GREEN BAY • Inside the Locker Room
With Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com
Who is deserving of a higher draft pick: James Starks or Ryan Grant?
Grant. While Starks was a pleasant late-season surprise and showed flashes down the stretch, Grant had back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons before his 2010 campaign ended with a broken ankle at the end of an 18-yard run in the season-opener at Philadelphia. While Starks does figure to take some carries away from Grant in the Packers' pass-oriented offense, rumors of Grant's demise are greatly exaggerated.
Whose value is hurt the most by the return of tight end Jermichael Finley?
Entering the season, the Packers’ offense was designed to flow through Finley, whose size-speed combination created matchup migraines for opposing defensive coordinators. After Finley’s injury, Jennings became the focal point. With Finley healthy again, it stands to reason that Jennings' numbers could drop slightly.
How can fantasy owners expect to see rookie Randall Cobb used in the offense?
With the (expected) free-agent departure of James Jones, who had 50 catches for 679 yards and five touchdowns in 16 regular-season games, Cobb will have a chance to contribute. Still, he's likely to be, at best, the team's No. 4 receiver, and with a healthy Jermichael Finley back in the mix at tight end, his opportunities figure to be few and far between — especially after all the rookie draft picks missed out on the chance to learn the offense in the offseason, thanks to the lockout.
• Fantasy Playoff Run — Weeks 14-16: OAK, @KC, CHI
Does it really matter what the Packers’ playoff schedule is? The Packers are so potent and their weapons are so consistent, that you are advised to take whatever matchup may come their way. Just for the record: Once the Pack gets past the No. 2 pass D that is Oakland, they will face last year’s Nos. 17 and 20 pass defenses, Kansas City and Chicago.
• Athlon Best Bets
Sleeper: James Jones, WR Deep-Sleeper: Randall Cobb, WR Overvalued: James Starks, RB Top Rookie: Randall Cobb, WR Bounce-Back: Jermichael Finley, TE Top IDP: Clay Matthews, LB
• Try to Avoid
Donald Driver, WR
With Jordy Nelson and James Jones stepping up, Jermichael Finley returning and Randall Cobb joining the offense, the 36-year-old Driver’s value is greatly diminished after his worst season in Green Bay since 2001. WAIT UNTIL: 17th RD
• Draft Class Fantasy Impact
The rich simply got richer in the 2011 draft. The Packers gave Aaron Rodgers more weapons with the selections of Cobb, Green and Williams — all intriguing keeper options. Cobb will make his biggest impact right away on special teams. Green will serve as the No. 3 back this season.