We are officially now in the hype season, or as we call it, NFL training camp. This is a time where you will hear plenty of praise for players from coaches, teammates and beat reporters. Maybe it’s a simple as someone slimming down and adding muscle or a receiver got contact lenses finally or last season a player’s shoes were too tight, but now they’re nice and comfy. Whatever the hype, as fantasy players, we hear it as affirmation about a player we like or hollow praise about a player we don’t like.
Throughout camp we’ll keep an eye out for the hyped player of the day and see if the praise is something we should take notice of or disregard. For today, that player is Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard.
Last season Lazard broke through the bottom of the depth chart to become the No. 2 target from Week 6 on. It was a strong showing for an undrafted free agent rookie who signed with the Jaguars in 2018 and ended up landing on the Packers practice squad and barely making the cut for 2019.
But now in the year 2020, Lazard is walking into camp as a starter after the team declined to draft a wide receiver and offseason acquisition Devin Funchess opted out of the season. And today on Twitter, the hype train started rolling.
Adams mentioned Allen Lazard as someone who is coming into his own. Matt LaFleur has mentioned him a number of times this offseason. Lazard also has the confidence of his QB.— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) August 4, 2020
Really feels like a breakout season is coming.
When asked about the WR position this offseason, coach Matt LaFleur, GM Brian Gutekunst, QB Aaron Rodgers and now WR Davante Adams ALL mentioned @AllenLazard first.— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) August 4, 2020
Kinda excited to see what Allen Lazard can do this season. He could become that legit #2 the Packers have been digging for for years now.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) August 4, 2020
Rodgers clearly has faith in him that he doesn't have in anyone other than Devante Adams in GB.
Is the hype real?
Last season, Lazard put up 35 receptions on 52 targets for 447 yards and three touchdowns after seeing his first targets in Week 6. Opportunity is king and for the Packers, there is plenty of opportunity up for grabs after Davante Adams gets his big piece of the pie.
We will most likely see Lazard’s ADP rise as the hype builds, but at the moment, he is being drafted as the 66th wide receiver off the board in half-PPR leagues. He isn’t guaranteed that No. 2 spot, but he had it to end last season and I don’t see him relinquishing it without an injury.
Is the hype too much?
Lazard will have Adams, Aaron Jones and likely TE Jace Sternberger to compete with, but at his current ADP there’s little doubt he is worth grabbing in drafts. His upside is still an unknown, as the Packers are heavily invested in running the ball and might not throw enough for Lazard to be a difference maker. But, Rodgers is still a good to great quarterback and needs to find a playmaker to target other than Adams.