Aaron Rodgers, aside from being an eccentric NorCal zillionaire on a journey of self-fulfillment and personal discovery, aided by psychedelics and Ayurvedic treatments, he is truly one hell of a quarterback in both fantasy and reality. He is the back-to-back MVP, a 10-time Pro Bowler, the NFL leader in passer rating and touchdown rate in each of the last two seasons. He has had the lowest interception percentage in the league for four consecutive years.
Rodgers is proven and undeniably great at football.
He also goes into a season without Davante Adams as his teammate for the first time since 2013, so the Packers offense has entered a transition phase. Over the past four years, Adams has caught 47 touchdown passes in 57 games for Green Bay, averaging 10.8 goals and 93.2 yards per week. His loss, along with the departures of Marquez Valdes scantling and Calm St. Brownreleases over 240 wide receiver targets.
Which brings us to this guy:
Allen Lazard is the last man standing in Green Bay
Allen Lazard simply has a huge opportunity ahead of it in 2022. Rodgers has already referred to him as both the team’s #1 receiver – which seems overwhelmingly likely – and as future hall of fame, that’s… um… well, that’s not a lock yet. At this point, it’s crystal clear that the veteran is entering a season where he has a real shot at being a fantasy star, a prominent wideout in an explosive offense. Green Bay has a Rodgers-era tradition of slowly and methodically developing impact receivers over multiple seasons. Jordi Nelson broke out in his fourth year, James Jones in his sixth. Adams was a drop-prone punchline as a rookie, then broke out for 997 yards and 12 points in his third season.
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Let’s remind ourselves that it was Rodgers himself who lobbied to bring Lazard onto the field in 2019, and the decision paid off immediately. He has emerged as a circle of trust receiver for the Packers, playing both outside and in the slot. He finished last year as a WR45 in half PPR leagues during a season in which he had just 60 chances.
How useful could he become if he added, say, a quarter of that team’s vacated goals to his workload?
At 6ft 5 and 230, Lazard looks like a strong contender to draw a significant share of the quality opportunities that have been funneled to Adams in the past. Last season, Davante saw 28 goals in the red zone and 14 inside the 10-yard line. When defenders stand against Lazard on an island, he can be an unsolvable problem:
Still, early fantasy artists don’t seem to appreciate or embrace the benefits here. In an average Yahoo league, Lazard falls well outside the top 100 picks (ADP 110.9) and was drafted as a non-starter at WR40. We’re barely getting it ahead of last year’s fantasy finish despite the incredible setup.
This just serves as a final reminder that 1) Lazard was arguably the biggest fantasy winner of the NFL offseason, 2) Rodgers is basically yelling at us to draft him, and 3) he’s available to you as a fourth receiver, buried in the Russell Gage–Tyler Boyd Neighborhood. Ignore its potential at your peril.