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Fantasy Football News 2022

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Matt Schneidman of The Athletic expects the snap shares of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to stay “in the same vicinity” this season. Jones saw ~52% of the snaps in 2021; Dillon handled ~43%. Jones’ ability in the passing game gives him the leg up, but Dillon has made it a point of emphasis this offseason. “Coming in, I was always the big back who’s only good for third-and-short, so I really want to be and I think of myself as an APB, an all-purpose back, no matter what the situation,” Dillon said. “And I feel like last year was a good start, a good foothold if you will, but there’s still a couple opportunities I wish I had caught the ball and been in better placement or ran a route better. So I’m happy with the improvement, but obviously still working on it.” In FFPC drafting, Jones is currently coming off the board around RB10, with Dillion averaging out as the RB26.

Matt Schneidman of The Athletic writes that Packers TE Robert Tonyan “may not be ready to play Week 1.” Schneidman adds that he’d be surprised if Tonyan isn’t ready to play by Week 6. The veteran tore his ACL at the end of October, so he’ll be ~10.5 months removed from the injury come Week 1. Tonyan’s not a particularly desirable TE2, even if he’s ready for the opener.

Matt Schneidman of The Athletic believes WR Allen Lazard will lead the Packers in receptions. Schneidman cites Lazard’s “sturdy hands” and a budding rapport with Aaron Rodgers. The losses of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling took away 224 targets, so there’s no doubting the opportunity in front of Lazard. New arrivals Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Sammy Watkins don't exactly supply tough target competition. Our current projections agree with Schneidman’s assessment.

Packers WR Allen Lazard has signed his 1-year restricted free-agent tender. If he and the team don't agree to a long-term deal, he'll make just about $4 million this year and then hit free agency next offseason. Lazard has a shot to lead Green Bay in targets this year and is a fine value at his recent WR45 FFPC ADP.

Speaking at minicamp, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said he'll “definitely" finish his career in Green Bay. We’d give him some leeway to change his mind. But after signing an extension in March, the 38-year-old is signed through the 2024 season.

ESPN's Rob Demovsky reports that Packers WR Allen Lazard is not on hand for this week's mandatory minicamp. Lazard, of course, is not actually required to attend, because he has not signed his restricted free agent tender. That the 2 sides have not yet worked out anything longer term should give you pause about getting too excited over Lazard's outlook. Avoiding early-June minicamp might not ultimately matter for his 2022 role and production. But his absence will give more reps to younger WRs. At WR45 in current Underdog ADP, Lazard remains a fine player to mix into your best-ball drafting. That's almost exactly where he sits in our half-PPR WR rankings. We also prefer Lazard at cost over Christian Watson just about a round later. Consider mixing in some Randall Cobb and Romeo Doubs at the end of your drafts as well, though.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers gave his thoughts on retirement on Wednesday night. “I think about it all the time,” he said. “When you commit, you’re 100 percent. But the older you get, the interests change, and the grind, I think, wears on you a little more.” Rodgers later said that he could “definitely see the end coming” — hardly a surprise, as he’ll turn 39 in December. Of course, Rodgers has already toyed with the thought of retirement. However, he’s currently signed through the 2024 season.

Multiple reports have rookie WR Romeo Doubs impressing in OTA sessions. That's not surprising given the way GM Brian Gutekunst talked about the 4th-round selection in early May. “He’s got length, he’s really fast, he’s a big-time playmaker and he’s done it for multiple years at Nevada,” Gutekunst told the team website. “He’s probably one of the more polished players coming out of college just because of his experience. We’re excited to see what he can do.” That "polish" will tend to show in these early, padless workouts that are missing a number of veterans. Doubs will be worth tracking, though, as the renovated Green Bay WR corps leaves wide-open opportunity. It doesn't hurt Doubs' path that fellow Packers rookie Christian Watson has dropped some passes already. (But no, we're not overrating that issue for Watson right now.)

Wes Hodkiewicz of Packers.com expects RBs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to have a “big role” in the passing game. Jones saw 65 targets in 2021; Dillion handled 37. While Green Bay added several bodies to the WR corps, there’s uncertainty regarding how they’ll replace 224 targets left by Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Current projections have Jones for a career-high in catches.

New Packers OC Adam Stenavich commented on rookie WR Christian Watson. Stenavich is a former O-lineman who most recently coached Green Bay’s O-line. “His combination of size and speed is great,” Stenavich said. “He's a big guy, he can move, he's going to be a problem once he figures things out.” Watson’s physical traits are obvious. But as Stenavich noted, it’ll be the mental part that’s key for the WR's development.

Wes Hodkiewicz of Packers.com writes that the team feels “fine” about their TE situation. He notes that Robert Tonyan is making “significant progress” with ACL rehab. (Tonyan tore his ACL last October.) Interestingly, GM Brian Gutekunst shouted out TE Tyler Davis, a 2020 UDFA who played 121 snaps last season. “I think we might have found something there,” Gutekunst remarked. Tonyan, 28, posted 5 games with 10 or fewer yards prior to the injury. Don’t count on a major rebound.

The Packers nabbed Nevada WR Romeo Doubs in Round 4. The 4-year college starter improved his production every season, culminating with an 80-1,109-11 line this past year. Doubs is a long, slender 6’2, 204-pounder with good speed. He averaged 14.8 yards per catch at Nevada and caught 12 balls 20+ yards downfield in 2021 – 25th most in the country. Doubs has reliable hands (4.8% drop rate last year) but has a tendency to play small, winning just 28 of 68 contested-catch opportunities over the past 4 seasons, per Pro Football Focus. Doubs joins fellow rookie WR Christian Watson in Green Bay, alongside Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers.

The Packers traded up to select North Dakota State WR Christian Watson with the 34th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Watson is a truly freaky athlete. The 6’4, 208-pounder registered a 4.36-second 40-time and a 38.5-inch vertical at the Combine to earn a 100th percentile Relative Athletic Score. That obviously gives Watson a lofty fantasy ceiling. But the floor is low. Watson is more athlete than WR right now. He easily won with his size and speed against FCS defenses. But he’s a raw and inexperienced route runner, isn’t as dominant in contested situations as you’d expect and dropped 13% of his catchable targets over the past 3 seasons. Watson is also an older rookie, turning 23 in May. He has plenty of opportunity to earn playing time amid a Green Bay WR corps of Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers. We’ll see if Watson is ready.

The Packers chose DT Devonte Wyatt with the 28th pick in the NFL Draft. Wyatt should enhance the Green Bay run defense and help create space for other Green Bay front-7 defenders. He doesn't carry much IDP upside, though.

The Packers spent the 1st of their 2 first-round NFL Draft picks on Georgia LB Quay Walker. The 1st LB off the board, Walker arrives just shy of his 22nd birthday and posted a 95th-percentile speed score at the Combine. His numbers were limited in a loaded Bulldogs defense, and Walker might be hard-pressed for full-time duty as a rookie. Green Bay re-signed De'Vondre Campbell for big money in free agency, including $15 million in guaranteed money, after he served as their only full-time off-ball LB last season. Walker looks intriguing long term for IDP use, though.

The Packers signed WR Sammy Watkins to a 1-year deal. It's worth "up to" $4 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. We'll wait to see all the details of the contract, but it's clearly a cheap deal that doesn't guarantee Watkins a big role. The 28-year-old was phased out of Baltimore's offense during the 2021 season, finishing with just 27 catches for 394 yards and 1 score. He's finished with fewer than 700 receiving yards in 6 straight seasons. Watkins finds plenty of opportunity in Green Bay's current WR corps -- although the Packers are likely to add to the position in the draft later this month.

The Packers re-signed TE Robert Tonyan to a 1-year deal. Tonyan is rehabbing a late-October ACL tear but should be ready for the start of the 2022 season. He came out of nowhere for a 52-586-11 line in 2020 but was sitting just 24th among TEs in PPR points through the first 7 weeks of last year. Tonyan has a shot to grab a larger target share this season with WR Davante Adams' departure.

The Packers are tendering WR Allen Lazard at the 2nd-round level. That means any team would need to surrender a Round 2 selection to Green Bay if it wants to sign the restricted free agent. We'd bet on Lazard sticking with the only team he has played for. We'll see whether the Packers at more to the position this offseason. Lazard looks fine as a late-round pick in current best-ball drafting.

The Packers have agreed to a 5-year deal with LB De'Vondre Campbell worth $50 million, according to Bill Huber of SI.com. Campbell landed in Green Bay last offseason, after Arizona released him, and spent all of 2021 as a full-timer. He should remain a solid-to-strong IDP option for 2022 fantasy football -- though there's a chance he goes over-drafted.

The Packers have inked a 4-year extension with EDGE Preston Smith that includes $52.5 million in new money, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Smith had 1 year remaining on his previous deal with no guaranteed money, which had led to him being mentioned as a cut candidate. The new contract lowers his 2022 cap number while securing Smith into his 30s.

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