The Green Bay Packers may be in pole position to take the one seed for the NFC in the playoffs, but it’s far from being secured heading into Week 15.
Taking on the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, the Packers hope to add another win to their total as the New Orleans Saints get a tough matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs (with the Packers owning the tiebreaker over the Saints). The Panthers have played tough this season with a new starting quarterback and a ton of new pieces on defense, but playing tough doesn’t always translate to wins if you lack talent. This should provide excellent opportunities for Packer pass catchers to yield you some fantasy points this week, provided you’re still in your league’s playoffs.
Currently, the Panthers rank 27th in Pass Defense DVOA and don’t currently have a cornerback who can give Davante Adams trouble—few can. Adams at this point in the season is matchup proof. He trails only Tyreek Hill in total fantasy points, but has only played in 11 games compared to Hill’s 13. Adams leads al’ WR in points per game for PPR leagues with 26.1. He has 91 catches on the season and could hit the century mark on Saturday alone. Start Adams and just watch the points roll in.
Big Robert Tonyan has been a Top-5 fantasy tight end this season and should remain so against Carolina. The Panthers have been allowing the 9th most fantasy points to TEs this season and Tonyan is on a four-game streak of getting five targets and a touchdown. Tonyan has a TD-dependent floor, though, and his ceiling is capped by his lack of yardage. He’s only gone over 67 yards three times this season and met that mark once in the four-game stretch mentioned. This isn’t the time to get cute, but a change can be considered if you have other top TEs to consider like Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson, or Mark Andrews.
I wouldn’t count on starting Allen Lazard this week, however, if you have other options. Since his return from injury, he’s logged games of 3.8, 12.3, 8, and 3.9 PPR fantasy points. His snap percentage has been down compared to his first three games of the season and it’s likely that the Packers are still just easing him back into the game plan after a core muscle injury sidelined him for much of the season. This could be the game for an uptick in opportunity, but I’d wait until he gets back to producing regularly before plugging him into the lineup. Flex play, if you’re desperate.
Last point on these pass catchers: if you’re in a dynasty league and have space, consider picking up Equanimeous St. Brown to stash him for next season. This is his third season, but only played 12 games in his rookie season and sat his entire sophomore campaign and has played just nine games this season. There’s still a lot of potential there. He’s been running good routes and looks quite explosive when he does get his hands on the ball—which hasn’t been much this season. Just some food for thought.