WRs – Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams
Week 1 Statistics:
Nelson – 6 catches, 32 receiving yards, 1 TD; 9.20 fantasy points
Cobb – 6 catches, 57 receiving yards, 11 rushing yards; 6.80 fantasy points
Adams – 3 catches, 70 receiving yards, 1 TD; 11.00 fantasy points
After having to wait for over a year, we finally got to see our favorite #87 out there running routes and catches passes from our favorite #12. What we saw was somewhat of a mixed bag.
At times, Nelson was able to get himself into the mix, with his plays on the Packers’ second TD drive — including some great spontaneous movement to get himself open on the TD catch — and prove that his health shouldn’t be a concern to us anymore.
Those good plays were surrounded by bouts of inconsistency, however. Before and after the TD drive, he was unable to find much of the preternatural cohesiveness with Rodgers that has made both of their careers spectacular in previous years; on at least two notable occasions, the trademark back-shoulder throws between them were falling just short, stalling out drives at some inopportune moments.
As he plays more though, he should find a better rhythm within the offense and rediscover more of his ability to threaten a defense. That could start here against a team he has routinely worked over.
Against Minnesota during his career (14 games, incl. playoffs), Nelson has been a menace. In ten of those previous games, he’s averaged at least 8.50 yards per catch. In six of those games, he has grabbed at least 4 catches; in eight, he’s had at least 50 yards. He’s also put up 7 TDs in that time. With some of the rust knocked off in the first game, it would not be surprising to see a decent follow-up effort versus a team he’s played well against.
Cobb hasn’t quite had the success of Nelson against Minnesota, but he does potentially have a matchup advantage that can be attacked. Defenses have to account for a healthy Nelson in a way nobody on Green Bay could force them to last year, and with the combination of better health for himself as well as not having to be the #1 guy this year, Cobb should see more opportunities. It also helps that Minnesota may be exploitable at his spot specifically; Minnesota ranked #25 in Defensive DVOA versus #2 receivers in 2015. I wouldn’t expect a big game — Captain Munnerlyn (Minnesota’s current-best corner) works in the slot (Cobb’s usual area) — but if he is moved around often as per usual, he’ll have some opportunities.
It was a great sign to see Adams step up with a huge play in Week 1, but his inconsistency still showed with some drops popping up. He could have some chances as well (especially if Minnesota shifts coverage towards Nelson and/or Cobb), but for now it is smart to bank on him giving us mostly what we have come to expect: a couple routine catches in the flow of the offense, with a drop or two mixed in.