Jordy Nelson has struggled in recent weeks, and fantasy football owners are now faced with a decision to trade away the Green Bay Packers wide receiver, or try to get him for a reduced price.
After his breakout 2011 season in which he caught 15 touchdown passes, Nelson had people thrilled on draft day. But his 2012 campaign has been marred by injury and inconsistency thus far.
He may be leading the Packers in receiving yards, but he has topped 100-yards in just two games this season, while also being hampered by hamstring and ankle injuries.
His season could continue on this shaky path, but he certainly has flashed the potential to be equally as dangerous as he was last season. Here is everything fantasy owners should consider before making a deal involving Nelson.
Why You Should Keep Him
Those who picked up Nelson in the later rounds of last year’s draft know how valuable he can be when the Green Bay offense is firing on all cylinders.
While Greg Jennings—when healthy—is Aaron Rodgers’ top target, the reigning MVP looks for Nelson down the field more than any of his receivers. His 18.6 yards per catch was the fifth-highest mark in the NFL last season, and the highest among the Green Bay wide outs by a wide margin.
Due to injuries and a difficult schedule, the Packers have not been nearly as impressive on offense as they have been in the past, but when they had their backs against the wall, they have looked spectacular. Green Bay faced a 2-4 start if it had lost to the undefeated Houston Texans, but went on the road and routed Houston.
As the team finishes up its schedule, it will have to fight for a playoff and fantasy owners can expect more performances like the one the Packers offense displayed against the Texans. This will cause Nelson to be a dangerous deep threat once again, and the yards and touchdowns will start to pile up.
Why You Should Trade Him
The biggest concern over Nelson has been his recent rash of injuries.
Green Bay has a bye this week, and head coach Mike McCarthy seems optimistic about his chances at playing when the team returns to the field against the Detroit Lions, as noted by the Packers’ Twitter:
McCarthy-Jordy Nelson sprained his ankle. “I think he’s going to be OK.”— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 5, 2012
But this string of injuries has completely stopped the momentum that he built when having two consecutive 100-yard games in which he caught four total touchdown passes.
He comes with a significant amount of risk as there is no guarantee that he will remain healthy, or be able to bounce back from these injuries and be as explosive as he was previously. If fantasy owners get an intriguing offer in which they are receiving a player who has outperformed Nelson thus far, it is certainly worth considering.
What You Should Get For Him
This is a difficult time to trade Nelson because his injuries will make it difficult to receive a player who has similar potential.
He ranks 15th in fantasy points scored among wide receivers in ESPN leagues, but should be valued higher than that rank. Randall Cobb ranks eighth in points scored and James Jones is 10th. This level of production proves how potent the Green Bay offense is.
When Nelson is healthy, he will be either the most or second-most productive wide out on that list. This makes him immensely valuable, and fantasy owners would be wise to be patient and hold onto him.
But if you do not believe he will stay healthy and want to trade him, target a receiver who is on a team that looks as if it will stay hot heading into the second half of the schedule. Vincent Jackson and Marques Colston are two intriguing options, although you may have throw in an extra player to swing a deal for either player.