The Green Bay Packers offense is possibly the most fantasy friendly in the NFL. With Aaron Rodgers an MVP candidate every season, there are plenty of fantasy points to be had in Green Bay. Jordy Nelson returned to form after missing the previous season with a torn ACL, while the emergence of Ty Montgomery from former wide receiver to running back was one the biggest surprises of the 2016 season. Davante Adams finally had the breakout season fans have been waiting for, as well, while Randall Cobb disappointed fantasy owners.
Packers Fantasy Breakdown
Aaron Rodgers is the number one fantasy quarterback. Sorry Tom Brady fans, but Rodgers is in his prime and is not slowing down. He should be the first quarterback off the board in fantasy football drafts, and may be worth your second pick in leagues where passing touchdowns count as six.
One of the reasons why Rodgers is so good is due to his stable of quality pass catchers. Rodgers averaged 38 pass attempts per game, enough to keep three receivers and a tight end involved. Nelson bounced back from injury with 97 catches and 14 touchdowns in 2016. Nelson is in the second tier of receivers after Odell Beckham, Julio Jones and Antonio Brown.
Davante Adams struggled with drops during his first two NFL seasons. The Packers drafted Adams in the second round after a monster year at Fresno State, with 24 touchdowns. Adams finished with 997 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Adams is being drafted between Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins, receivers who are question marks heading into drafts. Adams has the skill to replicate his breakout year but could see a decline in touchdowns this season.
Randall Cobb was drafted as a top 20 wide receiver last year, he did not finish the season as one. Cobb missed games due to injury and saw his catches, receiving yards and touchdowns decrease. The return of Nelson and the emergence of Adams were major factors in his down year.
A healthy Cobb is an elite slot receiver but without guaranteed targets, fantasy value is diminished. His ADP is WR36, just after Jamison Crowder, Willie Snead and Stefon Diggs. Cobb is a high risk/reward pick this season. He should steal back some of his production from Davante Adams but won’t return to top 30 status.
When Eddie Lacy and James Starks were lost to injury, the Packers needed someone to step up and fill the void. Ty Montgomery was struggling to find a role in the passing game and jumped at the opportunity. Montgomery was a running back and receiver in high school and saw some carries while at Stanford. Montgomery averaged 5.9 yards per carry in the 10 games he was primarily a running back.
Montgomery will enter the season as the starting running back but may not maintain that role all season. Bulking up to 220 lbs. this offseason will help Montgomery but the Packers drafted three running backs, suggesting they are not sold. Montgomery will likely lead a committee of backs in a pass first offense which doesn’t bode well for his fantasy value.
Being drafted is RB24, which is an area filled with running backs splitting carries. Joe Mixon, Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook are going after Montgomery but offer more value later in the season as younger players. If Montgomery is your FLEX or third running back he provides great value, just don’t be expecting 250 carries from him this season.
BUST: Martellus Bennett
Martellus Bennett will replace Jared Cook as the top tight end in Green Bay. Rodgers hasn’t targeted the tight end in enough in the past to warrant fantasy value. But none of the tight ends he’s had have been as talented as Bennett. Bennett is being drafted before Hunter Henry, Kyle Rudolph and Zach Ertz.
With Rodgers as his quarterback, Bennett will be hard to pass on during your draft but there may be safer options. Rudolph will see more target and is a red zone threat just like Bennett. Don’t overdraft Bennett expecting double digit touchdowns.
SLEEPER: Jamaal Williams
The main threat to Montgomery is third round rookie, Jamaal Williams. The all-time leading rusher in BYU history is roughly the same size as Montgomery but offers a much different running style. Drawing comparisons to Frank Gore during the draft and even wearing the same number, Williams gives the Packers a between the tackles runner. He’s worth a late round flier as the potential goal-line back for one of the league’s best offenses and is without a doubt one one the more tantalizing fantasy football sleepers this year.