In their search for a viable No. 2 wide receiver, and as Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling continued to fall short, the Green Bay Packers gave Allen Lazard a shot last season. He did not register a catch until Week 6, and from there through Week 16 he was WR2 in standard and full-point PPR fantasy leagues. In more direct terms, he was a WR5 in 12-team leagues.
That’s not very impressive on the whole, and the Packers should address a need for a proven veteran wide receiver in free agency. But there is a potential opportunity out there for Lazard, and general manager Brian Gutekunst praised the steps he took late last season.
“I think what he’s proven over the past year is that he’s a pretty valuable receiver, so I wouldn’t expect him to move [to tight end],” Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst said, via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Apparently the Packers initially entertained the idea of moving the 6-foot-5, 227-pound Lazard to tight end as a nod to his size and lack of great timed speed. But that’s off the table at this point.
If the Packers let Allison leave in free agency and cut Valdes-Scantling, they would leave behind a total of 60 receptions and 111 targets from last season. Remove tight end Jimmy Graham, a potential offseason cut if he doesn’t retire, and it becomes 109 vacated catches and 179 vacated targets from 2019.
Jace Sternberger, who missed most of his rookie season due to injury, would theoretically step into a prominent role at tight end for Green Bay in 2020. But there’s the potential for a lot of missing production from 2019. If a big step isn’t taken to replace it with someone like Emmanuel Sanders , a path for Lazard to become the Packers’ No. 2 wide receiver would be cleared pending April’s draft.
He’s not the elite quarterback he once was, that much is clear. But anyone with the prospect of a prominent role catching passes from Aaron Rodgers belongs on the fantasy football radar somewhere.
A lot has to fall into place the right way for Lazard to fully emerge, or be tabbed as any sort of breakout candidate in fantasy terms for this year.
Be sure to keep an eye on Green Bay’s moves at the wide receiver position closely this offseason though, and the time to stash the Iowa State product away as a deep fantasy sleeper for 2020 is now. Dynasty league owners could do a lot worse for a highly speculative stash too.