Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling suffered a back injury in their Week 18 loss to the Detroit Lions. He’s dealt with injuries throughout the season while also taking on a key role in the Green Bay offense. Is Valdes-Scantling playing this weekend, and what should fantasy football managers expect from the Packers receiver in this game?
Update 01/22/22: Marquez Valdes-Scantling is officially inactive for the Green Bay Packers tonight against the 49ers. For the entire list of inactives, make sure to check out our 49ers vs. Packers Injury Report.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s 2021 production
Valdes-Scantling has seen plenty of ups and downs throughout an injury-filled 2021 season. He recorded 26 receptions for 430 yards and 3 touchdowns on 55 targets over 11 games. He solidified himself as Green Bay’s deep threat, although he added a few more routes to his tree as well.
MVS wasn’t overly consistent, but he flashed in multiple performances. The young receiver posted 4 receptions for 123 yards and 1 touchdown on 10 targets against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11. Although he wasn’t extremely efficient, Valdes-Scantling flashed game-changing abilities.
He also looked great against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15. In that game, he posted 5 receptions for 98 yards and 1 TD on 7 targets. He was much more efficient this time around, and Valdes-Scantling continues to progress as a receiver.
He’s by far Green Bay’s best deep threat, as he boasts tremendous speed. He has also been an outstanding complement to Davante Adams when on the field together.
How would Valdes-Scantling’s absence affect the Packers’ offense?
Valdes-Scantling is a significant player for Green Bay to lose this weekend. He’s the downfield weapon that consistently opens room for others. San Francisco struggled with big plays at times, and MVS is clearly Green Bay’s top big-play receiver.
With that said, Randall Cobb is returning, which will allow Allen Lazard to slide outside with Cobb taking over the slot role. Lazard doesn’t possess the same speed as Valdes-Scantling, but he boasts plenty of size for deep balls.
Equanimeous St. Brown could also play a slightly larger role in the offense, as he has the size and speed to attack San Francisco’s defense down the field.
Ultimately, Green Bay will shift their receivers into different roles if Valdes-Scantling can’t play.
Will Valdes-Scantling play vs. the 49ers this week?
Valdes-Scantling suffered a back injury in Week 18 against the Detroit Lions. It wasn’t seen as a significant injury, as he was still projected to play this weekend with Green Bay receiving a first-round bye.
Furthermore, MVS got in a limited practice on Tuesday. At that point, head coach Matt LaFleur was expecting the young receiver to suit up this weekend.
Yet, he suffered a setback, and Valdes-Scantling wasn’t able to practice in any capacity on Wednesday or Thursday. The Packers stated MVS wasn’t on the field during the open portion of practice on Thursday.
LaFleur no longer expects him to play against the 49ers, as MVS is currently listed as doubtful for the Divisional Round.
Are fantasy points available vs. San Francisco?
There are plenty of fantasy points available for wide receivers against the 49ers. San Francisco is giving up 23.2 fantasy points per game to the position, which is the sixth-most in the NFL.
The 49ers have struggled with the deep ball, and there would’ve been plenty of opportunities for Valdes-Scantling to find success. Instead, Lazard will likely receive those deep shots. St. Brown is another interesting option here.
Remember that Adams will continue to see an elite target share, and there will only be so many targets available after his. Nevertheless, Cobb and Lazard come with flex appeal, although they’re both risky.