Nov 23, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) argues a call during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers defeated the Vikings 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
WRs – Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams
Nelson – 8 catches, 68 yards; 6.80 fantasy points
Cobb – 4 catches, 58 yards; 5.80 fantasy points
Adams – 1 catches, 10 yards; 1.00 fantasy points
Last week was surprising in a bad way for receiver production on this team. For the first time all year, all three viable receivers managed to not have a decent day at the same time. Am I concerned? Not in the least! Let me explain.
Nov 16, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) catches a touchdown pass during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
It isn’t as if the Vikings did anything particularly crazy to prevent Green Bay’s receivers from providing their usual collection of production; they just game-planned to not be beat all day by the pass. The overloaded against it, which hurt the receiver production but ended up having them pummeled by Lacy for his best game of the year.
I keep seeing it stated by people that this team’s offense has a real ‘pick-you-poison’ nature to it now, and I agree. While the passing game is easily the more powerful weapon, the running game has become potent enough to make teams actually have to make a tough decision between which way they want the Packers to beat them.
As I said in the Lacy section, this Patriots team is pretty-well set to do what Philadelphia and others tried but failed to do: load up against the run and force the Packers to be one-dimensional. I think in spurts New England may have some success — provided they stop Lacy of course — but these guys have the talent to make plenty of plays against them in the passing game.
A huge factor in terms of individual production will be who ends up matched by Darrelle Revis; he’s still one of the best CBs in the league and can handle WRs one-on-one. I think it will be a decent split between Nelson and Cobb for Revis, with a combination of Browner/Safety bracketing the one he doesn’t cover on most plays. Though that sounds daunting — and it is — I still see each of them having a decent outing; they’ll have to if Green Bay expects to win.
Oct 19, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
I think because of all the attention on Nelson and Cobb, we will see someone else make a big step up in the receiving game and take advantage of single coverage against lesser players. It could be anyone from Lacy to one of the TEs, but I think this is Adams’ time to shine.
Adams has been steadily consistent most of the year, but not too dynamic in the stat book. I think part of that is a lack of necessity and general awesomeness by the Nelson/Cobb duo, so I won’t hold that against him. Barring major games against strong coverage for the other two, somebody will have to be able to act as a strong 3rd option to make them pay for the focus of their coverage schemes.
As I said, this is Adams’ time to shine and I think we’ll need some shades; it’s about to get pretty bright.
Nelson – 6 catches, 80 yards; 8 fantasy points
Cobb – 7 catches, 90 yards, 1 TD; 15 fantasy points
Adams – 7 catch, 100 yards, 1 TD; 16 fantasy point
Verdict: Must-Start (Cobb); Startable (Nelson/Adams)