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Allen Lazard: 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Sleeper and Undervalued Wide Receiver

Allen Lazard - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

The Green Bay Packers receiving corps was wiped out during the offseason. Top target and perennial Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders for a treasure trove of draft picks, and big-play man Marquez Valdes-Scantling took his talents to the Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Packers signed injury-prone veteran Sammy Watkins and selected speedster Christian Watson in the second round of this year’s draft to attempt to fill the voids, but the jury is out on whether that will suffice.

Allen Lazard was the No. 2 WR for most of the 2021 campaign and had uneven results. He was only targeted 60 times in 15 games because Adams hogged all of Aaron Rodgers’ attention, but he made the most of his opportunities, especially inside the red zone, as he scored eight touchdowns. Now he has become the de facto No. 1 WR in Green Bay’s passing attack, even though he has never had 45 receptions or 550 receiving yards before in any season.

Fantasy footballers might not have Lazard ranked too high on their cheat sheets heading into their drafts, but he could turn out to be one of the biggest sleepers at the wide receiver position. Here are three reasons why Lazard is shaping up to be a fantasy sleeper in 2022:

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best NFL Series, MLB Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Fantasy Football Outlooks for Packers Wide Receivers

We all know Rodgers and Randall Cobb are best buddies and longtime teammates. Cobb will get his five-to-seven targets from the slot. Watkins will get targets when he stays on the field, but that might only be for four-to-eight games.

Tight end Robert Tonyan is coming off major knee surgery. Rookie Watson is coming off minor knee surgery. Fourth-round pick Romeo Doubs and 2021 third-round choice Amari Rodgers are unproven question marks. That leaves Lazard.

Lazard has never been thrust into the No. 1 WR spot and has not shown enough during his three-plus years in the NFL to guarantee that he will flourish in this role, but he has a better chance than anybody else on the roster right now of being Rodgers’ main man this season.

He is younger than Cobb, healthier than Watkins, has more seasoning than the rookies, and is a receiver where Tonyan is a tight end. Being Green Bay’s top target is Lazard’s job to lose.

 

Allen Lazard 2022 Fantasy Football Projection

Fantasy football is a lot about simple mathematics. One of the simpler equations is more targets equals more fantasy points. A receiver has no choice but to put up better numbers when he has more balls thrown at him unless he has the slippery hands of Evan Engram.

This works out perfectly for Lazard, who will have more Rodgers missiles thrown at him in 2022 than he ever has before.

The aforementioned Adams averaged over 10 targets per game last season. While the myriad of injury-riddled and unknown pass catchers on the roster will split some of the available targets left behind, Lazard is the odds-on favorite to garner the bulk of them.

Lazard and Rodgers have shown chemistry together, and Rodgers will undoubtedly feel more comfortable throwing to Lazard than the youngsters on the come-up.

If Lazard doubled his target total this year and you projected him doubling his 2021 stats, that means he would end up with a final line of 80 receptions, 1,026 yards, and an Adams-like 16 touchdowns.

I do not see him scoring 16 touchdowns, but I could definitely see him reaching double digits, and the receptions and yardage totals would not shock me.

Where Should I Draft Allen Lazard in 2022 Fantasy Football Drafts?

Lazard is a free agent in 2023, and what better way to tell the football world and all its general managers that he is worth multiple millions than by having the best year of his career. Look at how teams spent zillions on wide receivers this offseason.

Jacksonville paid Christian Kirk as if he was the modern-day Jerry Rice. Adams and A.J. Brown were paid like they were quarterbacks by Las Vegas and Philadelphia, respectively. There will always be receiver-starved squads in the pass-happy NFL willing to dole out big bucks, and next year should be no different.

Lazard has never been labeled a loafer, and I certainly would not expect him to take plays off, cut routes short, or short arm passes over the middle when there are millions of dollars at stake.

Look for Lazard to play to the best of his ability, especially when he is handed the opportunity of a lifetime by being the No. 1 WR in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense.

These are three reasons why Lazard is a fantasy sleeper, and here is a fourth: He has AARON RODGERS AS HIS QUARTERBACK!

The future Hall of Famer and Pat McAfee guest helped Adams become the best receiver in the NFL and gifted tight end Tonyan 11 touchdowns in 2020 during his breakout season. Rodgers will elevate Lazard’s fantasy value with his pinpoint passes.

Will Watson eventually turn into Green Bay’s most exciting playmaker in the passing attack? Very possible. But it might not happen until later in the season, or maybe 2023.

For now, Lazard is the steady, proven commodity at WR the Packers and Rodgers will rely on first. Draft him as a WR3 and he may quickly become your WR2 and be a super sleeper for your fantasy team.



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