Packers fantasy football primer

Jul 31, 2018; Ashwaubenon, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) talks with tight end Emanuel Byrd (86) during Green Bay Packers Training Camp at Ray Nitschke Field.  Mandatory Credit: Jim Matthews/Green Bay Press-Gazette via USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback shouldn’t be your top priority in a fantasy football draft, but — especially in leagues around Wisconsin — if you want Aaron Rodgers, you’re going to have to be aggressive to land him.

So how early is too early to draft the Green Bay Packers quarterback?

We looked at five leaders in the fantasy industry — ESPN, CBS, Yahoo Sports, Fantasy Football Calculator and Fantasy Pros — to search each site’s average draft position (ADP) assigned to Packers players, based on the opinions of experts and results of online drafts around the country.

There are two numbers to keep in mind here: the overall ADP (average of all five sites) and which round that pick corresponds with, based on (and this is important) a standard snake draft in a 12-team league.

In your standard re-draft leagues with normal scoring and rules, there are eight Packers players that should be selected: Rodgers, receivers Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, running backs Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery, tight end Jimmy Graham and kicker Mason Crosby.

Player ESPN CBS Yahoo! FFC FantasyPros Overall ADP Round (12-team draft)
WR Davante Adams 22.1 22.5 17.9 18.9 18.4 20.0 Round 2, Pick 8
QB Aaron Rodgers 26.9 18.7 22.7 29.7 25.4 24.7 Round 3, Pick 1
TE Jimmy Graham 54.8 51.2 48.9 50.0 51.6 51.3 Round 5, Pick 3
RB Jamaal Williams 114.4 89.9 120.5 67.4 84.2 95.3 Round 8, Pick 11
WR Randall Cobb 80.2 95.4 123.0 93.7 98.6 98.2 Round 9, Pick 2
RB Aaron Jones 132.3 132.2 110.3 86.1 108.4 113.9 Round 10, Pick 5
RB Ty Montgomery 114.6 124.8 122.1 112.6 127.8 120.4 Round 10, Pick 12
K Mason Crosby 141.8 162.2 133.4 166.8 213.0 162.8 Round 14, Pick 7

On average, Rodgers is flying off draft boards with the first pick of the third round (25th overall). CBS ranks him worthy of an early second-round pick, and all five sites rank him as its top quarterback.

So if you really want Rodgers on your squad, reach into the middle or even early picks of the second round. Just be wary of the surplus of other reliable options at quarterback you can scoop in the middle rounds, such as Andrew Luck, Matt Stafford or Kirk Cousins.

Running back, on the other hand, is a bit of a mystery in Green Bay. Remember: Montgomery and Williams will handle the load for two weeks while Jones serves his suspension. Chances are one of the three will rise to RB2 status by year’s end.

The experts are most intrigued by Williams, who is owned in 93.9 percent of CBS leagues, 79.1 percent ESPN leagues and slotted ahead of the other two options in all but one occasion (Yahoo has Jones ahead of Williams). Go with your gut here, but if you’re looking for a higher ceiling, Jones or Williams would be your answer over Montgomery.

Graham was one of the league’s best fantasy tight ends for years while catching passes from Drew Brees in New Orleans, but his star has faded a bit recently. Signing up to catch passes from an all-time great means nothing but good things for Graham’s fantasy stock, but Rodgers’ ability to build chemistry with a free-agent tight end remains suspect (see Bennett, Martellus).

If you whiff on the three elite tight ends (Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz), Graham is a great pick in the fourth or fifth round.

And finally, Crosby is always a solid option at kicker, especially if you haven’t selected any Packers yet. Three of the sites rank the 33-year-old as a top-12 fantasy kicker.