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.
The Green Bay Packers basically let their offense fall apart this offseason. And by that I mean, they don’t have Davante Adams anymore. And for an offense like Green Bay’s, that’s enough to call it falling apart. They replaced him with a mishmash of Christian Watson, and Sammy Watkins, and they hope that Allen Lazard is healthy enough to string some useful games together for them. With all that in mind, let’s dive into the fantasy football prospects of the 2022 Green Bay Packers to find a sleeper, a breakout, and a bust!
Sleeper: Christian Watson, Wide Receiver (WR61, 155 OVR)
Watson is a super-athletic rookie wide receiver out of North Dakota State, who ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at the combine, while coming in at 6’4” and 208 pounds. Drops seem to be his current bugaboo. That’s much like another 6’4” about 205-pound wide receiver with a sub 4.4 40-yard dash that Aaron Rodgers literally just threw to. That’s right, it’s more Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Green Bay. Hopefully, with better results. While MVS did things like lead the NFL in yards per reception in 2020, he never really managed to put it all together, failing to top 700 receiving yards in any given season. But, Watson brings another element to the table. Namely, despite the drops, he’s actually good at football. MVS was always a one-trick pony for the Packers, but Watson can run a variety of routes and even get balls out of the backfield.
As of right now, Christian Watson is struggling in OTAs with drops because Watson is more of an athlete than a wide receiver. But people are rolling this forward to say that Romeo Doubs, not Watson, is the rookie to have in Green Bay. That’s how dire things have gotten without Davante Adams in Green Bay, we are wondering if maybe it’s Romeo Doubs who is the breakout, given that Sammy Watkins still hasn’t shown at OTAs. By the way, none of this is with Aaron Rodgers, because he also isn’t at OTAs. Basically what I’m saying is I don’t care about Christian Watson’s drops, at least not right now. Plus, Drops Don’t Matter, haven’t you heard?
Breakout: A.J. Dillon, Running Back (RB26, 65 OVR)
We at Football Absurdity love ourselves some pass-catching running backs. And, a running bit was that bowling ball extraordinaire and part-time quad muscle model A.J. Dillon was a pass-catching running back, mostly because he has a lot more Derrick Henry to him than J.D. McKissic. But, at some point, it stopped being a bit. Dillon tied with Dalvin Cook for receptions last year, with 34, and he ranked nineteenth in the position in receiving yards, with 313 yards (to Cook’s 224). He also kicked in two receiving touchdowns for his efforts. Those 313 receiving yards, by the way? More than Chase Edmonds, Ezekiel Elliott, and Nyheim Hines, on fewer targets.
Among the top-fifty running backs in receiving yards last year, Dillon ranked third in receiving yards per target, and twelfth in receiving yards per reception. This major difference comes mostly because he ranked second to James Conner in catch rate last year, among the top-fifty running backs in receiving yards. Now, we fast forward to 2022, and the Packers’ receiving room is left in shambles, its tight end room is Big Bob Tonyan, and the best two players on the Packers’ offense (other than the QB) are A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones. I’m big on both of these guys this year, and I don’t have a problem with Dillon’s RB26, mostly because I don’t think it properly shows his catching chops.
Bust: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback (QB9, 78 OVR)
Sorry, Aaron. I am counting you out. As there is no meme surrounding Aaron Rodgers, I had to do my own research on that one and just take a shot at stealing Tom Brady’s “Don’t Count Out Touchdown Tom.” After all, it’s peer-reviewed as a good phrase and has proven efficacy with few side effects. All COVID jokes aside, Rodgers is immunized from producing fantasy points this season because his weaponry is, to be honest, a pile of garbage. He has a bunch of has-beens, never-weres, clones of guys who already flopped in Green Bay, two running backs, and a tight end coming off of an unsustainable season and a torn ACL. Other than that, things are going fine for Rodgers’ continued fantasy football productivity in 2022.
I know, far be it from me to doubt the guy who led the NFL in touchdown rate and interception rate last season. I’m not saying that Rodgers isn’t good, but I’m saying that his play style with his weaponry in his age 39 season isn’t one that I want for fantasy football. At least, not one that I would take in the first half of my draft. Rodgers finished 2021 as the QB6 in fantasy points per game, again, while leading the league in touchdown rate and interception rate. He was outscored by Patrick Mahomes, who caused endless “Is Patrick Mahomes Broken?” opinion pieces, and Mahomes was able to do that because he notched an extra 700 passing yards and 280 rushing yards, compared to Rodgers. Rodgers also tied with Jalen Hurts, who played so expertly that he had the fantasy football cognoscenti wondering if he would get benched. Hurts had a lot more wiggle room to work with thanks to his 782 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns.
Tom Brady is the closest player to Rodgers’ profile in the league right now, and Brady had to throw 43 touchdowns last season in order to finish inside the top-five at the position. Look at Aaron Rodgers’ weaponry and tell me where he’s throwing 43 touchdowns. That—and not any real talent issue—is why I don’t want Aaron Rodgers on my fantasy football team at his ADP.