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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Team Talk: Green Bay Packers

By Adam Filadelfo (@Frostt24)

It's time to take a look at the reigning NFC North champions Green Bay Packers. 2013 had its ups and downs for the Packers as well as for fantasy owners who had stock in them. Some key injuries early in the season might have derailed some fantasy teams hopes for a championship but rookies like Eddie Lacy may have helped carry fantasy teams much like he did the Packers. Time to look at who will contribute in 2014.

Aaron Rodgers- Even though Rodgers played in nine games during the regular season, he still managed to put up Aaron Rodgers numbers along the way. He did return in time for the fantasy championship game and averaged 23 fantasy points per game during the fantasy football season. Aaron Rodgers will once again be a top quarterback in fantasy drafts in 2014.

Eddie Lacy- To say Eddie Lacy had a spectacular rookie season is an understatement. Fantasy owners may have been cautious when draft day rolled around being that he was a little banged up during preseason but any owner that had Lacy on their roster really reaped the rewards. Lacy practically carried the Packers on his shoulders when Aaron Rodgers went down with his injury seeing action in all but two regular season games and rushing for 1,178 yards and double digit touchdowns. To add to his stellar performance on the ground, Lacy also gave fantasy owners 35 receptions for 257 yards. There were only three weeks where Lacy produced single digit fantasy points and averaged 14 fantasy points per game.

Randall Cobb- While many fantasy owners thought 2013 was going to be a monster season for Randall Cobb, an injury derailed that rather quickly. Cobb played in only six games last season to the tune of 31 receptions for 443 yards and four touchdowns. Out of the six games Cobb did see, he managed double digit fantasy points in three of them and averaged over 12 fantasy points per game. There's no reason to think Cobb will not be a top fantasy receiver in 2014 as long as he stays healthy.

Jordy Nelson- The loss of Rodgers may have hurt Jordy Nelson's fantasy numbers a bit in 2013. Regardless, Nelson still saw 126 targets and managed to haul in 85 of them for over 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns. With or without Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson managed to score over 11 fantasy points per game on average and will no doubt be a top wideout when 2014 is through.

Jarrett Boykin- Boykin filled in admirably for fantasy owners when they needed him to. When Cobb went down, savvy fantasy owners ran to the waiver wire and grabbed Jarrett Boykin to take his place. Boykin played in 12 games and saw 82 targets tossed his way and held onto 49 of them. He racked up almost 700 yards and three touchdowns along the way and with the departure of James Jones to Oakland, Jarrett Boykin should get the chance to see even more action in 2014. Fantasy owners should expect an increase in Jarrett Boykin's production. With a full season to work with Aaron Rodgers, 2014 can put Jarrett Boykin on the fantasy map.

Andrew Quarless
- Since it's looking like Jermichael Finley won't be returning to Green Bay to start the season, it looks like Andrew Quarless may take over as the starting tight end for the Packers. His value gets increased just by being the recipient of passes from Aaron Rodgers on a weekly basis. In 2013, Quarless played 13 games and saw 54 balls thrown in his direction. He finished with 32 catches for 312 yards and two touchdowns. Provided he is the every week tight end, his numbers can only go up from there.

D/ST- Normally, the Packers defense isn't really fantasy relevant but the Packers did upgrade a little during the offseason. With what looks like a healthy Clay Matthews playing on the defensive line with newcomer Julius Peppers, opposing offenses may have a difficult time blocking both stud rushers. Add to the secondary the first round pick of the Packers in the 2014 draft Ha Ha Clinton- Dix out of Alabama, the Packers defense should be improved from last season.