I am being 100% serious when I say that a reoccurring nightmare of mine is waking up to Week 1 of the NFL season and having forgotten to draft my fantasy teams. I LOVE fantasy football. I have loved it since my dad took me too my first draft where him and his buddies had prints offs and a whiteboard. But what I loved most was winning that same year with Shaun Alexander at our helm. Now, I look to do the same in my first Dynasty League.
I have been blessed enough to bring home a number of trophies. I play in 2-4 leagues a year (which helps my chances greatly) but what has eluded me until this year is a dynasty league. Starting this Saturday, I will be drafting my startup squad with the first overall pick at my back but no Packers on my big board just yet.
But that got me thinking, where is the best value to snag a Cheesehead on my team? With Davante Adams gone and A-Rod soon looking into the sunset, what are the best options?
To keep it more long-term I didn’t include Rodgers in this. If you have just a PHENOMENAL team and are going for a year 1 or 2 championship, get him. Otherwise, steer clear. My ADP’s are an average of 5 rankings I found.
So here they are. The top 5 Packers ranked by how I see their value compared to their average draft position (ADP).
*selfishly modeled after my Superflex (W/R/TE/QB) PPR league with 10 teams*
5. Robert Tonyan – ADP: 17.7 (round 17, pick 7)
Robert Tonyan was a beast in 2020. He racked up a gnarly 11 TD on just 52 receptions and was one of the highest rated pass-catchers in terms of passer rating when targeted. But sadly, 2021 was a 180. He struggled to be a consistent force even before tearing his ACL.
Now on a 1-year prove it deal with the Packers while coming off a major injury, I don’t think I would touch him before Round 20 (my league has 26 rounds).
MAYBE he has a good year. And MAYBE he goes to a team that has a QB that can put it where it needs to be after the Packers. But it breaks my heart to say that I think there is a very real world where he was a one-hit wonder who will take a backseat to younger, better blocking TEs around the league.
For what its worth, would love to be wrong here.
4. Aaron Jones – ADP: 5.8
First of all this is NOT a knock on Jones. I have already stated that he is the NFL’s most valuable running back. But part of that value is his lack of need to be on the field and his great pass-blocking. There is also the possibility us Packer fans like to avoid thinking of, which is that his contract could be tough to keep on the books down the road.
I love Aaron Jones as a player and think he will be successful down the road, but round 5 or even 6 is too early to grab a guy who may be splitting the workload close to 50/50 and is the older RB on the team.
Round 7 and on, jump on him. But not before that.
3. Christina Watson – ADP: 10.1
I actually think this is a spot on value for Christian Watson because this is the area you take a high-flying shot. It’s where you reach for the guy who COULD win you the league for years to come. That is Christian Watson.
The top college DBs in the league rated him as the hardest WR to guard at the senior bowl. He is an athletic marvel that has every chance to burn this league down, but there are also question marks.
He has had a few drops in camp and a lot of people question his lack of experience against top notch talent (weird, heard very little of that with 3rd overall pick Trey Lance last year). I think he could very well be a rotational player this year and a week-to-week starter for a long time in the future.
Halfway through round 9? Pull the trigger.
2. AJ Dillon – ADP: 8.4
AJ Dillon was all over the map in my research, which means people probably feel strongly about him one way or another. For myself, at halfway through the 8th round I see Dillon as an absolute steal.
His ADP is almost a full three rounds after counterpart Aaron Jones who is older, tends to miss a game or two, and will probably see an even spit. This one is freaking no-brainer. If the truck-stick of a human AJ Dillon is around in round 7, strongly consider him. Round 8? Have it queued up and don’t waste anymore of your time.
‘1. Allen Lazard – ADP: 16.3
I cannot emphasize enough the crime that is getting Allen Lazard in round 16. He is going to be Green Bay’s WR1 for this year and at most likely next year. After that he will be sticking around as a possession receiver with full knowledge of the system.
If you have ever watched a game where the Packers work through him then you know what I am talking about.
In 2020 he went off for 6 catches for 146 yards and a TD against a “dominant” Saints secondary without Adams there to pull the coverage. In 2021 he had 3 games over 70 yards even fighting injury and having Adams healthy for the entire year.
He has the tools. He has the QBs trust. And now he has the opportunity.
He is not the best WR in the league, but he is on the Packers. And that is enough to make him a must pick any time after round 13. Maybe even round 12.
PJ is an Ohio native who was fortunate enough to be born into the green and gold family through his father who grew up in Green Bay. He now resides in NYC where he is an avid fan and fantasy football player. You can follow him on twitter at @roden_pj.