clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mining your way to fantasy gold - Packers Edition

So you've seen the Bears and Lions forecasts, now let's take a look at a team from the North that has plentiful fantasy options.  Green Bay struggled in 2008, finishing 6-10, but the offensive side of the ball was electric.  Aaron Rodgers was the 3rd most scoring fantasy QB, and Greg Jennings finished 4th amongst wide outs.  Your draft board will include a few Packers, and drafting the combo of Rodgers and Jennings is one of the few times I'll recommend chasing two players on the same NFL team. 

The Pack in the pack of 30:

  • Greg Jennings WR - Avg. Selection* 23, 100% drafted
  • Aaron Rodgers QB - Avg. Selection 39, 100% drafted
  • Donald Driver WR - Avg. Selection 89, 100% drafted
  • Ryan Grant RB - Avg. Selection 37, 100% drafted
  • Mason Crosby K - Avg. Selection 117, 100% drafted
  • GB Team DEF - Avg. Selection 140, 93% drafted

*-100th selection = 10th pick round 10 (10 man); 6th pick round 9 (12 man); 3rd pick round 8 (14 man)

After the jump, I'll recommend which Packers to load on your roster, and which guys may be better off avoided...

Draft the Pack

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers had a tremendous year in his first season as a starter, compiling 28 PaTDs, 4 rush TDs (for the record: I don't forecast QB rushing totals in most cases), and 4038 pass yards.  Brett Favre who?  Rodgers seemed to play extremely well, and was unaffected by filling Favre's shoes.  His season went overlooked because of a poor Green Bay defense, and a 6-10 finish.  The 3rd most fantasy scoring QB deserves a draft selection even higher than his ADP suggests.  Not only was Rodgers 3rd amongst QBs, he was third in all of fantasy scoring.  There's only a handful of QBs that put up the numbers Rodgers did last season, and he's certainly worth a pick in the top 40 (I'll go as far as saying top 20).  He's got enough talent around him to have another excellent campaign in 2009.  Fantasy Forecast: 4000 pass yards, 29 TDs, 15 INTs

Greg Jennings

How many TDs does Greg Jennings have in the past two seasons?  The answer is 21.  The recently extended Jennings is A-Rodg's favourite target, and certainly deserves consideration as your number one fantasy WR.  In 2007, Jennings was 12th best in WR scoring; 2008 saw him sky-rocket up to 4th.  If you're looking for something negative about Jennings, consider this:  In weeks 14, 15 and 16, Jennings combined for 134 yards and 2 TDs (about 8 fantasy ppg), not something you want out of WR1.  Two of those contests came on the road, and this season shares similiarties (week 14: @ CHI; week 15: @PIT; week 16: vs. SEA).  Having said that, I definitely don't recommend missing out on Jennings because of his crunch time performance.  Overall, he's a solid WR that will build upon his 5 100-yards games in 2008, to have a solid 2009.  Fantasy Forecast: 1300 total yards, 13 TDs

Mason Crosby

I'm not a huge fan of kickers in fantasy football, but I will say that Crosby is an excellent one.  In 2008 he was 7th in fantasy scoring amongts the mules, and in 2007 he was 1st.  During last season, Crosby was only held FG-less in 2 contests, and drilled home 3 or more FGs on 5 separate occasions.  While he didn't kick a lot of long FGs in 2008, overall he's hit 20 FGs in his career from beyond 40 yards (this will be his third season).  I recommend Crosby as your kicker, and it's up to you when you draft him.  Personally, I draft my kickers in one of the last couple rounds; how you do it, is completely up to you.  It would be like stealing if you can land Crosby 130+, but expect having to invest a higher pick to land him.  Fantasy Forecast: 30 FGM, 48 XPM

Call me Cautious

Ryan Grant

The encouraging stat about Grant's 2008 season were his six games with 20+ carries.  Unfortunately, he had just 5 total TDs, compared to the 8 he had in 2007.  This is Grant's critical third year in the NFL, and I expect to see his success, but I'm weary about his TD totals and the fact thas his ypc went from 5.1 in '07 to 3.9 in '08.  Here's some good news about Grant, over the last three games, he had 9 receptions (for the year he had 18).  In other words, Grant is a back that can be successful out of the backfield as a receiver, if the Packers choose to do so.  The idea of drafting Grant in the top 40 is not a bad one, but it's a risk considering Grant was 22nd amongst RB scoring in 2008.  Fantasy Forecast: 1400 total yards, 5 Total TDs

Donald Driver

Driver isn't going to wow anyone with his abilities anymore, but he's still a very good receiver in Green Bay.  The 10-year veteran has had 5 consecutive 1000-yards seasons, and you can pretty much bank on a 5th.  Over the past two seasons though, Driver has just 7 TDs.  His career high in TDs is 9 (2004, 2002) and his days of being Green Bay's primary TD target are numbered.  If you are playing a PPR (points per reception) league, Driver is a no brainer around 90, and he's not too bad in a standard league either.  However, Driver's age may pose a threat, as could Jordy Nelson (the second year player from K-State).  Nelson is a big receiver, could figure in on more of the Packers short routes.  Driver is a pretty good WR3, there's no denying that.  Fantasy Forecast: 1050 total yards, 4 TDs

Green Bay Team Defense

For as bad as Green Bay's defense was in 2008, the unit still finished 12th amongst Team DEF in scoring.  The team only generated 27 sacks, and is transitioning to a 3-4 in 2009.  As Niners fans can witness, a 3-4 doesn't guarantee an increase in sacks if you have no one that can get to the passer.  The Packers have Aaron Kampman, who is moving from a 4-3 DE to a 3-4 OLB so its no guarantee he finds immediate success.  B.J. Raji is a proto-typical NT, but the Packers are putting faith in both Cullen Jenkins and Justin Harrell to transition from 4-3 DT to 3-4 DE.  Making matters worse:  beyond a pair of aging (yet effective) cornerbacks in Al Harris and Charles Woodson, there isn't much depth at CB.  When healthy the secondary can make plays, despite Atari "P.I." Bigby.  The unit scored 7 TDs in 2008, thanks in large part to FS Nick Harris' 4.  I think overall, I'd try to avoid taking the Packers D this season.  Fantasy Forecast: 30 sacks, 18 INTs, 7 FR, 4 TDs, 1 Blk Kick

Ask the Nation

Raise your hand if you would trade Alex Smith for Aaron Rodgers.

(all fantasy stats are based on 2007-2008 Yahoo! Standard Public league scoring)