Allen Lazard’s Best Ball Value and Potential in the Jets’ Offense
The New York Jets made a splash in the NFL’s free agency period by signing Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million deal. Lazard’s signing reunites him with Nathaniel Hackett, the former Packers offensive coordinator. As Best Ball enthusiasts, we must analyze Lazard’s potential value in this format and we should also consider the potential acquisition of Aaron Rodgers.
I. Lazard’s Potential
Lazard has shown the ability to have spike weeks in the form of touchdowns, but he may not have consistent production or a steady receiving role as a beta receiver in the Jets’ offense. Additionally, Lazard will face competition for snaps and targets. The Jets already have a clear number one receiver in Garrett Wilson and second WR Corey Davis, who was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Lazard will likely compete with Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore for the third receiver spot. Given these factors, we should evaluate Lazard as a WR4-5 in Best Ball drafts.
II. Lazard’s Best Ball Value
In 2022, Lazard finished the season as the WR33 overall and the WR36 in points per game. He commanded a team-high 20% target share, finished seventh in the NFL in targets of 20-plus air yards (28), and 17th in red zone targets. However, Lazard’s performance in Weeks 1-9 was much stronger than in Weeks 10-17. Lazard’s early best-ball ADP as WR62 provides value for drafters.
III. Lazard’s Connection with Aaron Rodgers
The Jets are rumored to be the favorites to trade for quarterback Aaron Rodgers if he decides to continue his playing career in 2023. Lazard was one of Rodgers’ top targets last year, and he could become Rodgers’ preferred target early in the season while the quarterback familiarizes himself with a new receiving corps. However, if Rodgers does not end up in New York, Lazard’s fantasy value may be hurt as he competes with Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, and Elijah Moore for targets.
In conclusion, while the signing of Allen Lazard by the New York Jets may generate some excitement for fantasy players, it’s important to temper expectations for his production in the Jets’ offense. Lazard has spike potential in the form of touchdowns, but is unlikely to provide consistent production or a steady receiving role. Unless Rodgers joins the Jets, Lazard could become a preferred target. However, fantasy players should view him as a WR4-5 option and consider pairing him with more consistent receivers in Best Ball leagues. Despite his limitations, Lazard’s solid value at WR62 in early Best Ball ADP makes him an intriguing option to consider in the later rounds of drafts.