What was once a tight competition between wideouts and tight ends to become the second-most active passing target in the Green Bay Packers offense has now been narrowed down to a single name: Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
A frontrunner since training camp and already in the starting lineup opposite star receiver Davante Adams, Valdes-Scantling was facing an unclear outlook in terms of production with fourth-year Geronimo Allison challenging for attention in the slot and the offensive system favoring the use of rushers and tight ends in the passing game.
Like Adams, though, Valdes-Scantling has nearly twice as many catches than the rest of the field with a number of deep-ball receptions that have helped the Packers (3-0) remain flawless coming into a short week against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football.
The second-year pro was a clear-cut favorite for Aaron Rodgers in the Packers’ 27-16 win Sunday over the Denver Broncos, hauling in six receptions for 99 yards and a 40-yard touchdown catch while being targeted a team-high 10 times. Adams was next closest with just four targets, catching all of them for 56 yards.
If you were among the skeptical fantasy football owners out there — and rightly so — who left Valdes-Scantling on your bench last week, fear not. His outlook only looks brighter as the season stretches on into Week 4.
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Marquez Valdes-Scantling Fantasy Outlook vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Broncos pass defense had been pretty strong until their Week 3 loss in Green Bay. The Eagles on the other hand? Among the worst in the league.
The Eagles are ranked fourth-worst at stopping the pass through the first three weeks, allowing 293.7 passing yards per game to the likes of Case Keenum, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford. Keenum did the most damage with a 30-for-44 performance in the opener, torching the Eagles for 380 yards and three touchdown passes … in Philadelphia.
The Packers have a better passer in Rodgers and will be playing their third straight home game against the Eagles in prime-time Thursday night, which should give Valdes-Scantling another four quarters full of opportunities. The biggest challenge will be whether the Packers offensive line can hold the Eagles’ stout defensive front as effectively as they restrained the Broncos, who only knocked down Rodgers once Sunday.
The rest comes down to Valdes-Scantling making the grabs, which has not yet been an issue for him. He has 13 catches for 170 yards this year, including two catches of 40 yards or more, and is nearly on pace with Davante Adams at about 13 yards per reception.
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Should You Start or Sit Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Week 4?
In terms of fantasy numbers, Valdes-Scantling is the top fantasy receiver in Green Bay by a short margin at an average of 12.0 points in PPR leagues, according to FantasyPros. Not to mention he has the MVP-caliber talent of Rodgers under center capable of balancing strong numbers for both him and Adams.
Valdes-Scantling has outperformed other targets with more hype — such as Josh Gordon in New England and former Packer Randall Cobb in Dallas — and has three catches for 40 yards or more throughout the first three weeks, making him a quality option to start at WR2 or FLEX.
Final verdict: Falling just short of his first 100-yard game of the season, Valdes-Scantling still proved his worth with a long touchdown catch for fantasy owners that trusted him to start in Week 3. The bridge of trust is much sturdier going into Week 4 against the Eagles. Unless you’re overstocked at the WR position, trust this man in your starting lineup this week.