Allen Lazard was an undrafted free agent signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018 and placed on the practice squad. Green Bay signed Lazard and found his way onto the Packers’ active roster in 2019. He got an opportunity, due to injuries, in 2019.
Lazard showed excellent ball skills while gaining the trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Starting in three games, he hauled in 35 catches for 477 yards and three touchdowns. When Lazard was targeted in the passing game, Aaron Rodgers had a 115.6 passer rating, good for 12th in the NFL.
His early success in the NFL shouldn’t come as a huge shock if you watched his skills in college at Iowa State. Lazard finished his career there as arguably the best pass catcher in school history.
Lazard faces some competition in 2020. He was able to see the field due to a myriad of injuries in 2019. Davante Adams missed time during the season and Equanimeous St. Brown was lost for the season after a pre-season injury. This season, St. Brown enters healthy, they’ve added Devin Funchess in free agency, and they still have Adams, Kumerow, Valdes-Scantling, and Sternberger competing for targets. Rodgers was approving in his praise of Lazard throughout the 2019 season, and he does appear to have the second-best rapport with Rodgers among active receivers.
All good things for Allen Lazard, but it has been quite a while since the Packers have been able to support two elite wide receiving options in fantasy. Temper your expectations for Lazard this year with a crowded receiver room and Adams in his prime taking the lions-share of the targets. That said, he is a nice low-risk, high-reward player to target for this upcoming season.
Allen Lazard is only signed for this season and will be an exclusive rights free agent in 2021. The Packers will likely bring him back next season for pennies on the dollar. If Lazard can continue to improve upon his impressive 2019 campaign, the future looks relatively bright. He is a very low-risk player in that he can be acquired or drafted for minimal capital in your leagues. His upside is a low-end WR3. Lazard is a tall, fast receiver who has shown very impressive ball skills in his limited playing time. If he can become a trusted wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers, the Packers may lock him down, and Lazard could be a solid contributor for years to come.
The Packers do appear to be moving towards a run-first approach on offense. They ran the ball 4.6 more times per game from 2018 to 2019. he additions of Josiah Deguara and A.J. Dillon in the draft give me the impression that number may continue to rise. Outside of Davante Adams, there is no sure-fire fantasy option at receiver on this team. This season should prove to be very telling as to which of Rodgers’s targets he likes the best. Plant your flag with one of them and cross your fingers. I like Allen Lazard the best out of the bunch, but it is truly a toss-up.
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