As of this writing, it’s believed that Jordy Nelson tore his ACL when he landed awkwardly after a catch in a preseason game with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Some Fantasy Football players already took a big hit this week with Kelvin Benjamin tearing his ACL, and losing Nelson for an entire year is a devastating loss for the Green Bay Packers. Unlike the Carolina Panthers, however, Green Bay has a few players who could step up and become Fantasy starters.
In 2014, the Packers averaged the most points per game (30.4), the eighth-most passing yards and the sixth-most total yards for the season. A player who is ready to step up could carve out a nice role for themselves during Nelson’s absence.
The So-Called Fantasy Experts decided to take a look at who are the potential players Aaron Rodgers could turn into Fantasy studs.
Let’s take a look at how this will affect your 2015 Fantasy Football draft plans.
Jordy Nelson Believed to Tear ACL
A Look at Aaron Rodgers
— NFL (@NFL) August 23, 2015
Since 2011, Nelson has recorded 1,000 or more receiving yards every year in which he played in more than 12 games.
Nelson accounted for 28% of all passing targets last season. With a tough schedule with the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals on the list, Rodgers will need a receiver or tight end to step up big time.
If you were debating between Andrew Luck and Rodgers, this helps to give you a nudge in the direction of Luck, who already has a friendlier schedule and more weapons than he will know what to do with.
This won’t exclude Rodgers from finishing as one of the best quarterbacks in Fantasy Football, but you should also be cautious in the fact that he lost one of his favorite targets from the past several years.
How Jordy Nelson’s Injury Affects Eddie Lacy
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 23, 2015
Lacy was more involved in the passing attack last season, and that was supposed to carry over to 2015.
With Nelson potentially out of the picture, Lacy could see an increase in passing targets when Rodgers needs to move the chains. Nelson tied Randall Cobb for 71 first downs last season, so Rodgers will need a player who he can rely on to catch short passes for first downs.
Lacy’s rushing totals should not take a hit as long the Packers continue to move the ball efficiently through the air.
How Jordy Nelson’s Injuries Affect The Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Davonte Adams has been raved about by his coaches and Rodgers during the offseason, but it would have been very difficult for him to surpass Nelson and Cobb for increased playing time. Now, he has the opportunity to earn Rodger’s trust and become a reliable member of the offense. Before Nelson broke out in 2011, he recorded 45 receptions for 582 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In his rookie year, Adams caught 38 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns. While this isn’t a direct indication that Adams will have a successful season, it does show that a receiver on the Packers can make a big leap from one season to the next.
Jeff Janis almost seems like a direct replacement for Nelson as a 6-foot-3, 219-pound receiver, but he has received mixed reviews at camp. Concentration issues and drops were mentioned as some of his issues, and he did drop a pass when he went in to replace Nelson after his injury. He will need to really earn Rodger’s trust, but he does have the physical skill set to make an impact and will reportedly run in three-wide receiver sets with Cobb and Adams.
Rookie Ty Montgomery’s main contributions to the team for the upcoming season seemed related to the return game, but he may have a few more opportunities to catch the ball. Adams and Janis are the players you want to focus on outside of Cobb, however.
As far as Cobb, he will operate best if his receivers can help balance out the attack. He may see more targets, but defenders will quickly zone in on him if he is receiving the majority of Rodger’s looks. Barring injury, there isn’t any reason to believe who couldn’t repeat his value from last year as long as the offense is clicking.
The tight end position has not been known for producing Fantasy stars in Green Bay over the last few years, but some players are optimistic that the 257-pound tight end Richard Rodgers may see more opportunities in 2015. He could see more targets in the red zone with Nelson out, but he will not be a consistent option from week-to-week.
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