NFL free agency started on March 18th, but technically does not end until the end of the season. However, after a firehose of news the first week, and another run the second week, things quiet down to a trickle. There are still big names out there, but it’s going to take some time to get them signed, sealed and delivered.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at where teams stand after the early rush of free agency and what it means for fantasy football. We’re going to take a look at the skill positions, breaking down what the starting lineup and reserves will look like to assess fantasy value heading into August drafts.
Today, we’re taking a look at the Green Bay Packers who lost LB Blake Martinez and RT Bryan Buluga in free agency while bringing in LB Christian Kirksey and WR Devin Funchess. They also lost TE Jimmy Graham, but that shouldn’t be a big loss. Overall it was a quiet offseason, but losing Buluga will be tough.
Starter: Aaron Rodgers
Backups: Tim Boyle
Rodgers finished as QB9 last season in a year where the team scored almost half their touchdowns on the ground, as Aaron Jones led the league with 16 rushing touchdowns. That has a little to do with coach Matt LeFleur, but his play calling still shows that more touchdowns should have come through the air than they did.
Rodgers has slipped a little over the last couple seasons, but he’s still playing at a high level. He could use some help with additional receivers. Devin Funchess was added and could help, but a wide receiver in the draft should be a priority.
Starter: Aaron Jones
Backups: Jamaal Williams, Dexter Williams
Jones was outstanding last season but did have a bit more touchdown luck than your average NFL player with 19 total. He finished as the RB2 despite seeing just 236 carries and 49 receptions and when Jamaal Williams was healthy, he often took a big chunk of Jones’ touches.
Coach LeFleur talked about wanting even more help at running back, so it doesn’t look like Jones is going to magically become a bell cow back due to his big fantasy season. LeFleur doesn’t seem too interested in Giving Dexter Williams more work, so they may go get another running back before the 202 season, but Jamaal Williams has shown enough to LeFleur to continue cutting into Jones’ touches.
Starters: Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Devin Funchess
Backups: Jake Kumerow, Allen Lazard, Darrius Shepherd
Adams is a target hog due to the dearth of receiving options and his elite ability, but the team very much needs another strong receiver. Devin Funchess is a positive addition, as his size should give Rodgers a good target in the red zone, but they could add a wide receiver in the draft.
Allen Lazard had a good run last season and could take a step forward this season, but after Adams, there isn’t anyone we can count on in fantasy at this point.
Adams has also had injury trouble recently and when he is out, the Packers passing offense takes a huge hit. An upgrade must be in the cards.
Starter: Jace Sternberger
Backups: Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan Jr.
The Packers let Jimmy Graham go after a lackluster season. That was likely a good move, as Jace Sternberger is a prospect who could take a big step forward this season and if he were to falter, Lewis and Tonyan are decent backups. If Sternberger can make that second-year leap, it will be a huge help to this offense, so he should at least get his opportunity.