Making the playoffs every years since 2009 pretty much says a team has plenty of fantasy options. The Green Bay Packers look to take aim at their third-straight NFC North division title. Their core is in its prime and they have some quality players behind the scenes as well. Which names should drafters look out for?
Offense – Aaron Rodgers
Anybody who is surprised by the first two selections in this article should really re-evaluate their stance on watching pro football. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best player in the NFL, let alone the best fantasy option on the Green Bay Packers, He piles up passing yards and touchdowns like a pinball machine and even is a threat to add some points in the rushing game just for flavor. There is a slight risk in him getting hurt given the instability of the offensive line but with so many weapons including a new running game, there is no reason to think the real A-Rod won’t Discount Double-check his way to another MVP-caliber season.
Defense – Clay Matthews
Besides maybe corner Tramon Williams, Clay Matthews was the obvious choice. He is perhaps the best rush 3-4 linebacker in football and the most consistent threat the Packers have on a defense that tends to get by on scheme more often than talent. Matthews is durable, smart, skilled and relentless. That is why he had a combined 16 sacks in the regular season and playoffs last year. The big help for him, at least it’s hoped is the addition of rookie Datone Jones to the defensive front. His big, powerful body is expected to bring more push up front. That should divert blockers away from the edges, allowing Matthews to feast on more quarterbacks than ever before.
Rookie – Jonathan Franklin
Make no mistake. Write it down. Eddie Lacy may get the press but the rookie running back that will have the greatest impact for the Packers in 2013 is Jonathan Franklin. The young man out of UCLA is a much better fit for their system. Not only is he compact and deceptively powerful, making it easy to run between the tackles, he is also fast and a proven receiver out of the backfield. He’s also cleared up a bad fumbling issue that dogged him throughout college. Once head coach Mike McCarthy realizes fully what he has, Franklin should see the field a lot, whether Lacy is in shape or not.
Sleeper – Nick Perry
Somewhat of a forgotten man among Green Bay Packers fans. The 2012 first round pick had a decent start to his rookie season with two sacks but watched it all come crashing down when a wrist injury landed him on injured reserve after just six games. The team has high hopes for him going into 2013 and like Matthews he should reap the benefits of Datone Jones joining the front. The lingering question is can he adapt to the 3-4 alignment and excel. An answer will come fairly soon, and the fans will make sure they don’t forget him again.