- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
Summer is here, and the NFL preseason games will be underway before you know it. As teams train and hold camps, let’s analyze what fantasy owners should be looking for in the next few months. Join the conversation on Twitter: #FantasySnapshot
What’s new? Well, it was a quiet offseason for the Packers on the offensive side of the football, though several depth pieces were brought back (running back James Starks, tight end Andrew Quarless and, of course, the awesome backup quarterback Matt Flynn. Phew!). The Packers have the weapons to score many points, but they need to stop people. Acquiring defensive lineman Julius Peppers and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were welcome additions, but ultimately this organization needs its starting quarterback to stay on the field to be an annual playoff entrant.
Something to prove: Perhaps Aaron Rodgers had a chip on his shoulder waiting to be drafted a decade ago, but probably not any longer. He doesn’t really need to prove his durability, either. Quarterbacks get hurt, and a broken collarbone, which cost Rodgers half of last season, isn’t like a knee injury in terms of rehabilitation or recurrence. ... There could be camp competition at wide receiver, as James Jones bolted for the money, weather and craziness in Oakland, leaving a potential void behind established starters Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Jarrett Boykin emerged in his second season, but Davante Adams was a stud at Fresno State and could quickly alter the projected rotation. ... The tight end situation remains problematic, as Jermichael Finley, supposedly healthy after neck fusion surgery, is seeking work. If he returns, it’d be tough to call him a fantasy sleeper. If third-rounder Richard Rodgers somehow vaults to the top of the tight end depth chart, then I’m interested. That seems unlikely this summer.
Potential stock fluctuation: Four Packers figure to be selected in the first three rounds of most drafts, led by emerging running back Eddie Lacy in the middle of the first round, Rodgers in the second and Nelson and Cobb in the third. Perhaps it’s interesting to see how high Lacy, after one season, goes and whether Rodgers passes Peyton Manning and Drew Brees for top QB honors or ends up a solid third. It’s hard to see much movement coming in this regard over the summer, so watch the wide receiver situation. Rookies seldom make an instant impact, especially when they’re not on the field regularly, but Adams has major upside and could at least find himself drafted in leagues.