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    Jordy's Injury (08/24/15)

    By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
    Analyzing the impact of Jordy Nelson's injury.

    In Sunday's preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers' receiver Jordy Nelson suffered a non-contact injury. The NFL Network reported that Nelson was diagnosed with a torn ACL.

    The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook did not wait for confirmation from the Packers on the severity of Nelson's injury (an MRI is scheduled for Monday). The oddsmakers lowered Green Bay's Super Bowl odds from 9/2 (co-favorite) to 6/1 to win the title.

    Assuming Nelson is lost for the season, what impact does his absence have on the team and for fantasy owners?

    Packers Win the Super Bowl

    Nelson's injury won't ruin the Packers season. That's not to say the team won't miss the Pro Bowl receiver. Nelson led the team in receptions last year and set a franchise record with 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. Green Bay was our most likely Super Bowl Champion before the injury and remains our pick to win it all even though the media, the fans and the oddsmakers are overreacting.

    Green Bay has a deep roster with many promising young receivers. Davante Adams is a second year pro that could make the leap to stardom filling in for Nelson. The team uses three receiver sets meaning more playing time for Jeff Janis and potentially for rookie Ty Montgomery. Plus the Packers still have Randall Cobb who caught 91 balls for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

    Without Nelson, the team's average points-per-game decreases from 31.4 to 30.7 but Green Bay is still the highest scoring offense in the NFL. The defending NFC North Champions record also dips but slightly, from an average of 10.8 wins to 10.6 wins. The Packers are now 85.2 percent likely to make the playoffs and 17.0 percent likely to win the Super Bowl.

    It is a shame that Jordy Nelson was injured but Green Bay still has Aaron Rodgers and is our pick to win the Super Bowl.

    Statistics With Nelson Without Nelson
    Record 10.8-5.2 10.6-5.4
    Points-Per-Game 31.4 30.7
    Playoff Probability 86.8 85.2
    Super Bowl Odds 17.1 17.0

    Fantasy Impact

    Randall Cobb is now a top-ten fantasy receiver. Cobb is projected to catch 79.7 balls for 1,180 yards and 10.2 touchdowns with Nelson off the field.

    Davante Adams is about to rocket up draft boards but he technically is not a starter in our rankings for standard ten-team leagues. Adams is projected 71.6 receptions, 909.4 yards and 8.5 touchdowns – good for 32nd among wideouts.

    Jeff Janis' stock is on the rise as well and could have value as a bye week fill-in or possibly as a flex option as the second year pro is projected 785.5 yards and 4.8 touchdowns.

    Without Nelson, Rodgers fantasy numbers decline from 4,321.8 yards and 38.5 touchdowns to 4,179.1 yards and 36.6 touchdowns. Rodgers remains the No. 2 quarterback in our rankings and there is a clear drop off between the tier of Andrew Luck and Rodgers and the rest of the signal callers in the league.

    No Nelson means more rushing attempts for Eddie Lacy. The running back was projected to rush for 1,476.9 yards and 11.5 touchdowns. An uptick in carries boosts Lacy's projections to 1,507.8 yards and 12.0 touchdowns. Lacy moves from No. 3 to No. 2 among running backs.

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