Tony Avelar/Associated Press
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling made the most of his two catches on Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers by turning them into two touchdowns for 53 yards in his team’s 34-17 win.
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The Packers’ passing game enjoyed an efficient night on the road. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 25-of-31 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns, and wideout Davante Adams amassed 10 receptions for 173 yards and a score.
Valdes-Scantling bounced back from a recent rough stretch. He finished without a catch despite four targets on Oct. 25 versus the Houston Texans, and his previous three weeks resulted in four catches and 51 scoreless yards combined.
Those outings were a far cry from his first two weeks, when he snagged four passes for 96 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 versus Minnesota before catching three more passes for 64 yards against the Detroit Lions.
The 26-year-old out of USF is the Packers’ clear No. 2 wide receiver behind Adams, and he’ll continue to receive opportunities to make big plays.
From a fantasy perspective, however, Valdes-Scantling is a risky start given his uneven production and target amount. He’s averaged fewer than five targets per game in eight contests this year, meaning he has to make the most of his opportunities to become fantasy viable.
That wasn’t an issue Thursday when he turned his two catches into touchdowns, but that 100-percent score rate is clearly an anomaly. Of note, his 16 receptions in the first seven games resulted in just one touchdown.
The other issue is that Adams’ presence will limit Valdes-Scantling’s looks. Adams is a target monster who saw 57 passes in his direction through his first five games, and that includes a Week 2 matchup against Detroit that he left early due to a hamstring injury. He missed two games before returning to the lineup.
Valdes-Scantling saw 19 targets in the games that Adams missed or left early for an average of 6.3 looks per game. That number ticks down to four per game with the No. 1 wideout on the field.
Ultimately, that’s the biggest reason to avoid starting Valdes-Scantling in any fantasy league. The Packers offense runs through Rodgers, running back Aaron Jones and Adams. Packer tight ends (most notably Robert Tonyan) are also heavily involved as well.
Valdes-Scantling’s volume leads him to being a boom-or-bust fantasy option. He’ll boom once in a while, like he did against San Francisco. But more often than not, his lack of consistent targets will lead to busts.
You should be able to find other wideout options for your starting lineup or bench.