2012 Team Outlook: Green Bay (Page 2)

 
 
 
 
Football > Preseason > 2012 Team Outlook: Green Bay

2012 Team Outlook: Green Bay

A fantasy football preview of the Packers this year. Profiled players include Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell, James Starks, John Kuhn, and Alex Green.

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Brandon Saine was on the practice squad for a good portion of the 2011 season, yet managed to see the field toward the end of the year. The Packers will likely have an open competition for who will be the team's primary backup behind James Starks. Saine is in that conversation of course, but he'll also be competing with second-year back Alex Green. Saine was an undrafted free agent, while Green was a third-round choice. Consider Saine the No. 3 back behind Starks and Green.

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Everybody saw what Randall Cobb could do when he scored two touchdowns in the first game of the year against the New Orleans Saints. After that, he was relatively quiet, only scoring once more (via punt return) all season. That's not to say he isn't talented though. Cobb should be considered the early favorite to succeed Donald Driver for the WR4 spot; to take this one step further, he has the ability to potentially succeed James Jones as well. Cobb is very explosive. He needs to improve his route-running, but he's very young and has a much higher long-term ceiling than Jones.

Update (08/27): Despite his immense potential, it appears Cobb won't advance ahead of Jones on the depth chart and his primary role will be as a kick returner in 2012. Only an injury ahead of him would propel him onto your fantasy team.

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It was clear that Green Bay wasn't quite the same after Greg Jennings was injured in Week 14. He is their clear-cut No. 1 WR and his reliable production is an asset to any fantasy squad. Excluding the Week 14 game he was injured in, Jennings scored in nine of his 12 games. Considering the Packers have to be the favorite to lead the league in scoring again, there's no reason to downgrade Jennings from anything but a stud WR1 for fantasy owners.

Update (08/27): Jennings is back in action after a concussion kept him out of two preseason games.

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The talent is there, it just hasn't seemed to click for James Jones yet. He did have a career-high seven TDs last year, but everybody on the Packers scored a bunch. Jones needs to more firmly establish himself as a potential WR2 (which would put Jordy Nelson in the slot). He will now have to compete with Randall Cobb and let's not forget Donald Driver. Green Bay is one of the few teams in the league that can support three fantasy wide receivers, yet Jones needs to take another big step to become a regular starter for your fantasy squad.

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Will Jordy Nelson score 15 touchdowns again this year? Probably not, but it is possible for him to improve upon his 68 receptions last year. Head coach Mike McCarthy has already stated he wants to use Nelson more often in the slot, which should provide James Jones more opportunities. Nelson is a low-risk draft choice, but it all depends on where he is selected. If he can be drafted as your WR2, that's a great fit. Relying on him as your top receiver is a riskier proposition because it is so unlikely he scores 15 TDs again.

Injury Status: Injured Reserve

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Donald Driver, the ageless wonder, isn't quite producing like he used to, but he can still have big games. He scored four times in Green Bay's last five games. The question for Driver is whether he'll be able to hold off Randall Cobb. Even though he will push James Jones for the WR3 spot, Driver isn't much of a fantasy commodity. He only sees four or five targets per game, at best and that's not going to cut it.

Update (8/12): Driver is now listed at the No. 5 spot on the depth chart.