The Green Bay Packers were dealt a significant blow on Sunday.
Superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers left the team's matchup against the Minnesota Vikings after suffering a broken collarbone, the team announced. The Packers also noted that Rodgers could miss the remainder of the season.
That leaves Brett Hundley as the team's starting quarterback, and it means both Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams will likely see their value take at least a slight hit in fantasy football.
While both Nelson and Adams are talented enough to have an impact without Rodgers in the offense, it's fairly rare that star wide receivers maintain their exact value with a backup quarterback in the lineup. Plus, Rodgers is a special talent—he increases everyone's fantasy value with his play on the field.
Now, that doesn't mean Nelson and Adams will suddenly lose their fantasy value. Both players, for instance, remain among the most dangerous red-zone threats in football, per ESPN Stats & Information:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Most Rec TD in Red Zone Last 2 Seasons Jordy Nelson 16 Cameron Brate 11 Davante Adams 10 https://t.co/qLGZytYm2s2017-10-15 16:30:02
Will they have less red-zone opportunities without Rodgers in the lineup? More than likely. But the Packers clearly believe in Hundley as the backup quarterback, spurning the opportunity to roll with a more established veteran on the roster behind Rodgers this season.
Zach Kruse of Packers Wire made a similar point:
Zach Kruse @zachkruse2
Spent the draft pick and almost three years on developing Brett Hundley. Now's the time for it to pay off.2017-10-15 17:35:37
Until Hundley proves what he is capable of doing, it's difficult to offer a precise prediction for Nelson and Adams going forward. Brad Evans of Yahoo Sports is cautiously optimistic:
Brad Evans @YahooNoise
Aaron Rodgers' reported broken collarbone an absolute killer. Hundley, though, interesting for fantasy purposes due to duality, weapons.2017-10-15 19:09:15
Brad Evans @YahooNoise
@patsrule23 Too early to determine. Hundley can play.2017-10-15 19:14:48
The safe projection is to bump them down at least one tier, leaving Nelson as a WR2 and Adams in the flex range. It's possible that Hundley is awesome and Nelson and Adams maintain their high value. It's also possible that he's awful and their value declines sharply.
The safe bet, for now, is somewhere in between.