Green Bay Packers 2021 Fantasy Previewby Christopher Gallagher August 27, 2021 0 comments
The Green Bay Packers were one of the best offensive teams across the NFL in 2020. They finished fourth in the league in pass yards per game, with 262 yards through the air on average. The group also remained of the best rushing attacks in the game, ranking eighth in yards per contest. Scoring 31.8 points per game, the Packers upgraded their receiving core through the draft and free agency this offseason.
Selecting Clemson wideout Amari Rodgers in the third round of the draft, the franchise also agreed to terms with the Houston Texans to reunite longtime veteran Randall Cobb with the team. Bolstering their offensive line in the draft, once again, Green Bay will be lead on the offensive side of the ball by star receiver Davante Adams and Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones.
Make sure to check out all of our other 2021 Fantasy Football Previews.
Quarterbacks – Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers captured the MVP award after a strong performance last season. He completed more than 70 percent of his throws while amassing 4,299 passing yards. Pacing the league with 48 touchdown passes, the 37-year-old signal-caller finished as QB3 in 16 starts. Averaging 24.2 points per game, he currently has an ADP of 53. Returning all of their weapons from a historically successful offense last season, Rodgers will have his go-to guy back in Adams.
The tandem leads all quarterbacks to receiver duos since 2016 with 53 touchdown passes. Furthermore, tight end Robert Tonayn established himself as a consistent downfield threat in Matt Lafleur’s system as the 27-year-old set new career highs in nearly every major category. His numbers from a year ago will remain hard to replicate, with the fourth hardest strength of schedule heading into next season. However, the 16-year veteran still remains one of the most prolific fantasy quarterbacks in all league formats.
Running Backs – Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon
Jones led all rushers on the team a year ago with 539 snaps played. On the field for just over 51 percent of the Packers total offensive snaps, the group’s second-year man in Dillon played just 97 snaps or nine percent. Likely to creep more towards a 50-50 split during the 2021 season, backup Jamaal Williams departed during free agency after inking a deal with the rival Detroit Lions. With 418 vacated snaps to go around, look for Dillon to cut into the touchdown share of Jones as he handles some of the early-down and goal line carries.
However, with Williams gone, the receiving upside of the former Pro Bowl running back should increase as he continues to be the go-to guy on passing downs. With a current ADP of 10 in leagues, the former Pro Bowl rusher will be hard-pressed to push for the top five at the position. Nonetheless, as one of the most consistent backs across the league week in and week out, owners should jump all over him. A cheap insurance option in the later rounds at his ADP of 95, Dillon’s role as the No. 2 man behind Jones will make it challenging towards carving out weekly fantasy relevance. Although, after finishing as RB83 last season, he still has upside as a fourth or fifth running back insurance option in case of injury.
Wide Receivers – Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard
Historically great for fantasy owners a year go, Adams finished as WR1 in PPR leagues. He averaged 25.6 points per game. This was the highest average total per game in over 30 years. Despite missing two games with an ankle injury, he still paced all wideouts with 98.1 receiving yards per contest. Hauling in 115 receptions on 149 targets, he continues to be of the elite red zone threats at his position after tying Sterling Sharpe‘s franchise record with 18 touchdown grabs in 2020. With a current ADP of eight, the return of Rodgers in Green Bay for at least one more season makes him an easy first-round pick in redraft leagues. Behind their star wideout, the Packers have struggled to get consistent weekly production from Lazard and Valdes-Scantling.
Finishing as WR55, the latter benefitted from-a-view major performances during his 2020 campaign. In Week 1, torching the Minnesota Vikings with four receptions for 96 yards, his season was also highlighted by a 149-yard receiving performance in Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Showing flashes during his first three seasons in Green Bay, Lazard missed time with a core muscle injury. He ultimately finished the season with 33 catches for 451 yards and three touchdowns. With both players having an ADP of over 200 at 212 and 270, they are worth taking a shot on in the later rounds of drafts for teams needing receiver help. Although, after bringing Cobb back and adding Rodgers in the third round of the draft, carving out a continuous role in the offense will be challenging for both players with many mouths to feed.
Tight Ends – Robert Tonyan
Tonyan broke out during his third year in the league a season ago. Starting in eight games for the Packers, the former undrafted free agent racked up 52 receptions for 586 yards while tying Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce with 11 touchdowns. Averaging over 11 yards per catch as a favorite target of Rodgers, he tied Washington’s Logan Thomas for a TE3 finish.
Likely to undergo a regression heading into next season, the 27-year-old will be hard-pressed to repeat his 21 percent touchdown rate. Along with this, his yards per target are also due to come down after averaging 9.9 in 2020. Currently ranked as TE10 with an ADP of 101, Tonyan still remains a strong value pick for players who miss out on the elite players at the position in the early rounds as a matchup-dependent TE2.
Finishing as the 18th ranked D/ST unit a season ago, the Packers averaged 5.9 points per game. Seeing their interceptions total drop from 17 in 2019, the group registered 41 total sacks for the second season in a row. Led on the back end by one of the premier safety tandems in the league in Darnell Savage Jr. and Adrian Amos, the unit is also home to one of the best young cornerbacks in the game in Jaire Alexander. In addition to this, after selecting defensive back Eric Stokes in the first round of the draft, look for the group to continue to improve in 2021.
With Za’Darius Smith continuing to be one of the most feared pass rushers in the game and the emergence of Rashan Gary along the defensive line to join Kenny Clark, Green Bay’s defense could creep close to a top 10 unit by the end of the year. While there will be some growing pains early on in a new scheme under defensive coordinator Joe Barry, this unit should is home to too much talent and should be rostered in all formats by fantasy owners.
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