Just seconds after announcing they signed tight end Jimmy Graham, the Packers broke even bigger news that they are releasing veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
Basically, the Packers just told their earlier selfs to hold their future beer.
Nelson is now a free agent and just a year removed for leading the NFL in touchdown receptions. Sure his 2017 was bad and he no longer displayed the ability to get past defensive backs—apparent in his 9.1 yards per catch, the lowest of his career—but a) he was playing most of the season with Brett Hundley, who is most certainly not Aaron Rodgers or a starting caliber quarterback and b) there’s still plenty of value in a big receiver who knows how to win contested balls. Look at Larry Fitzgerald. He moved into the slot and still is one of the most productive receivers in the league.
I’m on a quest to give Jordy a similar career path. Let’s move Jordy into the slot, where his route running and size can be a weapon and put him on a team for maximum fantasy impact. I want to return Jordy to the 14 touchdown fantasy monster he was just two years ago. Here are my five favorite landing spots for Jordy’s fantasy value.
Honorable mention: Green Bay Packers
If we’re on a quest to return Jordy to fantasy stardom, then why not just back with the team that made him a star? Obviously, the Packers cut him because they didn’t want to pay him the $12.5 million he was due for 2018 but he could return on a cheaper deal. I put this as an honorable mention though because I don’t see this happening. The wide receiver market is hopping and I think Nelson is going to price quickly out of the Packers’ price range.
5. Dallas Cowboys
Nelson paired next to Dez Bryant would be the most dynamic and destructive receiver duo in the NFL... if we were in 2014. (Side note: I think because I just haven’t seen it in a long time and people love the narrative, but I forget how dominate Dez used to be. He had 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014. Those are amazing numbers.) However, the Cowboys’ passing attack could certainly do with another weapon and if this wasn’t solely about fantasy football, I’d have Dallas higher on the list. I wouldn’t be surprised if they at least talk to Jordy.
4. New England Patriots
March 13, 2018
You can’t have a
white wide receiver enter free agency and not immediately have people thinking Patriots. While the pairing makes sense from a fantasy standpoint—the Patriots did just lose Danny Amendola after all—I’m setting the probability this happens at five percent. Like I said with Green Bay, Jordy’s price is going to get high quickly and the Patriots don’t need a receiver and likely aren’t going to shell cash out for a 32-year-old.
3. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks’ need for a receiver is real. They lost Paul Richardson to Washington and just lost Graham to Green Bay. We all know what Russell Wilson can do from a football and a fantasy standpoint and pairing Jordy with him and Doug Baldwin would be a very nice trio. Also with Graham gone, you can bet there will be plenty of red zone targets to go around.
2. New Orleans Saints
If this had been last year’s offseason, Saints would’ve been easily atop this list. Drew Brees ripping the ball all over the field to Michael Thomas and Jordy Nelson, yes please. However, we just watched an entire season where the offense was taken off the arm of Brees and put instead on the legs of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. New Orleans is no longer the high flying offense that you can just plug a receiver into and get insane fantasy production. But again, that’s just why the Saints aren’t number one. Instead they’re number two. I’d definitely take Nelson in the fourth round if he wound up in New Orleans.
1. San Francisco 49ers
Am I in love with Jimmy Garoppolo? Most certainly. Do I think too highly of Kyle Shanahan and his ability to make something out of nothing? Quite possibly. But goodness me I would be here for this SO HARD. Nelson would come into a young receiving core as an established veteran who, if he built a strong repore with Jimmy G, could quickly become the young QB’s favorite target. Imagine how much space to Jordy would have to work with, what with defenses having to worry about Marquise Goodwin’s literal sprinter speed taking the top off a defense. Think of the play action Shanahan draws up with Goodwin clearing out space for Nelson to run across into. And it never hurts to have a 6-foot-3, 220 pound body in the red zone to rebound touchdowns.
Which team is your favorite Jordy Nelson landing spot?
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