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Unpacking the Fantasy Value in Green Bay


The Green Bay Packers were hit hard by injuries in their Week 4 loss to the Eagles. First, the team’s No. 2 running back Jamaal Williams was taken off the field on a stretcher after a vicious late hit at the beginning of the game. Then, the team’s No. 1 receiver Davante Adams left the game with an injury that was later determined to be turf toe.

Williams was taken immediately to the hospital but didn’t remain there long. He is currently in the concussion protocol and is yet to resume practice. He’s currently listed as questionable for Week 5, but one would imagine he’s more on the doubtful side of the questionable designation. Adams is, of course, the more pivotal piece to the Packers’ offense. He’s currently listed as questionable as well, but various reports out of Green Bay have suggested his injury will take significant time to heal. He’s more unlikely to play in Week 5 than Williams and he could be looking at about a two-to-three week absence. The Packers would be wise not to rush Adams back. They have a solid 3-1 record to start the year and will unquestionably need their top receiver at 100% down the stretch.

So, the big question on fantasy managers’ minds is… how do I value the members of the Green Bay offense for the coming weeks and is there anyone who can fill the void left behind by Adams?

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Marquez Valdes-Scantling

The player who stands to benefit the most from any games Adams misses is quite clearly Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The second-year receiver has been a serviceable WR3/flex play so far this year, but for as long as Adams is out, MVS will become a high-end WR2.

Through four games this year, Adams has earned 36 targets, while MVS isn’t too far behind at 28. No other wide receiver on the Packers has received more than 11 targets. Adams has been far more effective with his targets, unsurprisingly, catching 69% of them and averaging 15.1 yards per reception. MVS, meanwhile, has caught 57% of his targets and averaged 13.6 yards per reception.

Valdes-Scantling is a must-start this week against Dallas and will continue to be as long as Adams is out. He has a relatively safe floor given the fact that he’s so clearly Aaron Rodgers’ most trusted healthy receiver and he offers WR1 upside to boot.

 

Geronimo Allison

Just as clearly as MVS has been the Packers’ No. 2 receiver this year, Geronimo Allison has clearly been the team’s No. 3. He was playing around 50% of the team’s offensive snaps in the team’s first three games of the year, then jumped up to 79% of the snaps in Week 4. No other Green Bay receiver not named Adams or Valdes-Scantling has logged over 20% of the snaps in a game yet.

Allison has scored touchdowns in two of his last three games. In Week 3, he was targeted four times and caught three of them for 52 yards and a touchdown. He hasn’t topped four targets in a game yet this year, but with Adams sidelined, nine targets per game are being vacated and Allison certainly figures to get at least a few of those.

Allison will be far from a safe play while Adams is out. He’s certainly worthy of starting as a WR3/flex play in Week 5 against the Cowboys, but don’t value him higher than that. He has the upside to deliver a statline slightly better than his Week 4 line, but if the game ends up being a low-scoring contest, he could disappoint. After Week 5, the Packers face the Lions and Raiders. The Lions have shown to have a stingy pass defense, but the Raiders could be a very attractive matchup to use Allison for if Adams remains out.

Allison should be added in all leagues of 12 teams or deeper. In more shallow leagues, he’s certainly roster-worthy if you start three receivers or two receivers and a flex in your league, but he isn’t a must-add or a must-start as of now.

 

Jimmy Graham

Veteran tight end Jimmy Graham was a key target of Rodgers’ in the end zone in Week 4. Rodgers was looking at him time and time again when the team was trying to punch in a short-yardage score. The two have connected on two touchdowns so far this year.

Graham has nine catches on 16 targets for 91 yards this season. He’s third on the team in targets behind Adams and MVS. Expect his targets to go up for as long as Adams is out and he’s going to be heavily targeted on short-yardage plays and whenever the team is in the red zone.

He’s a low-end TE1 with Adams out for now, but he has a chance to become a mid-tier TE1 if he shows he can produce with an uptick in targets. Start him this week against the Cowboys.

 

Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones

As for the two top non-receiver fantasy assets for the offense, Aaron Jones certainly stands to benefit during any missed time for both Adams and Williams – particularly Williams. He had been almost in a timeshare snap-wise with Williams throughout the season even though he was out-carrying Williams regularly. Jones should certainly see more work for as long as Williams is out and should also be more active in the passing game for as long as Adams is out. Overall, Jones’ value is up and he figures to be a low-end RB1 for the next few weeks.

For Rodgers, losing Adams certainly hurts a significant amount. Adams is far and away the Packers’ top receiver and quite possibly the best receiver Rodgers has ever played with. In two-quarterback leagues, you’re still starting Rodgers without question. However, in one-quarterback leagues, Rodgers is certainly bench-able the next two weeks, assuming Adams is out. The games against the Cowboys and Lions could be very low-scoring and Rodgers might struggle to reach sturdy yardage marks and find the end zone enough to justify QB1 status.

 

The Others

In deep, deep leagues, there are three names to keep an eye out for: receivers Darrius Shepherd and Allen Lazard and running back Dexter Williams.

Shepherd logged 15 snaps in Week 4, while Lazard logged 14, a season-high for both rookies. Both players were undrafted free agent signings by the Packers. They’re impossible to trust as Week 5 starting options, no matter the depth of the league, but they can be targeted as waiver adds in the deepest of leagues. Lazard might be the more intriguing of the two since he’s 6’5” and could become an end-zone target for Rodgers.

Dexter Williams, meanwhile, is a rookie sixth-round pick who has been inactive for the first four games of the year, but would likely be the No. 2 back behind Jones for any games in which Jamaal Williams is out. If Jamaal Williams’ injury was projected to keep him out closer to six or eight weeks, Dexter Williams would be a must-add in all deep leagues, but since the team might only be without Jamaal Williams for a few games, Dexter is less of a priority. Keep an eye on him, but don’t prioritize him.

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