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Allen Lazard to Jets: Fantasy Football Impact (2023 NFL Free Agency)

Allen Lazard to Jets: Fantasy Football Impact (2023 NFL Free Agency)

Looks like Aaron Rodgers will get at least one of the items on his wish list. The Jets have reportedly reached an agreement with former Packer and current free agent wide receiver Allan Lazard. Let’s take a look at the fantasy football impact the signing has on the Jets.

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Jets Sign Allen Lazard

The New York Jets signed free agent WR Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million deal with $22 million guaranteed, sources told Jordan Schultz from the @thescore. The move bolsters an already talented Jets WR room. More importantly, it’s another attempt to entice QB Aaron Rodgers to come to New York via trade.

The signing also reunites Lazard with former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett recognizes Lazard’s strengths as a run blocker and red-zone threat, so that will likely be his primary role on his new team. Lazard will have spike week potential in the form of touchdowns, but I don’t anticipate consistent production or a steady receiving role as a beta receiver in the Jets offense. Lazard might not even be the real-life No. 2 pass-catching option — competing with the likes of Elijah Moore and the tight ends — putting him in back-end fantasy WR4-5 territory.

In 2022, Lazard finished the season as the WR36 in points per game and as the WR33 overall despite high-end usage. He finished seventh in the NFL in targets of 20-plus air yards (28) and 17th in red zone targets while commanding a team-high 20% target share. The big-bodied wideout just failed to convert his elite usage into consistent production, which ties back to his mediocre talent profile. He’s a “fine” wide receiver, but hardly a difference-maker. 

It was very apparent that Lazard was no longer the alpha in the Green Bay passing game when rookie Christian Watson was a healthy and active participant in the lineup. In Weeks 1-9, Lazard averaged nearly 13 fantasy points per game. In Weeks 10-17, Lazard notched just 6.5 fantasy points per game. His 6-5, 227-pound frame will get him playing time in New York, but Lazard still won’t be anything more than an ancillary piece of a passing game unless injuries strike a player like Garrett Wilson. Lazard’s favorable fantasy usage likely won’t carry over to Gang Green amid their other weapons — not even with Lazard’s built-in chemistry with Aaron Rodgers. As previously stated, Lazard will have some usable weeks because Rodgers has peppered him targets in advantageous situations in the past. But such games will be few and far between. Still, Lazard is a solid value at WR62 in early best-ball ADP. 

I don’t think Lazard drastically impacts Moore, as Lazard will likely be operating in what was Corey Davis’ snap share. Moore should be the full-time slot receiver with Braxton Berrios no longer on the roster. I expect Davis to be released in the coming days for salary cap reasons. Simply put, if Moore doesn’t rebound after a horrible sophomore season, Lazard won’t be the root cause.
Andrew Erickson

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