Fantasy football owners had high hopes for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb last year after he had 80 receptions for 954 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012, and with 29 catches for 378 yards over the first five games he was fulfilling those expectations. But he suffered a broken right fibula in Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens and did return until the regular season finale. Cobb will be a prominent part of Green Bay’s offense again this year, and with quarterback Aaron Rodgers back to full strength too his fantasy stock remains high.
Leaving out his limited role in Week 17, Cobb averaged nine targets per game in the other five games he played. He is already in line for an expanded offensive role with the departure of James Jones in free agency, and if the Packers follow through on their reported desire to take him off of return duties Cobb’s fantasy prospects will be boosted even further.
Cobb played primarily out of the slot last year, but wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett suggested early in the offseason that he could line up on the outside more this year. Cobb had a catch rate close to 77 percent in 2012 (104 targets), and even in an abbreviated season last year his catch rate was solid (66 percent).
Cobb is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and even with talk he and the team may agree to an extension before the season he’ll have extra motivation to perform well.
Cobb has not played all 16 games in any of his three NFL seasons, and his slight build (5’10”, 191 lbs.) adds constant injury risk. Cobb is not likely to be a prominent red zone option, even though he had more red zone targets last year (nine) in six games than he had in all of 2012 (eight).
While potentially not having kick return duties is a good thing overall, it does dampen Cobb’s value in leagues that count return yardage.
I thought Cobb was an overrated fantasy option heading into last year, and since he is the No. 10 wide receiver in ESPN.com’s first rankings I’m inclined to feel the same way this year. A fully healthy season puts 100 catches within range for Cobb this year, which makes him a potential stud in PPR leagues with a yardage total that should follow suit, but I don’t see him getting double-digit touchdowns and that keeps him out of consideration as a WR1 in standard leagues.
Bye Week: Week 9
Projected Round: Third or Fourth Round
Auction Value: $29 (ESPN.com)