths of the North, the East, the South, and the West, and send word as to what we find there. Is it treasure? Is it traps? Is it glory and victory?

We break it all down for you right now.

NFC North Preview

Chris Smith – (@Chrisheatcanes)

What to Watch For:

The return of Everson Griffen to the Viking’s Defense is the big story this week in this division. With the obvious struggles the Minnesota defense has been having this year, some pressure from the defensive line might be what the doctor ordered to get this defense back on track. Let’s dive in this ice-fishing division and see what fantasy fish we can find.

Fantasy Impact Players:

Trey Burton/TE/Chicago Bears

OK, the hype was right on this guy. Burton has emerged as one of the top tight ends in the league. Nagy’s offense uses him perfectly with the yards and touchdowns he has put up the last couple of weeks. Make sure he is in your lineup every week moving forward.

Projections: 7/102/2

Tarik Cohen/RB/Chicago Bears

With Cohen being a mismatch for linebackers and safeties, expect him to be featured a lot more as the season moves on. Trying to come up with new plays to feature his speed and quickness will be fun for coach Nagy moving forward.

Projections: Rushing 8/40 Receiving 6/78/1

Adam Thielen/WR/Vikings

With Stefon Diggs drawing the best cover corner on the Saints this week (like every week), expect Thielen to thrive like always on the other side. Thielen is making the case for the best fantasy football wide receiver in the NFL. He has been the most consistent wide receiver this season. But understand that fantasy is different from real football. Thielen may be top-ten, but until he beats the number one corner on opposing defenses and consistently beats double-teams every week like the top five wide receivers in the game, he will stay in the bottom-five on my list.

Projections: 7/110/1

Davante Adams/WR/Green Bay

Adams  beats double teams and number one corners… and whatever else the defenses throw at him… with no real help on the other side of the field. This will be another day at the office for Adams. Aaron Rodgers can throw WRs open too, so, it’s the best of both worlds. Start Adams with confidence.

Projections: 9/150/2

Jimmy Graham/TE/Green Bay

Knowing that Jimmy might be the biggest mismatch the Packers have this week. If Rodgers can get some time he will be able to find his big tight end down the middle of the field in what might be a high scoring game.

Projections: 6/87/1

Kerryon Johnson/RB/Detriot Lions

Finally, the Lions have a number one running back. The Lions are becoming more of a complete team, so expect Johnson to consistently see the same touches every game.

Projections: Rushing 18/89/1 Re

Sleeper Alert:

Geronimo Allison/WR/Green Bay

Out of sight, out of mind, is an expression often used when talking about an injured player. But let’s be perfectly clear, Geronimo is the number two wide receiver on this team. Expect Rodgers to find him a lot in this game.

Projections: 6/98/1

Randall Cobb/WR/Green Bay

Missing most of the season so far, Cobb always come out of nowhere to have a big game. I expect him to have another solid game this week, even if it’s in garbage time, because of how much scoring the Rams will do that forces Green Bay to keep scoring.

Projections: 5/75/1

Kevin White/WR/Bears

I am happy to finally have a chance to mention this guy in the sleeper portion of my article. While he has had many injuries, he has found a way to be on the field lately. Expect him to have another solid game this week on his mission to prove all the haters wrong.

Projections: 4/79/1

Game Predictions:

Jets 17 Bears 24

Seahawks 27 Detroit 24

Packers 35 Rams 42

Saints 28 Viking 24

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NFC South Preview

Chris Smith (@Chrisheatcanes)

What to Watch For:

Everyone’s a winner this week in this division… which is a good thing to hear with the Atlanta Falcons having all that talent on offense, yet still in last place. That makes this division the best in the NFL talent-wise. Atlanta is on a bye this week but there are plenty of fantasy game busters in this league. Let’s dive in and see what fantasy crawfish we can pull out of this southern stew.

Fantasy Impact Players:

Jameis Winston/QB/Tampa Bay

Playing the Cincinnati Bengals in Ohio could be a bad thing for Mr. Winston. It’s cold and windy and Tampa Bay depends on the quarterback passing the ball. With all the injuries in the backfield of the defense for the Bengals, expect a big bad game from Jameis. Fantasy football wise, I think he will have a big game. But I also think he will lose this game with too many turnovers.

Projections: 23/35 345 2/2

Mike Evans/WR/Tampa Bay

This should be another day at the office for Big Mike. With the struggles, the Bengals are having from the cornerback position expect a big game from Evans this week.

Projections: 8/120/1  

Christian McCaffrey/RB/Panthers

McCaffrey should get back on track this week. Why? While the Ravens are a very tough defense, the Panthers can do exactly what the Saints did to Baltimore by taking advantage of the running back in the passing game. You should see good production from Christian this week.

Alvin Kamara/RB/Saints

This is another tough defense for the Saints, so I expect Kamara to have a monster game out of the backfield. With the weakness of the Vikings’ defense being the linebackers in space, they will really struggle to check Alvin. They are also nursing injuries with Xavier Rhodes and Anthony Barr.

Michael Thomas/WR/Saints

A big game is what to expect from Thomas this week. I think this game could be a shootout much like the Rams versus Vikings. The Saints are out for some payback for the way the game ended last year. And Thomas owned the DBs that checked him last year. I expect more of the same this year.

Sleeper Alert:

Chris Godwin/WR/Tampa Bay

Godwin could have a bigger game than Mike Evans this game. With the injuries the Bengals have at the defensive back position, expect Chris to take full advantage of miscues and overplays by the new players replacing the regular players on the field.

Ronald Jones II/RB/Tampa Bay

The second time’s a charm with Ronald Jones. Seeing how Kareem Hunt Destroyed the Bengals in the passing game, expect the Tampa Bay Bucs to play it safe with some dump-downs to the running back out of the backfield. They will see if the Bengals learned anything from last week’s poor performance.

Tre’Quan Smith/WR/Saints

Having established himself as the number two wide receiver, expect Smith to have a nice breakout game this week. With the pressure coming up the middle from the return of Everson Griffen, I expect a lot of quick underneath passes to Smith to slow down the rush.

Game Predictions:

Bucs 27 Bengals 30

Ravens 17 Panthers 20

Saints 28 Viking 24

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NFC East Preview

Chris Smith (@Chrisheatcanes)

What to Watch For:

Well, the story this week should be the trade of Amari Cooper to the Cowboys. But no, they are on a bye, so this week’s top story is the Washington Redskins and whether they are for real. They have the New York Giants this week which should be an interesting game, to say the least. You know what this game is about: Odell Beckham and Josh Norman. Will Josh get in Odell’s head this week or will Eli Manning do it for him. Let’s dive into this division and see what pumpkins we can find in the ole pumpkin patch.

Fantasy Impact Players:

Zach Ertz/TE/Philadelphia Eagles

Well, this is the top tight end in the business right now. The reasons are clear, especially in this game. With Alshon Jeffery getting Jalen Ramsey, who will hold Jeffery in check. Zach always finds a way to get open. Just to make you feel better about this pick, Travis Kelce had 5 receptions for 100 yards against this same team.

Projections: 7/98/2

Saquon Barkley/RB/New York Giants

Being that Saquon is the outlet for this team, and the offensive line isn’t blocking worth a damn, expect a lot of dump -ff passes to Saquon – who should have another productive week receiving.

Projections: Rushing 16/50/1 Receiving 6/70/1

Adrian Peterson/RB/Washington Redskins

The old man built like a superhero is still keeping balance in Washington. With his ability to still bring that 8th man down in the box, Alex Smith has been able to use the play-action pass to keep defenses under control. Expect a lot more of the same this week versus the Giants.

Projections: Rushing 18/89/1 Receiving 3/25

Odell Beckham Jr/WR/New York Giants

With Josh Norman losing a step and more talk than action, I think Odell gets another hundred yard game. What does that mean as far as wins? Nothing. The Redskins still get the win.

Sleeper Alert:

Josh Doctson/WR/Washington Redskins

I know it’s weird to pick a wide receiver for the redskins, but I think he is going to catch one of those deep passes this week. He just missed on two versus the Cowboys! With Eli Apple out in New York, I expect some deep tests for the new Giants’ starter this week.

Projections: 5/103/1

Kapri Bibbs/RB/Washington Redskins

Well, he had a touchdown last game they played. It’s early, but if Chris Thompson is still injured this weekend, expect Bibbs to play the third-down running back and catch key passes that get the Redskins some much-needed help in the dump-off game.

Projections: Rushing 6/30 receiving 6/56/1

Dallas Goedert/TE/Eagles

They run a lot of two tight-end sets that put pressure on the linebackers that are already struggling with one tight end. Expect another solid week from Dallas.

Game Predictions:

Redskins 24 Giants 20

Eagles 24 Jags 21

NFC West Preview

Mitch Lawson (@DFF_MitchLawson)

What to Watch For:

How Will Cardinals Fare With New OC Byron Leftwich

The Cardinals finally gave McCoy his walking papers after Week 7’s performance. McCoy was a shaky hire considering his questionable play calling and early dismissal from the Denver Broncos. So, naturally, his leash was tightened quickly in Arizona. His inability to get David Johnson rolling was inexcusable, as was his overall handling of rookie Josh Rosen.

Leftwich has already been pegged as an upgrade over McCoy. He even received praise from Bruce Arians this week. So, can he turn this team around and get David Johnson, Josh Rosen, and the rest of the offense fired up? It will be exciting to watch

Fantasy Impact Players:

David Johnson/RB/Arizona Cardinals

DJ has been underwhelming thus far in 2018. With new OC Byron Leftwich in to hopefully boost the offense,and a decent matchup against the 49ers, this game could be his best of the year.

Projections: Rushing – 21/103/1 Receiving – 5/43/1

Christian Kirk/WR/Arizona

Kirk has been progressing nicely in Arizona. He should be able to put up some yardage, but I don’t think he finds the endzone this week.

Projection: 6/85/0

Russell Wilson/QB /Seattle Seahawks

Wilson has been a borderline QB1 thanks to his TD rate, but his yardage has been concerning for fantasy owners. With Doug Baldwin looking healthy, Wilson will likely have another usable fantasy day.

Projections: 29-41 / 290 / 2 TD / 1 INT

Sleeper Alert:

Ed Dickson/TE/Seattle Seahawks

Dickson is finally healthy and looks good to go this weekend. With Dissley out for the season and Nick Vannett looking ineffective, Dickson could produce some yardage as a big-bodied TE who can move the chains and win battles.

Projection: 5/49/1

Game Predictions:

Seattle – 23 @ Detroit – 16

San Francisco – 13 @ Arizona – 17

LA Rams – 38 vs Green Bay – 37

mlawson

@DFF_MitchLawson / Writer, Editor & Analyst for @DFF_Redraft & @DFF_Dynasty. #DFFArmy #FantasyFootball. Canadian. Occasionally witty, stay tuned

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