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One of the biggest misconceptions about NFL Week 1 is that: Fantasy football managers think what they see is real.
Isiah Pacheco ran 68 yards and a touchdown? He’s definitely pushing Clyde Edwards-Helaire for wearing this season. Mike Williams only caught two passes and now Keenan Allen is injured? He will not be productive because the defense will attack him.
We saw on Thursday night of week 2 that neither was true. Then what makes you think your other assumptions will be in week 1? This week will tell more about what teams are going to do than Week 1 ever will, and the Packers are the perfect example. What you’ve seen from Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s wide receiver corps isn’t what you’ll see from them in the future.
Let’s face it, the Packers attack last week was terrible. Rodgers threw only 195 yards, Jordan Love relieved him and threw for 65 yards and the two hit 10 different passcatchers together. Neither found a receiver to lock into comfortably, and 11 of the 35 goals went to running backs, while eight went to tight ends. We witnessed a number of drops including what should have been an easy touchdown for rookie Christian Watson. By the time Rodgers walked off the field in the fourth quarter, fantasy owners were ready to let go of any Packers wide receiver.
This week you can expect a completely different story. Allen Lazard has been in multiple practice sessions this week and is expected to be on the field against the Bears on Sunday night. Given what we know about Rodgers’ need for fame, you can probably expect double digits for Lazard. From there you can expect Sammy Watkins as the number 2 with a mix of Randall Cobb and rookie Romeo Doubs working out of the slot.
Rodgers will rely on his veterans, while youngsters Watson and Doubs will have to prove themselves both in training and during matches. It will be a long road for both of them.
Keep an eye on both the snap count and targets for the Packers recipients this week and the long-term picture will be clearer. If Lazard is available, he is a must-own. Watkins will probably be next. Furthermore, you should check to determine the true value of the receiver, but don’t be surprised if your next must-own is Robert Tonyan.
Howard Bender is the VP of Operations and Head of Content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8pm. Visit FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy sports advice, player projections, injury updates and more.