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Fantasy camp battles: Devin Funchess vs. Allen Lazard

The Packers have stud Davante Adams leading the way, but will Devin Funchess or Allen Lazard have fantasy viable workloads in 2020?

Allen Lazard of the Green Bay Packers looks on during the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

UPDATE August 31: Lazard doesn’t have much competition because of the Packers’ depleted receiving corps, but he’s solidified his team’s belief that he can back up Adams. Running back Aaron Jones should continue to be a major factor through the air, but Darrius Shepherd is a dark horse that could break into the picture to help out now that Funchess has opted out.


UPDATE July 28: Devin Funchess elected to opt out of the 2020 season. Allen Lazard is expected to get the start opposite Davante Adams. The competition thus becomes Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. Equanimeous St. Brown vs. Malik Turner. The Packers’ one big pass catching addition was Funchess, and he’s out of the picture now.


In this series we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project, correctly, which players will win training camp battles.

The Green Bay Packers had one of the most underwhelming receiving corps in the NFL last year, and don’t appear to be on the verge of getting much better. While it was clear that Aaron Rodgers needed a reliable target aside from Davante Adams, Green Bay elected not to pick any wideouts in the 2020 NFL Draft. Will one of the Packers pass catchers make a big leap in 2020? If not, a newcomer might have to emerge as a quality WR2.

Allen Lazard was Green Bay’s second leading receiver in 2019, but he only finished the year with 35 receptions for 477 yards and three scores. The Packers added Devin Funchess in free agency, and he’s expected to be the frontrunner to become Rodgers’ second best target. One of these massive receivers has to become a threat.

Lazard and Funchess are both over 6’4” but Lazard’s size wasn’t enough to help him to become a top 60 fantasy wideout in his first full season with Green Bay. Funchess was injured early last season with the Colts and tallied just three receptions, but did have some success in Carolina, with the peak coming in 2017 when he caught 63 passes for 840 yards and eight touchdowns.

Verdict

Lazard has youth on his side and is just getting started while Funchess will be on his third team in his six-year career. Funchess signed a prove-it deal that is loaded with incentives that could push him up from his $1.2 million base salary to $6.25 million. Funchess can beat out defenders on contested catches and should end up with the No. 2 job from the start.