Randall Cobb Fantasy 2012

Randall Cobb Fantasy 2012
Randall Cobb

Thursday, September 8th, 2011. The lights go up. The then-defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers would go head to head in an anticipated shootout with the New Orleans Saints, the previous Super Bowl Champions. 28 plays after kickoff enter Randall Cobb, who gets open, grabs a quick pass from Aaron Rodgers, and takes it to the house. Touchdown!

“BOOOOOOOO!!!” said every single fantasy football owner in the world who had Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, Donald Driver, or the myriad of other Packers’ Fantasy Football weapons. (These people were also not Packers Fans). “Oh well, just some fantasy nobody…bet that’s his only touchdown this season.” Well you would be right if we were just talking about receiving touchdowns, but as a kick returner, later in the 3rd quarter, Cobb would return a kick 108 yards for a touchdown and instantly be at the top of everyone’s lists for waiver wire pick ups for the next week. Unfortunately, as the season progressed, it became increasingly clear to everyone that while Cobb was excellent, instinctive, and speedy in open space with the ball, he still had to fight his way up the deep Green Bay Packers’ depth chart.

Fast-forward to the 2012 Fantasy Football season. The Green Bay Packers are being touted as one of the number 1 contenders in the 2012 season, and with the third best passing offense in 2011 (averaging 307.8 yards per game) there are plenty of reasons to be high on the Packers players as fantasy options. Aaron Rodgers and crew are playing the league’s second easiest schedule in 2012, playing only seven teams that had at least 9 wins last year. Rushing attack? Looks to be better, but don’t expect a dramatic uptick in the number of times the Packers rush the ball. With Aaron Rodgers manning the helm of this ship, this team is a pass first, pass second, pass third, and if they get the chance, pass fourth down team. They will be a pass heavy attack with plenty of love to go around for the Green Bay Packer receivers, but is there enough love to trickle down to Randall Cobb? Let’s check it out.

Daily Fantasy Sports Games at FanDuel.com

2012 Stats for the Packers Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Last Name Age Receptions Yards YPC TDs FF Points
Nelson 27 68 1263 18.6 15 210
Jennings* 28 67 949 14.2 9 143
Jones 28 38 635 16.7 7 99
Finley 25 55 767 13.9 8 118
Driver 37 37 445 12 6 74
COBB 22 25 375 15 1 44

*Missed 3 games at the end of the season due to injury.

2012– Average Draft Position= 143.5; % Owned= 16.6 (ESPN Leagues)
2011- Stats: 25 receptions, 375 yards, 1 TD, 2nd in the NFL in kick return yards (27.7 yards on avg.), 7th in the NFL in punt return yards (11.3 yards on avg.)

Preseason Numbers (1st three games): 8 Receptions, 16 targets, 93 yards, 1TD.
These numbers are not analyzed nor do they impact my final verdict. Preseason football can be a good indicator, but is not completely reliable for reasons not discussed here.

Final Verdict:
As a rookie, Randall Cobb was a very good player in a very explosive offense, but he was unfortunately (for fantasy owners looking for a Victor Cruz-esque solution) stuck behind four very good wide receivers and a variety of other targets from tight ends like Finley to John Kuhn (FB) and James Starks (RB). He is a young player in a great offense and he will grow into the next great Green Bay Packer wide receiver, but that will take time. The only way to bypass this and make him an immediate threat right now is injuries to the four wide receivers above him on the depth chart. His ADP is currently 143.5, making him a 14th -16th round pick, if a pick at all, and he is owned in 16.6% of all ESPN fantasy leagues.

My advice is that if you are in a PPR league he might be justifiable as a flex option under less than ideal conditions. He could also be a second wide receiver at best if there were at least 2-3 injuries in Aaron Rodger’s normal set of targets. However, in a standard scoring league it would be tough to justify drafting him as anything more than a DEEP sleeper pick. It is safe to say in my opinion that Randall Cobb is lost in a sea of fantasy weapons on the Green Bay Packers, but could, post-Driver retirement, or after injuries to other players, become fantasy relevant.

Photo Credit: Zimbo

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Ken Reiser