By: Bill Tewes
On the heels of National Draft week for Fantasy football, millions of fans worldwide are scrambling to find a player who most of their league will overlook. We all tend to read articles on sleepers and “can’t miss guys” and still end up missing players we should have drafted all along. With that being said, here are three Green Bay Packers I think will be pleasant surprises this year and all three of these players can be had at the back end of your draft.
Most people are looking at this name and already laughing at me for suggesting it. Adams had an abysmal season last year while fighting through injuries and dropping balls in big impact situations. The good news is that Adams has more poise this preseason and has shown that he is still capable of making difficult catches as well as running crisp routes. The coaching staff still believes in Adams and so does Aaron Rodgers. It now rests on his shoulders to prove them right. With Jordy Nelson back in the fold and Randall Cobb healthy, I can see Adams taking advantage of the attention those two will get and having a much better season than last year. For drafting him after the 11th round, it is conceivable to get WR3 value out of him and if he really exceeds expectations (which are definitely lower this year), he has the talent to break into the WR2 discussion.
Average Draft Selection (Yahoo): 123.5 (11th Round)
Their Projection: 514 yards, 4 touchdowns
My Projection: 745 yards, 6 touchdowns, 62 receptions
All it takes for one to believe in Jared Cook is to see him in action this preseason. Cook is an imposing force to be reckoned with and now has a future Hall of Fame quarterback throwing him the ball. Cook has been consistently impressive in both training camp and all three of Green Bay’s preseason games so far. Cook hauled in four of his five targets for 54 yards and so far has put to sleep any questions about his habit of dropping balls. While Richard Rodgers may steal away a few touchdowns, Cook should be Rodgers’ primary target at the tight end position going forward.
Average Draft Selection (Yahoo): 133 (12th Round)
Their Projection: 527 yards, 4.7 touchdowns
My projection: 620 yards, 5 touchdowns, 46 receptions
Green Bay Def/ST
There are various outlooks when it comes to drafting defenses. Some users prefer drafting one defense and sticking with them, others go week to week and I’ve even seen some users not even draft or start a defense (don’t laugh, its true!). It is not out of the question for the Green Bay Packers’ defense to ascend to the upper echelon of defenses. While some fantasy owners are going to draft the expected top defenses earlier (Seattle, Denver, Arizona etc) as early as the 5th-6th round, you can get a potential top five defense as late as the last round of your draft. Many people are overlooking Green Bay’s defense and not recognizing the strides it’s secondary has made as well as it’s consistent defensive line play. That, coupled with the fact that Green Bay has the “easiest” schedule in all of the league and does not travel out west this year, I can see them turning in a great season as far as fantasy goes.
Average Draft Selection (Yahoo): 132.9 (12th Round)
Their projection: Points allowed: 352, Sack: 40.3, Int: 17.9, Fumb: 8.6, TD: 3.5
My Projection: Points allowed: 295, Sack: 46, Int: 20, Fumb: 8.2, TD: 5