I was reading this fantasy advice
article today and it mentioned that Richard Rogers is now the starting TE for the Packers. This is kind of a big deal, since he haven't had a good passing catching TE in awhile and Rogers could be it. If he didn't win the job this year I'd be worried about his development, so this is a good step in my opinion. Do you guys think he will make an impact?
With Quarless likely heading for a multi-game suspension, Rodgers is clearly the week 1 starting TE.
Given that the guys behind Rodgers and Quarless have not made statements, it's a fair bet Rodgers will get a lot of snaps particularly when Quarless is absent. Perillo looks serviceable; now he has a concussion so we'll see where that goes.
Rodgers is a good-hands guy and looks to be running decent routes. He looks a bit faster than his Combine/Pro Day times of 4.87/4.82 times at 254 lbs., but not by much...put him down for 4.75-equivalent field speed. He's not going to be running away from linebackers. Quarless is noticeably faster and the better athlete. Rodgers is a more natural receiver, has better hands, and looks to be a savvier route runner.
Given the Packers high percentage of 3-wide sets, Lacy's emergence as a receiver last season (42 catches, and Rodgers predilection for taking the downfield throw over the underneath routes, I'd expect Rodgers' production to be muted. It's not generally appreciated outside of Packerland that this offense runs a relatively balanced attack. The Packers ranked 20th. and 18th. in pass attempts in 2014 and 2013, respectively, since Lacy's arrival
Quarless and Rodgers combined for 49 catches, 548 yds, 5 TDs. It's hard to see where the TEs will be getting many more opportunities than that this season.
I would say 35 catches, 420 yds., 5 TDs would be a decent year for Rodgers. I think you'd find most Packer loyalists are not looking for high catch/yards productivity...the need from his is red zone productivity, an area of the field where the Packers struggled last season particularly against the better defenses.
If I engaged in the world of fantasy football (which I do not) as opposed to real football, wouldn't one be looking at receivers and TEs in the pass-happy offenses of recent years in Indy, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Pittsburgh. Or how about a TE in a high throw frequency/ball control passing offense like Mychal Rivera in Oakland, who I suppose would be a fantasy bargain if that's what you're looking for.
A cautionary note on Rodgers or any Packer TE. Given the fact they are far from featured receivers, run blocking ability comes more to the forefront. Rodgers needs to improve. I noticed in this last preseason game he looked decent blocking in-line against the man right in front of him on the couple of times I took note of it. But on the move down the line or into the second level, he has to step it up. Earlier I described his technique on the move as "casual". For anybody who has access to the replay, check out Rodgers block on Lacy's 15 yard run at 11:15 of the first quarter. This is not atyptical. I can't say I noted Rodgers-as-H-back run blocking out of the backfield against NE, but he was not very good at it last season. That will bear watching as we move through the preseason.