Fantasy Football

Fantasy Team Preview: Packers

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John Halpin

John Halpin has been a fantasy contributor for since 2007. He has written and co-hosted webcasts about fantasy football for, and managed websites for the NHL, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Network. Listen to his "Fantasy 15 Podcast" on and follow him on Twitter.


Overall outlook: The NFL’s fourth-highest scoring offense let Greg Jennings depart via free agency, but drafted a couple of running backs that might interest you. With the same guy calling the signals, this will again be a potent fantasy unit.

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Bye week: 4

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers

Ranked a close second behind Drew Brees with 419.6 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked eighth in passing yards (4,295) and second in touchdowns (39), and was picked off just eight times … Also ran for 259 yards, which doesn’t make him Cam Newton, but did rank him seventh among QBs … Has run 50-plus times for 200-plus yards in each of his five seasons as a starter, with 18 TDs over that span … Is the consensus No. 1 QB among fantasy experts, and you should expect another stellar season.

Running back: Eddie Lacy

The Packers drafted Lacy in the second round out of Alabama … Ran for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns last season … At 230 lbs., could end up in a thunder/lightning pairing with fellow draftee Jonathan Franklin … Going as a low-end RB3 in the early going, but the extent of his timeshare might not be clear until deep into the preseason … Seems to get nicked up a lot.

Running back: Jonathan Franklin

The Packers drafted Franklin in the fourth round out of UCLA … Ran for 1,700 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, and added 32 receptions for 319 yards … Getting some RB3 love from some analysts, but playing time is unclear … Smaller and quicker than Lacy, and some think he’s a better runner … Some upside here, if you think one Pack back can get the ball enough to be a fantasy contributor.

Running back: DuJuan Harris

Didn’t play much during the 2012 regular season, but ran 28 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the Pack’s two postseason games … Appeared to have a bright 2013 ahead before the draft brought Lacy and Franklin to Green Bay … Still in the mix, but no more than an RB5 flier unless the preseason shows him to be in line to contribute.

Wide receiver: Randall Cobb

Ranked 18th in standard scoring with 154.6 points … Broke out in his second season, catching 80 passes (17th in the NFL) for 954 yards (24th) and eight touchdowns (T-15) … Also lined up in the backfield occasionally, running 10 times for 132 yards … Is better in PPR formats, but as Rodgers’ favorite target, has entered the fantasy WR1 conversation for his third NFL season.



Halpin and Meyer break down all 32 NFL teams for fantasy football value.

Wide receiver: Jordy Nelson

Ranked 30th with 118.5 fantasy points in just 12 games … Caught 73 passes for 745 yards and seven touchdowns … If he lands somewhere close to halfway between his spectaculat 2011 and disappointing 2012, will be a strong WR2.

Wide receiver: James Jones

Ranked 16th with 162.4 fantasy points in 2012, thanks to 14 touchdown receptions … So why is Jones a WR3 on most draftboards? Because he was T-34 in receptions (64) and 44th in receiving yards (784) … Jones will be a good fantasy wideout again, but his 2012 TD total was probably a bit of a fluke.

Tight end: Jermichael Finley

Holy disappointment, Batman! Finley ranked 19th with 76.7 fantasy points in 2012 after being drafted as a top-six TE … Caught 61 passes for 667 yards and two touchdowns, but appeared to earn a spot in Rodgers’ doghouse after some early-season drops … Very talented, and could bounce back as a TE2, but we’ve heard this before, right?

Placekicker: Mason Crosby

Ranked 14th with 125 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked 10th with 33 field goal attempts, but struggled with accuracy, converting just 21 … Thanks to his team’s terrific offense, ranked fourth with 50 extra points … If his accuracy returns, could become a low-end PK1 again, but don’t reach for him on draft day.

Team defense (DST)

Ranked 18th with 114 fantasy points in 2012 … Were fourth in sacks (47), 10th in interceptions (18) and 11th in yards allowed (5,388), but recovered just five fumbles and scored only four touchdowns … Because of the sacks, not a bad idea as a low-end DST1 on draft day.

Tagged: Packers, Aaron Rodgers, James Jones

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