Packers Re-sign Randall Cobb

Pat Thorman examines the fantasy implications of Randall Cobb returning to Green Bay.

| 2 years ago
Randall Cobb

Packers Re-sign Randall Cobb

Randall CobbThe Packers managed to keep Randall Cobb in Green Bay, and out of an eager free agent market. They re-signed the NFL’s premier slot receiver to a four-year, $40 million contract – with a reported $17 million of it guaranteed.

Cobb left significant money on the table to return to the league’s most efficient offense and it’s best quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Cap-rich teams, particularly Oakland and Jacksonville, were rumored to be ready to open the vault for the Green Bay receiver.

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Instead, 24-year-old Cobb is betting on himself and the production he can pile up with the Packers, as he is now set to again reach free agency before his 29th birthday. The deal is clearly a win-win, with Green Bay now enjoying his services through his prime years.

Last season, Cobb led the NFL with a 134.2 Wide Receiver Rating, just in front of teammate Jordy Nelson’s 128.2 mark. Cobb ran 87.3-percent of his routes out of the slot, where he caught all 12 of his touchdowns. That topped all slot receivers, as did his 2.13 Yards Per Route Run.

Cobb was fantasy’s sixth-highest scoring wideout (eighth-best PPR receiver), on the back of 91 catches on 125 targets, for 1,287 yards and 12 scores – all career highs. His 27 red zone targets were one behind Nelson’s total, but Cobb converted twice as many into touchdowns (10). Now he will also edge out Nelson in salary, with both stud pass catchers signed through 2018 – longer than any other Packers wideout.

The reunion dents the fantasy value of second-year Packer wideouts Davante Adams, and crushes that of metric-darling Jeff Janis. Adams will likely retain the third receiver role that he settled into last season. Green Bay led the league in percentage of snaps on which they had three wideouts on the field (90 percent), and Adams projects as a WR4 with weekly upside.

Janis was expected by many to push for a starting job if Cobb departed, but those dreams are essentially squashed. His best chance at snaps would be to eventually overtake Adams, or via injury to a starting receiver.

Cobb can confidently be viewed as a high-end WR2, at worst, with mid-range WR1 upside. He hit that mark in 2014 with Green Bay running just the 24th-most offensive plays, while ranking 20th in pass attempts. Cobb is currently being selected in early MFL10 drafts as the 12th wideout, in the early third round. We should now expect that to rise.

Pat Thorman is a lead writer for PFF Fantasy and a Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner.

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