2013 Fantasy Football: Green Bay Packers Team Preview
It’s no secret. The Green Bay Packers have the goods when looking for fantasy football players to draft. And their offense is fun to watch but even better if you have any of their guys on your roster. The Packers score points and when they do, you score points.
The Packers are always in the playoff conversation and expectations are always high. Barring injury, they should be a 12-4 to 10-6 team by seasons’ end; possibly looking to a Super Bowl run. But what we really want to know is who in Green Bay has legit fantasy value. Let’s take a look:
Aaron Rodgers (Quarterback)
He’s a stud. He’s one of the top QB’s in the league and one of the top QB’s taken off the board in fantasy drafts. Rodgers is a smart QB. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and just matriculates the ball down the field like Peyton Manning; carving opposing defenses. He’s great to have and will typically get you around 25-30 points a week depending on your league scoring.
A lot of people take Rodgers in the first round and I disagree with that. I don’t value any QB in either the first or even second round. Other positions are more important in my valuations but if he’s there in the late second or third he’s a bargain.
I’m not going to list every guy one by one. It’s easier to just give you the synopsis of the “Running Back by committee.” The story begins with Eddie Lacy; the Packers second pick in this years’ draft. He’s a punishing downhill runner who looks like a pinball bouncing off defenders. Most guys are banking on him getting most of the touches at RB for Green Bay.
The committee also includes Alex Green, Dujuan Harris, James Starks and Jonathan Franklin. Harris seems to be the favorite to be the #1 back. Green and Starks have had their opportunities last season but just couldn’t take the reigns as “the guy.” Franklin is low on the depth chart but the Packers are seemingly going to give everyone a shot I think and just roll with a hot hand.
Personally, I just stay away from this mess. If Lacy is there in the later rounds of around 6 I’d consider him. The backfield is just so in the air that you can’t rely week to week on a guy to be THE RB for the Green Bay Packers.
Jordy Nelson (Wide Receiver)
Nelson is a top target of Aaron Rodgers….when healthy. After an injury last season, Nelson had his knee scoped and hasn’t played in the preseason. His progress has been deemed slow but the coaches are planning as if he will be available for week 1.
Nelson is a great WR1 if healthy. He’s got an ability to get the long-ball going with big plays. However, though his status and injury seem minor, it does scare me. He’s a guy you plug into a WR spot and just leave there til his bye week. At this point, he’d have to be a great value pick for me to consider him. It’s all about where you see his risk/reward.
Randall Cobb (Wide Receiver)
Cobb turned out a nice year last season and became a favorite target of Aaron Rodgers. He had 80 receptions for 954 yards and 8 TD’s. He’s mainly a slot receiver and the Packers also like to get him involved on some trick running plays with his speed. The Packers understand that they need to get this guy targets and touches every game.
He’s a true weapon for Rodgers. Rodgers himself stated that they need to get the ball to Cobb more and thinks Cobb could be a 1300 yard receiver. If your QB thinks you can do it, don’t you think that expresses confidence. I think Cobb has a great year with 95 receptions for 1150 yards and 10 TD’s.
James Jones (Wide Receiver)
Jones took the fantasy world by storm last year and filled in for the injured Jordy Nelson. Jones finished with 64 receptions for 784 yards and an eye popping 14 TD’s. He was a redzone machine.
I can’t imagine Jones repeats his performance last year, at least in TD’s. He’ll get redzone looks but he’ll be keyed on. Defenses have learned that much. I think he can duplicate the receptions and yardage but I see his TD’s being half of last year at around 6 or 7 for this season. Jones is being a little overvalued for my taste this year. I wouldn’t have him any higher than a WR3 this year. I know he’s in a pass-happy offense but duplicating last years’ TD’s would be a miracle.
Jermichael Finley (Tight End)
This guy was so hyped and has had promise to the start of every season and just disappoints every year. He’s got the size and the athleticism but just has inconsistent hands. He had 61 cathces for 667 yards and 2 TD’s last season. It’s still not bad but he could have had around 80 catches for 800 yards and 6 TD’s. He could be such a beast but he scares me with the drops. I would draft him but he’s in the ranks of around 12-16 for me in terms of TE’s.
Green Bay Defense/Special Teams
The Packers are being ranked just in or just out of the top ten defenses for fantasy. ANd I’d say that’s a pretty fair rank. They’re going to be right in the middle of all defensive scoring categories. They do give up points and temd to throw up a stinker or three but they are pretty solid as a whole.
The Randall Cobb factor on punt and kickoff returns is a huge plus. He is an absolute X-factor and can get you some big return TD’s. He puts Green Bay a few notches up in the rankings because of his return capability.
Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. In 2012, Roberts finished 16th overall in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup’s NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin