5 Overrated or Underrated Green Bay Packers Fantasy Options
The Green Bay Packers’ regular season-opener against the 49ers is less than two weeks away. But the fantasy season is already going strong, with millions of football fans across America already holding drafts for their beloved fake sport.
Many people already know of the Packer fantasy studs, like Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley. All four of those guys are going to put up monster numbers for their respective positions.
But here are five other pieces of the Packer puzzle that are either getting too much or not enough attention for their fantasy services.
(All stats credit to www.pro-football-reference.com)
Underrated: WR Randall Cobb
Cobb only caught 25 passes for 375 yards and one touchdown last year, but he also returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown.
He’s a small wide receiver at 5'10", but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in speed and athleticism. He’s lightning quick and has big-play capability written all over him, as evidenced by the two return touchdowns in his rookie campaign.
Cobb is officially about the fourth or fifth wide receiver on the depth chart, but the Packers will likely use him a lot more in their offense. Expect him to see screens, quick slants and other plays of that sort to unleash his athleticism in the open field.
He very well could turn into DeSean Jackson 2.0 (talent wise)—Jackson’s best fantasy season to date was in his sophomore year.
Underrated: WR Donald Driver
I’m not saying that you should pick Driver as your third wide receiver or even your fourth for that matter. But in a deep league, Driver could be a solid bench option.
Yes, his receiving yards have seen better days; he’s only accumulated 1010 the past two years combined. But do you know which stat of Driver’s has stayed consistent? That would be touchdowns.
Over the past three years, Driver has caught 16 touchdown passes, which is just over five per season. That’s not a glaring stat by any means, but right now Driver is not even in ESPN’s top 165 wide receiver options for fantasy football. Ten of the top 165 don’t even have teams right now.
Driver is at least worthy of a bench spot in deep leagues.
Overrated: K Mason Crosby
Here’s the argument for Crosby. The 2011 season was his best one to date. He had never eclipsed the 80 percent mark until last year, and he ended up with an 85.7 success rate, all the while hitting 68 of 69 PAT attempts. His next highest amount of PAT conversions was 48 before last year. With such a high-powered offense, all the PATs add up very quickly.
But here’s why I would be wary of taking Crosby. With the Packers scoring so many touchdowns, Crosby’s field goal attempts were at a career low in 2011, and he only kicked three attempts from 50 yards or more, which was also a career low. He’s racking up all the one-pointers, but he’s not getting any of the long looks. The Packers offense is too strong.
Plus, he has to deal with new wind currents this year. The renovations of Lambeau Field have changed the structure of the stadium, resulting in new wind patterns. Crosby has already struggled with the change, and it will take some time for him to fully adjust.
Crosby is not a bad fantasy option, but he’s not the second-best kicking option, either.
Underrated: Packers Defense/Special Teams
The Packers defense was awful in 2011. The unit ranked dead last in total yards allowed, and it broke the NFL record for passing yards allowed in a season.
Still, the defense ranked 19th in points allowed. Fantasy points are not rewarded to defenses for yards allowed, they are for points allowed.
Points are also awarded for takeaways, and that’s where the Packers thrive. The defense led the league in interceptions by eight and tied for first in total turnovers forced.
The defense’s weakest point last season was its pass rush, but rookies Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy have both performed well in the preseason and should help patch up that problem.
The aforementioned Randall Cobb headlines the special teams unit, and he should provide the unit with a few return touchdowns.
Underrated: RB Cedric Benson
Benson won’t get the touches he did in Cincinnati, but the newly-acquired running back has rushed for over 1000 yards each of his past three seasons. He has also only missed four games in those three seasons. With the health history of other Green Bay running backs like James Starks and Alex Green, Benson’s durability should almost guarantee that he will get the largest workload of all the Green Bay backs.
Benson provides another aspect that the Packers haven’t seen in awhile—a goal line running back. Fullback John Kuhn had the strength, but Benson’s combination of strength and vision should result in many punch-in goal line situations.