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Jordy Nelson has tools to be fantasy’s top WR in 2015

July 22nd, 2015


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Every year, one of the final fantasy football pieces we produce is a bold predictions column. There are hits and misses in each version of the column, but all the predictions within are based on sound analysis. There was one prediction I was particularly confident in last year. Though it’s only the middle of July, and this year’s edition of bold predictions is still about six weeks away, I have a feeling I’m going to making the exact same one right off the top again.

Yes, even though he has climbed up draft boards after his performance the last two seasons, Jordy Nelson is still an underappreciated fantasy asset. How underappreciated, you ask? I’d definitely take him in the first round of a 12-team league, and there’s no receiver I like better at his expected draft-day price.

Talent, opportunity and environment are the three key selling points for any player, regardless of fantasy stock. Every player in Nelson’s rating neighborhood has plenty of the first two, but few are as strong in the final area as Aaron Rodgers’s No. 1 receiver. Say what you will about Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson—and, I agree, there’s a lot to be said for both—but Rodgers is still the best real-life and fantasy quarterback in the game right now. Green Bay’s passing attack remains the most potent and efficient in the league, and one in which fantasy owners want to invest. Want some proof? Nelson had the second-highest wide receiver rating last year, which measures quarterback rating when throwing to one specific receiver. The only receiver to beat him? That would be his teammate, Randall Cobb.

You may have forgotten the exact numbers Nelson posted last season, even though you remember they were great. He caught 98 passes for 1,519 yards, both career highs, and 13 touchdowns. That was good enough to make him the No. 2 receiver in standard-scoring fantasy leagues, trailing only Antonio Brown. In terms of points per game, he was behind Brown and Odell Beckham. Don’t forget, too, that the Packers’ starters sat out four fourth quarters in blowout wins over the Vikings (42–10), Panthers (38–17), Bears (55–14) and Eagles (53–20). If they keep their starters in for even just two of those games, Nelson may have been the top-scoring receiver last year. He had double-digit points in 10 games, and scored fewer than eight points just four times.



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