One the NFL’s most-penalized defenders, New England Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner, could cross paths Saturday with the league’s most prolific receiver in terms of drawing pass interference penalties, Torrey Smith.
Smith led the NFL with 11 defensive pass interference penalties drawn for 229 yards during the regular season, according to Football Outsiders, and added a 12th for 29 yards against the Steelers in the wild-card game. The next closest receiver, Green Bay Packers star Jordy Nelson, drew six flags for 129 yards.
“It’s definitely frustrating, but again, it’s part of the game,” Smith said this week. “I don’t want to be known for a guy that’s just getting held all the time, but it just happens. If I knew why it kept happening … I guess most times it’s because I’m moving pretty good, and it kind of surprises them a little bit, so they grab you.”
Browner, a physical corner signed from the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason, has played just nine games for the Patriots. He was called for five defensive pass interference penalties this season, and 15 penalties overall.
Unfortunately, pass interference penalties don't count in fantasy football.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 1:55pm
Good defenses can eliminate — or at least contain — your first and second options. And Bill Belichick has a good defense. His game plan focused on Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. So after one…two…three… weeks of standing at his locker each Wednesday, telling everyone he'd be ready when needed, Adams was needed Sunday.
He responded with his best game to date — a 6-catch, 121-yard notice to defensive coordinators that he's pretty good, too.
"The three rookies on offense have really done a good job taking advantage of their opportunities as the year has gone by," coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday, "and as their opportunities increase. Obviously, Davante was at the forefront of that Sunday. Hey, we need everybody. That's why we felt that in the off-season, try to play more people, as many different combinations of personnel as we can."
We had a recent news item that pretty much predicted the Packers were going to need Adams, and it came true. Teams will likely still need to focus on Nelson and Cobb which is going to leave Adams matched up on team's third corner. Playing a team's WR3 can often be risky but the risk is a little less on an offense like the Packers.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Packers WR Davante Adams (heel, probable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 13. Adams may see a few extra targets if the Patriots are able to take away Jordy Nelson and/or Randall Cobb.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:04am
Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss on how the Patriots' cornerbacks will match up with the Packer receivers: My educated guess early in the week would be Darrelle Revis on Randall Cobb and then Brandon Browner on Jordy Nelson, with the safety help from Devin McCourty over the top. They'll obviously mix up their looks between man and zone, as is the norm.
Revis has been significantly better than Browner in coverage, so if Reiss is right about Browner on Nelson, then he might be the better start this week. Reiss did mention safety help on Nelson, which makes sense if Revis can handle Cobb in the slot.
Monday, November 10, 2014, 2:10pm
Coach Mike McCarthy hinted last week this was coming, that the Green Bay Packers' tight ends -- even seldom-used Brandon Bostick -- might have a bigger role in the offense than they did in the first half of the season.
But even with that forewarning, it was still stunning to see quarterback Aaron Rodgers throw the first two of his six touchdown passes in Sunday night's rout of the Chicago Bears to tight ends. Bostick, who had one catch for 2 yards all season, was the recipient of the first, on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Andrew Quarless got the second, on third-down from the 4-yard line.
It was the first time since Week 3 of the 2011 season, when Jermichael Finley had three touchdowns against the Bears, that Packers tight ends have caught more than one touchdown pass in a game. And it was the first time since Week 2 of 2007, when Bubba Franks and Donald Lee had touchdowns against the New York Giants, that two different Packers tight ends have caught touchdowns.
On Bostick's TD, the team lined up without the likes of WRs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb on the field and it was Bostick on the receiving end of a play-action pass. Eventually, Nelson and Cobb got involved but if Rodgers can add TEs as targets it's only going to make him more productive. While Bostick and Quarless aren't quite top-notch fantasy tight ends just yet, they do potentially take away targets and TDs from those Packers who are owned.
"For starters, Davante Adams has moved well ahead of Jarrett Boykin for the No. 3 receiver spot. Put it to you this way: Teams aren't going to start paying less attention to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. They would rather try to make a guy like Adams beat them. About the only thing that could reduce the number of targets headed Adams' way is if one of their tight ends somehow became productive. But based on the first half of the season, that seems unlikely. Adams' workload should increase."
Demovsky even broke it down nicely in terms of fantasy potential - don't expect teams to try and stop Adams which could be good news for his fantasy production. If you have a free roster spot or looking for an upside guy to stash, that could very well be Adams. He's probably safer in deeper leagues at least right now, but may have flex potential in typical 10-team leagues if things work out.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 5:14pm
If there's a downside to the fact that WR Jordy Nelson has an NFL-leading 18 catches for 292 yards through two games -- and there may not be one -- it could be that the Green Bay Packers have become too reliant one player.
At this point, the man throwing Nelson the ball does not see that as a concern.
"If teams are going to start rolling some coverage to Jordy, then we need our other guys to step up and we need to be able to run the ball more effectively," Rodgers said on his show.
Many considered Nelson in that tier of fantasy WRs after guys like Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones, etc. But Nelson is starting to make a claim that he should be considered in the top tier. The story said that in Sunday's comeback win over the Jets, Rodgers targeted Nelson 16 times. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Rodgers had never before thrown that many passes toward a single receiver in one game. The previous week, Rodgers went to Nelson 14 times. It's not terrible news for Randall Cobb owners either, as the WR caught two TD passes although didn't have the yardage that Nelson put up.
Jets beat writer Rich Cimini: The patchwork secondary came away from the opener feeling pretty good about itself, but I think they're in for a reality check against Aaron Rodgers & Co. If Dee Milliner sits out again with a high-ankle sprain -- he is a question mark -- the starters will be Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen, a converted safety whose experience at cornerback consists of 48 preseason snaps and one regular-season game. Allen is a big, physical player, a terrific tackler, but he will struggle against a polished route runner like Jordy Nelson. Ryan is a clever defensive coach, but he will have to pull a rabbit out of his hat to slow down the Packers' passing attack.
The Jets have historically been tough to run on -- they posted a league-best 3.4 YPC last season -- but teams have been able to move the ball through the air. The Packers will try to run the ball with Eddie Lacy, but if he doesn't get off to a hot start, expect a lot of Rodgers in on Sunday.
Jarrett Boykin is the Packers' No. 3 receiver, behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. That would put him ahead of the rest of the pack - including rookie second-round pick Davante Adams - entering the Packers' preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
''Clearly he's taken the next step. I just love the way he plays,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday. ''He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless. I
think he's exceptional at the top of his route. You see his strength and balance to separate from a DB. I think he's had an excellent camp.''
We've identified Boykin as a sleeper this year and he remains someone who is available later in drafts. He wasn't always a lock to be the team's WR3, but it looks like he'll emerge ahead of Adams at least to start the year. Neither Adams nor Boykin were impressive at times in camp and then Adams got injured. Given the Packers offense, Boykin could have value as a possible WR3 in just about any format.
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 10:51pm
Packers WR Jordy Nelson is scheduled to participate in Friday's closed practice and after that it will be determined whether he will play against the Rams. Nelson did not play against the Titans because of a hamstring injury. "Jordy is on course to practice tomorrow," HC Mike McCarthy said Thursday, when the team did not practice. "He practiced yesterday. Once we get through practice, we’ll determine the final play time expectations for all of our guys. But he looks good."
Jordy's status for this week's game is not a big deal. The Packers are wisely being cautious with their top receiver.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 2:22pm
The Packers just signed wide receiver Jordy Nelson to a long-term contract extension, so the last thing they’d want to do to celebrate is anything that would put him at risk of missing extended time this season.
That meant going the extra mile in terms of precaution when Nelson came down with a minor hamstring injury recently. Nelson skipped the preseason opener and a few practices, but his absence came to an end on Tuesday.
Nelson was back on the field, but the wraps weren’t totally off. Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports that Nelson took the first rep of each set of team periods, but did little else during those drills. That suggests the Packers are going to be easing him back to full speed, which could mean that they’ll hold off on making a decision about Nelson’s availability for Saturday’s game against the Rams.
Monday, August 11, 2014, 7:32pm
Packers receiver Jordy Nelson also sat out practice Monday with a sore hamstring that had sidelined him since Friday and kept him out of Saturday's game. Nelson was bothered by a hamstring injury in 2012.
Nelson is considered day-to-day, and the injury appears not to be serious.
The way Davante Adams cuts in and out of his breaks with ease has reminded the Packers of a young Greg Jennings, who was perhaps the best route runner this team has had in the last decade or more. Because of that, Adams is making a strong push for the No. 3 receiver spot behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
Adams got off to a slow start in the offseason practices, making Jarrett Boykin look like a lock for the No. 3 spot. But with every training camp practice, it looks more like Adams will push and perhaps overtake Boykin, who has had an ordinary camp.
The Packers are not necessarily down on Boykin, who caught 49 passes for 681 yards last season, but a bad drop like he had in Monday night's practice has further opened the door for Adams.
We believe that Jarrett Boykin's 2013 production and experience gives him the inside track to be the team's third receiver, but it sounds as if Adams' rough summer is behind him and he is making strides. Rookie receivers generally don't have major roles in Green Bat -- both Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson were part-time players as rookies. Boykin is going in the 11th round and Adams is going in the final rounds (if at all), so it would be relatively cheap to draft both players.
Despite the Packers using three of their nine draft picks on receivers to provide depth behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, there's no reason to think any of them will supplant Jarrett Boykin as the No. 3.
That's no knock on second-round pick Davante Adams or fifth-rounder Jared Abbrederis -- both have made their share of early plays (seventh-round pick Jeff Janis has not practiced yet because of injury).
But Boykin looks every bit like the same receiver -- or better -- than the one who caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns in the final 12 games last season.
"I know Aaron [Rodgers] feels very good about him," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
Boykin's ADP of the 14th round makes him an attractive target late in drafts. And the WR3 on the Packers can provide WR3 value in fantasy leagues, as he was on pace to put up #27 WR numbers last year had he played a full season. It doesn't look like the rookie Adams will pass Boykin at this point.
Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson reportedly wanted $10 million per season on his next deal, and that's just about what he got in his new four-year, $39 million extension -- which includes $14.2 million guaranteed -- NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Saturday.
Nelson's contract status shouldn't affect his play this season. He is now signed through the 2018 season, so he should have steady value in dynasty leagues.
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