Fantasy Reaction: Sammy Watkins Signs 1-Year Deal with Green Bay (Fantasy Football)

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The Lizard King, Sammy Watkins, finally has a new home. Watkins, who will turn 29 years old this summer, has signed a one-year deal with the Green Bay Packers worth $4 million. Watkins, who was drafted with the 4th overall pick way back in 2014 hasn’t lived up to the expectations that come with being a top-5 overall selection in the NFL Draft. Per our Career Snapshot Tool, Watkins hasn’t had a top-30 fantasy season since 2015, and he’s finished outside the top-36 WRs every season between 2016 and 2021. It’s safe to say Watkins it’s extremely unlikely to be fantasy viable on a consistent basis, but what can we expect from the rest of the Packers’ weapons now that Watkins is on the roster?

Of course, Davante Adams vacates a 30+% target share, so there should be plenty of volume to go around for someone to emerge. As of now, the Packers’ WR depth chart is headlined by Allen Lazard (Shoutout to the Lizard King and Lazard King combo!) and declining veteran Randall Cobb. The team selected 2nd year WR Amari Rodgers in the 3rd round of last year’s NFL Draft, and they own the 22nd and 28th overall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Based on their current situation, they’re likely to take at least one wide out, if not multiple in the Draft. However, even with an influx of youth at the position, it’s difficult to see the any single WR filling the void left by Davante Adams. Our own Kyle Borgognoni conducted a research looking at vacated targets and found that in most cases, running backs, not wide receivers, see the biggest uptick in targets in these situations. Very quietly, Aaron Jones may be the biggest beneficiary of the Davante Adams trade. In his career, when Jones has played without Adams, he averages 8 more PPR points per game, 2.5 more targets per game and 31 more receiving yards per game. Jones, who has always thrived on efficiency, should continue to be efficient this season thanks to this projected increase in pass volume. Over the last three seasons, Jones is 6th in yards per touch and has the 6th most receptions among all running backs in that sample. Jones has a real chance to set career highs in targets, receptions and yards in 2022.

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