Now that the Midwest soap opera has played itself out (for now),
Rodgers can get back to being a stud as enters his age 38 season.
Despite a string of sub-par fantasy seasons, Rodgers rebounded
in a massive way in 2020 with one of the best statistical seasons
of his storied career. In his 2nd run through in Matt LaFleur’s
system, Rodgers carried savvy fantasy teams with career highs
in total touchdowns (51) and almost 4,300 yards in the air. He
simply played some of the best football in his career, and the
drama of the offseason can only add to the edge his plays with
There isn’t much of a reason to nitpick the fantasy outlook for
#12 this season. Sure, a regression in touchdowns is almost a
given, and his legs aren’t nearly as spry, but he should be as
efficient as ever as he makes beautiful music with Davante Adams.
The young receivers are slowly ascending and have to be respected
by defenses, and explosive Aaron Jones still anchors the run game.
Oh, and Randall Cobb is back in the fold… for whatever that means!
With one final run with the core of the team intact, Rodgers should
shine as the first of the pocket passers picked in drafts.
Just rostering the Packers offense last year would have gotten
you four top-10 positional players, and that includes the finish
by Jones, as he amassed almost 1,500 total yards and 11 total
touchdowns in only 14 games. His 5.5 yards-per-carry average tied
his career high, and though he had only one true week winning
game, he was incredibly consistent with 11 games of double-digit
scoring. Jones was also 9th in the NFL among runners with 63 targets,
so you are getting multi-format value as well. Although Jones
was brought back on a 4-year, $48 million dollar deal, the biggest
hindrance to his numbers comes in the form of 2nd-year back A.J.
Dillon. Despite being a 2nd round pick Dillon was hardly used,
but that looks to change if the words from Packers running back
coach Ben Sirmans means anything.
Already being as efficient as possible and the presence of Dillon
make it nearly impossible for Jones to significantly improve on
last season’s numbers. He just doesn’t get the big
carry numbers other top-5 backs do (he only had one 20+ attempt
game last year), but still remains a solid, upside top-10 option.
The Packers 2020 draft was a big reason why Aaron Rodgers was
so miffed this offseason. On a team primed to win a championship,
Green Bay spent their first two draft picks on Jordan Love who
didn’t see the field, and Dillon, who was essentially the
3rd running back, and contributed 263 total yards and two touchdowns.
Health, the existence of Jamaal Williams, and a possible issue
with a complicated playbook all conspired to topple Dillon’s
fantasy prospects. 2021 brings much brighter prospects for the
former Boston College Eagle. Williams is gone, and Dillon has
had a full offseason to better immerse himself in the offense.
He’s been talked up by the coaching staff, and despite playing
in only 11 games last year, did manage a 5.3 per-carry average
on his 46 attempts, which is impressive. If his Week 16 start
vs Tennessee was any indication (21-124-2), he has the chops to
carry the run game if Jones goes down. With only late round picks
Kylin Hill and Dexter Williams behind him on the depth chart,
look for Dillion to be a little more than a breather back for
Jones. With volume upside, and 5+ touchdown potential, Dillion
makes for a great Jones handcuff, or late-round value pick.
Easiest outlook in the land! Contract issues aside, Adams is
as “money” as they come in fantasy football. I’m
relegated to bad puns in this section, as the career numbers Adams
has put up are simply gross and need little inspection. He led
the league last season with 18 touchdowns, making that the fourth
season out of seven that he’s gone for double digit touchdowns.
Having a telepathic connection with his quarterback, and being
the clear alpha pass receiver on this team puts Adams in a category
all by himself. His route running, and the way he’s schemed
the ball inside the ten-yard line mean triple digit receptions
and double-digit scores are a near given, even if there is some
natural regression in the TD department. As long as #12 is still
slinging the ball for the Pack, Adams should be one of the first
non-running back names off of most boards.
After a two year stint away from Green Bay, Cobb returns to the
Packers on the back of Aaron Rodgers’s powerplay. Plucked from
the purgatory of Houston, Cobb is ready to run it back with some
of the old crew, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The passing
game struggled at times in 2020 (if you can believe that) when
the ball wasn’t heading to Adams. Young Packers Marquez Valdes-Scantling
and Allen Lazard
showed flashes, but too were too thrust into roles and situations
they weren’t prepared to handle and Cobb is the perfect bridge.
Though overpaid, he was still serviceably productive in Dallas
and Houston and should rekindle the chemistry with Rodgers in
a jiffy. One of the better slot receivers early in his career,
Cobb should carve out value in PPR leagues, but I think he’s far
out from weekly value in any other format.
Maddeningly inconsistent at times in 2020, MVS was still able
to set career highs in yards (690) and touchdowns (6) while trying
to fill the #2 receiver role for Green Bay. A scary combination
of size and speed, MVS is the true field stretcher of the offense
as he led the NFL with a 20.9 yards-per-reception average. The
addition of Randall Cobb means it’s highly unlikely he is
going to improve much on his measly 33 receptions from a year
ago, and frankly, consistent value is impossible to come by on
such a low reception floor. He’s probably worth an add simply
because of #12, but good luck picking the week he pops off.
A free agent gem on most fantasy leagues last year, Tonyan came
out of nowhere to not only become the Packer’s No.2 receiver,
but piled up career highs in targets (59), receptions (52), yards
(586) and touchdowns (11). The undrafted free agent from Indiana
State, Tonyan enters his 4th season in the NFL with sky high expectations.
Tonyan had a clear connection with Rodgers, as he was the only
tight end in the NFL in top 10 in catch percentage, snagging a
silly 88% of the balls thrown his way. He may have entered 2020
nameless and well off the radar, but should be an easy pick in
the top-10 at his position this year.