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
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
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.