The Green Bay Packers did an amazing job of ignoring their biggest need heading into 2020: a second wide receiver. Or did they? They, after all, have the power of Devin Funchess and Marquez Valdes-Scantling on the roster! Instead, they took a backup quarterback in the first, a backup running back in the second, and a fullback/tight end hybrid in the third. Hoo boy. Who are the Green Bay Packers’ 2020 fantasy football sleeper, breakout and bust candidates?
Sleeper – Jace Sternberger, Tight End (TE29, 223 overall)
I was a big fan of Jace Sternberger coming out of college in 2019. In fact, I called dibs on writing this very article last year. With stars in my eyes, I graded him as four-out-five Baker Mayfield heads. I also said he would have a terrible rookie year, like basically every other tight end in the history of the universe. Sternberger has amazing hands and body control, and everything he does on the field has an unnatural level of naturalness to it. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a single target until the playoffs last year. But hey, he has a touchdown on three targets!
Jace Sternberger is the freest of the free in 2020 fantasy drafts; he’s a backup tight end in fourteen-team two tight end leagues. If you have one of these, please… don’t invite me! That sounds like hell!
Anyway, the Packers have no clear #2 wide receiver at this point, and Jace Sternberger might literally be the second-best pass catcher on the roster right now. All disrespect meant to Devin Funchess there. He’s worth monitoring, even if you don’t need to draft him right now.
Breakout – Allen Lazard, Wide Receiver (WR62, 180 overall)
Just dig up the old articles about Jared Abbrederis. Or Geronimo Allison, or Equanimeous St. Brown. Once you’re done with those, dig up the old articles on Marquez Valdes-Scantling, or Jake Kumerow, or Jeff Janis. The fact of the matter is that we’ve been trying to make marginal Green Bay Packers wide receivers into something for a while now, with almost no tangible results to show for our fervent desire to create tangible results out of nothing. What gives!
Allen Lazard fits the mold to get us all hot and bothered about him headed into the following season: he ended the year with a good game (69 and a score) after emerging halfway through the year. He was a relative unknown before this, meaning there are no warts on him, and you can chop up his statistics in a fun way: in the last six games, he played on an 800-yard, six-touchdown pace while getting 15.6 yards per reception! Also, Brian Gutekunst said nice things about him, as well.
Bust – Aaron Jones, Running Back (RB10, 15 overall)
There are a lot of reasons to not like Aaron Jones in 2020, but apparently enough people have decided to barrel straight ahead and ignore all the warning signs that he won’t be as good as people want him to be in 2020. First, he scored 19 touchdowns last year. Since 2010, running backs have had at least 15 touchdowns seventeen times. That’s… a lot of scores; nearly a touchdown per game, and well below the 19 that Jones scored last year. In the last decade, only Todd Gurley pulled the feat off in consecutive years, scoring 19 and 21 touchdowns in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Second, and the reason why Jones is unlikely to get all those touchdowns: the addition of A.J. Dillon. Dillon is a big, beefy banger of a running back who is likely to get a ton of the goal-line and short-yardage carries. This will significantly cut into Jones’ 2020 fantasy value, as he is likely to take a dive not just in touchdowns, but in total touches. It’s a situation I’m looking to avoid at #15 overall. That’s about ten spots too early for my blood, given the touchdown landmines that Jones is dealing with.