Thursday Night Football was a heck of a ballgame. While the gods didn’t let us revel in a snow game, we still had a great contest nonetheless. We even learned some things about the Packers and the Titans, and more specifically, their rookie wide receivers! I’ll try to be brief, after all, the Titans have another six-hour drive to complete. Let’s dive in!
Is Christian Watson the Weapon Aaron Rodgers Was Looking For?
Well… yes and no. In baseball, when a team loses a stud hitter, they try to get his output by platooning other players. They’ll get two guys who can do two things well, and combine their efforts to replace what the stud hitter would provide alone. I bring this up because the Packers lost Davante Adams this offseason, and Rodgers & the passing game spent ten weeks trying to replace Davante Adams, when instead what they needed to do was platoon some guys to get that output for Davante Adams.
So, that’s what they’re doing. When Rodgers needs a guy to move the chains, he turns to the sure-handed Allen Lazard. Lazard finished the game with 11 targets for 5 receptions and 57 yards. That’s his role, he’s the “let’s get this pass done” targets that Davante Adams had.
Then, we get Christian Watson. Watson had basically nothing but shot plays and end zone targets until the final minutes of the game. Those were the plays that Rodgers would go to Adams when he wanted to put the boot on the throats of the defense. You could see the limitations of Watson’s skillset when Rodgers tried to put it on him at the beginning of the fourth quarter: he was bullied out of the football. You also saw the limitations of his skillset in the middle of the third quarter, when he straight-up dropped a football slightly off his body.
But, Watson still has talents. He can get up and get it when he needs to, and those skills were on display on his first touchdown snatch. So, he seems to have absorbed that part of the Adams Role. But here’s the problem: it was the Titans. The Titans are dreadful against opposing wide receivers, and while the touchdown role is nice, it’s also time to try to move Christian Watson as soon as humanly possible. His two touchdown catches were nice, but he finished the game with 4 catches for 48 yards.
Think of Christian Watson like this: how do you feel about Gabriel Davis? Do you feel good? Then you should hang onto Christian Watson. If you don’t like Gabriel Davis, then you should probably trade Christian Watson. He’s a guy in Green Bay, but there’s nothing to indicate that he will be the guy because that’s going to be a mix of him, Allan Lazard, and Randall Cobb.
Is Treylon Burks the Guy?
Treylon Burks finished this game with 8 targets for 7 receptions and 111 yards. Not surprisingly, those were all career highs. The first-round selection was slotted to take over for the A.J. Brown role in this offense, but health has not cooperated with him so far in his career. Now, he’s back and healthy, and he notched over five targets for the third time in six career games. He also had the most targets in a game for a Titans’ receiver since… well, since last week. Last week we saw Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (9 targets), Austin Hooper (7 targets) and Robert Woods (7 targets) all get a good target load for the Titans. But here’s something about Treylon Burks that isn’t true of those other guys: he’s freaking ridiculously good. The Titans finally feel good about one of their options in the passing game, and the last time that happened, it was A.J. Brown… who they traded to acquire Treylon Burks.
He beat up on a good secondary, too. The Packers were previously top-ten in stopping opposing receivers from scoring fantasy points. It was a terrible matchup for a guy coming off of turf toe… and he destroyed them. The Packers are now looking a little human, after giving up 261 combined yards to CeeDee Lamb and Burks over the last five days. But, that’s not the question we were asking. The question we were asking: is Treylon Burks the man? He most definitely is. If he’s unrostered in your league, first of all, oops, second of all, go fix that in FAB this week.
Header Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemorbeck/15831118944 under CC BY-SA 2.0)