Jordy Nelson: Packers WR Will Still Be Fantasy Star After Returning from Injury

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IINovember 6, 2012

Oct 28, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA;  Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson during warmups prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lambeau Field.  The Packers defeated the Jaguars 24-15.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson has had a rocky 2012 season, but when he takes the field next, he will resume his status as a fantasy football star.

Nelson sprained his ankle in the Packers’ 31-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, but the team reported via Twitter that head coach Mike McCarthy is optimistic about his ability to return shortly.

McCarthy-Jordy Nelson sprained his ankle. “I think he’s going to be OK.”

— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 5, 2012

The Packers have a bye week and then will try to win their fifth straight game against the Detroit Lions. Having Nelson healthy will greatly improve their chances to do this.

The fifth-year veteran faced extremely high expectations after having a breakout 2011 season in which he caught 68 passes for 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns.

This made him an extremely popular fantasy pick this season, but he did not live up to expectations immediately. He failed to catch a touchdown pass in the first three games and had many owners worrying that last season was a fluke.

But Nelson was not the only Green Bay offensive player who was struggling during this stretch, and the entire Packers’ passing game got off to an underwhelming start.

They provided a glimpse of potent attack they displayed last season against the New Orleans Saints, and Nelson caught eight passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. But in the very next game, the offense looked out of sorts in the second half against the Colts, and Nelson had just two catches for 29 yards.

Then Aaron Rodgers quieted all the critics with two incredible performances in consecutive weeks, and Nelson was his favorite target in these contests. The wideout pulled his 17 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns in these two games.

After this, it seemed certain that Nelson was back as a fantasy star and that he would once again be a near lock to put up double-digit points every week. But his fantasy owners were sent scrambling to find a replacement when he missed the following game against Jacksonville with a hamstring injury.

He took a week to get healthy, then suffered his latest setback by spraining his ankle. While it has been a frustrating ride for both Nelson and his fantasy owners, the 27-year-old has proved that when he is healthy and Rodgers is playing well, he will put up extremely impressive numbers.

Right now, Rodgers is as hot as any quarterback in the league, and leads the NFL with 25 touchdown passes. Nelson appears to be on track to be in the lineup when the Packers return from the bye week, and he will be one of the top fantasy wide receivers for the remainder of the season, as long as he stays healthy.