Fantasy Stud — Aaron Rodgers, QB
Of course, Rodgers is either the #1 or #2 quarterback in every fantasy football ranking list out there. Rodgers is an elite NFL player and arguably the best overall player in the NFL. He is one of the most consistently accurate QBs in the NFL, and in the last two years, he has averaged about 4,400 yards passing, 42 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Those are video game numbers, folks.
Keep in mind also, Rodgers is no slouch moving around with his legs. He has five rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons, and can help your fantasy team out in that way as well.
Despite seeing a dip in touchdowns last year (45 to 39) Rodgers is still projected to go off again in 2013. I think he has a chance to eclipse the 40 touchdown total once more, and obviously this is one of the biggest fantasy studs in the National Football League. Week in and week out, this guy performs. He has 14 300 yard games over the last two seasons, and the only problem I can see with him is the Packers’ offensive line. Rodgers was hit a lot more last year than he should have been, and lost four fumbles as a result.
If you can get this guy on your team, you’re siting pretty solid.
Fantasy Sleeper — James Jones, WR
Buyer beware with James Jones, but know this–with Greg Jennings gone, Jones could be primed for a bigger role. Right now, he’s projected as the starting outside receiver along with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb in the slot. Jones is a bit of a risky play because he’s never had a 1,000 yard season in his career, but last year, he proved to be the Packers’ best touchdown threat, catching 14–easily a career-high.
Last year, Jones saw just 98 targets overall, and he wound up catching a career-high 64 passes. If he sees starter-like target numbers, this guy could have a huge year. I don’t think he’ll get 14 touchdowns and lead the league in that category again, but he certainly has developed a chemistry with Aaron Rodgers.
With Greg Jennings off to Minnesota, I think Jones has a chance to prove that he can be a solid #2 or #3 in the Packers’ offense, which isn’t a bad thing for fantasy football players.
Fantasy Risk — Jermichael Finley, TE
Finley is a risk because he drops so many passes, and he kind of rubs me the wrong way with his attitude. I think in 2013, the Packers feel pretty good about his progression based on the second half of last season, but they may have him on a short leash.
Last year, Finley caught 61 passes for 667 yards and just two touchdowns. If he could prove to be more of a touchdown threat like some of the other talented TEs in the NFL, then he would be an absolute star. Entering his contract year, I feel like Finley’s touchdown numbers will rise.
Money will do that to folks.
This is a guy that I was really high on last year, and I made it a point to put him on a pedestal and draft him higher than I probably should have. Now, he comes with a huge buyer beware risk tag.
Rookie to Watch — Eddie Lacy, RB
There’s no question Eddie Lacy is a rookie to watch on this team, but don’t be surprised of Johnathan Franklin comes out of nowhere to steal a bunch of carries. I was really high on Lacy coming out before I had heard about his injury, and if the Packers’ offensive line is up to the task this year, the former National Champion could be in line for a huge rookie season.
Lacy is a powerful back who knows how to find the end zone, and he gives the Packers some toughness at the RB position that they’ve been missing. He can get those tough three or four yard carries, but he’s also agile enough to break a few 20 yard runs as well.
Lacy doesn’t possess elite speed, but he can add a whole other element to this Packers offense. Don’t be surprised if he’s putting up big numbers this year.