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How should fantasy managers approach the Green Bay passing game?

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In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast podcast, Andy Behrens, Scott Pianowski, and Daldon Del Don look at Aaron Rodgers fantasy value alongside receivers Allen Lazard and rookie Christian Watson

Video Transcript

ANDY BEHRENS: The Packers have something like 240 wide receiver targets that have been vacated. And, you know, we know that they have some veterans who are gonna be part of the solution. They also brought in Christian Watson out of North Dakota State.

Watson is a guy who, I think, in his most voluminous game last year maybe caught six passes, right? Finished the season with 40-some receptions, 800 yards. Not a high-volume passing offense, obviously. It was his best season. Better than the year that he had with the great Trey Lance, in fact.

But just hyper-athletic, right? 6-foot-5. Tested at the top of the charts in basically everything. So pretty exciting prospect facing a big learning curve. What do you guys think is realistic for Watson in year one?

DALTON DEL DON: I ranked Lazard the highest Packers receiver. Niners fan wanted Watson because of the Lance connection. But you said it, yeah, a big learning curve. My takeaway is Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon both might finish top 15 fantasy backs in PPR leagues, maybe even both top 10. Both top 10, honestly. They might.

Because if you look on/off splits without Adams and Aaron Jones, it's just insane the amount of targets it increases without Adams. So there's gonna be a lot of dump-offs and a lot of touches from both those running backs because it is just a weak wide receiver and tight end group.

Yeah, I'm not that-- it's a nice spot for Watson, but I'm not ranking him totally aggressively and excited to draft him. Like I said, I'm probably gonna draft Lazard over him.

ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah, so I've got Lazard at wide receiver 35. I've had him in the mid-30s for, I don't know, a month or so. I thought he was a pretty clear winner here. I think it might be right that Aaron Jones leads the team in receiving, maybe in both receiving yards and receptions. But, like, I thought this played out about as well as it possibly could for Lazard.

I don't know. How do you handicap it, Scott?

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, I was just gonna say that-- I was gonna ask you if wide receiver 39 was too high on Lazard, and I'm not even the highest Lazard guy in the room. With Aaron Rodgers, it feels like he was in college and he left some raging party. And everybody's like, oh, come back, come back. This is, like, the greatest party. Come back, come back. Oh, OK, I'll come back.

Oh, well, Davante Adams is gone, and we drafted a receiver that, there's an obvious case for, you know, maybe he's just a guy. And, oh, Sammy Watkins is around. Oh, Randall Cobb, you know him, right? You guys are friends, right? You met during orientation.

ANDY BEHRENS: [LAUGHS]

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: This is what Aaron Rodgers came back for? For this?

ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: You know? You have to get two great running backs. That's great. And I realize that they've been successful in the LaFleur era, but I think there's the chance-- for one thing, I don't care how late he slips, I'm not drafting Aaron Rodgers.

And it's gonna be-- like, you're gonna get the position, the very unusual position, where it's like, oh my God, Aaron Rodgers is still available? I can't believe the people who are already getting drafted over the defending two-time MVP, you know? And I don't want any part of it.

I'll take Lazard. He's gonna lead the team in targets. He's gonna probably just fall into, like, 1,000 yards and seven or eight touchdowns. And, remember, Rodgers is the circle of trust guy, and it's hard to get Aaron Rodgers' cell number and in that circle of trust. Lazard is in that circle of trust.

I don't know anybody else here who I'd be excited about. Amari Rodgers showed almost nothing last year. Maybe we'll see more of the touchdowns distributed to the Jones and Dillon effect and they'll try to play a lot of power football.

But I think Aaron Rodgers may, privately, to confidants, say, you know, I made a mistake. I should have tried to go somewhere else. I should have retired. I knew-- and they say that he knew that Adams was on the way out, that he wasn't blindsided by that. It just feels like he's in a ghost town right now.

ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah. To your point, Rodgers has lobbied for more Lazard at various points over the past couple years, so I think that's a pretty good sign. There's also still-- I don't know, Jarvis Landry's hanging out there. Maybe he does something for you.

There are clearly some receivers who could still be on the move. We already talked about Deebo, that either of the Seattle guys could potentially be on the move. You have to throw a bunch of money at them, but that is a thing that could still happen.

But for-- you know, another thing you said that sticks in my mind is that-- like, I'm almost embarrassed by some of the quarterbacks I have ranked ahead of Aaron Rodgers right now. I've got him in, like-- you know, I've got Derek Carr well ahead of him.

DALTON DEL DON: Oh wow. That is a hot take. I like it.

ANDY BEHRENS: Oh, Derek Carr's gonna throw--

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: There's nobody who would take an even money bet, Carr versus Rodgers, for fantasy right now, assuming full health. Nobody would touch that.

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