Every summer, we take a deep dive into the fantasy football average draft position (ADP) of players on each real-life NFL team. We do this so that we can determine which guys are undervalued, overvalued, or valued just right. As we Goldilocks this ADP, our draft board forms based on our opinions of players and where they go in fantasy football drafts. Since drafters draft (mostly) by site algorithms, site algorithms drive ADP on that site. So, we use FantasyPros’ aggregate average draft position data in order to smooth out those edges. To really smooth out the edges, I will use half-PPR average draft position, which you can find here. We continue our series with the 2021 Green Bay Packers.
The 2021 Green Bay Packers have no idea who their quarterback will be in week one of the NFL season, so deciding how to decide who will be their sleeper, breakout, and bust for the 2021 NFL season is also somewhat difficult to suss out. But, I will try to figure out who on the Green Bay Packers will be a sleeper, breakout, and bust, for the 2021 fantasy football season. Also, I will try to do it while casually sidestepping the fact that we have no clue who will throw the ball in Green Bay in 2021. I believe Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers sort things out, but who’s to say?
Sleeper: Amari Rodgers, Wide Receiver (WR110, 344 OVR)
If you liked Deebo Samuel and Laviska Shenault, can I interest you in Amari Rodgers? Rodgers is built like a running back (5’10” 210) and Clemson used him as a Jack of All Trades sort of guy because of it. It makes sense, as Rodgers has good hands but almost no wide receiver instincts. Rodgers has no “my ball” mentality, no route running, nothing great to get off the press. Rodgers still excels at catching balls, flashing some great hands on wide throws where he doesn’t fight anyone. But if you get the ball in his hands, you figure out exactly why and how he can be a huge force in the NFL and in fantasy football for years to come.
Breakout: A.J. Dillon, Running Back (RB34, 83 OVR)
This one seems pretty straightforward. Quadzilla 1.0 stole our hearts last offseason with some thick thighs. Unfortunately, thick thighs did not save fantasy football lives. Dillon remained mostly pointless for fantasy football, except for a random snow game against the Titans. This game accounted for 39% of his snaps, 45% of his carries, and 49% of his total yardage on the season. He also scored both of his touchdowns and had half of his catches (one of two) in this game. That is to say, we saw what A.J. Dillon could be.
The Green Bay Packers also let Jamaal Williams and his 46% snap share abscond off to Detroit. There’s a massive hole available for someone as big and thick as A.J. Dillon to run through. Some comped him to a baby Derrick Henry when he came out of college in 2019, and it’s fitting he proved them right against Henry. Now, we can see if he can hold up to a whole season of work.
Bust: Davante Adams, Wide Receiver (WR1, 9 OVR)
This is not a hot take, but probably just because it was supposed to be Robert Tonyan, but the drafters driving fantasypros.com average draft position wisened up and Tonyan is going outside the top-12 tight ends as of right now. But, in a more real sense, this is not a hot take. This is a guy who stares regression in his face, a guy who notched the WR1 season on the back of a ton of touchdowns, and a guy who will lose out on continued top-flight value thanks to that math rearing its ugly head and dragging him back down to earth.
Aaron Rodgers owns one of the best touchdown rates of all time; that is, his passes end in touchdowns at one of the highest rates in history. In Rodgers’ career, 6.3% of his passes became touchdowns. During Adams’ career, it was 6.2%. In Davante Adams’ previous double-digit touchdown run (2016-2018), it was… 5.6%. So, that is to say, that Rodgers’ touchdown rate is (somewhat) stable, even if he absolutely locks in on a receiver enough to get them double-digit touchdowns. Last year, his touchdown rate sat at 9.1%.
Since 2000, five other seasons saw a quarterback with a touchdown rate above 8% on at least 450 pass attempts. In the following year, their touchdown rate dropped an average of 2.9%. Given Rodgers’ 9.1% TD rate in 2020, that would come out to a 6.2% TD rate in 2021, on average. If everything else is equal to Rodgers’ 2020 numbers, this reduces his touchdowns from 48 to 32. If Adams saw a corresponding drop, this would bring him down to about 12 touchdowns. The loss of 36 fantasy points from his 2020 numbers would drop Adams from WR1 with 358.4 PPR fantasy points to 316.4 (assuming the lost touchdowns are not completions). This drops him down to fourth place.
While fourth place is nothing to sneeze at, this seems like the best-case scenario for Davante Adams. He isn’t necessarily a bust with Aaron Rodgers in tow, but he isn’t the far-and-away WR1, as some analysts want to frame him.
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