Greg Jennings and Brian Hartline are red hot as we head into the last two games of the season.
Analysis: Greg Jennings put up 163 yards on 11 receptions with a touchdown today against the Eagles. Jennings has averaged 7.6 receptions, 10.6 targets and 98 receiving yards in his last three games. Cordarrelle Patterson is explosive and hyped but he is only averaging 6 targets per game in that same three game span. Matt Cassel has been the quarterback responsible for most of those big numbers in recent weeks. Cassel has averaged 297 passing yards in that three game span as he appears to have it figured out once again, but who knows for how long? The reality is Matt Cassel is playing well and Jennings is one heavily targeted wide out these days. Greg Jennings is available in 10-50% of fantasy leagues.
Brian Hartline has been a solid fantasy performer all year but in recent weeks his play is starting to stand out. He’s averaged 6 receptions, 9 targets and 81 yards in his last four contests, he also has 2 touchdowns in that span. Ryan Tannehill is averaging 39 passing attempts in his last four games which is good news for Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace owners. Hartline is available in 25-60% of fantasy leagues.
Greg Jennings is out two to three weeks with a sprained MCL. There are plenty of replacement options on the wire but who will produce the most going forward?
Analysis: Even though Tim Tebow is a wide out’s worst nightmare in terms of stats, Demaryius Thomas has put up big numbers as of late. Thomas has three touchdowns, two-hundred plus receiving yards and twenty targets in his last two games. Thomas is Tim Tebow’s go-to-guy and you have to love that he is available in about ninety percent of fantasy leagues. He is a great replacement for Jennings who will continue to be one heavily targeted wide out.
Another potential fantasy replacement for Greg Jennings is Donald Driver. Jennings’ targets have to go somewhere and since Jordy Nelson is not available, Donald Driver makes the most sense. James Jones has been held without a reception in two and his last four games while Donald Driver has two seventy plus yard games and two touchdowns in his last four contests. If a widely available fantasy wide out on Green Bay will produce in Jennings’ absence, it will be Donald Driver more so than Jones. Unlike Demaryius Thomas who has WR2 potential, Driver’s upside is just a WR3 but he’s still worth a look.
As good as Greg Jennings is, there is no way he puts up the same numbers he did last year. A 2010 line of 1,265 receiving yards and twelve touchdowns is impressive, however, he is not a top four fantasy wide out this year.
Analysis: Perhaps the biggest hit to Jennings’ fantasy value will be the return of stud tight end Jermichael Finley. Remember that Finley put up over 300 receiving yards in just four games last year, two of the games being of the one-hundred yard variety. Jennings isn’t a big target at just 5’11” and the 6’5″ Finley will snag his fair share of red zone targets in 2011. We also have to consider that Ryan Grant was going into last year as a back-to-back 1,200 yard rusher. The Ryan Grant/James Starks ground combo will play a huge role in the Green Bay offense. With these key additions another 1,200 yard/twelve touchdown year for Jennings seems highly unlikely. In many drafts nationwide Jennings is being taken before Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. Both Johnson and Fitzgerald will dominate in the red zone for their teams especially with improved quarterback play from a healthy Stafford and Kolb.
Jennings is a top six or seven wide out but he isn’t elite as many experts would have you to believe.