Fantasy fans can sing a song of praise this week thanks to the expected return of Packers WR Greg Jennings. According to Packers on Twitter Packers head coach Mike McCarthy says “We expect him to be a full participant and ready to go for MN. “
This is very welcome news for the Green Bay Packers who suffered an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants this past Sunday night; a loss that was partly due to an offense that looked out of sync.
Despite a healthy Jordy Nelson and the presence of rising superstar Randall Cobb, the Packers just couldn’t move the ball effectively for the majority of the contest. The Giants primarily stuck to a two-deep zone look nearly all night long, cutting off passing lanes and affording the New York defensive line some added time to pressure quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
This contest would’ve been entirely different if Greg Jennings—the Packers primary deep-ball threat—was in the game.
This week the Packers have a major showdown with the Minnesota Vikings; a showdown that will have a major impact on each team’s playoff standing. Let’s take a quick look at this contest, and how the return of Greg Jennings could impact the outcome.
Greg Jennings Will Play Against Vikings
Just like the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings also suffered their own devastating loss last week in a divisional showdown with the Chicago Bears. This loss hurt the Vikings’ pursuit of a postseason berth, relegating them to a weekly “must-win” mode.
First up is the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers are tentatively 5th in the playoff hunt, while the Vikings (8th) are behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Vikings know that winning every game from now until the end of the season is paramount is they are to make the playoffs, but the team needs to first repair some issues according to coach Frazier:
“We have to get some things fixed within our team and what we have to get done in order to play better and this is a very good opponent…” Vikings.com
The Packers also are aware that one more slip, and they will fall faster than a tanker truck driven off a cliff.
The return of WR Greg Jennings is a very big part of preventing such a fall. Without Greg Jennings in the mix, teams have been able to neutralize the balance of the Packers receiver corp., keeping them out of sync and off their game.
The Packers deal with a Vikings team that also utilize a lot of two-deep looks, but the Vikings will not be able to deploy such an approach as often as the Giants did with Greg Jennings in the mix.
For fantasy fans wondering what to do with Greg Jennings it’s simple: start him, but with lowered expectations.
Yes, Greg Jennings will be targeted early, and possibly often. But with Jennings back in the mix, teams will have to compensate for him which is bound to open other opportunities for Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb; opportunities that Packers have been without since Week 4.
In short, fantasy fans should definitely plug Greg Jennings into the lineup, but don’t expect a monster day as he re-acclimates himself.