Shark Bites

X-rays on Packers WR Randall Cobb's shoulder came back negative, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky.  Cobb will undergo additional testing on Sunday, but it at least sounds like he avoided a major injury.  "You know, we're taking it day by day right now," he said after Saturday night's preseason game. "We'll see come tomorrow what more we find out, and we'll go from there."  Dr. David Chao, a former NFL head physician, believes Cobb is most likely dealing with a sprained AC joint.  The severity would determine how long he'd be out.  Grade 1 or 2 sprains would likely have Cobb ready for Week 1.  Grade 3 would make him "unlikely" for Week 1 but wouldn't send him to IR designated for return, per Chao.  We should have more clarity on Cobb's status by Sunday night.  If you're drafting in the meantime, you might bump Cobb down a couple of spots in your WR rankings.  We'd still be comfy drafting him late in Round 2 and anywhere in Round 3. 

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Packers WR Randall Cobb headed to the locker room early in Saturday night's game against the Eagles, appearing to favor his right arm or shoulder after a Philly defender fell on him. Needless to say, a significant injury here would not only take away another WR1 from fantasy owners but further chip away at a Green Bay offense already down Jordy Nelson. We'll all be watching this situation closely.

Update: The Packers announced that Cobb has a shoulder injury.  We'll keep an eye out for more details.

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The initial diagnosis on Packers WR Jordy Nelson's knee injury is a torn ACL, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.  The team is still awaiting MRI results to confirm, but it's an injury that doctors can usually recognize right on the sidelines.  If confirmed, Nelson would miss the entire 2015 season.  It'd vault WR Randall Cobb to the top of the totem pole and mean a bigger role for WR Davante Adams.  Jeff Janis would become the favorite for the #3 WR job.  Stay tuned for updates.

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Packers HC Mike McCarthy applauded 2nd-year WR Davante Adams. "I think he's had a heck of a camp,” McCarthy said. “Looking for big things from him." Unless an injury strikes Randall Cobb or Jordy Nelson, those “big things” are unlikely to amount to steady WR3 totals. Last year, Green Bay passed on 55.2% of their plays – 23rd league-wide. They also ranked 24th in plays per game. Aaron Rodgers helps boost this unit’s efficiency, but we still perfer Adams as a WR4.

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Packers insider Bob McGinn points out that 33 of WR Randall Cobb's 46 backfield snaps came in the final 5 games last season.  He carried 8 times for 28 yards in those contests after totaling just 9 yards on 4 carries in his first 11 outings.  Cobb averaged just 3.1 yards per carry last year but ripped off 15.0 per carry over the previous 2.  We'll see if the increased rushing role at the end of 2014 carries over to 2015.  That'd only raise the fantasy ceiling on a guy who finished as a top-8 WR across formats last year.

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The Packers have signed WR Randall Cobb to a 4-year, $40 million deal. It's a great move for the fantasy value of a guy who finished 8th among PPR wideouts in 2014. Cobb should remain a WR1 in fantasy football drafts this year and for the foreseeable future. We'll see if his $10 million annual average sets the bar for any other receivers on the market.

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Packers WR Randall Cobb will enter the season as the team's lead punt returner once again, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.  The Packers wanted to remove Cobb from return duties but couldn't find a suitable replacement.  Micah Hyde will reportedly share the role but sits behind Cobb on the special-teams depth chart.  Keeping return duties obviously only adds value for Cobb in fantasy football leagues that give points for return yardage.  Everyone else will just hope he doesn't get hurt on a return.

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The Packers signed WR Jordy Nelson to a 4-year extension worth $39 million, including $14.2 million guaranteed. It’s a well-earned raise. Nelson’s developed into Aaron Rodgers’ top target over the past few years, notching 30 TDs since 2011. He’s locked in as a WR1 in fantasy. Green Bay could now turn up the heat on negotiations with Randall Cobb, who enters the final year of his rookie contract.

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The Packers offense is looking to play faster in 2014. HC Mike McCarthy wants to run 75 plays per game. That’d easily lead the league and probably isn’t realistic. Denver ran an NFL-high 72 plays per game last year. Green Bay averaged 67 plays per game. But that number climbed to 69 in games QB Aaron Rodgers finished. "Aaron Rodgers is a beast the way he plays the game, the way he attacks the defense, whether it's his cadence, his ability to recognize defenses to take advantage of a certain pressure, and then on top of it he's so well-rehearsed in this offense," McCarthy said. “Playing faster” has become the overused buzz term over the past couple offseasons, but the Packers certainly have the personnel to make it happen. More plays would obviously mean more fantasy upside for Rodgers, RB Eddie Lacy and WRs Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin.

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The Packers added WR Davante Adams with the 53rd pick of the draft.  The Fresno St. product totaled a whopping 233 catches over the past 2 seasons in a pass-happy attack.  He's a 6'1, 212-pounder with a big catching radius and sticky hands.  Adams has drawn comparisons to Michael Crabtree and James Jones.  He'll serve as Green Bay's 4th WR in 2014, but Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are both free agents next offseason.  Adams is a recommended dynasty stash.

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The Packers aren't expected to bring back free agent WR James Jones -- at least partly because they're confident in Jarrett Boykin's ability to step into the #3 WR role.  "I'm as high on Boykin as anybody in our building," HC Mike McCarthy said. "He had a heck of a year, and I still think he has another jump in him."  Boykin saw 83 targets in 2013, hauling in 49 balls for 681 yards and 3 scores.  He fared quite a bit better than Jones in Pro Football Focus' grades.  Consistent production figures to be tough to come by for Boykin as the #3 WR in 2014.  But he'll have intriguing upside as a spot starter.  Longer term, McCarthy believes Boykin could develop into a #2 WR.  Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are both free agents next offseason.

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