UPDATED August 24th, 2010: Camp Updates Below. The 2009 Green Bay Packer season was one of the most bitter-sweet seasons in recent memory, providing an exciting glimpse of what is to be, while feeding the fantasy realm with a myriad of quality players to choose from.
Last year Aaron Rodgers showed that he can in fact be the new leader, and the 3-4 hybrid scheme— brought in by Dom Capers—produced a top five defense all year that led the league in rushing yards allowed, while placing second in interceptions.
In addition to that, it was the first time in league history that a team produced a 4,000 yard passer (Aaron Rodgers) a 1,200 yard rusher (Ryan Grant) and not one, but two 1,000 yard receivers (Driver and Jennings) in a single season.
With so many impact players on the Packers offense and defense it will be difficult to choose from the lot of them but remember, whoever you draft, you’ll be getting nothing but elite players my little kiddies.
Division: NFC North - Projected Finish: 1st Place
Strength of Schedule: 22nd = 11th Best. The Packers can score on anyone making their schedule a moot point, but keep in mind they also have the second most favorable schedule against teams that poorly defend the TE.
Aaron Rodgers has proven that even with an O-Line that coughed up 37 sacks in the first half of a season, he can still put up elite numbers…just imagine if those sack numbers were cut in half.
Well this year that line has been revamped, and Rodgers comes into 2010 as one of the biggest QB options who stands a chance of even out-performing Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
Aside from those two 1,000 yard receivers’ Rodgers has, remember that there is a rising star in TE Jermichael Finley alongside a host of other options making Rodgers’ value something to take notice to.
Ryan Grant got off to a slow start and looked as if he had issues finishing the end of his runs up the middle— but in the end, nobody really cared! The guy finished with 11 TDs (a career high and second most in the NFC) as well as 1,253 yards (third most in the NFC).
The Packers will stick with a zone blocking scheme in 2010 which means more of the same is on the horizon for Grant. Aside from Grant, backup Brandon Jackson will be in a primary blocking role, and fullbacks John Kuhn, Korey Hall, and Quinn Johnson won’t offer much fantasy value.
Sheesh, where to begin!
- Many thought with the rise of Greg Jennings that Donald Driver was going to slip until he topped 1,000 receiving yards for the sixth straight season. But word out of the Packers' training camp as of 8/1 is Donald Driver's knees are now a concern, which is bad news for those of you looking to draft him.
- Jennings, however, is now a polished, speedy, down field threat who can adjust to damn near everything making him a PPR leaguers wet dream, and oh…by the way let’s not forget James Jones, and Jordy Nelson.
Jennings should have the better season out of him and Driver, but don’t count out Driver in the slightest. In addition to the mainstays, keep an eye on a promising Brett Swain, and don’t forget Spencer Havner who scored five touchdowns on nine catches in 2009.
See what I mean, the Packers even offer quality bench and watch list players! This team should own a large block in the 2010 WR Rankings!
This will be real quick, ok? Donald Lee has zero value and Jermichael Finley is an over-the-middle threat, a speedy downfield threat, and a huge target that messes up most defensive schemes, and he should be targeted as early as possible in your draft.
As mentioned earlier, the team ranked second overall in interceptions thanks largely to Charles Woodson so for those of you in IDP leagues, Woodson is the obvious mention. But let’s not forget about Tramon Williams. Yes, Williams didn’t play that well in coverage last year, but that should change as he has had a year to mature and he could wind up being a sleeper grab.
CB Al Harris will be available this year, but the team has already admitted that he will not be 100% at the start of the season. He may not hold a lot of value this year.
Nick Collins, on the other hand, has a great upside and is a quality high impact IDP player. Collins is currently ranked 47th among DBs.
2010 Regular Season Schedule
Date Opponent Time Channel Wk 1. Sun., Sept. 12 @ Philadelphia Eagles 3:15 p.m. FOX Wk 2. Sun., Sept. 19 Buffalo Bills 12:00 p.m. CBS Wk 3. Mon., Sept. 27 @ Chicago Bears 7:30 p.m. ESPN Wk 4. Sun., Oct. 3 Detroit Lions 12:00 p.m. FOX Wk 5. Sun., Oct. 10 @ Washington Redskins 12:00 p.m. FOX Wk 6. Sun., Oct. 17 Miami Dolphins 12:00 p.m. CBS Wk 7. Sun., Oct. 24 Minnesota Vikings 7:20 p.m. NBC Wk 8. Sun., Oct. 31 @ New York Jets 12:00 p.m. FOX Wk 9. Sun., Nov. 7 Dallas Cowboys 7:20 p.m. NBC Wk 10. Sun., Nov. 14 Open Date Wk 11. Sun., Nov. 21 @ Minnesota Vikings *12:00 p.m. FOX Wk 12. Sun., Nov. 28 @ Atlanta Falcons *12:00 p.m. FOX Wk 13. Sun., Dec. 5 San Francisco 49ers *12:00 p.m. FOX Wk 14. Sun., Dec. 12 @ Detroit Lions *12:00 p.m. FOX Wk 15. Sun., Dec. 19 @ New England Patriots *7:20 p.m. NBC Wk 16. Sun., Dec. 26 New York Giants *3:15 p.m. FOX Wk 17. Sun., Jan. 2 Chicago Bears *12:00 p.m. FOX
The Packers will once again ride the fruitful play of the zone blocking scheme up front which allows for a nice ventilated passing game both underneath and downfield. In addition to the passing game basically being a wide open flood gate, the ground game will see much of the same success it did last year as most of the defenses in the league will have their hands full in coverage alone. Interceptions should be low for Rodgers, and for those of you in PPR leagues, the Packers are a definite team to consider when searching for players to draft given Joe Philbin’s pass first attack.
The Packers made the transition to the 3-4 scheme unexpectedly well which has only been done by a few teams in history. As mentioned above, I would shy away from Al Harris unless you hear something concrete later on out of camp, but the rest of the team is yours to choose from. Clay Matthews, A.J Hawk and Nick Barnett lead the linebackers which should also have a ton of IDP value in the “stay home and sweep to the ball” approach employed by Capers.
In short the offense is a scoring powerhouse, and the defense is tenacious and adept at forcing turnovers; a perfect fantasy combination.
Camp Updates 8/24/2010:
- FB John Kuhn has carved himself a little niche in the Packers offense, and he continues to shine in preseason and camp. Remember something, this is a guy at Shippensburg who averaged 277 carries for 1,450 yards and 17 TDs in his three seasons as a feature back. In addition to that, he posted 26 career 100-yard games and a myriad of other school records. This week he's also been filling in as a halfback in practice due to injuries to others at the position.
While Kuhn is not on anyone’s fantasy map, it is worthwhile to mention him as a possible sleeping giant off the waiver this season. Kuhn has scored 25 percent of the time when given the chance over the past two years as a Packer.
- The offensive line for the Packers took a lot of heat for the amount of sacks they gave up in the first half of the 2009 season, which is why they enter into the 2010 season with a giant cross to bear.
Their matchup against the Cleveland Browns served as a noticed to everyone that everything is OK with the big men up front—initially. The Packers did not allow a single sack against a blitz happy Browns team, and the O-Line is as healthy as it gets.
This bodes well for anyone looking to draft any player out of Green Bay who have concerns about Aaron Rodgers’ health and protection, not to mention the potential effectiveness of the Packers’ run game.
- The linebacker position in Green Bay has been the center of attention due largely to injury, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t’ players making plays.
With guys like Nick Barnett (knee), A.J. Hawk (ankle), Alex Joseph (quad), Clay Matthews (hamstring), and Brad Jones (shoulder) all sitting it out and taking it easy with their injuries—all minor—players such as Desmond Bishop, Robert Francois, Maurice Simpkins, Brady Poppinga, Brandon Chillar, and swing player Spencer Havner (LB/ TE) have filled in admirably.
Again, these are players who won’t be on your radar just yet, but they are also players who you should watch intently out of Green Bay. A successful fantasy team isn’t just built on your starting roster and bench, but a combination of the aforementioned and a good knowledge of who’s available is paramount to a season.
Got a question regarding your draft, or a training camp question? Let us know below and keep checking back weekly for all your training camp updates.
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