We begin our in-depth analysis of the NFC North with the dynasty capsule of the Green Bay Packers. While their defense needs some serious help, their offense features a few of the best dynasty options in all of fantasy football. From top to bottom, this team can put up points in both reality and fantasy. With all the dynasty capsules, I attempt to create something quirky and interesting in the introduction, but everything I’ve tried for Green Bay turns out way too cheesy. Regardless, here’s the state of the Packers from a dynasty perspective.
Players in their Prime
Aaron Rodgers, QB
Rodgers was highly regarded coming out of California, as scouts raved about his accuracy and decision making ability. Unfortunately, Alex Smith was chosen by the 49ers first overall in the 2005 NFL Draft, sending Rodgers into a historic draft freefall. The Packers took him at #24 that year in what will go down as one of the biggest steals in the draft history.
After sitting behind Brett Favre for three full seasons, Rodgers finally got his chance in 2008. After delivering an amazing campaign that saw him become the second highest scoring quarterback in most formats, Rodgers followed it up with 4,434 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions in 2009. When you add an additional 316 yards and five rushing touchdowns from Rodgers, you had the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy football last year.
At just 26-years-old, you can make a very good case for Rodgers to be the first quarterback taken in startup dynasty drafts. Not many would argue if you value him as the premier quarterback in dynasty fantasy football leagues.
Greg Jennings, WR
Most owners would be thrilled with 68 catches, 1,113 yards and four touchdowns from their No. 2 WR. Believe it or not, every one of those numbers from Jennings was down in comparison to 2008. You can blame that on a variety of things, but he’s still the best option in an offense that attempted 541 passes last season. As the No. 1 option on a pass oriented team, it would be a surprise if he didn’t improve on all those numbers in 2010 and beyond. He could easily flourish into being a future No. 1 WR in fantasy.
Ryan Grant, RB
It seems every year we look for Grant’s replacement in Green Bay instead of looking at Grant himself. You would think he’d get more respect after his career best totals of 1,253 yards, and 11 touchdowns, but he’s typically undervalued in dynasty leagues. While he’s certainly no Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson, he’s the lead back in an offense that scores points every week. Grant will likely never run for 1,500 yards, but you could do a lot worse in your search for a No. 2 RB.
Jermichael Finley, TE
Finley’s 55 catches, 676 yards, and five touchdowns in 2009 doesn't get you too excited. His 34 catches, 496 yards, and four touchdowns in his last six games played do though. His combination of speed and size creates havoc for opposing defenses. His late emergence has some dynasty owners thinking he’s the No. 1 TE prospect in their respective leagues. While we’re not quite ready to value him more than Vernon Davis, it’s hard to blame those who do.
James Jones, WR
Followers of dynastyleaguefootball.com know we recently tagged Jones as one of our “Summer Sleepers.” He’s certainly a sleeper when you consider the entire NFL player pool, but he’s a clear rising talent when you analyze the Packers specifically. He needs to continue to improve his route running and ball security issues, but he’s very talented. Donald Driver reportedly had surgery on both of his knees this offseason, and that’s just the latest reminder that Jones’ time is coming sooner rather than later.
Players with Falling Values
Donald Driver, WR
Driver posted his sixth straight 1,000 yard season with 1,061 yards and six receiving touchdowns in 2009. He’s been an incredibly consistent player for Green Bay, but with knee issues at the ripe old age of 35, his career is clearly winding down. James Jones should take over as the No. 2 WR soon and Jordy Nelson is more than capable of being a No. 3 WR for this team. Driver is obviously not a huge part of their long-term plans. He shouldn’t be part of yours, either.
Brandon Jackson, RB
A once highly sought after rookie from Nebraska, Jackson clearly finds himself on the roster bubble this season. With James Starks in the fold, Jackson needs to show something quickly or he’ll find himself on the waiver wire in both fantasy and reality.
Ahman Green, RB
His swan song was fun to watch, but the Packers clearly got the most from Green many years ago. He’s no longer a viable roster stash in dynasty leagues and likely won’t be back with Green Bay next year.
James Starks, RB
At 6’2” and 218 pounds, Starks is well-built for a RB. If Ryan Grant gets injured or underperforms, Starks has starting RB ability. You may not know much of him since he went to school at Buffalo, but that may change one day.
Matt Flynn, QB
Flynn is certainly no challenge to Aaron Rodgers’ job as the starter in Green Bay. However, he’s been impressive enough for the Packers to let go Brian Brohm and feel comfortable with him as their backup. If Flynn shows up big in the preseason, he could find himself being a trade target for other teams in the future.
The Packers boast one of the most explosive offensive units in the NFL, led by Aaron Rodgers. With a wide open offensive philosophy, there are many Packers players to covet in dynasty leagues. When you consider the youth on this team, there aren’t too many safer rosters for dynasty league owners to pluck their fantasy football players from.