WR Jordy Nelson, Free agent
HT: 6-2, WT: 217, Born: 5-31-1985, College: Kansas State, Drafted: Round 2
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: A Foster (20), L Bell (21), Jordy Nelson (22), D Martin (23), A Jeffery (24)
Position: B Marshall (15-WR5), J Jones (18-WR6), Jordy Nelson (22 - WR7), A Jeffery (24-WR8), A Brown (26-WR9)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: M Lynch (17), A Rodgers (18), Jordy Nelson (19), D Brees (20), A Brown (21)
Position: J Jones (13-WR5), B Marshall (14-WR6), Jordy Nelson (19 - WR7), A Brown (21-WR8), A Jeffery (24-WR9)
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As the #1 wideout for the Packers last season, Nelson posted career best numbers despite Aaron Rodgers missing half the season. With Rodgers back to 100% this season, Nelson will be looking to improve on those numbers as he enters the final year of his contract. The Packers are thin at WR for the first time in a while and Nelson is the one guy that Aaron Rodgers can count on every week. A top ten fantasy season for Nelson is very possible, and he could easily push his way toward the top five with a couple more trips to the end zone.
Nelson may be the best receiver on the team, but he has only two seasons with more than 1000 yards receiving. It doesn’t help that the WRs behind him on the depth chart all have limited NFL experience. Nelson is going to draw the toughest coverage on every play, as opposing defenses force Aaron Rodgers to throw to younger, inexperience receivers. Nelson’s production is limited and he posts similar stats to what he did last season.
Nelson is the Packers best wide receiver. It also helps that he’s a big play threat. With Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb both back at full strength, Nelson should see plenty of opportunities to improve on his stats from last season. The Packers are thin at wide receiver for their first time in a while, and until one of the younger guys can get experience, Nelson is going to have to carry the load. Look for top 10 fantasy performance from him this year.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - If anyone was worried about Jordy Nelson's knee or his absence in preseason, you can stop worrying. Nelson had an outstanding day where he looked as if he hadn't missed a minute of practice and his chemistry with Aaron Rodgers continues to be excellent. Nelson's first catch was as good as it gets for him as he went up and over cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha for a tough 31 yard catch. Nelson fought off asomugha's jam at the line and then lost him with a double move. The ball gets thrown a little behind, but Nelson easily adjusts as Asomugha couldn't get turned around to break the play up. Later on, Nelson again displayed his athleticism and acumen on a 37 yard pass he caught on the sideline, just getting both feet in as he dove out of bounds to catch the ball. On top of everything else, Nelson caught multiple balls which left him open for some big hits by the San Francisco defenders. Nelson took it all in stride, occasionally rebounding from the hit and gaining more yards, but always holding onto the ball. Nelson doesn't look any the worse for wear after his knee surgery and is a huge weapon, and a huge part of this offense.
Week 2 - Jordy Nelson didn’t catch a lot of balls but he made them count scoring on two of the four targets he received (five if you count a pass nullified by a holding penalty which would have gone for a touchdown). Both of his touchdown catches were a bit difficult. The first was a low pass which Nelson had to slide in the end zone to get underneath while the other was thrown to his back shoulder and a little high. On that touchdown, Nelson extended his body as he jumped and made a great catch, coming down in the end zone when he fell. His third catch also showed very good effort as the ball was thrown just a little short and Nelson had to go over the top of rookie cornerback David Amerson for the catch.
Week 3 - The Bengals did a great job of clamping down on the Packers wide receivers but though they kept him out of the end zone, Nelson got his. It took a while as Nelson's targets were spread across the entire game with one or two a quarter until the fourth, when he saw four targets, all of which he caught. As always, Nelson made a host of impressive catches, including an acrobatic catch along the sideline in the third quarter. On the play, Nelson got great separation on the coverage, but Aaron Rodgers didn't lead him with the throw, instead putting the ball high and a bit short. It was still too high a throw for cornerback Terence Newman to make a play on, but also forced Nelson to stop, turn his body around and jump to get the ball. Nelson kept his feet in bounds even though Newman clipped him as he fell to the ground. Nelson continues to string together tons of yards, though he couldn't add in a touchdown this week.
Week 5 - Much of Jordy Nelson’s day consisted of short slants, but he did have several of the requisite ridiculous plays he produces most weeks. Late in the second quarter, Nelson split the zone coverage and was wide open down the right sideline. Aaron Rodgers delivered the ball a little late and behind, so Detroit safety Glover Quin was able to get over and try to make a play on the ball. Nelson went up, extending his body to make the catch and then hung on as Quin hauled him to the ground. Rodgers found Nelson again on a deep ball while the receiver was sprinting down the sideline. On the play, Nelson was pretty well covered by Rashean Mathis, so Rodgers threw a rope to Nelson’s back shoulder. Nelson caught the ball but momentum was carrying him out of bounds and he had to stretch his body to get both feet in. Just another “routine” circus catch by Nelson.
Week 6 - With Randall Cobb and James Jones down for the count, Jordy Nelson had the weight of the passing offense on his shoulders. As with the other remaining targets, Nelson found himself well covered as the Baltimore Ravens made sure to blanket Nelson with some extra safety attention for some of the game. He got loose a few times though, the first on a big slant pass late in the second. Nelson ran a post pattern and Aaron Rodgers hit him in stride. Nelson continued downfield for a big gain until he was run out of bounds. The second one was his touchdown, a 64 yard play late in the third quarter. On the play, Nelson got behind Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb. Rodgers saw it happening and threw a bomb towards Nelson who caught it and ran to the end zone, untouched. Unfortunately, Nelson was also the target on Aaron Rodgers’ interception. On the pass, Nelson was well covered by Justin Smith and Rodgers underthrew the ball. Nelson tried to make a play on it, but just wasn’t in the position to do so and Smith came down with the pick. Save for that play, Nelson had a great day, even with minimal catches and tight coverage.
Week 7 - The targets for Jordy Nelson were few and far between in part because he saw a lot of Browns cornerback Joe Haden. Haden made it really difficult for Nelson to break free on any longer routes, forcing Nelson and Rodgers to work underneath a bit against linebackers who were mismatched by Nelson’s speed or in the open areas in between zones. Nelson’s longest reception came on a slant route during which he was able to get a step—and inside position—on Haden. Rodgers threaded the ball between some defenders and Nelson made a nice catch for 17 yards. His touchdown also came because of inside position on Haden during a slant route. It’s difficult to stop that play for anyone, but Nelson’s size and physicality make it almost impossible when he’s able to get that first step inside.
Week 8 - You’d be hard pressed to find too many WR/QB tandems as on point and productive as Jordy Nelson and Aaron Rodgers and we saw plenty of supporting evidence of that Sunday night. The two biggest examples came on the pair of touchdowns the two had. On the first, Nelson was actually very well covered by Minnesota cornerback Josh Robinson. Rodgers delivered a perfect throw, just sailing past Robinson’s left ear. Had Robinson turned his head more quickly, he might have stopped the pass, but the chance seems miniscule. Nelson and Robinson were fighting the entire route, but Nelson got his hands up in time and hauled in the pass for a touchdown. On the second touchdown, Rodgers and Nelson took advantage of a defensive shift and caught the Vikings a tad slow to react. The defense called a corner blitz, sending Marcus Sherels after Rodgers while safety Mistral Raymond slid over to cover Sherels’ position. This left linebacker Chad Greenway to read Rodgers and pick up Nelson when he crossed into Greenway’s zone. The Vikings linebacker was just a tad slow to react so while he got to Nelson, he wasn’t able to deflect the pass, which flew right by his head. Rodgers’ strike hit Nelson in perfect stride and the receiver didn’t even have to slow down for a microsecond. By the time any other Vikings defender reacted, Nelson was flying down the field for a 76-yard score.
Week 9 - It appeared early on as if the Packers were going to try and replicate their gameplan from last weekend’s game against the Minnesota Viking and move Jordy Nelson inside, often to the slot. Once Aaron Rodgers went down though, the plan shifted and Nelson was force outside for most of his routes. It was rough going, as backup quarterback Seneca Wallace was terribly inaccurate and often underthrew his receivers, Nelson included. Nelson also suffered from being sent of longer routes when Wallace threw predominantly short. Those two things factored heavily into what was a very quiet day for Nelson. Hopefully things will pick up after a week of work directly with Wallace—the Packers are going to need it to.
Week 10 - This week saw receiver Jordy Nelson getting a ton of short passes which he tried to turn into big gains, though often unsuccessfully. The defense keyed on two things—stopping the run and stopping Nelson, clearly the biggest remaining threat in the passing offense with Aaron Rodgers sidelined. For the most part, the Philadelphia Eagles were content to concentrate on Nelson and let the other receivers get their shots. With undrafted rookie quarterback Scott Tolzien replacing mediocre Seneca Wallace, the defense was more worried about Nelson breaking something off after a catch than they were Tolzien ripping them up with Jarrett Boykin and James Jones. You could see the timing and chemistry was just a bit off and never was it more evident than when Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 76-yards to the Packers’ 27 yard line. On the play, Nelson lined up inside and ran a route he often does in the end zone for Rodgers—a simple “fade” route towards the back corner of the end zone. Normally, Rodgers would throw a lob towards the back corner where only Nelson could make a play on the ball, but Tolzien threw it directly towards Nelson. Nelson was clearly expecting the lob, and had to adjust to the more direct pass, but couldn’t do it fast enough. Boykin simply undercut the route and picked the ball off. Those sorts of mistakes often come from inexperience and a lack of comfort between quarterbacks and their receivers. A week’s worth of work with the first team offense should help Nelson and Tolzien get on the same page.
Week 11 - Last week it seemed as if Jordy Nelson and rookie quarterback Scott Tolzien were not only on different pages, but might have been in completely different books. Sunday was a much better game, and the pair hooked up eight times on nine attempts, though never in the end zone. Overall Nelson did a good job of finding just enough separation to allow Tolzien space to deliver the ball and making his usual incredible catches look easy while doing so. On one deep pass along the sideline for 29 yards, Nelson was actually really well covered by defensive back Terrell Thomas. Tolzien threw a long ball just in front of Nelson—too far for Thomas to make a play on and—at first glance—too far for Nelson as well. However, it was actually in the perfect spot for Nelson to make a play, as he extended his body to catch the ball and actually kept his feet for a moment before being brought down by Thomas. Overall, it looks like the rookie quarterback and the veteran playmaker will have no issues hooking up for plenty of yards.
Week 12 - Jarrett Boykin and James Jones got the bulk of the targets on Sunday, so it was a relatively quiet Sunday for Jordy Nelson. The Vikings tried very hard to shut him down, forcing first quarterback Scott Tolzien and later Matt Flynn to look elsewhere. Nelson still made some incredible catches, including on his very first catch, a 34-yard reception in the first quarter. On the play, Nelson ran a seam route, with a nifty double move at about six yards to get a step on defensive back Marcus Sherels. Sherels bit on the stutter step and Nelson was able to get ahead of him. Tolzien’s pass was high, but Nelson made a great leaping grab, extending his body to make a fantastic catch. Even better, Nelson was able to come down on his feet, in stride and gain almost another twenty yards. Nelson’s second catch was equally impressive as he had defensive back Robert Blanton draped all over him. Flynn threw a nice ball away from Blanton, where only Nelson was going to grab it and the receiver made a very good catch. Overall, Nelson jet didn’t get a lot of targets and a great deal of them—from both quarterbacks—were just about uncatchable.
Week 13 - Jordy Nelson and James Jones were the only offensive players not on the offensive line or under center, who were on the field for every offensive snaps and yet they accounted for just nine targets combined. Amazingly, none of Nelson’s half (just four) resulted in one of his weekly “did you see that” catches. Part of that was the dearth of targets, but a lot of it was that quarterback Matt Flynn simply couldn’t put the ball in a remotely favorable location for Nelson on any pass. Whereas previous quarterbacks seem to have been able to pass to where Nelson was going, or put the ball where only he had a chance to make a play. On one play, an incomplete pass early in the second quarter, Flynn had Nelson on a short slant across the middle. Instead of leading Nelson by throwing the ball to where the receiver was going, he threw directly into the defender. Nelson has not scored since Week 8 against the Vikings (a two-touchdown game) and has totaled 100 yards just once in the last five weeks. Nobody seems to miss Aaron Rodgers more than Nelson.
Week 14 - Sunday wasn’t about quantity for Jordy Nelson—it was all about quantity. Nelson caught every ball thrown his way and did a very could job extending almost every reception. Nelson started off his day with one of his patented “ridiculous catches” as Flynn overthrew him and Nelson had to extend himself to make the catch even though he was wide open. He then ran a very simple out pattern, then turned it upfield and tip toed for a first down. Nelson should have had a huge touchdown on a go route in the third quarter but Flynn severely underthrew the ball and Nelson had to slow down severely but made the catch. Overall Nelson had a solid day, which could have been much more with a little more with another quarterback throwing the ball.
Week 15 - To start the game it’s safe to say that Jordy Nelson and Matt Flynn were not on the same page. Flynn overthrew him on their second attempt at a connection, then Nelson had the rare drop on a short out not long after. The fourth attempt was an outright disaster as Flynn threw the ball directly to cornerback Sterling Moore. Flynn just saw Nelson open but not the safety coming over, nor Moore haunting the route. It was a bad pass and one Nelson could do nothing to prevent. The second half was a much different game. The very first time Flynn went to Nelson in the second half resulted in a touchdown. On the play, Nelson ran a simple fade route. Flynn underthrew the ball again, but Nelson jumped up and leaped over cornerback Orlando Scandrick, plucking the ball from the Dallas defender for the touchdown. Scandrick simply failed to make a play—it seemed clear Nelson just wanted it more. Nelson then made another tremendous catch—this time one-handed—late in the third for a 21-yard gain. Overall, Nelson’s freakish catching ability helped make for a much better second half.
Week 16 - There were times during the game where it was fair to wonder if quarterback Matt Flynn was trying to kill Jordy Nelson. On a day when Flynn struggled to hit almost everyone, perhaps it was just a matter of general inaccuracy. One play was on a vertical route which was thrown way over Nelson’s head—had it been lower he might have caught it but would have been obliterated by one of the two defenders covering him. Another took place a bit later in the third quarter, when Flynn threw the ball too wide, causing Nelson to dive for the ball and get landed on by the covering cornerback. Nelson’s biggest catch was on a nice “in” route where the receiver was wide open and Flynn managed to lead him. Nelson caught the ball in stride and was able to turn upfield for more yards.
Week 17 - They say timing is everything, and certainly it’s always been a key element in the chemistry between Jordy Nelson and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Over the last eight games, Nelson has struggled to build that timing with multiple quarterbacks and often had to bail them out of poor throws by executing amazing catches. For stretches of Sunday’s game with Rodgers under center, that remained true. Nelson and Rodgers were out of sync—not surprising given the time apart—and Rodgers consistently threw behind, above or just away from Nelson, forcing the receiver to make some incredible plays just to touch the ball. The struggle to get on the same page was most glaring in the second quarter when Nelson went out on a slant route and Rodgers threw a bit high and behind his receiver. Nelson appeared to be surprised by the pass—he seemed to expect the ball a few moments later in the route—and barely got his hands up to grab at the ball. The pass went off his hands, bounced into the air and into Chicago cornerback Tim Jennings’ hands. It’s a catch Nelson often makes and in that moment, needed to, but again, highlights the early dysfunction between him and Rodgers. Later on the two seemed to settle more into their old rhythms, quite often on shorter passes which allowed Nelson to catch the ball in space before the defense could react. One of those plays resulted in a 34-yard gain which was almost all Nelson. The play was a short screen pass, which Nelson caught and turned upfield. He broke several of the laziest tackles in the history of the NFL, and then accelerated down the sideline until he was pushed out by safety Chris Conte. Overall, the pair needed to knock the rust off a little but once they got going, they were able to take full advantage of a Bears defense which was banged up and completely overmatched.
Week 18 - Since Aaron Rodgers returned to the starting lineup in Week 17, Jordy Nelson has seen 24 targets—the highest total in that two game stretch by far. He has managed to catch 17 of those 24, including seven of eight against San Francisco during Sunday’s loss. Nelson and Rodgers definitely have excellent chemistry and Nelson seems to have a knack for making plays when the team needs him to. Nelson saw a lot of action on shorter passes, as he was able to push defenders away from the line of scrimmage before cutting back towards Rodgers and the ball. His sharp route running was on full display during his touchdown in the late first half. On the play, Nelson ran his route into the end zone and ‘pinched’ in towards the inside. As he feigned interest in taking his route that way, the defender bit and followed, but Nelson instead pushed off and ran towards the outside and the sideline where Rodgers hit him with a touchdown pass. Nelson nearly had a huge play in the third quarter, when Rodgers once again escaped pressure and heaved a long throw towards Nelson. However, Nelson didn’t get enough height and cornerback Tarrell Brown got his hands above Nelson to disrupt the play. Nelson’s left hand was clearly held, but for the most part the officials let the players play, so it isn’t a surprise that it wasn’t called.