If I had presented you with the question, “should I start or sit Jordy Nelson this week?” in the first part of the season, you would have told me I was a crazy person and you probably would have backed away slowly. Fast forward to the fantasy football semifinals and it’s an actual, legitimate question. Jordy Nelson has floundered with Brett Hundley under center, but Sunday marks the return of the best quarterback in the universe to the Packers lineup. So, should you start or sit Jordy Nelson this weekend, with your season on the line?
In one word: absolutely. Aaron Rodgers has already come out this week and said he would be laser-focused on getting his buddy involved in the passing game. I don’t know if I have to remind you what that means for Jordy, but I will. With Aaron Rodgers in the lineup, Jordy Nelson is the Great White Fantasy Hope, averaging nearly a touchdown a game (fourteen touchdowns per sixteen games played). He’s the apple of Rodgers’ eye, getting just over nine targets a game, and he turns in an avalanche of fantasy points, turning in 19.72 fantasy points per game with Rodgers in the lineup. Well, that certainly isn’t the Jordy Nelson we’ve known in recent weeks. Why’s that?
The short answer is that Rodgers’s backups have sucked throughout the years (shoutouts to Matt Flynn for getting paper from one amazing game though). The long answer is that Rodgers’s backups have not been good, and they also do not have the same bromance that Nelson and Rodgers have. Nelson gets about six targets a game without Rodgers in the lineup. His fewer targets and lack of chemistry are also a problem because he also doesn’t have the insane touchdown production he does with Rodgers. Since 2013 he has 40 touchdowns in 46 games with Rodgers. In his 14 games without Rodgers? Just one more than you and I have. It’s no shock that he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Aaron Rodgers went down after scoring six in his first five games.
Luckily for Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, they get the best matchup against wide receivers recently. The Carolina Cammy Cam Juices have allowed the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the last five weeks. The last four #1 targets for the opposing quarterback have scored against them, too (Jarvis Landry, Robby Anderson, Michael Thomas and Adam Thielen). They aren’t quite the Carolina Panthers defense we’ve grown to know and love.
Jordy Nelson’s fantasy football owners are playing for their fantasy lives this week in the playoffs, and it’s a wonder their seasons aren’t already dead, given that Nelson has been useless for the last eight weeks. This pattern is normal for him, as he is garbage without Aaron Rodgers’s loving targets. This week he gets Rodgers back, and he takes on a Panthers defense that has been bad against wide receivers lately. They bad. Jordy Nelson good. Get Jordy into your lineups and enjoy the last couple weeks of the fantasy football season.