The Green Bay Packers offer a formidable offense for fantasy owners on the hunt for talent. They ranked 3rd in points per game (28.8) and 7th in passing yards (261.2). Impressive numbers, but many experts think the Pack will continue to improve on those stats in 2010.
Let's face it, Aaron Rodgers has a lot of love to airmail around the field, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings and Donald Driver can't soak it all up. Ryan Grant's not much of a pass-catching running back, so there has to be a fantasy sleeper lurking in the depths of the Green Bay Packers receiving corp. My money is on James Jones.
I think there are several reasons why Jones is a lock as a 2010 fantasy football sleeper candidate.
ADP: 238th – 71st WR selected
By the numbers:
- Last season Driver and Jennings averaged 115 targets, 69 reception, 1087 yards and 5 TDs each as the team's starters. Jones, in limited action, had 5 TDs on 440 yards. I currently have the three ranked 12th, 26th and 68th. But I believe Driver may slip down as Jones slides up.
- My faith in Jones ability to do more in 2010 has as much to do with his youth (26) and talent as it does with Driver's age (36) and health questions. Driver had both knees scoped this off-season. While he was rehabbing those knees, Jones saw extensive time in the slot during the Pack's OTA's where he impressed coaches and team mates. Driver's been a model of consistency the last half decade or so, but I think the drop-off begins in 2010, and we start to see more of Jones.
- In 2009, Jones was targeted 63 times, but he only caught 32 passes. basically 50%. In his third season Jones had a bad case of the dropsies. He was dropping 22% of the passes thrown his way-- 2nd worst in the league. I expect him to correct that this season and get up to a 70-75% target to reception ration. Had he met that ratio last season he would have tacked on an extra 200 yards with his 13.75 per catch average.
- Jones is playing for a new contract as he becomes a free agent after the 2010 season.
Summary: Jones seems to have the upper hand at the third receiver slot, which is an open battle with the equally talented Jordy Nelson. Nelson has the better physical attributes, size and speed, but Jones is approaching that magic number, 27 years of age. This is a battle to watch this off-season, but one of the two will break out. I like Nelson long term, but in 2010 I think Jones is the man. Driver's being drafted too high for his likely production this season, and Jones could put up 700-800 yards with 6 TDs. Not a great distance from what Driver is likely to achieve.
ADP taken from our friends at MyFantasyLeague.com