Marquez Valdes-Scantling got plenty of playing time as a rookie but couldn't match up the big numbers to go along with it. He'll aim to rectify that issue in 2019, beginning with a training camp competition for playing time. If he does well he could become the Packers' full-time slot receiver with Randall Cobb no longer on the team. Though he must improve on his ugly 52.1 percent catch rate, the potential role is enough to keep the 6-foot-4 speedster as a late-round Fantasy sleeper in all formats.
Valdes-Scantling is working as the No. 2 wide receiver at mandatory minicamp, ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky reports. The second-year pro has been lining up outside, and it sounds like he's been staying on the field for two-receiver formations. Meanwhile, Geronimo Allison has been handling the slot in three-wide sets, despite taking just 22.4 percent of his snaps inside last season. This is a positive development for Valdes-Scantling, who recently received praise from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and coach Matt LaFleur. Of course, the Packers are still early in the process of figuring out how they want to use their wide receivers behind No. 1 target Davante Adams. There's plenty of time for Equanimeous St. Brown, Jake Kumerow, J'Mon Moore or Trevor Davis to challenge MVS and Allison for a top-three role.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Valdes-Scantling had a good spring and believes the second-year receiver has what it takes to be an every-down player in 2019, Wes Hodkiewicz of the Packers' official site reports. That's high praise from one of the league's best passers, not to mention great news for a young receiver on a depth chart that's unsettled beyond top dog Davante Adams. While Valdes-Scantling will need to continue his impressive play when the pads come on during training camp, he nonetheless appears to have taken advantage of his first full offseason program as a professional and undoubtedly benefits from the fact Green Bay didn't sign or draft another noteworthy wideout. As it stands, his primary competition appears to be Geronimo Allison and Equanimeous St. Brown, though Jake Kumerow and J'Mon Moore could make a bid for playing time as well.
Valdes-Scantling caught three passes for 43 yards in Sunday's loss to the Lions. Valdes-Scantling led the Packers in receiving in Week 17, albeit with fellow wideouts Davante Adams (knee) and Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) inactive. Valdes-Scantling finished third on the Packers with 581 receiving yards and tied for third with 38 receptions in his rookie season, better numbers than are typically expected from a fifth-round draft pick. He had an up-and-down campaign, but he also showed some upside and brings a nice size/speed combination to the table. Valdes-Scantling will have a shot to play a prominent role with the Packers again in 2019, but it remains to be seen exactly where he will slot in on the depth chart; as other than Adams remaining the team's top wideout and St. Brown and Geronimo Allison likely being part of the mix, the rest of the team's receiving corps heads into the offseason in flux.
Valdes-Scantling caught five of nine targets for 75 yards in Sunday's 44-38 overtime win over the Jets. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers tied his season high with 442 passing yards, and he was able to get Valdes-Scantling involved in the offense following an extended cold spell. The 24-year-old wide receiver preceded this effort with five consecutive games featuring fewer than 20 receiving yards in each, so we'd still exercise caution before plugging him in when the Lions come to town in Week 17.
Valdes-Scantling caught one pass for 12 yards in Sunday's loss to the Bears. Valdes-Scantling remained a non-factor for both the Packers and fantasy players, finishing with fewer than 50 yards from scrimmage for the sixth week in a row. He had a shot at a far bigger day, but was overthrown by quarterback Aaron Rodgers after beating his defender deep early in the fourth quarter. There's a chance he could get more involved the next two weeks with the Packers eliminated from playoff contention, but that seems a bit of a long shot at this point, given his production and the fact he was on the field for just 30.9 percent of the offensive snaps in Sunday's contest.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|8||10/28||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|
|9||11/03||@Los Angeles Chargers||7||18.44|
|12||11/24||@San Francisco 49ers||30||26.13|
|13||12/01||@New York Giants||10||20.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||72||38||581||2||23||15.29||72|