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NFC North Fantasy Football Preview: Packers players to avoid

With the preseason in full swing, it’s time to look at some Packers players that you might want to second guess come draft day.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we finally made it to the last team in the NFC North, the historic Green Bay Packers. Over the past several weeks we have been taking a look at what players to draft and which to avoid during this fantasy season. You can take a look at which Lions players to avoid and draft, which Bears players to avoid and draft, and which Vikings players to avoid and draft with those links.

It’s hard to decide who one should avoid in early rounds or avoid drafting entirely because I believe in every player dressed in green and gold not named Quentin Rollins. (That was a low blow to QR, but I stand by it.) Most offensive players, I feel should be worthy of a flier because of the bad man himself, Aaron Rodgers. But sometimes, not everybody can eat when the offense is rolling. So who’s going to get the smallest piece of the pie?

Jamaal Williams, RB

Here’s the solid handcuff who will likely go higher than he should. Aaron Jones is suspended for the first two games so that gives Williams the chance to take a hold of the position. He got the starting reps in the Packers first preseason game against the Titans and managed to score on an eight yard reception. His rushes, though, lacked the burst and quickness that you see out of Jones. It must be noted that Williams was not running behind the Packers likely starting offensive line unit, but he looked very similar to how he ran last year. Trying to squeeze through holes that aren’t there and picking up roughly three yards per attempt.

Williams excels as a pass blocking back, but that doesn’t help your fantasy team. He did put up 117 points in PPR last season once he took over for the injured Jones which is nice, but his 3.6 yards per carry last year hurts for standard leagues. He’ll be a better option if you can grab Jones in a later round just in case Williams is your RB2 and suddenly gets relegated to second string on the roster by Week 3.

Randall Cobb, WR

Over the last couple seasons it’s been tough to gauge what you might get out of Randall Cobb. His best fantasy season came back in 2014 where he was placed firmly between Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. in the top ten among WRs in PPR leagues. Yeah, that happened! He scored 282 points that year (PPR) and was the #5 receiver in standard leagues.

Since then he had a decent 2015, but really fell off during the 2016 and ‘17 seasons where injuries started to take their toll. He went from 127 and 129 targets in ‘14 and ‘15, respectively, to 84 and 92. That has impacted his ability to score tremendously with only eight TD’s over the past two years. His injury plagued seasons have coincided with Davante Adams emerging as the WR1 (2016: 121 targets, 12 TD’s; 2017: 117 targets, 10 TD’s). And I don’t expect that trend to end. Adams is younger and more talented. While there’s a void for the Packers WR2 position currently, Jimmy Graham should have no problem swallowing up targets that would’ve been originally intended for Jordy Nelson.

Much to my personal chagrin, the Packers have always tried to find ways to get the ball into Cobb’s hands whether that’s with screens, punt returns or handoffs, and it just hasn’t been effective. Cobb will turn 28 in a few days here, so there’s always the chance for a resurgence. I’d try my luck elsewhere, though.