By Jordan Huenink
With the start of each NFL season comes everyone’s second favorite sport – fantasy football. And with fantasy football comes the need for fantasy football knowledge. So consider me your official “Bringer of All Knowledge.”
But if that seems a little too hyperbolic for your liking, just consider me a veteran fantasy football enthusiast who is itching to share his insight, intelligence and intuition with you, the fantasy footballer. Whether you’re a rookie manager looking to get your toes wet in the wading pool of mock drafts, sleepers and the waiver wire, or a seasoned manager wanting to dive deeper into auction drafts, ADP and FAAB budgets, I’ll do my darndest to get you the information you want and need. I’ve won a few leagues, and I’ve lost a few leagues, but I hope that through my experiences you’ll be able to improve your fantasy football I.Q. so you can make a run at your league championship in 2014.
While the main drive of this series (and the blog as a whole) is to focus on the Packers, I will also occasionally be touching on players from around the league in the form of weekly game previews / recaps and player profiles and comparisons. As we get closer to the start of the season, I’ll be posting positional rankings, and letting you know how to approach and execute your league’s draft.
For starters, let’s take a brief look at the Packers who are going to play a role in this year’s fantasy football landscape.
1. Aaron Rodgers is a no-brainer. He is hands down one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and consistently a Top 10 fantasy football quarterback. Before getting hurt in Week 9 of last year, he was on pace to be the third-highest fantasy scoring quarterback in the NFL with an average of 25.8 points per week. He would have finished only behind Peyton Manning (31.0 ppg) and Drew Brees (27.3 ppg). Despite losing James Jones and Jermichael Finley in the passing game, look for Rodgers to keep up those type of fantasy numbers – especially if they end up running 75 plays a game.
2. Jordy Nelson finished the season as the #11 fantasy wide receiver in the league, finishing ahead of players like Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon. As Rodgers’ favorite target, look for Jordy to make the leap into the Top 10 this year. He should be targeted as a fantasy team’s WR1, and will bring you fantastic productivity if you’re fortunate enough to draft him.
3. Randall Cobb is another powerful weapon when it comes to fantasy football – as long as he can stay on the field. His versatility definitely makes him a hot commodity during a fantasy draft. With last year’s injury, he finished out of the Top 50, but look for him to bounce back to his rightful place as a solid WR2.
4. Eddie Lacy burst onto the fantasy football scene last year with a stellar rookie campaign. His 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns were enough for #7 among all running backs – despite essentially missing two games. Lacy has been a Top 5 pick in mock drafts so far this off-season- and will most like only be available to you if you land a top five pick.
5. Jarrett Boykin filled in nicely last year when Cobb got injured, and his 2013 productivity has made him a popular WR3 – WR4 option going into 2014. His value is also boosted by the fact that the Packers have not named a starting tight end yet. As long as Boykin can fend off the competition of Davante Adams for the #3 WR on the Packers, look for him to put up the kind of numbers that we were used to seeing from James Jones.
Leading up to the season, watch for weekly posts from me as training camps start and position battles flare up. In the meantime, feel free to participate in mock drafts via Fantasy Football Calculator. I use this great site to get an idea for the flow of a typical, fantasy draft. It also shows me where certain players tend to get drafted, and reveals to me what players I gravitate towards when my pick comes around each round.
Also, visit our Facebook page for information on the official Packer Perspective fantasy football league! We have ten spots available – first come, first serve!