This week’s fantasy reaction is a bit behind, but we were just recovering from a tough loss that, again, felt at the mercy of a few bad officiating calls. While it took us a while to recover, we’re back to take a look at the fantasy impact that the game showed us for select Green Bay Packers players.
To recap, Washington jumped out to a good lead on the Packers in the first quarter. Washington WR Paul Richardson beat the Packers secondary deep and Adrian Peterson looked like he was 10 years younger. I was having flashbacks of him suited up in purple and gold. From there it was a battle against the misty rain and new NFL rules that are rivaling how we determine what a catch is.
Despite the loss, there were still some bright spots from the Packers. We’re getting a better idea of who should be consistently providing Green Bay with strong-to-competent play as we turn the corner towards the final three-quarters of the regular season.
Aaron Jones, RB
We kind of knew this was going to happen as far as Jones’ workload is concerned. He came back, but was limited in his carries, only receiving six. Jones made it quite clear, however, that he is the best option running the ball. His longest carry went for 17 yards and he finished the day with 42 rushing yards and one catch for five yards. Seeing as how Aaron Rodgers threw the ball 44 times (and this is less than ideal with Rodgers still limping around in the pocket), one would hope that the offense rebalances itself out. The explosive Jones will be at the center of that rebalancing.
Jimmy Graham, TE
While Graham has been touted as a red zone threat, he hasn’t found the end zone yet in three games. It’s still a little early to panic about that and Graham is trending up because he’s seeing a consistent target share as his rapport with Rodgers continues to build. He has seen seven and eight targets over the past two games and while the yards weren’t there against Washington, that was a consistent theme across the receiving corps. If those targets continue to be near the top of the Packers stat sheet, then the touchdowns will eventually fall into place.
Geronimo Allison, WR
In PPR leagues, Allison has averaged double-digit points over the first three weeks of the season. He’s averaging 15.3 fantasy points per game and is roughly the 28th ranked WR in fantasy. This places him as a strong flex play, or possibly a streaming option as we start to see teams get bye weeks. He’s only owned in 40% of ESPN leagues so if you value consistent fantasy points, Allison can get that for you.
Randall Cobb, WR
Tough look for our guy Cobb this week. His hands looked very brick-like and his team-leading 11 targets only yielded four catches. Cobb only managed 22 yards this week with half of that coming on one 11-yard catch. Meaning he had three other catches for a 3.6 yard average. After his performance against the Bears in Week 1, I wondered whether or not Cobb was going to have a resurgent year during this contract season. However, if you take away his game-sealing 75-yard catch and run against the Bears, his season yardage total drops from 194 to 119 yards, 11.4 yards per catch to 7.43 yards per catch and he’d also have 0 TD’s. Without that one play, Cobb has looked very pedestrian to start the season. In addition, he’s questionable for this weekend’s game with a hamstring injury.
Last week, I said the Packers were trending up on defense which was partially true. Then, Davon House and Kentrell Brice decided they wanted to rain all over my parade. Consistently projected for high points by ESPN (has anyone else noticed this?), they only average 8.2 per contest. Against Washington, letting up 31 points with one interception is not ideal. They’re the 18th-ranked fantasy defense while ranking 21st in pass defense DVOA and 29th in run defense DVOA. While safety appears to be the most glaring defensive issue, the aforementioned House soaking up snaps has yielded terrible results. Losing Muhammad Wilkerson for the year is a tough blow, as well. We’ll see who on the defense wants to step up and help turn the ship around - maybe Bashaud Breeland can be that guy.