The Green Bay Packers were once again one of the best teams in the NFL a year ago. The group won 13 games for a third straight season. Looking to get over the hump in the playoffs and return to the Super Bowl for the first time in over a decade, the franchise would endure playoff heartbreak one more time. Playing host to the San Francisco 49ers on wild card weekend, Aaron Rodgers and company could not move the ball late as they became bottled down on offense. Along with this, they also committed multiple special teams blunders, including a missed field goal and a blocked punt. This allowed Kyle Shanahan and company to come into Lambeau and knock them off 13-10. It’s time for them to look at fantasy football draft targets this year.
Turning the page over to the 2022 season, they have had no shortage of headlines surrounding them during the offseason. Awaiting the status of Rodgers for multiple months, the 38-year-old ultimately decided to return to Green Bay for an 18th season. However, the most shocking piece of news came down in late March, when the team chose to send star receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for a first and second-round draft pick.
Reportedly unhappy with the front office after they placed the franchise tag on him, the relationship between the two parties was ultimately unsalvagable, leaving a massive hole inside their wide receiver room. Forced to rely on Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, Amari Rodgers, and multiple rookies in order to move the ball on offense, here are some pass catchers on the Packers you should identify as draft targets to help you win your respective fantasy football league.
Who Has Departed?
Green Bay is looking to fill the void left by Adams. The former second-round pick has racked up a 27.6 percent target share over the last four seasons. In addition, he also commanded 30.7 percent of the Packer’s red zone plays, the highest mark for wide receivers across the league. Behind the two-time all-pro, the franchise also saw speedster Marquez Valdes Scantling depart for the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency. Quickly becoming a go-to guy for Rodger’s during his first few years in the league, the University of South Florida product finished third behind Adams and Allen Lazard in 2021 with 55 targets in 11 games. Rounding out their extensive list of changes to their pass-catching core, Equaniemous St Brown departed for their bitter divisional rival in the Chicago Bears.
Contenders to Fill the Role
Lazard is the most likely candidate to fill the vacated number one wide receiver role. The former undrafted free agent has played a more prominent role in Green Bay’s offense every year since he signed with the team in 2018. Getting off to a slow start a year ago, the Iowa State product had just 184 yards through the first eight weeks of the season.
However, he would ultimately come on down the stretch. Capped off by a six-catch performance in the Packer’s 45-30 victory over the Chicago Bears in week 13, Lazard recorded over 70 yards in three of his last five contests to close out the year. Receiving high praise from Rodgers in the offseason as the glue guy, look for him to get a high volume of targets. This makes him an intriguing option with a lot of upside at his current WR51 mark.
Watkins is quickly on his fifth team in seven seasons after being drafted in the first round by the Buffalo Bills in 2014. Putting together a strong first two years in the league, the 29-year-old eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2015 while also hauling in nine touchdown catches. However, inconsistent play has led him to flame out in good situations in Baltimore and Kansas City. Along with this, the Fort Myers, Florida native has also battled injuries over the last few seasons that have forced him to miss 18 games.
He is likely a heavy favorite to start at wide receiver to begin the season. The key for him will be to establish a rapport and connection with Rodgers early on while staying healthy and proving he has gas left in the tank. However, he is unlikely to be a successful sleeper pick for players at him ADP of 235, making him an avoidable draft target.
Cobb was acquired by general manager Brian Gutekunst last season to help soothe the organization’s relationship with Rodgers. The 11-year veteran once again operated as the team’s primary slot man. This led him to haul in 28 receptions for 375 yards and five touchdowns. 21 of his 28 catches went for first downs.
The one-time pro-bowler suffered a core muscle injury against the Los Angeles Rams on November 28th. Cobb was ultimately held out until the postseason. Set to turn 32 years old before the start of next season, he remains on the back nine of his career. Even with his long history in Green Bay, the University of Kentucky product remains a waiver wire candidate, with better draft targets available for players late.
Rodgers was drafted in the third round in last April’s draft out of the University of Clemson. He was one of the Tiger’s best playmakers during his four seasons with the team. The Knoxville Tennesee native caught 181 passes for 2,144 yards and 15 touchdowns on 237 targets. Struggling to make the adjustment to the NFL level, the former First-team All-ACC member played only 103 snaps on offense.
Rodgers hauled in just four catches for 56 yards. Looking to play a bigger part in the offense during his sophomore season, Rodgers has the ability to be a multi-dimensional playmaker for new offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich. This makes the 5’9 wideout a valuable draft target in dynasty leagues.
Deciding not to end their 20-year run of not selecting a wide receiver in the first round of the draft, the Packers selected Watson 34th overall in April. They traded two second-round picks to their bitter divisional rival, the Minnesota Vikings, to jump up 19 spots. Shooting up boards leading up to the festivities, the 23 year was productive during his time at North Dakota State. He hauled in 105 passes for 2,140 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging more than 20 yards per reception.
The Tampa, Florida native is lauded for his size and explosiveness. He is a big play waiting to happen with his ability to run past opposing defensive backs down the sidelines. Much of his playing career has come against weak competition in the FCS. As a result, the two-time First-team All-MVFC must continue to refine his route running. This is to morph into the wide receiver the franchise thinks he can be. With a learning curve likely during his first year in the league, Watson does not have significant value in redraft leagues at his current ADP of WR59 in the NFC.
Doubs was the second of three-wide recievers drafted by the franchise this offseason. Green Bay selected him in the fourth round. He was the number one option for the Nevada Wolfpack during his time with the program. The Los Angeles native led the team with 80 receptions for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns during his final season. The 22-year-old also impacted special teams by returning 12 punts for 170 yards, averaging 14.2 yards per run back.
Offering strong hands, Doubs has the ability to go up and high point the football against opposing cornerbacks. He can also build up speed on vertical combinations while also sinking when coming out of his breaks. A more pro-ready reciever than Watson, Doubs offers higher upside as a draft target in redraft leagues.
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