Davante Adams had a big season in 2018, but Aaron Rodgers wants to throw him the ball even more this year.
Davante Adams became the unchallenged No. 1 wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers last year, and paid it off with 111 receptions (tied for sixth in the league) for 1,386 yards (seventh in the league) and 13 touchdowns (tied for second in the league).
No one else on the Packers had more than 55 catches, 636 yards and two touchdowns. Adams was second in the NFL in targets with 169, just one behind league leader Julio Jones. Young receivers like Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown are expected to make further progress this year, but they are unproven and Adams will clearly remain the top target for Aaron Rodgers.
The second-highest target total in the league last year would seem to be plenty of volume, but Rodgers thinks there will be opportunities to get Adams the ball more this coming season.
I’d like to throw to Davante more,” Aaron Rodgers said this week following a Green Bay Packers OTA practice that, coincidentally, Adams did not attend. “He’s that open. We’ve got to keep finding ways to get him the ball.
With Randall Cobb gone, Adams may see more time in the slot this year. He will be a mismatch there, which could naturally bring more targets. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Adams had 36 receptions out of the slot last year.
In 2018, Adams finished as WR3 in standard scoring leagues and WR2 in full-point PPR. He also missed a game, and based on his per game averages he would have had 118 catches for 1,478 yards (roughly nine more fantasy points in standard scoring, and basically 16 more points in PPR) over 16 games. With that addition, he would have been the top-scoring wide receiver in full-point PPR.
The Packers record for targets in a season is 189, by Sterling Sharpe in 1993 when he had a franchise record 112 catches. If Adams would need to add 2.1 targets per game over 15 games to reach 200 targets this year, and if he plays all 16 that drops below two more targets per game compared to 2018. In the last 16 seasons, just two players have been targeted 200 or more times (Jones-203 targets in 2015, Calvin Johnson-204 targets in 2012).
With or without substantially more targets, there’s a path to Adams finishing as the top-scoring fantasy wide receiver in 2019. And if Rodgers has anything to say about it, that WR1 finish will come by a pretty good margin.