It is time we start looking for fantasy football analysis. Injuries are starting to occur while some players are recovering from ailments. The preseason has begun and depth charts are starting to take shape.
This series will review the value of specific rookies and as we are far out I will focus on rookies who are the most likely to have a role at some point in the season. While some players look to be of value early on others may be players you’re looking to stash for parts of the season hoping they explode and return handsomely on their value. At the end, I will indicate where I think the given player SHOULD be drafted (if at all). This way, if you miss out on the player because someone pulled the trigger too prematurely, you can smirk and pick someone more valuable when the pick comes around to you. Likewise, if the player no one believes in falls to you, it’s time for a mental fist-pump.
***before we get started each week I will remind everyone that the analysis in this series is based on regular, season-long point per reception scoring. It also assumes you play in a 12 team league***
Aaron Rodgers has dichotomously been a sympathetic character to some while others have considered the future, first ballot hall-of-famer a cry-baby. I am mostly in the camp of sympathy. While lesser passers have either been surrounded with organizational brilliance others have surrounded their prized QBs with an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions.
The fact that the Packers are neither a good organization nor surrounded with him with talent. Whether it was Mike McCarthy’s archaic iso-driven views of the passing game (which he’s since abandoned), the organization failing for most of his tenure to surround him with world class skill-position players, drafting his replacement without bringing him in on the discussion or choosing to kick a field goal against Tom Brady to tie the game rather than trusting Rodgers to score on 4th down, you can understand why Rodgers has been displeased.
In the most recent draft, the Packers selected wide receiver Amari Rodgers in the third round. This Clemson receiver is a crafty route runner with great acceleration and seems to be a legitimate ball winner. He seems to have NFL ready size and I think he was a steal in the third round. This is a slam dunk for an offense we expect to be pretty effective and have a pissed-off Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
The main issue I have from a fantasy perspective is that the Packers have seemingly never been able to sustain multiple pass catchers. Davante Adams is WR.1 heading into the season (about as possible a consensus as there is in fantasy). Part of the reason is his insane target share. Adams was targeted 10.6 times per game last season which made him the most targeted receiver (on a per game basis). This accounts for nearly a third of Rodgers 32.9 pass attempts per game. Now consider that Aaron Jones accounted for 4.5 targets per game out of the backfield and that the team reunited him with Randall Cobb (the last secondary receiver to be of significant fantasy viability in Rodgers tenure) and Robert Tonyan seemed to be a redzone target for the Packers last season there are a lot of mitigating factors.
So I do think that while the Packers’ defense is improved they will still need to be fairly pass happy. The main issue is that I don’t see a path to targets for a secondary receiver in this offense. Pay attention to see if his talent is so evident that he gains a role at some point during the season. However, he’s a guy who I would only look to as a depth spot if he starts to gain a target share early in the season. Targets will be his key stat even before we start to see actual performance.
Summary: The Packers offense has rarely supported a second receiver, with targets going to Aaron Jones and Robert tonyan as well as the return of Randall cobb there seems to not be enough target share for Amari Rodgers to return value.
Where should you draft Amari Rodgers: I don’t think we’ll be hearing A-Rod passes to A-Rod much this season. Rodgers is best to be considered as a waiver claim if we start to see a trend develop. I don’t seem him as draft-able in 12 team leagues.
Quick Analysis: The value would come if Davante Adams gets hurt or if we see the Packers offense starts to target a second wide receiver more specifically. If Adams gets hurt, I think Rodgers’ skill set is the most likely on that roster to fill in for that role.