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Super Deep Fantasy Sleepers: Green Bay Packers

The RotoViz team is hard at work digging deep to uncover the most buried and overlooked sleepers for all 32 teams in the fantasy football landscape.

These are the guys that seemingly have no shot at significance, but with a little imagination and a little luck, could pay off in deeper formats.

Next up, two deep sleepers for the Green Bay Packers.

Many quarterbacks struggle to support multiple viable fantasy starters — Aaron Rodgers is not one of those Quarterbacks.

There have been a lot of changes in the Packers pass catching corps this offseason — Rodgers favorite target Jordy Nelson is no longer on the roster. Outside of last year when Rodgers missed the majority of the season and the 2015 season which Nelson missed due to a torn ACL, Nelson has been Rodgers’ top receiver.

 

jordy-seasons

Who Will Get Those Targets in 2018?

At present, it looks like the main share of those targets will go to Devante Adams and Jimmy Graham, with Randall Cobb as the next in line for targets. That trio could all see triple-digit targets in 2018. Even so, Rodgers will still have more than 200 targets to pass out. Most teams’ WR3s won’t make an impact, but on an offense led by Rodgers, we might want to take a closer look.

Many are looking to third-year WR Geronimo Allison. Allison had an 8.9% target share in 2017. As the senior member he is at an advantage, but he faces competition from the three rookie WRs the Packers drafted on Day 3. One of them — Marquez Valdes-Scantling — projects as a pure deep threat, but the other two rookies could make for interesting late-round picks. It is likely only one of the following two players can truly emerge, but whoever that is could be in line for a decent number of targets from one of the best QBs in the league.

J’Mon Moore

ADP: WR96

Scenario: Cobb’s ankle limits his productivity / he continues to decline

Moore was the first WR the Packers selected in the draft at 133 overall. He finished his three-year college career with 156 catches for 2,444 yards and 21 TDs. He also had an impressive 15.7 yards per catch thanks to his success on 20-plus-yard catches, third highest in the SEC. At 6 feet 3 inches, 207 pounds with a 4.49 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, Moore has an 85th-percentile SPARQ score. He did turn in an impressive 6.56 3-cone time at the NFL combine.

Considering his elite agility, Moore could replace Cobb in the slot in case of injury or if Cobb’s recently reported ankle surgery limits him in any way. It has been four years since Cobb surpassed 1,000 receiving yards. In the time since then he’s failed to meet opportunity-based expectations on the whole, barely turning in a positive mark in receiving fantasy points over expectation in each of the last two seasons following a disastrous 2015.

cobb-seasons

Although Cobb likely has the WR2 position secured, his recent performance suggests it may be easier for Moore to emerge than we think.

Equanimeous St. Brown

ADP: WR99

Scenario: Adams and Graham fail to replicate peak Jordy

St. Brown slid to pick 207 in the draft, but landing in Green Bay could turn out to be perfect for him. At 6 feet 5 inches and 214 pounds, he ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine, giving him a 93rd-percentile speed score. He finished his college career with 92 receptions for 1,484 yards and 13 TDs.

St. Browns’s size and athleticism should give him an opportunity to be a factor in the red zone. If Rodgers and Graham fail to find chemistry or Adams doesn’t replace Nelson as well as the fantasy community is hoping, then St. Brown may be in line for increased touchdown opportunities. Given how effective Rodgers has been when targeting Nelson over the years, asking either Adams or Graham to replicate that production is a tall task.

rodgers-aya

St. Brown was the last of the three WRs picked by the Packers in the 2018 draft. But he could get his shot to be Rodgers’ favorite red-zone target if the team determines they aren’t getting what they need from receivers above him on the depth chart. And if they are hoping for Nelson-like performances from either Adams or Graham (or a combination), that day might come sooner than we expect.

Conclusion

Before the draft, St. Brown was projected to go higher than Moore on almost every draft board. And despite the reversal in actual draft capital, they are being selected at almost the exact same value in recent dynasty rookie drafts.

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Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 2.09.47 PM

If both are available, Moore is my first selection, but I’m happy to take a chance on St. Brown as well. The Packers’ current depth chart at WR makes the most likely scenario that Allision, St. Brown and Moore steal targets from each other. But any of the rookies could surprise us with an early breakout. And an injury to one of the three top Green Bay pass catchers could turn one of these rookie lottery tickets into a winner.

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