As we begin to look ahead to Week 2, here is the Green Bay Packers stock report heading into their matchup with Detroit.
Week 1 is in the books as the Green Bay Packers cruised to a relatively easy win against the Minnesota Vikings. Now, it’s time to start turning our focus to Week 2, as the Packers head back home for a matchup with the Detroit Lions.
New this year, I will be doing my weekly stock report as we look ahead to Green Bay’s upcoming matchup. In this article, based on recent performances, I will be picking out players who are trending up, as well as those who are trending down.
While I’m not going to rule it out because you never know what may happen, more often than not, players like Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Za’Darius Smith, and so on, aren’t going to be included. But rather, my goal is to take a closer look at some of the non-star players and what trajectory they are currently on.
So, as good as Rodgers and Adams were in Minnesota, you won’t see them on this week’s stock report. Also, it’s important to keep in mind is that just because a player’s stock is down doesn’t mean they can’t bounce back or that I’ve written them off. They’re just coming off an underwhelming week.
Now with all of that out of the way, let’s dive into the Green Bay Packers’ Week 2 stock report! And as always, there can be other players who could be on this list, but these seven, in particular, really stood out to me.
Stock Up: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Yes, Marquez Valdes-Scantling had two brutal drops, and that is something that he will have to overcome in the long run. But the reason that I have his stock as up is that the highs from Sunday’s game outweighed the lows.
Valdes-Scantling would catch four of six passes for 96 yards at a ridiculous 24 yards per catch along with a touchdown. However, perhaps even more important than his final numbers, after those two drops, Aaron Rodgers went back to Valdes-Scantling on a free play, and he made the catch, which then led to a touchdown.
We’ve seen Valdes-Scantling have big games in the past, and we’ve seen him struggle as well, but what we haven’t seen much of is his ability to bounce back from a bad play or two. However, he did that on Sunday, and I expect him to continue seeing his fair share of targets.
Stock Down: Christian Kirksey
Christian Kirksey led the Green Bay Packers in tackles this past week with 12, but in terms of actual impact, he went relatively unnoticed. He was more so apart of the cleanup crew on a majority of his tackles and was also flagged for a 15-yard face mask. Kirksey has an ability to work in space that Blake Martinez doesn’t, but in Week 1 – and yes, it was only Week 1 – he flew under the radar.
Stock Up: Rashan Gary
We didn’t see Rashan Gary record any sacks, but there were several plays where he affected the outcome. Gary led this Packers’ defense in pressures with three, including two quarterback hits. Overall he looks much more comfortable rushing the passer, and his hand technique is much improved. Pressures may not be as pretty as sacks on the stat sheet, but as OLB Coach Mike Smith loves to point out, they still affect the game, and Gary did just that.
Stock Down: Jace Sternberger
It was a quiet camp for Jace Sternberger, who is expected by many to be a breakout player this year for the Green Bay Packers, and it was a quiet Sunday in Minnesota as well. Of the Packers’ four tight ends, Sternberger took the fewest snaps with just 12 total, and he was targeted just one time in the passing game.
Now, there is certainly no need to panic, and it’s worth mentioning that Sternberger had some nice blocks, but it might not be quite as easy for him to see the field as we all had originally thought.
Stock Up: Rick Wagner
I was very vocal this offseason about my doubts about Rick Wagner and the right tackle position, and this isn’t to say that those concerns are completely gone; it has only been one week after all. However, coming off the bench on Sunday, Wagner was very good.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Wagner was on the field for 24 pass-blocking snaps, and he didn’t give up a sack or a pressure, and he wasn’t called for a penalty either. It’s also worth pointing out that several of these snaps took place against Yannick Ngakoue, who many consider one of the better pass-rushers in the NFL.
Stock Down: The Interior Defensive Line
We still don’t know the severity of Kenny Clark’s injury, but groin injuries can be very fickle, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has to miss some time. Fortunately for this Green Bay Packers’ defense, on Sunday, they were up a few scores on Minnesota for much of the game, which meant the Vikings couldn’t run the ball nearly as much as they would have liked.
Yet that doesn’t mean the Vikings were any less efficient when they did hand the ball off. The duo of Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison would total 100 yards on only 18 carries or an average of 5.5 yards per carry. The likes of Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, and Tyler Lancaster are going to have to find a way to step up moving forward, especially if Green Bay is without Clark.
Stock Up: Krys Barnes
What a performance for the undrafted rookie out of UCLA. Krys Barnes was initially cut before ending up back on the practice squad, and to the surprise of what I’m going to guess is everybody, he was elevated to the active roster and assumed the ILB2 role next to Kirksey.
Barnes was on the field for only 15 defensive snaps, but he sure made them count. He would total seven tackles, including two for a loss, and on the two receptions he allowed, they only went for a total of five yards. I think it’s fair to say that at least until Kamal Martin returns, Barnes has cemented himself into that ILB2 role.