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2021 Dynasty Capsule: Green Bay Packers

We break down how the Green Bay Packers’ offense might look in 2021. Who will be the dynasty standouts?

Every year, we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the prior NFL season. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the season, we will not use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you will see below.

Buckle up dynasty fans, because you are about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”

The Green Bay Packers may have faltered in the “get past Tom Brady stakes”, as so many have, but they filled your dynasty rosters with fantasy goodness this season with a top-three quarterback, top-five running back and tight end, and the number one wide receiver.

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers (ADP 95.17, QB10)

Rodgers may not have been thrilled when the Packers went ahead and selected Jordan Love at the end of the first round last April. In fact, he was most likely looking forward to a new weapon to target rather than the target placed on his back after the selection was made, but it worked out to produce a QB3 finish on the year with a fantasy point haul unseen since his 2016 season.

Given his superb bounceback MVP season (that included eight top-five fantasy weeks) and his contract situation, Love will ride the pine for at least another season, and outside of injury-ravaged seasons, Rodgers continues to be a QB1 in fantasy.

There is little doubt the offensive line contributed to this renaissance as they kept him upright during the season allowing only 20 sacks, compared with 36 (2019) and 49 (2018) previously.

We’ll have to see if they bring Corey Linsley back, but they must be pleased with how Elgton Jenkins filled in across the line, when needed.

If the line can consistently give Rodgers time to do damage, he’ll continue to hurt your opponents every week.

Jordan Love (ADP 228.5, QB31)

It was a move that had social media all aflutter when the Packers drafted him. Some had the franchise blown up after the pick. Questions were asked like: “How could they?”, “What are they doing?” and “Does Rodgers ask for a trade?”

As for the Packers’ side of it, they seem to have been vindicated in hindsight. In Love, they have one of three things:

  • Best – The future
  • Middle – The insurance policy
  • Worst – Second-round pick? (given what Josh Rosen went for when done in Arizona)

As QB31 in the latest DLP ADP, Love is surely worth a stash on a taxi squad.

He’ll likely have to sit and develop in Green Bay for the entirety of his rookie deal, which hasn’t worked out for his compatriot. A different uniform may be his end result if the love isn’t reciprocated at Lambeau.

Running Back

Aaron Jones (ADP 25.33, RB16)

Are Green Bay going to pay Jones? Probably not. Should they pay him? I think not. Would it be best for both if he did re-sign? Yes

It would be in his own best interest to stay in an offense that uses him so well and behind an offensive line that helps no end. Green Bay were 12th in rush attempts and eighth in rushing yards.

The data is against Jones being an RB1 off into the future. My colleague, Shane Manila, has previously written a piece on when to sell out on these middle-aged RBs.

Yes, 25 years old is classified as being middle-aged in RB terms.

I’m not suggesting that he might not be an RB1 for your dynasty team next year, but would caution against him holding the value currently attached to him. He’s going to be a fun free agent piece to watch on the market, and there’s likely still a spike in value to be had on him depending on where he goes. It might be best to cash out now before the decline and look to mine the value of another crypto-RB stock.

AJ Dillon (ADP 81, RB25)

A second-round pick on an RB is not a throwaway piece. The Packers envisaged losing at least one of Jones/Jamaal Williams in the upcoming free agency period when they selected the Boston College behemoth.

Dillon gave a pretty impressive display of what he can offer in his outing against the Titans.

He didn’t get the touches to compete with his fellow rookies in 2020, but Green Bay didn’t need to mess with a formula that was working so well. With the anticipated loss of Jones, Dillon should be in prime position to be the next man up to take the handoffs from Rodgers.

The only issue with Dillon for your dynasty team is that if you don’t already own him, the price to acquire him has risen sharply to a point where I’d be uncomfortable paying given the limited playing time to date.

Jamaal Williams (ADP 132.33, RB42)

Williams is definitely your guy if you want to hold onto the ball or add that bit extra to your pass protection. He’s an absolute beast when it comes to those aspects of the game. In fact, I believe he hasn’t fumbled the ball once since entering the NFL. So, he’s okay, I suppose.

That’s about all the positives I can project onto Williams.

I wouldn’t get too excited about seeing his name on any of my fantasy rosters. He has had his chances in Green Bay and never lit up Lambeau. He might end up staying if his expectations aren’t outrageous and he can spell Dillon as he did Jones.

They could also look to add a cheap veteran or draft someone. Minimal investment at RB will be their modus operandi this off-season with money needed elsewhere.

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams (ADP 7, WR2)

Yes, he is a special player, who has a special relationship with another special player.

He’s as bulletproof as it gets and has provided WR1 numbers in 82.93% of his games since 2018.

There are always arguments over who is the best WR in the league. Adams just goes out and tears teams apart week in and week out. To compare him with another alpha receiver in the conversation, DeAndre Hopkins only supplied WR1 numbers 68.09% of the time in the same period.

Adams is a guaranteed ten-plus target-per-game player, and averages 7.5 receptions per game the past three years. That’s 7.5 PPR points straight up before he runs a yard or dances in the end zone, which he managed to do 18 times in the past season.

The TD numbers may not be repeatable but give him a respectable baker’s dozen and he’d still be tied for fourth among receivers last season.

Courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

The only downside to buying in on Adams’ value as it stands is the fact that he is due to become a free agent in the next off-season. You can only hope and pray that any front office agitation doesn’t upset the on-field production.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ADP 157.83, WR71)

So, everyone on the WR depth chart behind Adams is playing a different game.

Valdes-Scantling did sometimes dig Rodgers and the Packers out of a hole with the constant threat of him getting behind you with his speed, but the problem is he’s just not good enough at catching the ball with all of his frustrating drops. He had seven in 2020.

He finished up the season as WR44 and that’s his ceiling it seems in this offense. He’s due to hit free agency at the end of the upcoming season also and he’ll hardly be a priority guy to re-sign.

Allen Lazard (ADP 139.17, WR62)

Lazard is an ERFA who is a little more intriguing of a fantasy play to me. He went undrafted out of Iowa State, having been a four-star recruit, but his size and how he uses it have helped him become more than a guy who sometimes lines up as an H-back.

He excels doing the dirty work but he has earned Rodgers’ trust in big-play situations and started 2020 as the WR2, out-snapping MVS 188-145 over the first three weeks, including a breakout game against the New Orleans Saints where he hauled in six of eight targets for 146 yards and a touchdown before he missed several games due to having surgery on a core muscle injury.

This picture could have been telling a whole different story of the 2020 season.

There are a plethora of other names on the WR depth chart in Green Bay, but none that need to garner a roster spot on your fantasy team. With no receivers under contract for 2022, we may see a new name emerge from the NFL Draft come April.

Tight End

Robert Tonyan (ADP 105.33, TE8)

“Bobby” Tonyan has catapulted himself from TE19 to TE8 in ADP in the year just gone.

He now finds himself ahead of Evan Engram, Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, Irv Smith Jr, and Austin Hooper, just to name a few.

Undrafted, picked up by the Detroit Lions, released, then signed up to the Packers practice squad, he worked his way into playing time to become Rodgers’ Mr Dependable. There is little doubt he’ll be signed back up to continue his role, that being to catch everything thrown at him. It’ll be interesting to see how highly they actually value him as they go about re-signing him though and what dollar amount eventually gets attached to him.

His catch rate was remarkable – 88.1% on 59 targets for 586 yards and 11 TDs, hauling in 10 of 11 targets in the red zone for seven TDs.

What do you pay to get a guy like Tonyan on your roster?

Jace Sternberger (ADP 240.67, TE44) and Josiah Deguara (N/A)

The other rostered TEs of note are a pair of third-round picks in the past two drafts.

Sternberger missed some time in 2020 due to a concussion, and that time left the opportunity open for Tonyan to do what he did. Deguara spent his rookie campaign on IR due to an ACL tear.

There is still a chance for these guys given the long journey most TEs take to adjust to the NFL. I wouldn’t particularly envisage either as dynasty stashes unless it’s some sort of TE-premium league.

2021 Dynasty Capsule: Green Bay Packers
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