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Friday, October 15, 2010
Fantasy Friday: Packers' injury fallout

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Much like the rest of us, our friends in the fantasy business have been sinking their teeth into the Green Bay Packers' catastrophic string of injuries. Below are excerpts from two of ESPN.com's subscription-only fantasy posts.

First, Eric Karabell Insider cautions against counting on receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver in the wake of tight end Jermichael Finley's knee injury:
[I]s it possible we've been viewing these fellows wrong in the first place? Watching the Packers somehow get into the end zone just once in D.C., I checked just how popular the starting wide receivers were. Only five wide receivers were active in more ESPN leagues than Jennings, while Driver was 14th. Meanwhile, in a combined 10 games between them, including Sunday, each has managed to break into double digits in fantasy points just once. Jennings has hauled in precisely two catches each of the past three games, and I wouldn't say the Packers have played a challenging schedule. Three fantasy points against the Buffalo Bills? Two against the Lions? This isn't what we signed up for. I would no longer trade for Jennings on the premise that things will get a lot better, because it looks as though [quarterback Aaron] Rodgers, who is already one interception shy of last season's total, is spreading the wealth like never before.

Meanwhile, Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders suggests fantasy owners can count on high rushing totals against the Packers' defense:
The 2009 Packers had one of the largest year-to-year improvements in run defense in recent history, finishing fifth only a year after ending the 2008 season 28th against the run. Teams that make that sort of leap invariably decline in the subsequent season, and the Packers are not breaking that rule. In this case, it's the same personnel as a year ago, but they can't stay healthy. Cullen Jenkins, Ryan Pickett, Nick Barnett, Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett and Atari Bigby are all key players against the run who have missed time or will miss time with injuries. The Packers will remain a team to run on for the foreseeable future.