Updated: Jun 8
2022 Fantasy Wide Receiver Sleeper Part 1
Written by: Jon Gerstenberger
One, second-round receiver gets drafted ahead of Lazard and he’s faded by most of the fantasy community. He might have even been faded before that, for less of a reason, I’m not sure, but I’m here to give him the stamp of approval to draft in your redraft leagues in 2022.
Let’s start at the targets – we all know that Davante Adams left this offseason, leaving a gaping hole in the Packers receiving game. Marquez Valdes-Scantling also departed, and combined, MVS and Adams left a void to the tune of 224 targets, or 39% of the total team targets from 2021. I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that Lazard grabs 10% of those vacated targets and ends 2022 at right around a 20% target share from Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers loves Allen Lazard, and history has shown it takes some time to build report with Rodgers. I don’t believe fantasy managers are as concerned with Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb (is it 2014…?) cutting into Lazard’s target share as much as rookie, Christian Watson.
However, the last three second-round wide receivers drafted in GB – Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams – took until their fourth, second and third year, respectively, to make any real fantasy impact. Christian Watson might be great in the future, but it’s Lazard’s time now.
Okay, we get it, Allen Lazard might get the lion share of the targets, but he was operating with Adams being the focus of the defense. He can’t do it alone!
Au contraire! In the four games without Adams in 2021, Lazard’s 17-game pace was 77 receptions for 1,254 yards and 9 touchdowns. It’s not a large sample size, I admit, but I think we can all admit larger assumptions have been made with smaller sample sizes, so I’ll take a quarter-season in this situation.
I don’t believe that’s Allen Lazard’s final stat line for 2022, as I think Aaron Jones will feast on those vacated targets as well, and even AJ Dillon, but I do believe that touchdown total is accurate, maybe even low, so Lazard is a cheap option with immense upside for your fantasy team.