This is the fourth installment of the Fantasy Football Team Showcase of each NFL team’s top fantasy players by position. The last analysis featuring the NFC North division. Check out our analysis on the Chicago Bears.
With these articles you will find a player from each key position to target in fantasy football. The lists will consist as to why they are chosen as the top player for their respective positions and teams, players poised to breakout or as sleepers, 2pt specialists and a new format based off of individual defensive players.
The Green Bay Packers (12-4 record and 1st in the NFC North) are coming off of a 2014 season where they were a five minute meltdown away from going to the Super Bowl. We saw the best quarterback in the league continue his elite prowess over the entire NFL on a weekly basis. New comer Julius Peppers brought a veteran consistency to a struggling Packers defense from last season. Eddie Lacy took a big step in his second season in the NFL, and provided a balance on an already highly productive offense. With incoming rookies filling the defensive backfield to help slow down the pass happy teams in the NFC North. The Packers should be the favorites to win the NFC North and one of the top contenders in the entire NFL.
QB Aaron Rodgers: It should come to no surprise to anyone that the reigning NFL MVP from last season was the top rated quarterback in fantasy according to fantasydata.com. With one of the best receiving tandems in the entire NFL, and now an established running game, Rodgers continues to feast on defenses. Rodgers should be considered a top two or three quarterback in all fantasy league formats, and with Andrew Luck as his biggest competition don’t expect Rodgers to slip in anyway. Every season Rodgers has an opportunity to be the front runner in the MVP race, and this coming season should be no different.
WR Jordy Nelson: The favorite target of Aaron Rodgers, the speedy deep threat had an All-Pro season in 2014, and ranked 2nd overall behind only Antonio Brown of Pittsburgh for fantasy receivers according to fantasydata.com. Nelson put together a great season in Green Bay, and has shown no signs of slowing down. Like most seasons Nelson should be considered a top 5 receiver in any fantasy format, and is expected to put up similar numbers year in and year out.
RB Eddie Lacy: Lacy heading into his third season in the NFL, has provided the Packers with a consistent running game that they have lacked in years past. His complement to Rodgers, Lacy brings both the ability to run inside and out as well as a pivotal player in the passing game. Lacy had some Marshawn Lynch type runs last season which helped him rank 6th in fantasy for running backs according to fantasydata.com. Do not expect anything less from Lacy this season, and he should be considered in the first round of most fantasy leagues.
WR Randall Cobb: The jack of all trades receiver was resigned in the offseason after testing the waters in free agency. Cobb did it all for the Green Bay Packers offense last season. We saw him run deep, excel in the screen game, return kicks and punts and even take handoffs lined up in the backfield. As the do it all player for the Packers, Cobb ranked 6th overall for receivers in fantasy last season. With the best quarterback in the league throwing him the ball and Jordy Nelson lined up opposite of him, expect Cobb to be another top 10 receiver in fantasy.
WR Devante Adams: The 2014 2nd round receiver out of Fresno State looks to build off of his strong run he had late last season during the playoffs. Adams is the definitive number three receiver in the high rolling Packers offense, and should be ready for more targets this coming season. Adams strong run late last season should help build his case for fantasy footballers to look for Adams as a stash and store type of player, with the opportunity to be an effective flex. Also look for him to be a hot commodity if either Cobb or Nelson were to go down at some point this season.
TE Richard Rodgers: Rodgers, the second year man was expected to overtake Andrew Quarless as the team’s top tight end last season, but was not able to. Look for Rodgers, the highly athletic tight end to overtake Quarless, who has not been able to be the consistent player the Packers expected him to be. Rodgers is athletic and a good red zone threat that the Packers need. If he can beat out Quarless, expect Rodgers to be a possible flex player down the road if he can provide some consistency.
LB Clay Matthews: The Packers best overall defensive player, is not making the move back to OLB like most had expected (I was one of those people). Matthews has been all of the snaps at MLB during the teams OTA’s this spring. I wrote in an earlier article about my top IDP linebackers, and Matthews was on that list. Matthews should provide a high tackle and TFL totals this coming season, and should be the most consistent player on the defense.
OLB Julius Peppers: The former All-Pro, Peppers played his first season in Green Bay at a new position. Peppers played OLB for the first time in his career, but the move proved to be a wise decision for the Packers and it provided the veteran presence that defense needed. The 13 year veteran, ranked as the 25th overall LB according to fantasydata.com, and looks to continue drink from the fountain of youth.
DB Morgan Burnett: The Packers defense struggled against the pass last season, but one player who did not was Morgan Burnett. Burnett ranked 2nd overall for DB’s just behind fellow NFC North rival Harrison Smith. Burnett, who was all over the field last season, led the packers with 130 total tackles. Burnett did not create as many turnovers, but still provided the defense with a high production last season.
DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: The 2014 1st round pick rounded out one of the better safety tandems in the NFL last season. Dix, who was second on the team with 92 total tackles, also managed an interception during the regular. Dix like fellow 2014 draft pick Davante Adams, played their best ball during the playoffs. During the Packers heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship, Dix provided the team with two big interceptions. Dix looks to build off of his late surge last season and should be a good option for IDP formats as someone’s starting safety.
LB Nick Perry: The former 1st round pick looks to live up to his draft status this coming season. Look for Perry to be one of the primary pass rushers for the Packers defense this season, with Clay Matthews moving inside full-time. Perry should be able to at least double his sack total from last season of 3.0, and be disruptive in other team’s backfields.
K Mason Crosby: We saw Crosby have a bounce back season in Green Bay. Crosby’s kicking totals were impressive and his resurgence help make him the 4th overall kicker in fantasy last season according to fantasydata.com. As the extra point line gets pushed back, look for kickers to be used less, but with the high powered offense the Packers have, Crosby should still be one of the top kickers to have for fantasy leagues.
2Pt Specialist: With the extra point line being pushed back to the 15 yard line teams might consider going for two after touchdowns this coming season. Some of the key players to look for the Packers to rely on in these situations should be Eddie Lacy, one of the best red zone backs in the entire league, is effective in both the run and pass game. Another guy to look for is the athletic Aaron Rodgers, who can extend plays with his legs and outrun most lineman and linebackers. The last player to consider is Randall Cobb, the do it all receiver has shown the ability to line up in the backfield and be productive in the screen game.
Rookie Impact: For the Packers there are a few of their incoming rookies who are expected to make an impact this coming season, but only one player who should be an impact fantasy wise for this season. That lone rookie is 3rd round receiver Ty Montgomery out of Stanford. Don’t expect much production from Montgomery as a receiver, but as the Packers primary return specialist in both punt and kick offs. Montgomery should be handed the reigns of the primary return man, with the Packers looking to replace Cobb, so that he can provide more on the offensive side of the ball.
The Green Bay Packers head into the 2015 season looking to be one of the tops offenses in the NFL, and to be more consistent on the defensive side of the ball. With defensive backs being their top two drafts picks this season, look for an improvement to their pass defense. The biggest weakness the Packers need to show is the ability to stop the run. With the resigning of injured DT BJ Raji, and the permanent move to MLB for Clay Matthews, the Packers should have more consistency against the run heading in this season. The Packers have the tools and the best quarterback in the league, and the opportunity to be in contention for the Super Bowl this season.
Next week’s edition of the Fantasy Football Team Showcase will be the start of the AFC North Division
*All fantasy numbers and rankings are from fantasydata.com
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