There is no denying that Jeff Janis was a rising name in dynasty fantasy football leagues a year ago. A little known size/speed product out of Saginaw Valley State a year ago, Janis was a draft sleeper and the Green Bay Packers took notice. What amounted to a mild flier late in the 2014 NFL Draft now could pay huge dividends, both for the Packers and for fantasy football owners looking to cash in on a huge injury.
No official word has been given at the time of this writing, but early signs indicate #1 wide receiver Jordy Nelson is done for the year with a torn ACL. Hopefully that news is overturned and Nelson is only out for a few weeks, but if it stands, fantasy football league managers are quickly going to want to pay attention to other Green Bay wide receivers. Davante Adams is the obvious target, but Nelson’s injury vaults him to such heights that you may not be able to get him – or you may not want to even try. He undoubtedly carries major upside, as someone has to account for Nelson’s 151 targets (98 receptions) of a year ago.
Then again, what if Adams, busts, gets hurt himself or the Packers decide to replace Nelson by spreading the ball around, rather than pummeling balls to one guy? Any of that is possible, but with Green Bay using three-wide receiver sets fairly often, another guy pokes his head into the mix: Jeff Janis.
It’s true that Janis has struggled this summer to completely separate himself from the pack, but when that pack consists of a very solid Ty Montgomery, we probably should cut him some slack. Janis is still young and quite raw, meaning his technical and fundamental flaws are still easy to notice.
Oh, but the upside.
For all of his shortcomings, Janis still has a ridiculous amount of upside and on the surface is at worst a big target for the red-zone and a speedster who can take any touch the distance. He’s shown well in preseason action the past two years, and with Aaron Rodgers throwing him passes, the sky truly is the limit.
There is inconsistency to be had here, so there’s no shame in not fully trusting Jeff Janis just yet. But if Jordy Nelson is out for the year, there’s probably no rational reason for Janis to be left on any fantasy football league’s waiver wire. Janis is just too talented and he’s too close to a massive, reliable role in one of the league’s best offenses.
You can’t draft Janis to be a locked and loaded answer at wide receiver. He’s nothing close to a WR2 yet and he might not even be a WR3. But he’s a special talent who could get there if thrust into serious playing time. At first glance, it sounds/looks like he’d be running with the first team offense on the outside. Even the possibility of a weekly role makes him a late round flier in fantasy football. And if that role is ever permanently cemented, it’s time you get excited.