There are few winners when a star player gets injured, and the Green Bay Packers found themselves among the many losing when starting wide receiver Davante Adams limped to the sideline in last Thursday’s home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fantasy football owners who spent early-round draft picks on the top-notch talent were also dismayed to learn the star wideout was diagnosed with turf toe, leaving him unlikely to play against the Cowboys this Sunday at 3:25 p.m. C.T., according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
But if there is a winner by consequence, it’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The second-year wideout starting opposite Adams is the best candidate to take over as Mr. Reliable for the Packers offense. He both is the only other player with more than 100 receiving yards and more than 20 targets, averaging 13.6 yards per reception and hauling in a long touchdown catch against the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns in the 34-27 loss to the Eagles, blowing right by his previous season-best performance just 235 passing yards. And with running back Jamaal Williams missing practice with a concussion on the Packers’ first offensive play last Thursday, a weakened rushing attack could see Rodgers testing the Cowboys’ status as the 10th-best pass defense in the NFL.
Follow the Heavy on Fantasy Sports Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Marquez Valdes-Scantling Fantasy Outlook vs. Cowboys
While the Cowboys defense is among the league’s top third, they are still allowing 221.8 yards per game against the likes of Case Keenum, Josh Rosen and Teddy Bridgewater — all several leagues below Rodgers’ MVP talent. He won’t have his favorite target, but Valdes-Scantling gives him a steady No. 2 to depend on.
The bigger question is whether the Packers offensive line can hold the Cowboys’ pass rush enough to give Rodgers time to throw. As ESPN’s Matthew Berry pointed out in loving MVS for Week 5, Rodgers has a 106.8 passer rating and a 71.2 percent completion rate when he has not been under pressure. Given enough time, the production should fall right into Valdes-Scantling’s hands.
Should You Start or Sit Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Week 5?
According to FantasyPros, Valdes-Scantling is on the very edge of the top 30 receiving options in Week 5 with a projected 13.1 points in PPR leagues. The matchup could be better against the Cowboys, but it depends on how much you believe in their competence in that department against dull passers.
Some receivers options with similar value have more favorable opponents, such as Carolina’s Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore facing the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. But Valdes-Scantling’s upside could see him ascend to a level of production more similar to Larry Fitzgerald, Tyler Boyd and Julian Edelman.
Final verdict: The gaping hole in the Packers receiving corp without its star is almost enough alone to thrust him into a WR2 spot, even with more experience from Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham challenging him as other options. But considering he is easily the second-most favored in the passing game, count on the trust to stay strong until the second-year pro does something to lose it. He is a worthless starter in Week 5, even if you’d rather push him into the FLEX.