How Jordy Nelson's Injury Impacts Packers Odds & Future NFL Picks

Rivers McCown

Thursday, August 27, 2015 7:26 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015 7:26 PM UTC

With Jordy Nelson on the sideline, how have Green Bay's odds changed? Is Randall Cobb worth a play to lead the league in receiving yards or Aaron Rodgers to Lead in Passing Yards?

Star Packers wideout Jordy Nelson tore his ACL and will miss the entire 2015 season. Nelson didn't have the star power of most of the other wide receivers you'll see flying off the board early in fantasy drafts, but this is a tough loss for the Packers. He was one of the best receivers in the NFL.

So the dust shook, and now it's settled. Here's a quick look at some of the odds that have changed


Randall Cobb's Chances at Most Receiving Yards
Hopefully you got in early on this, as Cobb's NFL Prop odds went from +3300 to +1000 at Bovada with Nelson out.

I actually am not a fan of pursuing Cobb at that price, because it's very rare you see targets shift in a way that would make Cobb much, much more valuable. With the Packers having to shift targets to players like wideout Jeff Janis and tight end Richard Rodgers, teams will be more likely to use their best means necessary to cover Cobb. Cobb will still be a high-volume player, and I could even see him leading the league in targets. Just don't expect them to all be quality looks.


Aaron Rodgers and Player Props
Surprisingly, Rodgers hasn't lost much in the wake of the injury. He's still projected right next to Andrew Luck at the top of the odds for passing yardage and in the MVP vote at most sites.

From an anecdotal perspective, I think both odds should stand the test of time. If Nelson weakens the team, that creates the sort of narrative ammunition people will look for in an MVP debate. (Let's see Andrew Luck lose his best receiver and win 12 games!)  If he weakens the team to the point where Rodgers is forced to throw more, that could mean the passing yardage loss is somewhat negligible.

My belief is that it hurts the ceiling of Rodgers' season. I would no longer expect him to have a historically good fantasy football season like he was set up for. Now if Davante Adams starts off iffy, you're relying on a lot of mediocre targets to carry Rodgers forward.

But it doesn't necessarily keep him out of either of these races, so I think the odds staying mostly the same are fair.


Green Bay Season Props
Again, not much change on this front. The Packers have held steady as NFC favorites or co-favorites with the Seahawks depending on where you look.

This reaction, though, I'm not quite so sure about. Nelson going down weakens the Packers more than you'd might initially think. I don't think it makes them a non-contender, but I'd set their NFL future odds independently closer to +700 or +800 to win the NFC than the +300 or +400 you're seeing from most books now.

If you want to play ahead on some of this arbitrage, I think it makes a few of the sleeper picks – Minnesota (+1600) and Dallas (+750) -- better plays than they were before.  

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