2013 Fantasy Football: How Aaron Rodgers’ Return Impacts Fantasy Value Of Green Bay Packers

By Dustin Manko
Aaron Rodgers
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday I wrote about how you should try to add Aaron Rodgers to your fantasy football team in case the Green Bay Packers announced that he would be starting. On Thursday, official word came down that Rodgers will in fact start Sunday against the Chicago Bears. By now, if Rodgers was ever available in any league, odds are that he isn’t now. But football is a team game, and his return will have an impact on not just the quarterback pool this weekend, but on the majority of the other Packers players.

Perhaps the player getting the biggest boost in value is wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Nelson struggled without Rodgers in the lineup. After averaging 15.27 standard fantasy points per game with Rodgers from weeks one through eight, Nelson was averaging only 7.05 points during the absence of Rodgers from the lineup. Rodgers will target his favorite receiver deep on a few plays and all Nelson needs is to break one off and he will have a solid fantasy day.

Eddie Lacy will see an increase due to less pressure in the box, leading to more room for Lacy to run the ball against softer fronts. He averaged about 15 more yards per game with Rodgers under center, but if I was a Lacy owner, I would be slightly concerned with a decrease in red zone touches. When Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn were starting, Lacy was the obvious focal point of the offense. While I still think he finds pay dirt, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has fewer attempts than he has over the last two months.

James Jones has been a decent WR3 for the majority of the season, I like his chances of booming better with Rodgers in the lineup. He drives fantasy owners mad with his inconsistent stat lines, but Rodgers does like to take deep shots and with Nelson commanding defensive attention, it wouldn’t be unfathomable that Jones gets behind the secondary for a deep score. He was a low end WR3 without Rodgers, and is now a high end WR3 with him.

Randall Cobb is expected to play this weekend, but I would be hesitant of starting him. Like Jones it certainly is possible that Cobb finds his way into a scoring play, but odds are that Cobb will be on a limited snap count and eased back into the lineup. He hasn’t played since week six, and there will more than likely be rust. He will most probably get some work in short routes and return duties. He is worth a hold in all dynasty/keeper formats.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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