As we enter week eleven of the 2020 fantasy football season, fantasy managers are scrambling to find that one player who will get them into the fantasy playoffs. There may be an answer this week (and rest of the season) as Packers receiver Allen Lazard was activated off the injured reserve. Before he was injured in week three, Lazard was the clear number two receiver behind Davante Adams. If active this week, here are some reasons why Lazard can help a manager get into the fantasy playoffs.
Lazard’s Rapport with Aaron Rodgers
Allen Lazard has been gaining trust with Rodgers since being promoted to the active roster in week six against Detroit last season. In that game, he tallied four receptions, 65 yards receiving and a touchdown. At the end of the 2019 season, he totaled 431 yards receiving, which was second on the team. Having just dropped 2 out of 52 passes thrown his way last year, Lazard continues to build trust with Rodgers.
When asked about the chemistry with him and Rodgers back in august, Lazard stated: “He knew that I cared”. “I think that was the biggest thing it is with Aaron, he needs to know that you care and he can trust you”, Lazard continued. “I think I did all the right things to show him that. That’s the biggest reason why we had success together.” Having being activated from the injured reserve list, Rodgers will be excited to have Lazard back in the lineup this week against the Indianapolis Colts.
Lazard Becoming the “IT” factor for the Packers Offense
Outside of Adams, Marquez Valdes Scantling was the only reliable receiver on this packers offense and has posted decent stat lines. These past two games, he’s had 10 targets with six receptions, 202 yards receiving with three touchdowns. Those may seem like decent stats, but his average YPR (Yards Per Reception) has been 33 yards. He’s a big play upside player, who also lines up opposite of Adams on the perimeter. In tough matchups, Rodgers needs a reliable weapon outside of Adams for those under pressure, and third down plays. In these times, Lazard was the X-factor last season.
— PFF GB Packers (@PFF_Packers) August 4, 2020
Rest of Season Schedule
The Fantasy Playoffs are right around the corner, as we enter week eleven. As mentioned earlier, fantasy managers are scrambling to find that “upside play” to boost their chances of getting into the playoffs, and fantasy championships. The Packers have a bottom half strength of remaining schedule in weeks 12-16. This would be a disadvantage for Davante Adams fantasy managers, but would create easier matchups for Allen Lazard.
In addition, the Packers have matchups against the Lions and Titans in weeks 14-16. According to Yahoo leagues, the Titans have given an average of 36 points per game to opposing wide receivers (which is the 4th most). The Lions have been better this year but still give up an average of 30 points per game to opposing wide receivers. This does rank as the 15th fewest in the league, but Aaron Rodgers has been known to do well against the Lions, which will help Lazard.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 19, 2020
Week 11 Matchup Against the Colts
Allen Lazard is expected to play this week but will be “eased back into the lineup”. Either way, Rodgers will find a way to involve him in the offense. He’s lined up in the slot 55% of the time and will be covered by Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II. According to Pro Football Focus, Moore ranks 50th out of 119 cornerbacks. Lazard will be another weapon to look for especially on third down against this Colts stout defense. Even though it’s his first game back, Lazard will be a high end WR3 this week with some upside. His projection: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 45 yards receiving and 1 touchdown.
Allen Lazard is back, and provides another offensive weapon for Aaron Rodgers. He is at the very least a WR3 with potential upside each week. This is crunch time for fantasy managers to find that “upside” player and get into the fantasy playoffs. With his rapport with Rodgers, teams focusing on Adams, and being in a high caliber offense, Lazard is a fantasy sleeper rest of the season.