Green Bay Packers star number one wide receiver Jordy Nelson went down with a non-contact injury on Sunday afternoon, and while nothing has been officially announced, early signs indicate Nelson suffered a torn ACL. Non-contact injuries usually end up being pretty serious, and it looks like this one is.
The initial diagnosis on #Packers WR Jordy Nelson is a torn ACL, source said. Horrible news. Awaiting MRI results to confirm.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 23, 2015
It’s possible we could hear back today or tomorrow that Nelson just has a bad sprain, but it didn’t sound good and initial tests have the franchise thinking Nelson’s season is over. Naturally, if Nelson is indeed out for the season, this is going to have a huge impact in fantasy football drafts (or leagues that already drafted).
For one, Jordy Nelson is/was a top-10 wide receiver. For some, he was in the top-five, even. Not anymore. Instead, Randall Cobb is now the team’s hypothetical top option in the passing game, making a 100+ reception season fairly likely. Already a locked and loaded top-15 threat, Cobb should either creep close to the top-10 or get all the way into it.
The bigger change is what happens after Cobb. Tight end Richard Rodgers could see a solid target increase, while his activity in the red-zone could now be much more reliable. Rodgers is looking like a hit or miss option at best, though, putting most of the pressure to help cover for a lost Nelson on second-year wide receiver, Davante Adams.
A strong possession receiver with plus athleticism and play-making ability, Adams already flashed brilliance down the stretch as a rookie last year. With Nelson down for the count, Adams ascends to a huge role as one of the top two starters. He already was a top-50 guy to target, and now he’s suddenly going to be a top-25 candidate, if not much better. I’d temper expectations with Adams just slightly, but if you can get him for value he’s obviously someone to target.
The third receiver spot might be more interesting than anything else. With one of Aaron Rodgers’ most reliable targets done for the year, Green Bay could decide to simply spread the wealth more, instead of just force-feeding Cobb and Adams. At the very worst, that makes young talents like Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis worth taking fliers on late in drafts. Both of these guys are very athletic, while Janis looks the part of a Jordy Nelson clone. There’s not much guaranteeing either pan out in 2015, but worse shots in the dark have been taken.
In summary, Cobb and Adams are 100% on the radar as top-25 options or better starting now, while you should pay a little more mind to the likes of Rodgers, Janis and Montgomery going forward. And if your league already drafted and you had Jordy, well, my condolences.