Fantasy Fallout: Packers/Saints


4for4's fearless leader, Executive Editor Josh Moore, shared a few thoughts on Twitter (@circulargenius) this morning and I thought I'd expand on them a little bit. After all, he's the DJ and I'm the rapper.
Josh: It's great to have football back. What a fun game.
John: No kidding. After all we went through with this summer's lockout, it was a terrific way to start the season -- a matchup between the defending champ versus a recent Super Bowl champ at historic Lambeau Field. The game was an up-and-down affair and it reminded us why we love the sport so much.
Josh: Mark Ingram owners, don't freak out. He received 65% of the carries & most of red zone work. Green Bay is tough against run. We knew this. 
John: Agreed. We weren't terribly high on Ingram in the preseason due to the presence of a healthy (fingers crossed) Pierre Thomas and the dangerous Darren Sproles, but Ingram owners don't want to give the rookie away based on last night's game. He's clearly a big part of the game plan and probably would have had another 5+ touches had the Saints held the lead, which they usually will. He was also just inches away from scoring the game-tying TD. That said, Sproles looked terrific and should be a solid flex start in PPR leagues even if the Saints will be playing with the lead most of the time. He has essentially taken over Reggie Bush's role and is more productive in it.
Josh: Don't overreact to big days from Devery Henderson, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson... will be plenty of 3-38 type stat lines for those guys. That said, Jordy Nelson appears to be clearly ahead of James Jones, Randall Cobb & Donald Driver in the pecking order.
John: Here's how the targets were distributed for the Packers: Greg Jennings (8), Nelson (8), Driver (7), Jermichael Finley (4), Cobb (2), John Kuhn (2), Ryan Grant (1), Tom Crabtree (1), Jones (1), James Starks (1). It is a bit surprising that some of Nelson and Driver's targets weren't spread around to Finley and Jones, but Jones simply wasn't on the field very much.  He was battling a knee injury in the preseason so it appears that he may be buried on the depth chart a bit. As for Finley, don't panic. Aaron Rodgers absolutely loves the guy and teams will have to start focusing on Nelson, which won't allow them to double Green Bay's big tight end. He's going to have some monster games for fantasy owners. Oh, and dynasty owners should target Randall Cobb after he has a quiet game or two. He looks like a perfect fit for the Packers' offense.
There's word that Marques Colston suffered a shoulder injury on the Saints' final drive and if that's the case, Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson (and maybe even super sleeper Adrian Arrington) would get a bump. How much of a bump is dependent on the severity of the injury and the status of Lance Moore, who was primed for a big season before a groin injury got in the way.
Josh: Grant (10) and Starks (12) received similar touches. Starks did more with his. Expect this trend to continue. 
John: Our Packer scout Rick Tittsler said during training camp that Starks was the better RB and Thursday night's game backed that up. And I suspect that 4for4 was in the minority in having Starks ranked ahead of Grant this week. HC Mike McCarthy said after the game that Starks deserved more carries. We fully expect him to outproduce Grant, who looks to be past his prime. For the time being Starks is a RB3/flex type -- he'll have John Kuhn and Aaron Rodgers vulturing goal line scores.
That about wraps it up -- what a great start to the season!
Filed Under: w1, 2011

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