An Argument On Avoiding The Packers In Your Fantasy Draft

I usually play in at least one fantasy football league with other Packer fans, and in those leagues, the Green Bay Packers tend to be drafted higher than their actual production merits. As I result, I usually end up without many Packers and my fantasy team doesn't tank for being too dependent on them (it tanks for other reasons...). I know the owner who drafted Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley last season was hurting bad.

If there's one concern the Packers have long-term on offense, it's keeping Aaron Rodgers healthy. He's been resilient, but he's also taken a lot of hits over the past couple seasons. And missed a game in 2010 due to a concussion. As a result, it's led Eric Yeomans of Pro Football Focus to swear off the Packers in 2011. From PFF:

Most will already be overrated after last year’s Super Bowl, and the risk associated is too much for me to pay for. With most Packers relying on Rodgers for a bulk of their production, I will be avoiding the entire situation. Don’t get me wrong, Rodgers is ultra-talented, and I was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon, owning him universally during his first two years. But, with the amount of punishment he takes, along with his concussion history and the league’s stricter stance on the issue, I don’t see how he doesn’t get hurt again and be held out of at least a couple games.

As I wrote above, there is a risk of overrating individual players. Is Greg Jennings really worth a second round pick? His production should slip once Jermichael Finley is back. Do you really want Jordy Nelson as your No. 2 or No. 3 receiver based on his Super Bowl game? He did little during the 2010 regular season. 

As for the injury risk, well it's football. He's reading a bit too much into it. Sure Rodgers could be lost for a few games next season, and the risk of becoming concussion prone is real. But most players are in that boat. With Peyton Manning turning 35 and undergoing another neck surgery, his days of being a 1st round pick should be over. He's likely to play through the pain, but his production should continue to decrease as he gets older and the mileage starts adding up. If you look close enough at every quarterback, you can find plenty of injury risk.

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