When you throw 45 touchdowns in 15 games, you’re bound to make your receivers fantasy relevant.
Last season, Aaron Rodgers did just that. He continued his good rapport with receiver Greg Jennings, while helping Jordy Nelson become one of the leagues best fantasy options.
Regardless of how the Packers finished, their offense was filled with what every fantasy owner wants: points. But will this year’s Packers team be able to keep the pace?
I’m not completely sold on…
Jordy Nelson. Last season, he finished as the second best receiver in fantasy. We’d be kidding ourselves if we thought that’d happen again.
Here’s the deal. I wrote about Jordy Nelson and Victor Cruz in a post earlier this month, and I said that we shouldn’t write these guys off as if their 2011 seasons were anomalies. I still believe that. I believe there’s a good player in Jordy Nelson, and I think that he’s most definitely a draftable receiver in fantasy football. That wouldn’t make much sense if I said the opposite.
But when you look at his game by game stats from last year, it’s somewhat alarming. He had one game where he caught more than 6 passes. And it was Week 17 when Aaron Rodgers wasn’t even playing. And moreover, in that same game, he went for 162 yards and 3 scores. In an irrelevant game to not only the Packers, but the fantasy football world.
It skewed his numbers a bit, no doubt. If he would’ve had an average game, he maybe would’ve finished as the 5th or 6th best wide receiver last year, which is still impressive.
He was a boom or bust guy, which a lot of people like. I don’t. And there’s a reason for that: He only had 96 targets last season.
The fact that he finished 2nd at receiving while finishing 41st in targets shows you that he was getting deep and he was scoring. I mean, he only had 68 receptions. That’s good for 29th in the league.
I think Nelson should be considered a low-end WR1/high end WR2 this year. But don’t be surprised if he drops even lower than that. He’ll still be Rodgers’ second look, but remember – there’s a lot of talent on the Packers, and Rodgers isn’t afraid to spread the ball around.
I’m not going to draft…
Aaron Rodgers. This should come as no surprise. He has value – more than any quarterback ever – but only when you get him in the late first round. Drafting him in the top-5 is a bad choice.
Here’s my time to say “If you don’t believe me, then buy my book: The Late Round Quarterback”
I see value in…
James Starks. He finished as the 43rd best running back in fantasy last year, but if he stays healthy, he can be a startable back.
This is the first season that he’s coming in as the sure starter at running back. There’s no more Ryan Grant. And there’s no more 133 carries for 578 yards.
The Packers have some young depth at running back, but James Starks is clearly on top. If you factor in Ryan Grant leaving, a potential for more scores and a healthy season, James Starks could be great value in the mid to late rounds of your draft.
The one word to describe the 2012 Packers is…
Belt. As in, Aaron Rodgers’ championship belt. This offense will live and die with Aaron Rodgers’ arm. Luckily for them, Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL.
I don’t like Jordy Nelson to repeat his efforts from 2011, but I think he could make a very good WR2. From a running back standpoint, I could see James Starks having a breakout season with not a lot of competition in the backfield. If he can stay healthy and get in the end zone a few more times, then he’s bound to become an RB2.
I’m not drafting Rodgers for obvious reasons, but this Packers team should continue to turn heads in 2012.