When it comes to fantasy owners, some have qualms about targeting two guys on the same team – I don’t. If I can find two talented wide receivers that have Aaron Rodgers throwing to them, I’ll take them all day.
Unsurprisingly, those two players are Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. Currently being selected in the 3rd round of Fantasy Football Calculator’s Drafts, Cobb and Nelson are being severely undervalued.
Two injuries are a big part of where these players are being drafted:
Firstly, Aaron Rodgers who missed Weeks 8-16 with a broken left collarbone. With Rodgers missing eight games, drafters are looking at Jordy Nelson’s stats with Matt Flynn at quarterback. With a closer look, the astute eye can see that Nelson was a vastly different player with the superior option, Rodgers, throwing him the ball:
|Per Game with Rodgers||6.1||101.25||0.875||21.5|
|Per Game with Flynn||4.5||63||0.125||11.55|
Even on a per game basis, you can see a huge difference. In eight games with Rodgers, Nelson caught seven touchdowns. In eight games with Flynn, he caught just one. In those eight games with each, Nelson had 810 receiving yards with Rodgers compared to 504 with Flynn.
With Rodgers, Jordy Nelson was on pace for 98 catches for 1,620 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. That equates to 344 fantasy points – to put that in perspective, Demaryius Thomas led all receivers last season with 319. With each at quarterback for eight games in 2013, he finished 13th.
The other injury that obstructs fantasy owners’ views is Randall Cobb’s injury. Not only has the injury led to Cobb being called “injury-prone” by prospective owners but he’s also become undervalued. Let’s take a look at Cobb’s pre-injury statistics:
These 2013 stats do NOT include Randall Cobb’s two catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns in Week 17: Cobb was banged up and Jarrett Boykin started over him in that game. After starting the season with 25 catches in four games, Cobb broke his leg in the Packers 5th game. If you extrapolate his stats to a full season, he was on pace to finish the season with 309.2 fantasy points. That would put him at 4th out of wide receivers.
Despite an injury to Rodgers, Cobb, and Nelson are extremely productive players when healthy and I’m looking forward to having them on many of my fantasy teams. I can’t see any situation in which these players should be ranked any lower than WR1s in PPR leagues.