Friday, September 11, 2015, 6:21pm
Packers WR Randall Cobb (shoulder, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 1. His range of motion is somewhat limited, but the probable tag means that he’s going to play. Cobb has averaged 4.3 receptions for 80 yards and 1.7 TD in his last three meetings with the Bears, and the Packers need him to produce with Jordy Nelson out for the year.
And if he could catch 73 passes last year with the Oakland Raiders and their collection of quarterbacks then there's no reason to think that one season away from Green Bay will do much to change what had been a strong bond with Rodgers.
Given how much has happened since Jones left the Packers in free agency in March 2014, it may seem like a long time ago that Rodgers and Jones last hooked up. But as Jones put it when he landed in Green Bay on Sunday to re-sign with the Packers, he's only one year removed from the offense he played in during his first seven NFL seasons.
Jones can't make up for the loss of Jordy Nelson, but there wasn't an available receiver who could. As long as Jones is the dependable player he has been throughout his career, he's the perfect fit. He has played in every game in five of the last six seasons and has missed only eight games (two in 2013 and six in 2008) in his entire eight-year career. Raiders quarterbacks targeted him 110 times last season, and he dropped only two of them, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
That connection with Rodgers is perhaps the most important aspect of this deal. Of Jones' 383 career regular-season receptions, 216 of them came from Rodgers. All but 10 of his 43 career regular-season touchdowns came from Rodgers, as well.
"It's a crazy business," Jones said Sunday. "But I'm just happy to have the opportunity to continue to keep playing."
Jones could move into the No. 3 role -- a responsibility that without him would have fallen to either Ty Montgomery or Jeff Janis. Montgomery is a rookie, and Janis caught just two passes as a rookie last season. In their three-receiver sets, which the Packers used on nearly 72 percent of their snaps last season, they can now comfortably move Cobb into the slot, where he's best, and have Jones and Adams on the outside, the story said. In his first seven seasons with the Packers, Jones caught 278 of his 310 on the outside. This move seems to hurt the fantasy value of Montgomery and Janis the most, but Adams should be safe as a top-two WR who will play on the outside, for now. We don't see much fantasy value in James Jones at the moment.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports that Jones’s agent Frank Bauer says his client is on his way to visit with the Packers. Given Jones’s experience playing in coach Mike McCarthy’s offense with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the visit could turn into a signing pretty quickly.
While the Packers have expressed confidence in the ability of Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and the rest of the receiving corps to handle things with Jordy Nelson out for the season, the addition of Jones would give them a bit of insurance who wouldn’t need much time to get up to speed on the team’s offensive scheme.
Saturday, September 5, 2015, 8:26pm
White led Green Bay in the preseason with 157 yards receiving, along with two touchdowns on 16 catches. Janis had 149 yards and a team-high three receiving scores on 10 receptions.
Janis was a seventh-round draft pick in 2014, one of six players left from that class after the team announced moves Saturday to get down to the 53-man roster limit.
Without Nelson, the 25-year-old Cobb becomes the senior member of the receiving corps in just his fifth NFL season, and the 22-year-old Adams moves into the No. 2 role in just his second season.
"He's poised for a breakout year," Cobb said Tuesday. "He's poised for a big year. I look forward to helping him accomplish that."
Perhaps the good news is Cobb said he sensed that since the end of last season, when Adams finished off his rookie season with eight catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs - seven of those catches, 117 of those yards and the touchdown came in the win over the Cowboys in the divisional round. Sounds like Cobb expected big things from Adams before Nelson's injury. We do too and have him ranked 18th on our WR list.
If the Packers hadn’t re-signed wide receiver Randall Cobb this offseason, there would probably be a lot more concern in Green Bay right now about the impact that the Jordy Nelson’s torn ACL will have on the Packers.
Cobb had 91 catches last season, though, and that kind of connection with Aaron Rodgers makes it easier to see how the Packers offense can keep on rolling this season. Cobb said that there’s “no need” for him to put more pressure on himself with Nelson out because Rodgers will get the ball to the right people at the right times and because he doesn’t think he’ll be playing a different role on the field.
“If we’re in a three-receiver set, most likely I’ll be inside,” Cobb said, via ESPN.com. “If we’re in a two-receiver set, I’ll obviously be outside. It just depends on what we do. We’ll move around. We planned on moving around this year, so I don’t think our plan changes. It’s just finding that guy that’s going to be able to plug in and be able to fit into what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Cobb was playing inside with Nelson and Davante Adams outside in three-receiver sets this summer. Rookie Ty Montgomery stepped in for Nelson during Tuesday’s practice and the team could also look at Jeff Janis as they look for another receiver to count on behind Cobb in 2015, the story said.
As predicted, third-rounder Ty Montgomery appears to be the guy.
On the first snap of Tuesday's practice, the offense lined up in a three-receiver set with Randall Cobb wedged in the slot between Davante Adams and Montgomery out wide, according to ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky.
That lines up with what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel projected Monday after the team announced that Nelson will miss the remainder of the 2015 season with a significant right knee injury.
Future practice time and game snaps will sort this out, but Montgomery holds the early lead over Jeff Janis, the second-year target still seen as a project despite his Nelson-like measurements. (Nelson is listed at 6-foot-3 and 217 pounds, while Janis measures in at 6-foot-3 and 219 pounds.) Both Adams' and Montgomery's values are climbing in fantasy drafts, especially Adams who is all the way up to 18th on our WR list.
Consider this: They're the only twosome who played together the last two seasons and totaled more than 3,000 rushing yards where the No. 2 back -- in this case Starks -- had at least 800 of those yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
So if the Green Bay Packers want to rely more on their running game to make up for the season-ending knee injury that Jordy Nelson sustained in Sunday's preseason game at Pittsburgh, then coach Mike McCarthy and play-caller Tom Clements certainly have that option.
While Lacy has been the workhorse, rushing for 2,317 yards combined in his first two NFL seasons, Starks' total of 826 yards the last two seasons has helped the Packers rank sixth in the league in rushing yards during that stretch. This could be great news for Lacy's fantasy value, but it also may give some value to Starks in deeper formats.
Nelson, one of the top targets for NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was injured Sunday in a preseason loss at Pittsburgh. The team said Monday only that he suffered a "significant right knee injury" that would cost him the season.
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said the team had hoped for good news in a re-evaluation of Nelson's injury. Instead, the Packers will be without a playmaker who set career highs in receptions (98) and yards receiving (1,519) in 2014.
There was some hope leading up to Monday's MRI since Nelson was moving around on the sideline and walked to the locker room under his own power after the injury. The team is still only calling it a significant knee injury, however reports surfacing from Sunday said it was an ACL tear.
In an interview on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan radio show this morning, Gronkowski said that he's ready to go whenever summoned, but he's always taking his marching orders from Belichick.
“It’s always up to the coach’s decision,” Gronkowski said. “I’m ready to play when my number’s called, whenever they want me to go in. I mean, it is preseason, we’ve been practicing hard, we’ve been going against each other. We had great practices with the Saints; it’s been going well.”
The good news is there isn't anything keeping Gronk from playing in preseason games outside of the coaching staff. It's a trend we're starting to see more and more - teams just aren't risking losing players in a game that doesn't count. He's still the top TE available in fantasy drafts.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy almost certainly won't ask any one player to take on the kind of yeoman's work that WR Jordy Nelson gave them, but they've made it clear throughout the offseason that Davante Adams was ready to a step forward even with Nelson in the mix. This spring, McCarthy called him the MVP of the offseason after Rodgers said he has a "humongous upside, and he's starting to reach that upside."
The Packers might look to add a veteran receiver but if not, then Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery will get increased opportunities. Physically, Janis (at 6-3, 219) most resembles Nelson, but he remains raw. He played in only three games last year as a rookie, although he has three preseason touchdown catches in his career. The rookie Montgomery, a third-round pick, has proven to be a quick study and can probably play on the edge or in the slot. Packers college scout Sam Seale described the 6-foot Montgomery as a bigger Cobb.
"We've got a lot of guys right now fighting for spots, and we're still trying to figure out who's going to be the impact players for us on our team," Aaron Rodgers said. "That could change after this week or that could not. We'll see what happens."
The Packers seem confident in their depth but it remains to be seen how they react to the potential loss of Nelson if the ACL reports prove to be true. The story went on to say in the red zone, they already were preparing for Richard Rodgers to play a bigger role, and the second-year tight end showed his potential in that area of the field with a 21-yard touchdown catch from backup quarterback Scott Tolzien in the second quarter Sunday.
This is a bit surprising since he was reportedly moving well along the sideline. We would recommend waiting until the MRI confirmation before cutting Nelson loose as it's still pretty early in the process. This is a big blow to the Packers offense, but the team does have some depth at the position. If Davante Adams is available on the waiver wire, pick him up immediately, as he suddenly becomes a fantasy WR2. Jeff Janis and rookie Ty Montgomery will compete for snaps as the team's WR3.
Click the link to see a clip of the play. Nelson stayed down for a moment then hopped up and jogged off the field. He was limping badly at first but as he made it to the sideline the limp was less noticeable. He was examined on the sideline and reportedly walked to the locker room under his own power.
"It's just giving him opportunities," Aaron Rodgers said. "You watch the film last year and he was open a lot on the backside of stuff and it just depended on matchups whether the ball went his way a couple times in a game or 10 times. And when he had the 10 times, the targets, you saw the production he had. It's about matchups in this offense. We had two guys [Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb] who caught more than 90 balls and as teams start to tilt even more to them, Davante's going to get more opportunities."
Adams had his moments during his rookie season, specifically against the Patriots (6-121 on 11 targets) in Week 13 and in the postseason against the Cowboys (7-117-1 on 11 targets). However, he only saw 66 passes come his way since he played alongside target hogs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Aaron Rodgers has been highly complimentary of Adams this offseason and says he has “humongous upside.” In 20 games from 2012-13, the team’s WR3, James Jones, managed WR3-type numbers (3.7-50.3-.60 on 5.6 targets) with both Cobb and Nelson in the lineup, but that was mainly due to his unusually high TD rate. In 13 games that Cobb and/or Nelson missed, Jones averaged solid WR2 numbers (4.6-58-.46 on 7.3 targets), but his TD rate regressed. We’re bullish on Adams since he has more potential than Jones. The Packers are also without a tight end of Jermichael Finley’s caliber, so there may be more targets available for the team’s third receiver. Owners should expect fantasy WR2 numbers if Cobb or Nelson go down, making the second-year wideout a great handcuff for either player.
A quick canvas of the league revealed 10 No. 1-caliber receivers: Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffrey, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, DeMaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, T.Y. Hilton, Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown.
Robinson, the Jaguars’ second-year receiver, is below that level, but on this team at this moment, he’s the best.
Robinson averaged 5.2 catches for 61 yards and 0.22 TD from Week 2 to Week 10, which extrapolates to an 84-974-3.6 over the course of a full 16-game season. He posted fringe WR2-type numbers before suffering a stress fracture in his foot. The Jacksonville receiving corps should feature Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. If QB Blake Bortles can progress, this could be a dangerous passing game, and Robinson would be the primary beneficiary.
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