Allen Lazard looks very likely to be on a lot of Fantasy Index teams this year. He snuck into our initial top 20 at the position, which is generous for a guy whose career high in receiving yards is 513. But Aaron Rodgers offers encouragement that he'll be well over that in 2022.
"He’s been our dirty-work guy for most of his career here, and now he’s getting an opportunity to be a No. 1 receiver, so I’m not worried about him at all stepping into that role," Rodgers says in a story at The Athletic. It's reasonable to take those words with a grain of salt -- Rodgers routinely talks up different receivers in the preseason -- but Lazard does make the most sense as the team's No. 1.
The other candidates include Sammy Watkins (generally a disappointment with another elite quarterback Patrick Mahomes), Randall Cobb (32 next month and a couple of years removed from a 500-yard season) and second-rounder Christian Watson (who seems likeliest to fill a sidekick, Marquez Valdes-Scantling role). Lazard isn't a sure thing, but looks like the best bet of these candidates. In general, he's produced with his opportunities.
Lazard has been in the league four years; he's had an offensive role in three of those seasons. But I thought I'd look at strictly the games where he had close to a full-time role, playing at least three-quarters of the snaps. There have been 18 such games, so a little over the current NFL season length.
In those 18 games he's caught at least 4 passes eight times and scored in exactly half of them. His collective stats for those contests: 63 catches, 858 yards and 9 touchdowns. (Note: his lone 1-catch game was with Jordan Love at quarterback.)
|LAZARD OVER 75 PERCENT OF SNAPS|
A total of 858 yards doesn't constitute top-20 production (last year it would have ranked 32nd among wide receivers); 63 catches would have ranked 34th at the position. But 9 TDs would have been a top-10 number, and that production was compiled with Davante Adams playing in nearly all of those games. There's no Adams in Green Bay, and nobody more likely to step into that role, at least this season, than Lazard.
Lazard doesn't need to actually be drafted in the top 20 at the position. Most ADP calculators I'm seeing have him being selected outside the top 40. Secure him a little earlier than that, and he should wind up comfortably outperforming that.