2020 Fantasy Football Green Bay Packers Preview

by Taylor Lambert
2021 Fantasy Football Week 9 Quarterback Streamers

As a team, how do you come back from a devastating loss just one game before reaching the Super Bowl? If you answered "execute the most controversial, mind-boggling draft possible," you might be Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers.

Even as a fan with no horse in the race, watching the beatdown San Francisco gave the Packers was a brutal affair. The game had already ended prior to the teams heading to the locker room for halftime.

Raheem Mostert ran up and down Green Bay's defense, and their offense was held completely in check. Hell, if your name wasn't Davante Adams, you may as well have not boarded the plane.

Heading into the draft, the Packers were in dire of need of help at the wide receiver position. Additions to their defensive line and linebacking corps wouldn't have hurt either. Instead, they decided to trade up for...get this, a QUARTERBACK!

Needless to say, this offseason has not been a productive one for the Packers. Still, this is a very fantasy-relevant team, and you need to know what to do in your drafts with the weapons in Lambeau. Join me in my 2020 Fantasy Football Green Bay Packers Preview.

For all of our team/divisional previews, check out our Fantasy Football page!

2020 Fantasy Football Green Bay Packers Preview

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No one was more confused about Green Bay's selection of Jordan Love than Aaron Rodgers. Sure, his days of elite production have come and gone. That, however, doesn't take away his status as a top-tier quarterback in the league.

Rodgers has a less than ideal group of talent to throw the ball to, and frankly, that's putting it nicely. Even with Davante Adams missing four games to injury, Rodgers managed to throw for just over 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns.

While Rodgers' stat-line netted him a QB10 finish for the year, his points-per-game average actually placed him at 14th. If you had Rodgers on your team, you likely weren't in the playoffs.

Much of Rodgers' production came from a small handful of games against inferior defenses. What's more telling is the fact that there were nine games last season where Rodgers threw for one touchdown or less. That's not what fantasy owners expected when they drafted him in the 4-5 round range of last year's drafts.

With all of that said, what can we expect from Rodgers' fantasy value this season?

While having Adams back is a boost to Rodgers' fantasy outlook, the team's overall lack of receiving weapons caps his upside. He already had the eighth-most attempts last year, so how much additional volume is even feasible?

Furthermore, LaFleur has a history of leading run-heavy offenses. We saw it in his time with the Rams when Todd Gurley ran for 279 attempts, and then we saw it again the following year with Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis of the Titans. Drafting AJ Dillon in the second round certainly doesn't quell any concerns over Green Bay stifling Rodgers' passing volume.

With the exception of the 2013 and 2017 seasons, where he went down to injury, Rodgers hasn't finished outside of the top 12 quarterbacks in a very long time. If there was ever a year for him to set a new precedent, however, it's this season. Considering he's being taken in the eighth round as the QB10 according to Fantasy Football Calculator, it's probably best to look elsewhere at the position in your drafts.

Running Backs

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If you're looking to get into a spicy fantasy football related twitter debate, look no further than Aaron Jones as your topic of discussion. I suppose that's the natural reaction to a running back who just put up 19 total touchdowns in a season.

Much like his quarterback, Jones wasn't the most consistent option throughout the year. He scored seven of his 16 rushing touchdowns in just two weeks. Additionally, there were five games that Jones finished as the RB36 or worse. So, yes, he's fully capable of winning you a week, but he's also prone to pull an Amari Cooper vanishing act from time to time.

Don't get me wrong, Jones is clearly the lead guy in this backfield. His talent is evident, and LaFleur has said time and time again that he wants to run the ball. Jones is still going to get his touches, but the rookie A.J. Dillon won't exclusively ride the pine either.

Last season, Jones saw 19 carries inside the 10-yard line, and 13 inside the five. Jamaal Williams was almost a non-factor on the ground in this area of the field. Queue A.J. Dillon. While Jones, a successful red zone runner, will continue to get carries, Dillon's presence near the goal line will threaten him more than Williams' did.

Dillon is a bruising back reminiscent of Derrick Henry, a former player coached by LaFleur. His build and playstyle make him the prototypical short-yardage running back.

Don't misunderstand me. Dillon is NOT Henry. I'm comparing player archetypes, not the player themselves.

Jones' 19 touchdowns are inevitably coming down this year. How much they're going to drop is the big question. If you were to take away seven of his 16 rushing touchdowns last year, he would have still finished as the RB7 in PPR. A repeat performance as a top 10 running back is not only possible, it's likely.

Before we move on, I want to acknowledge the Jamaal Williams supporters out there. I didn't forget about him. To be honest, he just wasn't worth mentioning as anything other than a late-round flier should something happen to Jones. Even then, he'd be competing with Dillon for touches.

Wide Receivers

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As if drafting a quarterback wasn't enough for Rodgers to deal with, the Packers then went on to not pick a single receiver in what is largely known as the deepest wide receiver class in recent draft history. Hey, Green Bay, what gives?

Instead, the team decided to sign Devin Funchess as an attempt to patchwork their wide receiver group. At least we know there's one Packer whose fantasy stock rose this offseason...

Davante Adams is once again the clear cut alpha in Green Bay's passing attack. Despite missing four games last season, Adams was tied for the 11th most red-zone targets. When he was finally healthy enough to take the field in Week 9, he finished the year as the WR4 in PPR from then on.

At most, Funchess will add slightly more red-zone appeal to the offense than the now Chicago Bear Jimmy Graham. So, Adams should once again finish among the top players in receiving touchdowns.

Then there's Allen Lazard...

The third-year receiver out of Iowa State has an opportunity to step up as Rodgers' number two guy. Let's face it, there are many different ways to interpret LaFleur's draft strategy. One potential explanation for the glaring omission of a wide receiver on their list of picks is that LaFleur believes in Lazard. He's shown bursts of playmaking ability, but he's going to need to make major strides if this offense hopes to improve.

Lazard is a fun sleeper to take late in drafts, but I'm not as optimistic as others about his potential fantasy value. After all, this is a player who was cut by the team, signed again to the practice squad, and then activated midseason. While some of what he showed was enough to pique our collective interest, our expectations need to be tempered.

Now, what to do about the rest of Green Bay's receivers? Hmm, this is a tough one.

Do not draft them. Don't you dare!

Tight Ends

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In five years, the best tight end fantasy finishes come from Jimmy Graham in 2018, and Richard Rodgers in 2015. They finished as the TE12 and TE11 respectively. Historically, Rodgers hasn't been a quarterback that relies on his tight ends. That's not the best way you'd like to start a conversation about Jace Sternberger.

Sternberger missed a good chunk of his rookie season due to an ankle injury that landed him on IR to start the year. Although he didn't catch a single pass as a rookie until the postseason, the team spent a third-round pick on him the year before in the hopes that he would eventually replace Graham.

Lacking experience, and playing with a quarterback who hasn't utilized his tight ends much, Sternberger has his work cut out for him if he wants to make a splash in fantasy. After all, Graham is only leaving behind 60 vacated targets at the position.

At the same time, if Lazard can't step up as the second option in the receiving game, Rodgers may have no choice but to look Sternberger's way.

He's an intriguing prospect, but unless you're playing in deeper leagues, it's best to avoid drafting Sternberger. If he does happen to hit, he'll be the waiver wire darling at the position next year.

Final Verdict

The Packers have seemingly taken a step back in the Super Bowl hunt this season. Thankfully, their division shouldn't be too difficult to win. Their biggest competition is Minnesota, but their defense is going to create some problems for the team.

As far as fantasy goes, Adams and Jones are the only players that offer top-five upside at their positions. There's sleeper appeal in Green Bay but invest wisely. There's going to be talk about Rodgers having a chip on his shoulder motivating him to perform, but we've been there, done that. Don't let the Packers of old cloud your judgment on draft day.

That's all for my 2020 Fantasy Football Green Bay Packers Preview, but if you want to see the other NFC North team previews, check out our Fantasy Football page!

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2020 season.

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1 comment

2020 Fantasy Football Stacks: Why It Works In Seasonal Fantasy Football - Fantasy Six Pack August 24, 2020 - 7:31 am

[…] key to stacking is hitting on the quarterback. Coming into the 2019 season, the Packers were thought to be one of the better teams to stack, led by Aaron Rodgers and his favorite target, Davante Adams. Adams still had a good […]


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