The Packers have been one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL under the guidance of all-timer Aaron Rodgers, and this season is no different. There are a ton of options in Green Bay, and some are hidden deeper than others. This year’s Packers team is still starting a wide receiver at running back, so that tells you all you need to know about how much is up in the air with who to own in fantasy football from Green Bay.
Sleeper – Aaron Jones, Running Back
While I think Ty Montgomery is legitimately in for a good season this year as an RB2 if he can keep his fumbles, injury at the position is inevitable, and doubly so for a player who has played running back for less than a year. I’m a big fan of Jones, who was one of the best SPARQ athletes in the draft out of UTEP. While his 4.56 40-yard dash at the combine isn’t elite, he was 87th percentile in burst events and 85th percentile in agility events (per playerprofiler.com). He plays up to those scores, as he’s quicker than fast and all kinds of shifty on tape. Despite the depth chart, I prefer him to fellow rookie Jamaal Williams behind incumbent Ty Montgomery. Should Montgomery go down, Jones is a name to stash away when Williams starts to struggle.
Bounce Back – Martellus Bennett, Tight End
Last season we were supposed to see the return of New England’s two tight end offense with Gronk and Bennett. Gronk’s injuries thrust Bennett into the spotlight, and he did not perform up to task. Bennett had a decent end-of-year line; 701 yards and seven touchdowns, which ranked him as the #7 tight end on the season in 2016. There’s one problem with that: he had 24.7 fantasy points and 17.4 fantasy points against Cleveland and Miami, respectively. Those two games accounted for over 37% of his final season value. Bennett, by and large, was not good, but that is easily attributed to various maladies that nagged him all year. He’s the #85 player off the board (#9 TE) and he will return to Martellus Bennett of Chicago days, where he was routinely top-five at the position.
Bust – Randall Cobb, Wide Receiver
Last year, the Packers passing offense went from 35.8 pass attempts per game to 38.75 pass attempts per game, so the number of passes to go around got larger. At the same time, Cobb’s targets went from 8.0625 targets per game to 6.46, meaning his role in the offense diminished. He went over 100 yards just twice last year, and faded down the stretch, seeing just seven targets in his last three games. The emergence of Davante Adams, the moving of Ty Montgomery to a pass-catching back and the return of Jordy Nelson all took a bite out of Randall Cobb’s targets. Toss in a dash of Martellus Bennett eating up targets this year, and Cobb seems to be the odd man out.