Packers 2021 NFL Preview: Green Bay 2020 Recap, 2021 Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting
Here’s The Game Day’s Green Bay Packers 2021 Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, 2021 Betting Tips, and 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook. Be sure to check out more of our NFL preseason coverage here.
Packers 2021 NFL Preview: Green Bay 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting
Green Bay Packers 2020 Recap
- Final Record: 13-3 (7-1 Home / 6-2 Away)
- Division Regular-Season Finish: 1st in NFC North
- Result: Lost in NFC Championship Game
Last year was another impressive season for the Green Bay Packers, although it produced the same results as the previous year; 13 regular-season wins followed by a loss in the NFC Championship Game.
Green Bay’s offense, led by MVP Aaron Rodgers, dominated, ranking at or near the top of the league in numerous categories. Unfortunately, defensive lapses and questionable coaching from Matt LaFleur during the season’s biggest moments killed the Packers’ Super Bowl hopes, leaving them one win short of the big game once again.
Now, after a tumultuous offseason marked by constant trade rumors surrounding Rodgers, can Green Bay turn the page and make another Super Bowl run in 2021?
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Green Bay Packers 2020 Offseason Changes
Packers 2020 Offseason Departures
- C Corey Linsley (Los Angeles Chargers)
- RB Jamaal Williams (Detroit Lions)
- RB Tyler Ervin (Free Agent)
- QB Tim Boyle (Detroit Lions)
- OG Lane Taylor (Houston Texans)
- LB Christian Kirksey (Houston Texans)
- DL Montravius Adams (New England Patriots)
- OT Rick Wagner (Free Agent)
- OT Jared Veldheer (Retired)
- OT Billy Winn (Free Agent)
- WR Tavon Austin (Free Agent)
- S Raven Greene (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- CB Parry Nickerson (Minnesota Vikings)
- LB James Burgess (San Francisco 49ers)
- DT Damon Harrison (Free Agent)
- Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine (Chicago Bears)
Packers 2020 Free-Agency/Offseason Additions
- LB De’Vondre Campbell
- QB Kurt Benkert
- LS Joe Fortunato
- Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry
Packers 2021 NFL Draft Picks
- CB Eric Stokes, Georgia (Round 1, Pick 29)
- C Josh Myers, Ohio State (Round 2, Pick 62)
- WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson (Round 3, Pick 85)
- OG/OT Royce Newman, Ole Miss (Round 4, Pick 142)
- DT T.J. Slaton, Florida (Round 5, Pick 173)
- CB Shemar Jean-Charles, Appalachian State (Round 5, Pick 178)
- OG/OT Cole Van Lanen, Wisconsin (Round 6, Pick 214)
- LB Isaiah McDuffie, Boston College (Round 6, Pick 220)
- RB Kylin Hill, Mississippi State (Round 7, Pick 256)
Green Bay Packers 2021 Outlook
Aaron Rodgers isn’t going anywhere. Not yet, at least.
The main offseason storyline surrounding the Packers was whether Rodgers would still be playing for them in 2021. After much speculation and intrigue, the reigning MVP will stick it out in Green Bay for at least one more season. His return alone makes them title contenders, though it’s more than fair to ask if the team improved at all during the offseason.
Rodgers turned in one of the best seasons of his career last year, and pass protection was a major reason why. The Packers lost several key players in that regard, however, including one of the NFL’s top pass-blocking running backs in Jamaal Williams. They also lost PFF’s top-graded center, Corey Linsley, to free agency along with right tackle Rick Wagner. That means the offensive line will have at least two new starters, and that’s assuming David Bakhtiari is fully recovered from last season’s ACL tear.
Defensively, the Packers hired defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who was most recently the Los Angeles Rams’ assistant head coach and linebackers coach. He will bring an aggressive mentality as the defensive play-caller, grading much of his success on sacks and tackles for loss. Of course, this will open up the big chunk plays through the air, but this is still a solid secondary as long as they figure out the CB2 spot. Green Bay’s inside linebackers are more experienced and improved, and they also have players who are capable of rushing the passer.
Green Bay Packers 2021 Fantasy Football Tips
Being last season’s top offensive unit with 31.8 points per game, there was a lot to like from Green Bay when it came to fantasy football. With Rodgers back under center, the Packers will score a ton of points and remain one of the NFL’s most fantasy-friendly offenses.
Let’s start with Rodgers, who was last season’s QB4 in PPR formats. Even at age 37, he’s a clear QB1 for fantasy teams and is as steady as they come. Rodgers is coming off one of the best seasons of his career and has shown no signs of slowing down.
While the Packers lost Williams in the backfield, they did re-sign Aaron Jones. A.J. Dillon is heading into his second NFL season, and he’s expected to absorb Williams’ vacant snaps. Despite missing a pair of games last season, Jones still finished the year as the RB5 in PPR scoring and tallied 11 total touchdowns. As such, Jones should continue to be valued as an RB1, while Dillon is more of a low-end RB2 or flex as one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy.
While the receiving corps has a clear top dog, the second tier of receivers is deep. We’ll start with Davante Adams, who was arguably the best wide receiver in football last season. With Rodgers returning, he’s a borderline first-round draft pick as one of the first few WRs off the board. The chemistry that he and Rodgers have in the red zone cannot be defended, as Adams has recorded double-digit touchdowns in four of the past five seasons, including a league-high 18 last year.
Beyond Adams, however, there is no other WR that you absolutely need to roster. Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Amari Rodgers will all get work, but it will be matchup-based and their production will be volatile. Devin Funchess will see some looks as well, and the Packers are also pursuing a reunion with Randall Cobb, which will make the receiver room even more crowded.
One of fantasy’s biggest breakouts last season was Robert Tonyan, who emerged as a top red-zone weapon with 11 touchdowns. That will be tough to replicate as opposing defenses will key in on him, but he remains a strong option at a thin position. While Tonyan’s still a TE1 this year, he should be viewed as more of a mid-range TE1 rather than one of the best at the position.
Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips
Packers Over 10 Regular-Season Wins (-125)
Green Bay Packers: Over 10 Wins (2021 NFL Season)
Bet $20, Payout $36
In two seasons under LaFleur, the Packers have enjoyed back-to-back 13-3 regular-season records. While Green Bay may not have improved this offseason and the focus has not been as much on football as they would like, a win total set at 10 is too low, especially with 17 games on the schedule this year. The Packers have won double-digit games in nine of Rodgers’ last 10 full seasons, so look for that trend to continue in 2021.
Packers To Win NFC North (-150)
Green Bay Packers To Win NFC North (2021 NFL Season)
Bet $20, Payout $33
The Detroit Lions are a disaster, the Chicago Bears are starting the season with Andy Dalton at quarterback, and the Minnesota Vikings still have too many holes. The Packers should win the NFC North for the third year in a row with room to spare, as they’re still clearly the best team in the division.
Packers To Make Playoffs (-250)
Green Bay Packers To Make 2021 NFL Playoffs
Bet $20, Payout $27
Since we like the Packers to win the NFC North, we clearly believe they will make the playoffs. Even if another team overtakes them in the division, Green Bay will likely have 10 or 11 wins at a minimum, which should be enough to at least reach the postseason as a wild card team.