Daily Dr. Roto — July 31, 2018
Green Bay Packers Team Preview
Outlook: It’s hard to judge the 2017 Green Bay Packers because QB Aaron Rodgers, the team’s best player, only played seven games. This year’s team will be judged hyper-critically as the team let top receiver Jordy Nelson go to Oakland as a free agent. Questions abound on both offense and defense with this team, but with Rodgers at the helm, the Packers are always in playoff contention.
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QB: There is little doubt that Aaron Rodgers will be inducted in the Hall of Fame about five to six years after his retirement. But until that time, Rodgers is going to try to set as many passing records and play in as many Super Bowls as possible. When Rodgers is at his best, he can be counted on for about 4500+ passing yards, and close to 35-40 TD passes. Moreover, he has good mobility out of the pocket which always gives him a chance for about 300+ yards rushing and a few rushing TDs. That said, I still would not rush to draft Rodgers UNLESS I was in a league that gives 6 points per passing TD. If your league uses a 4 point per TD pass scoring system, as we use in the FFWC, Rodgers is probably no better than a Round 5-6 player. However, YOU know your league scoring system better than I do, so if Rodgers is extremely valuable in your league, I would push him up to a 2nd or 3rd round pick depending on your league’s scoring configuration.
RB: The Packers use a full-fledged committee when it comes to running back. Jamaal Williams is a solid first and second down runner, but he lacks finesse in the passing game. Ty Montgomery is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, but he is injury prone and cannot handle a huge workload. Aaron Jones is perhaps the best hybrid of the two, but he has been suspended for the first two games of the season by the league for a substance abuse infraction. Concerning how they will play out for Fantasy purposes, I like Williams to be a solid contributor for the first few weeks of the season, but if I had to pick a player who I thought could help me with a Fantasy championship, it would be Jones. If you draft Jones, you will need to be patient with him, as he might do very little for the first six or seven weeks. My hope is that his talent will shine through and the coaching staff will give him the football when it gets closer to crunch time.
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WR: There is little doubt that Davante Adams will be the number one option in the passing game this season. Adams has always been a great red zone player, and this year I think he will be a target monster for Rodgers. I can easily see him being an early second-round pick in drafts this season, regardless of format. Randall Cobb is the slot receiver who always seems to find a way to get open. Cobb was a Fantasy darling back in 2014 but has dealt with numerous injuries over the past few years, dropping him down considerably in drafts. With Nelson gone and no clear receiver outside of Adams as competition, this should be a year where Cobb takes advantage. That said, I haven't liked how he's looked on the field, and I will need to see him play in preseason before I jump on his bandwagon. The WR3 will most likely be Geronimo Allison. Allison has established a rapport with Rodgers in the past, but now he needs to step up and be even more consistent. I can see Allison dropping into the late middle rounds in most drafts, where he might end up as a potential value if Cobb cannot seem to shake his injury woes. The team also drafted a bunch of young players: J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Equanimeous St. Brown in this year’s draft. It’s a bit too soon to say which of these players will emerge, but it is worth watching them closely in preseason to see if any garner Rodgers’ attention.
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TE: Although the Packers lost Jordy Nelson, they did invest in bringing over Jimmy Graham from Seattle to be another top target for Rodgers. Graham only had 520 yards receiving last season, but he did have 10 TDs. It seemed like the Seahawks did not use him as much as they could have, and Graham should enjoy playing with Rodgers who loves throwing to his tight end. My biggest worry about Graham is that this is not the same player who dominated for years when he was with the New Orleans Saints. Whether it has been his shoulder or other ailments, the 2018 version of Graham is stable, but not spectacular. I expect that he will be drafted in like the 6th or 7th round in most drafts because of his new QB, but that might be paying full price for a player who has lost a step. Marcedes Lewis is the blocking tight end, but he is an enormous target who might sneak a few scores in the red zone.
K: A lot of Fantasy owners like drafting Mason Crosby because they think he plays for a high scoring team, but he does have significant drawbacks. Firstly, he is very inconsistent in his long-distance kicking. Next, the team often goes for it on 4th down, and finally, the weather is so bad in Green Bay in the winter that he often loses attempts because they cannot kick the ball off the turf. For those reasons, I will let someone else draft him.
D: In IDP circles, I might look to LB Blake Martinez and DE Muhammed Wilkerson as the best bets for Fantasy points. No player stands out on the Green Bay defense, and I cannot think of a time when I ever drafted them in a seasonal league.
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