From 2007 through 2010, Greg Jennings looked like a stud.
He averaged over 16 yards per reception in each of those years, had 920 yards in ’07 before three straight 1,000+ campaigns, had double digit touchdowns twice and averaged just shy of 70 receptions.
During those years Jennings was a hot fantasy commodity, ably filling in at WR1 or 2 in standard scoring and PPR leagues.
In 2011, Jennings was still a reliable producer, putting up nine touchdowns and 949 yards despite missing three games.
Last year, Jennings tore his six-pack and missed half the season. The disturbing issue for fantasy owners is that Jennings’ half-season numbers looked a lot more like a waiver wire emergency guy than the former WR1 that Jennings had previously been.
The injury was the final nail in the coffin of Jennings’ time with the Packers, and he signed a huge deal with the Vikings in the offseason.
This huge deal is a direct violation of the Cold, Hard Football Facts Shiny Hood Ornament Man Law, and the Vikings (and fantasy drafters) are likely to regret their investment in Jennings.
This year, there is definitely fantasy caution regarding Jennings, as his average draft position has fallen to around 89th – that’s a mid-seventh-round selection in 12 team leagues.
Draft picks are a valuable commodity, both in real and fantasy football, and if you spend even a seventh-rounder on Jennings, you will be wasting an asset better spent elsewhere.
For starters, Jennings will be 30 in September. 30 years is a landmark age in every sport, but the NFL especially is a young man’s game. Herman Moore, Johnnie Morton, Al Toon, Lee Evans, Chris Calloway, Jake Reed and many, many more very good wideouts all fell off a cliff within shouting distance of their age 30 seasons. Jennings would be an exception, not the norm, were he to continue to put up big numbers after three decades.
On the injury front, Jennings played all 16 games in his four “big” years before missing three games to injury in 2011 and, again, half of 2012 to injury. Now he has already had his first injury with the Vikings. This is not a good sign, as players become more injury prone with age, not less.
Many have advanced the argument that playing with Adrian Peterson will open up opportunities for Jennings, but Peterson had one of the best seasons by a running back ever last year and the Vikings' passing attack was still putrid, averaging fewer yards per pass play than they did per run.
The Peterson argument also ignores Jennings’ other teammates, and a quick perusal of the Vikings' roster reveals nobody capable of taking double-team pressure off of Jennings in the passing game.
The final topping on the Jennings turd pizza is the quarterback situation. In Green Bay, Jennings caught passes from the highest rated passer in NFL history, a league and Super Bowl MVP. Aaron Rodgers makes offensive football easier for everybody he plays with.
In Minnesota, Jennings will be catching passes from Christian Ponder, a gentleman easily dismissed as the worst quarterback in the division.
The evidence has been weighed and the verdict is in, and Greg Jennings is guilty – of being a “do not draft” player.