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Allen Lazard will emerge as the Green Bay Packers’ top wide receiver in 2022

Robin Adams

The Green Bay Packers trade of Davante Adams was inevitable. After the team placed the franchise tag on him, Adams stated that he would, under no circumstances, play under the tag. Furthermore, he turned down a contract worth more than what he ended up signing with the Las Vegas Raiders.

After Adams’ departure, the Packers signed Sammy Watkins and drafted three wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. With the absence of their two-time All-Pro wide receiver, the Packers are left with their three rookies, Watkins, Amari Rodgers, Randall Cobb, and Allen Lazard. Of all of these options, it is Lazard who will emerge as the Packers’ top wide receiver in 2022. This claim is not made out of misplaced confidence. There are plenty of stats that back up this prediction.

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Fantasy football numbers can be incredibly revealing

Fantasy football has become a great way for casual fans to learn more about players outside of their own team’s roster. Of course, the biggest names put up the biggest numbers and receive more coverage. Davante Adams, of course, was a top fantasy target in nearly every league and remains the Las Vegas Raiders’ top projected fantasy player.

Of course, Adams spent the first eight seasons of his career in Green Bay. In four of those seasons, he was teammates with Allen Lazard, who was considered the Packers’ number two receiver for much of that time. Understanding this, there were exactly four games in which Lazard played and Adams sat out. The fantasy numbers in these games are incredibly telling:

According to fantasypros.com, Lazard’s 14.2 fantasy points per game would have been the third-highest average in the NFL last season. Only Cooper Kupp (17.3) and Deebo Samuel (16.4) had higher per-game averages.

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Allen Lazard has been a top five wide receiver on the Packers for years

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to Davante Adams being traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Packers also lost Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS) and Equanimeous (EQ) St. Brown to free agency. With their departures, Lazard is the only wide receiver left who finished in the top five for receiving yards on the Packers roster over the past three seasons:

2019

  • Davante Adams- 997 receiving yards
  • Allen Lazard- 477 receiving yards
  • Aaron Jones- 474 receiving yards
  • MVS- 452 receiving yards
  • Jimmy Graham- 447 receiving yards.

2020

  • Davante Adams- 1,374 receiving yards
  • MVS- 690 receiving yards
  • Robert Tonyan- 586 receiving yards
  • Allen Lazard- 451 receiving yards (in just 10 games played)
  • Aaron Jones- 355 receiving yards

2021

  • Davante Adams- 1,553 receiving yards
  • Allen Lazard- 513 receiving yards
  • MVS- 430 receiving yards
  • Aaron Jones- 391 receiving yards
  • Randall Cobb- 375 receiving yards

As seen in the seasons above, the only wide receiver left on the Packers’ roster who was productive in each of the past three seasons is Lazard. Aaron Jones is the only other remaining Packers player on all of the lists, and he is a running back. Even in 2020 when Lazard played in just 10 games, he still finished over Jones in receiving yards.

All of these stats just to point out the following: if one is looking at the Packers roster to predict who the next WR1 will be, and if one is looking for the receiver who is left who has been consistently a top five receiver for the team, there is only one name: Allen Lazard.

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Advanced stats for wide receivers point to Allen Lazard being a reliable target

The Green Bay Packers use Allen Lazard in a variety of ways. He has built up the reputation of being one of the best (if not THE best) blocking wide receiver in the NFL. However, Lazard has quietly also been one of the most reliable targets in the NFL over the past three seasons. All one has to do is look at the Packers’ quarterbacks’ passer rating when throwing to Lazard:

  • 2019- 115.6 passer rating
  • 2020- 124.5 passer rating
  • 2021- 132.8 passer rating*

*Led the NFL

Final thoughts on Allen Lazard as the Packers top wide receiver

There is no denying that the Packers’ passing game will look very different in 2022 than in years past. However, this will also give Allen Lazard the chance to prove himself on the field without Davante Adams eating up the majority of the targets. In addition to all of the reasons laid out above, Lazard also had a drop percentage of 1.9% in 2021. He is ready.

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