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Breaking Down the Packers Pass Catchers

The Packers have a talented young offense, but who should they be the ones you want on your dynasty rosters? @coachsteven breaks it down.

The Green Bay Packers have a good thing going on offense with plenty of young, talented pass catchers. While it’s great for the Packers, it gives off more of a headache for dynasty owners trying to decide who to play from the bunch. We will try to break down the four receivers and two tight ends to better understand their values and who you should target or sell before the 2024 season.

Wide Receivers

Christian Watson

GPY/RRecTgYdsTDsRu AtYdsRu TDsFP.5 PPRPPR
Christian Watson9152852422541107387101
2023 Stats

We will start with the presumed WR1 in Watson as the first person we discuss. He is heading into his third season in the NFL. During these first two seasons, he has missed 11 games due to a hamstring injury. Watson has dealt with hamstring injuries ever since he came into the league. In 23 games, he has averaged three receptions for 44.9 yards and half a touchdown per game. Watson has been a touchdown machine since coming into the league, with 12 touchdowns in less than 25 games.

Slot SnapsRoute RunDeep TgtsRedzone TgtsAir YardsAdotTarget SepDropsRoute WIn RateAgeYAC
Christian Watson156267141181715.41.25040.725105
2023 Detailed Stats

In 2023, Watson would miss the season’s first three games due to his hamstring injuries. Watson returned in week four and continued to play until week 13 when he sustained another injury. In his nine games, Watson didn’t have consistent fantasy production, but he dominated in weeks 12 and 13 with 42 combined points. He would average the other seven games with 6.5 fantasy points. He was a full-time starter on the field, playing over 77% of the offensive snaps, and would reach the high 80s during his nine games.

Watson would see a big increase in his ADOT in 2023 but fail in many other receivers’ ranks. He dropped in his catch rate, yards per route run, contested catch rate, and YPR/YPT in 2024 compared to 2023. One sneaky good thing on Watson’s note is that he increased his YAC per reception from 3.7 to 6.8. He would have six-plus receptions in five of his nine games.

Romeo Doubs

GPY/RRecTgYdsTDsRu AtYdsRu TDsFP.5 PPRPPR
Romeo Doubs171159966748000115145174
2023 Stats

Doubs is also going into year three but has been able to stay on the field, unlike Watson. Doubs has not produced much more than Watson has, with just over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in two seasons. His per-game average has been three receptions for 36 yards and .37 touchdowns over 30 career games. Doubs was the clear WR1/WR2 for the Packers, as he averaged an 80% snap rate per game in 2023.

Photo Courtesy of Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

He would have seven games over ten fantasy points, but his best stretch of two games would only be weeks three and four for 29 fantasy points. Doubs would produce similar numbers with Watson on or off the field, besides averaging one more target per game with Watson not there. Doubs didn’t have many elite games, with four games over 60 yards. As the season went on, he would see fewer targets after averaging 6.6 in the first half to 4.6 in the second half. Doubs would start off as WR23 in the first half but would fall to WR40 during the season’s final stretch.

Slot SnapsRoute RunDeep TgtsRedzone TgtsAir YardsAdotTarget SepDropsRoute WIn RateAgeYAC
Romeo Doubs1135071417112611.71.51338.224134
2023 Detailed Stats

Doubs has been a consistent option for the Packers receivers over the last two years. Unfortunately, Doubs hasn’t shown an elite fantasy level, with just six career games over 60 receiving yards. His career catch rate of 62% is a major concern for his development. Doubs isn’t going to excite fantasy owners with his YAC, either, because he is outside the top 50 in both seasons. One thing for Doubs is that he has shown consistently on the field as an outside receiver who can stay healthy, but the production has been mediocre.

Jayden Reed

GPY/RRecTgYdsTDsRu AtYdsRu TDsFP.5 PPRPPR
Jayden Reed161264947938111192151183215
2023 Stats

We move over to the rookie Reed, who really made an impact during his first season. He would lead this team in receiving yards and touchdowns. He even impacted as a multiuse receiver with 119 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He did most of his damage in the slot as he led all the Packers’ receivers. Despite playing only 56% of the offensive snaps, he would lead all receivers with a 24.4% target per route run. Reed also looked to be heavily involved in the red zone, tying with Doubs for 17 red zone targets.

Slot SnapsRoute RunDeep TgtsRedzone TgtsAir YardsAdotTarget SepDropsRoute WIn RateAgeYAC
Jayden Reed386385201797010.32.07251.324335
2023 Detailed Stats

Reed was fantastic for fantasy, scoring over ten fantasy points in nine-plus games in half-point PPR. He would dominate the second half of the season with double-digit fantasy points in seven of his last eight games. Reed would go from averaging seven fantasy points in the first half of the season to averaging 15 fantasy points. The issue for him is that most of his touchdowns came when Watson was off the field.

Reed would average seven targets per game when Watson was gone. Watson was on the field for nine games, and Reed would average only 4.8 targets per game. Reed was still productive but not at the same level. He was WR32 with Watson on the field but shot up to WR12 over the final four weeks despite missing one game in that stretch.

Another thing about Reed is that he was very efficient with his touches in 2023. Reed would score a touchdown on every 7.5 touches last season. Reed played over 60% of the snaps just six times last season. Reed is an exciting receiver since he was so efficient and had limited playing time. It would be interesting to watch Reed since he can be as efficient with limited snaps, or does he have more opportunities in the slot to take a year-two leap?

Dontayvion Wicks

GPY/RRecTgYdsTDsRu AtYdsRu TDsFP.5 PPRPPR
Dontayvion Wicks15153958581411076100119
2023 Stats

Most teams wouldn’t get this far in a depth chart about fantasy-relevant receivers, but Wicks enters this conversation. Wicks was drafted in the fifth round last year by the Packers while they already had some high capital in the receivers above. He would get early playing time due to Watson missing the first three weeks. He would average 59% of the snaps being the other outside receiver. His productivity would be minimal, with two games over 40 yards.

Unfortunately, when Watson returned to the field, Wicks’ playing time would drop to 32% of the offensive snaps. Despite being the fourth receiver on the team, he managed four games over Watson’s nine-game stretch with 40 yards. While his playing time dropped, he was still involved when he got on the field. After Watson disappeared again due to injury, Wicks’ playing time jumped up to 60%.

Slot SnapsRoute RunDeep TgtsRedzone TgtsAir YardsAdotTarget SepDropsRoute WIn RateAgeYAC
Dontayvion Wicks1392816858610.11.84254.423211
2023 Detailed Stats

In Wick’s final three games, he did have nine plus fantasy points. He showed up in week 18, which helped get the Packers into the playoffs. He would finish with six of seven for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Wicks among this group is the youngest and was second on the team in YAC yards. He ranked first in route win rate and was second in target separation. I wouldn’t count out Wicks. Some of his production came with Watson on the field, so he has an opportunity.

Tight Ends

Luke Musgrave

GPY/RRecTgYdsTDsRu AtYdsRu TDsFP.5 PPRPPR
Luke Musgrave101033453411000405773
2023 Stats

Now we swing over to the tight end position since they were also heavily involved in the offense. Musgrave was also a rookie last season after being drafted in the second round of the NFL draft. He was the clear TE1 throughout the first 11 weeks of the season. He was averaging 70% of the snaps in the offense. Unfortunately, we were consistently looking for more from Musgrave all season long for fantasy. He would flash at times, and many like myself would say if he could just connect better with Love. He would have three games over 50 yards but only one touchdown during the season.

Slot SnapsRoute RunDeep TgtsRedzone TgtsAir YardsAdotTarget SepDropsAgeYAC
Luke Musgrave133270663447.52.78224169
2023 Detailed Stats

The return of Watson would hurt Musgrave as he would be TE13 through the first three weeks but fall off to TE 21 until he got hurt in week 11. Musgrave had a significant abdominal injury that knocked him out for the remainder of the regular season. Through 11 weeks, Musgrave would be fourth in targets when Watson was on the field. If Aaron Jones played in week five, then Musgrave could have been as low as fifth, and that’s how spread out the Packers offense was. He would finish 11th in ADOT and rank first among all tight ends in target separation.

Tucker Kraft

GPY/RRecTgYdsTDsRu AtYdsRu TDsFP.5 PPRPPR
Tucker Kraft171131393552000486379
2023 Stats

This is how deep the Packers are, and they have a second tight end worth mentioning here. Kraft was drafted in the third round last year by the Packers. It was strange to see that since they took Musgrave one round earlier. Early in the 2023 season, Kraft would be a backup, playing only 31% of the offense snaps. He would have seven targets through 11 games playing with Musgrave on the field. Musgrave seemed to have a hold on the job.

Slot SnapsRoute RunDeep TgtsRedzone TgtsAir YardsAdotTarget SepDropsAgeYAC
Tucker Kraft77286281563.92.28124156
2023 Detailed Stats

Kraft took his chance when Musgrave got hurt and thrived for the Packers, somewhat in fantasy. Kraft would have eight fantasy points in four of these last seven games. He would average four receptions for 45 yards per game as the starter for the Packers. He produced better than when Musgrave was the starter.

Photo Courtesy of Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

In most of Kraft’s games that he was the starter, Watson was hurt once again. Reed and Wicks would also miss a game in Kraft’s starting stretch. In two games with Watson, Kraft was TE12 but would jump to TE7 from week 14 and on. Kraft would play more than 93% of the snaps, which Musgrave didn’t come that close to. Kraft would finish eighth in YPR and also be sixth in target separation. Recently, Kraft tore a pectoral muscle this offseason, so he is out until training camp, giving Musgrave a prime opportunity to keep his starting job.

Final Thoughts

TargetsReceptionsYardsTouchdowns
Watson49263874
Doubs41252814
Reed39283103
Wicks23172890
Musgrave29212161
Kraft138901
Team’s stats from Week 5 to 12 during Watson’s full-time on the field in 2023.

Tight Ends

Let’s start with the tight ends and what you should do with them. Musgrave is a fantastic talent and shows off a downfield threat for the tight end position. Clearly, with Watson and Wicks both getting time off the field, Musgrave will be limited in his opportunities downfield.

Unlike Kraft’s time starting in games, Musgrave will likely not play 90% of the snaps. He is a high-end TE2 in a dynasty that won’t see a breakout season with this loaded pass-catching core. Musgrave may not be the option you are looking for as your starting tight end if you are a contending team. Upgrading to Evan Engram or Jake Ferguson would be a better option. Musgrave is better for a rebuilding team, and I hope that in 2025 and beyond, this group will start breaking up a bit.

Kraft will eat into Musgrave’s offensive snaps, but his role won’t be enough to be relevant to fantasy. I still see Kraft as the better overall talent at the tight end position, but the team won’t pass on Musgrave’s upside as a receiver, which he offers. Kraft is a stash in taxi squads or benches and hopes that Musgrave’s injuries continue. Kraft is a great buy-low option for dynasty owners, and it may only take like a fourth-round pick. If Musgrave were to miss time, Kraft would instantly be a high-end TE 2 while playing close to 95% of the offensive snaps. Neither one would likely reach TE1 status while the starting four receivers are on the field.

Receivers

Wicks is an exciting player, and he could be a consistent option if Watson were to miss any time in 2024. Wicks would jump to the flex option if that happened, but he is on hold on your bench. He is the youngest receiver on the team and could compete with Watson or Doubs for the outside. Wicks will have moments in fantasy, but don’t count on it in starting lineups. He is a better sell if you can secure a second-round pick, but if not, he is a good hold.

Reed looks to step forward in year two of this offense. In the second half, we saw with and without Watson that Reed got things going. The issue with Reed is his target share in the offense. During that eight-game stretch, he only was over six targets in a game once. If Reed is going to take steps, he will need to increase his targets significantly. If Reed’s role is secured in the slot, he should be a consistent option in fantasy as a flex/high-end WR3 option. It would help if you held on to Reed in fantasy, as there is potential to improve.

If everyone holds up, Doubs would likely see a regression in target share in 2024. His catch rate has me concerned about his future in dynasty. His one great trait is his ability to stay on the field, which could be a big benefit. My issue with Doubs is his value, with eight touchdowns last season. It’s hard for a player to repeat such touchdowns. If he can’t reproduce those numbers, then Doubs may fall outside the top 40 receivers in production. Doubs’ value is not high in dynasty, so trying to sell may be wrong. Wait for him to have a big game, then sell off, as I think Reed or Watson has a better shot as the team’s WR1.

Watson is a major question mark in the fantasy world. If he is on the field, he shows he can be the WR1 for this team. He is a better buy-low this off-season due to the uncertainty surrounding his injury history. I think buying him now could help you sell him for a bigger value in the season. Watson has been the Packers’ top-scoring the last two seasons combined. Watson has a role that will get him targets within the offense. He showed when he was on the field with everyone that he was Love’s most targeted player.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it’s tough to know who will break out, but some pass catchers have better upside than others, so take your shot with a few. I’d want Reed, Watson, and Kraft if it were me.

  • Christian Watson – High (potential WR1 in fantasy) & Low (Injury occurs again, and he loses massive value)
  • Romeo Doubs – High ( Teammate gets hurt & he thrives as a Flex option) & Low (Does get TDs and finishes outside the top 50 receivers)
  • Jayden Reed – High ( Jumps to a high-end WR2 ) & Low ( Stay as a flex option with inconsistent produce)
  • Dontvayion Wicks – High ( Takes over in the starting lineup & becomes a week flex) & Low ( Stays as WR 4 for the Packers & doesn’t make it in fantasy lineups)
  • Luke Musgrave – High ( See a big, efficient YPR season and finishes as a TE1 ) & Low ( gets injured again and loses playing time to Kraft, not worth starting)
  • Tucker Kraft – High (takes advantage of another potential injury & has borderline TE1 value) & Low (stays with 30% playing time and sees minimal touches)

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