Aaron Rodgers threw for 4,434 yards and 30 touchdowns a season ago.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In the 10th edition of a series, we head back to the NFC North and check out the Green Bay Packers. The Packers were 11-5 in 2009, finishing second to Minnesota in the division. They scored 28.8 ppg on offense (third-best among 32 teams) while yielding 18.6 ppg on defense (seventh-best).
Aaron Rodgers - Rodgers was the fourth or fifth quarterback selected in 2009, but edged out all the "big names" for the "fantasy quarterback title" after a fantastic season. He threw for 4,434 yards and 30 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. That was enough to match the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. But Rodgers also used his legs and his 316 yards rushing along with five touchdowns put him over the top. The team brings back all their "skill" position players and drafted tackle Bryan Bulaga out of Iowa to shore up the offensive line. Given all his weapons, there is every reason to believe that Rodgers will repeat last year's performance. He'll have to, since he's currently going No.1 among quarterbacks with an ADP (Average Draft Position) of 9.
Ryan Grant - Grant showed improvement over the previous season primarily because he found his way into the endzone 11 times in 2009. That was a seven touchdown gain over 2008 and gave fantasy owners a glimpse of what they saw in the second half of 2007 which made him so valuable. However, he still only cracked the 100-yard mark three times, missing the bonus by less than 10 yards on four other occasions. The Packers will continue to be a pass-first offense (2009 - 553 passing attempts vs. 438 rushes) and it appears that Grant's upper limit is restricted. The team also selected James Starks (6'2", 217 lbs out of the University of Buffalo) in the sixth round and he might steal some goal line carries from Grant. Grant currently has an ADP of 20, the 11th running back off the board, which might be a little high given all the factors working against him.
Brandon Jackson- Jackson was in and out of the lineup last year with injuries, but even when he got on the field, didn't see much action. Only once did he get more than six carries in a game. Jackson is primarily a third-down receiving back and barring injury to Grant has no fantasy value this year.
Greg Jennings - Jennings posted his second consecutive year receiving at least 1,100 yards, but his touchdown total has been dropping since his breakout campaign in 2007 when he scored 12 times. Last year saw him reach the endzone just four times and combined with a mid-season slump which saw him go from Week 4 to Week 10 without a 100-yard receiving day, had fantasy owners complaining. As a result, Jennings has fallen from an ADP of 18 last year to around 30 this time around. The drop could make him a bargain this season.
Donald Driver- For the sixth consecutive season and seventh in eight years, Driver posted at least 1,000 yards receiving. Despite his age (35-years old) he continues to produce and given the team's receiving corps that should continue. He needs 507 yards to be the Packers' franchise leader in receiving yardage and is a solid No.3 fantasy receiver.
James Jones - Although Jones is the No.3 wideout on a passing-oriented offense, with the emergence of tight end Jermichael Finley as a pass-catching threat Jones' production and corresponding fantasy value is limited. Jones caught 32 balls for 440 yards and five scores last season, but barring injury to Jennings or Driver doesn't seem likely to have much to contribute in 2010. None of the other wideouts on the roster (Jordy Nelson, Patrick Williams or Brett Swain) have any fantasy value either.
Jermichael Finley- inley had just one good game during the first half of the 2009 regular season, but came on in the second half and really showed his value in the Packers' 51-45 playoff loss at Arizona when he hauled in six catches for 159 yards and was basically unstoppable. Big things are expected of Finley who has seen his ADP rise from 155 last year (17th tight end off the board), to No.60 this year and the fifth tight end selected in a season where there are a lot of talented players at his position. He'll still give you "fair market value" as a fifth-round selection, but he won't be a "steal."
Mason Crosby - Crosby finished fourth in kicker scoring, but missed too many field goals, going 27-for-36. In leagues where missed field goals cost you a point or more, that's just way too many. Still, it's a prolific offense in Green Bay and Crosby will go early. He's currently the fifth kicker off the board with an ADP of 190.
The Packers' defense/special teams overachieved in 2009. They were drafted around 11th, but finished the season as the No.3 scoring D/ST with 143 points. A league-leading 30 interceptions of a team total of 40 turnovers was the primary reason and the team returned four of them for touchdowns. The Packers are currently being selected at No.128, making them the fourth defense off the board behind the New York Jets, Minnesota and Philadelphia.
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