The drama is finally over. This week, ahead of the start of the Greenbay Packers training camp, Aaron Rodgers reported to the team facility ending his “stand-off” with the team. From the conclusion of the 2020 season, Rodgers was at odds with the front office. The drama unfolded throughout the rest of the offseason and held news cycles and headlines hostage, as we saw exchanges being made from both sides. Fortunately, for Packers fans and fantasy managers, that’s all in the past as Rodgers not only made his way back to training camp but will have access to something he’s been looking to secure this whole offseason: control of his future.
Per NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have agreed to rework his current contract to bring him back to the team. In the new deal, his 2023 season has been voided. Rodgers will be under contract until the conclusion of the 2022 season. The Packers would then have the option to offer Rodgers a long-term deal if everything goes smoothly or allow Rodgers to be a free agent if he plays out both years. Another stipulation to get Rodgers was to bring wide receiver Randall Cobb back to the Packers. Earlier this week, the Packers sent a 6th round pick to the Houston Texans to bring him in. Cobb is someone that has played most of his career with Rodgers up until 2019.
Of course, let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. With Aaron Rodgers back in the fold, Davante Adams and Aaron Jones’s fantasy value is cemented. Adams likely heads into the 2021 season as the WR1 for fantasy this year, while Aaron Jones looks to be a Top 10-12 running back in PPR formats. Both players under Rodgers have had major success for fantasy managers. Davante Adams should continue to be a monster in the red zone as he has been in the past. Adams has 4 out of 5 seasons with double-digit touchdown seasons under his belt and finished as the WR1 for the 2020 season with 18 touchdowns. Jesus! Aaron Jones finished as the RB5 last season, averaging 18.5 fantasy points per game with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. His production doesn’t seem to be on the downturn after the Packers paid him this offseason to the tune of 4 years/$48 million.
What will be interesting is what fantasy managers are looking for after these two skill players come off fantasy boards. Prior to the Randall Cobb trade, wide receiver Allen Lazard was deemed to be the next wide receiver that would be coming off the board. With Cobb coming in, that could change. Rodgers loves targeting players that he’s comfortable with and he and Randall Cobb are familiar with each other. Cobb had his only 1,000+ yard season with Rodgers back in 2014. Cobb will also have to fight his way through the wide receiver corp but if he can, Cobb could be the new security blanket for Rodgers. Other receivers like Marquez Valdez-Scantling and rookie Amari Rodgers could take a hit in value if Cobb surfaces as one of the top dogs in three-wide receiver sets… if he can stay healthy.
Robert Tonyan, at least in my opinion is a bit on the safer side. Tonyan showed that he can be a reliable target for Aaron Rodgers, especially in the red zone. In 2020, Tonyan was 10 of 11 when targeted in the red zone, scoring seven touchdowns inside the 20-yard line. That kind of reliability made Tonyan the 6th highest in fantasy points in the red zone with 58.7 fantasy points. For now, Cobb’s re-acclimation to the Packers team is worth monitoring going forward. For Redraft, both Lazard and Cobb are worth adding in the late-rounds. As it stands, Cobb has the edge. MVS and Amari Rodgers are deep-shots at best with these new changes and will likely be players you can get off the waiver wire after the draft.