Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/15/13
Recently, Mick Warshaw gave us a decent read on why Greg Jennings should be avoided in fantasy drafts. That article can be seen here.While I respect his opinion, I completely disagree with it and his reasoning. His top three reason for Jennings' expected poor production included his age (30 in September), his recent injuries, and the drop from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder.While 30 might be a scary number for running backs, wide receivers have proven time and time again that they can still dominate the game after age 30. Jerry Rice was 33 when he had one of the greatest seasons of all time as a wide receiver with 122 receptions for over 1,800 yards and 15 scores. Andre Johnson (32) just finished the year with nearly 1,600 yards and four scores to help dominate in fantasy football. Vincent Jackson turned 30 in January and had nearly 1,400 yards and 8 scores last season. Age is just a number.Something that might have a little more validity is Jennings' injury history. Playing through injuries last season, Jennings never hit his normal stride. Even so, in eight games he was on pace for 732 yards and eight scores. This would have put him around the 30th best in the league with similar fantasy points as Anquan Boldin.Whether or not Jennings can stave off the injury bug in 2013 is anyone’s guess. Watching him his entire career, I have seen nothing that would suggest that an injury would linger. He is always in amazing shape and showed in the last few weeks of 2012 what he can do when mostly healthy (215 yards and three scores in final three weeks).The biggest argument I have against a drop in production is his move from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder. The obvious argument is that Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league while Ponder hasn’t finished a season with 3,000 yards or 20 passing scores. But my counterpart has not looked closer at the two situations at all.First let us look at Ponder compared to the rest of the league. In 2012, only his second year as a starter, he finished with 1,100 more yards than he did in 2011. After completing only 54.3 percent of his passes in 2011, he completed 62.1 percent of his passes which was better than Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, and Eli Manning among others.He finished 21st in passing yards, but only attempted 483 passes (also 21st). If he was throwing the ball as often as another NFC North QB like Stafford, he would have been around 4,500 yards and over 30 scores. But in Minnesota there is this guy named Adrian Peterson that does the heavy lifting.Minnesota also has not had a true No. 1 wide receiver while Ponder has been the starter. Percy Harvin is a great talent that can do quite a bit, but he isn’t a stretch-the-field threat like Greg Jennings.While Jennings might see a few more double teams in Minnesota, he will also see a much higher percentage of pass attempts coming his way.In his final season with Green Bay he was competing with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Jermichael Finley, and Tom Crabtree for targets.Between 2011 and 2012, Jennings was targets 161 times. Those other six players combined for almost 700 targets over that time. This doesn’t include any of the running backs who were targeted.Jennings averaged less than 19 percent of the targets from Rodgers. Any guesses on what percent of targets he will get in Minnesota? Percy Harvin saw 205 targets in the passing game alone from 2011-2012 and was out for the second half of 2012! He was on pace for 158 targets in 2012 after seeing 120 in 2011.Jennings could easily see upwards of 160-180 targets as the best wide receiver on the field.If Jennings averaged even seven yards per target (Harvin averaged 8.0 ypt and wasn’t ever a deep threat) he could end the season with upwards of 1,200 yards. Even if Ponder only improves slightly from 2012, he will hit 3,000 yards and 25 passing scores. There is no reason Jennings won’t see a large portion of those as his top target.My counterpart completely brushes off the fact that the Packers had no running game at all to take pressure off of the wide receivers. So while Jennings may have seen fewer double teams in the passing game, there were more defenders in the secondary on every play because the running threat was next to none.In Minnesota, defenses have to stack the box. When you have a running back that averages more yards per rush than the team averages on passing attempts, you put eight guys in the box and leave receivers in one-on-one coverage. This means that Jennings, Patterson, and Rudolph will all see single coverage often enough to make big plays.Jennings is worth way more than his current seventh round draft status. The odds are in his favorite as the top receiver with little competition for targets in a pass-happy division with the best running back possibly to ever play the game in the backfield.So draft Jennings with excitement and high expectations. And 1,200 yards and eight scores is definitely possible. That would put him around the top 15 wide receivers in the league. I’d say that is way better than his current ADP.
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