Sep 20, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) stiff arms Seattle Seahawks safetyEarl Thomas
(29) after making a catch in the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
WRs –Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, James Jones, Ty Montgomery
Cobb – 8 catches, 116 receiving yards; 11.60 fantasy points
Adams – 5 catches, 33 receiving yards; 3.30 fantasy points
Jones – 1 catch, 29 receiving yards, 1 TDs; 8.90 fantasy points
Montgomery – 2 catches, 37 receiving yards; 3.70 fantasy points
Well, I was quite wrong in terms of the receivers last week. It wasn’t all my fault though; circumstances affected things quite a bit here.
Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiverDavante Adams
(17) runs after catching a pass during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
I expected Cobb to still be too hampered by his shoulder to be a major factor, but instead a more secondary option. Not at all! He was the top receiver on the team, just as should have been expected. Even with the shoulder issue I should have accounted for the fact that the Seattle defense tends to not target players to stop, instead letting their coverage stay basic while letting their guys make plays in spots they are most comfortable with.
I thought Adams would end up as the de-facto number one target due to Cobb’s injury and the unlikelihood of James Jones being the best target for two weeks in a row. Nope! This was fully out of my hands though, seeing as Adams was one of three Packers that injured their ankles. His apparently was the least severe since he did return to the game, but his abilities were clearly limited by it.
As I stated before, I expected Jones to not quite be as productive for two weeks in a row. Wrong!…well, mostly right actually. He did only see one catch, but it went for a touchdown on that first Aaron Rodgers free play heave. Still, he was matched up on Richard Sherman often so it isn’t a surprise he didn’t do much (though the TD was against Sherman, so that’s a nice bonus!).
Montgomery wasn’t even in my projections; I doubted he’d see much work outside of punt/kick returns. Instead, he actually got to do more as a receiver than a returner; he had two catches but only one single return attempt. He also was the target on the 2nd of Rodgers’ free play heaves, forcing the 52-yard pass interference penalty on that play.
As you can see, predicting receiver output is quite tricky unless you are the clear #1 option.
Sep 20, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) catches a pass for a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Against a talented secondary that is still missing their #1 cornerback to suspension (Sean Smith), the only sure option we can look to is Cobb; another week for his shoulder to heal will allow him even more effectiveness.
After Cobb it is a bit of a toss-up; there are reasons that any one of these other pass catchers could have a nice game.
Adams — if his ankle is well enough — should be able to do fine against single coverage. Jones shouldn’t be as shackled with someone other than Sherman across from him, plus he works really well around the end-zone. Montgomery has potential to bust off a big gain or two, should he be given the snaps to try.
My thinking for this week has Jones being the one of these three to step up again, providing that exact end-zone work I was talking about. I think Adams will not be 100% because of his ankle, slowing him down but still letting him catch some balls out there. Montgomery may get a deep pass or two his way, but I’m not seeing enough chances to expect too much.
We’ll just have to wait and see if this round of predictions is closer to reality than in Week 2.
Week 3 Predictions:
Cobb – 8 catches, 100 receiving yards, 1 TD; 16.00 fantasy points
Adams – 4 catches, 50 receiving yards; 6.00 fantasy points
Jones – 3 catch, 55 receiving yards, 1 TDs; 11.50 fantasy points
Montgomery – 2 catches, 40 receiving yards; 4.00 fantasy points
Verdicts: #1 Option (Cobb); TD-Dependent Second Option (Jones); Watch Those Injury Updates (Adams); Send Up A Prayer — And Hope He Catches It (Montgomery)