Comparing Aaron Rodgers and Joe Burrow prior to the 2021 season would have seemed like a lopsided exercise in futility. But, Burrow led the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl to make the conversation much more realistic, despite Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers posting a league-best 39 wins over the past three seasons.
So, who has the better 2022 fantasy prospects? Let’s look at their pros and cons.
- Not just a four-time MVP winner, but he has won the last two (2020, 2021)
- He has thrown 85 touchdown passes the last two seasons – the most in any two-year stretch of his career.
- Rodgers is incredible at protecting the ball and not throwing ill-advised passes. Over the last four seasons, he has thrown 2,223 passes and just 15 interceptions – an average of one pick per every 148 passes.
- While not much of a rusher in fantasy terms, he has scored six rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons – the most in any two-year span in the last decade.
- The trade of Davante Adams takes away his unquestioned top target. Over the last four seasons (57 contests), Adams was targeted 614 times – almost 11 times a game.
- Not only did Rodgers lose Adams as his primary weapon, the Packers also allowed Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown to walk in free agency – two players who had a long history learning with Rodgers.
- Entering his age-39 season in a young man’s game
- He hasn’t been the developer of young wide receivers at nearly the same rate as his predecessor Brett Favre. Rodgers is notorious for not trusting rookies.
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- Has made incredible progress in just two NFL seasons, making his first Super Bowl appearance in just his second season. His success demonstrates the potential for another significant jump in his maturation process. Still learning the game, as he increases his quarterback IQ, the game will slow down for him.
- He has three of the most dynamic young receivers in the league with Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
- The Bengals have a balanced offensive attack and can run Joe Mixon 20 times per game to take the pressure off Burrow to be the focus of the offense at all times.
- Cincinnati upgraded its offensive line with the additions of center Ted Karras, right guard Alex Cappa and right tackle La’el Collins.
- Displayed good consistency last season, completing more than 70 percent of his passes has averaged 39 pass attempts a game in his career. With that many attempts consistently, good things will happen.
- Whether it was the fault of his offensive line or holding the ball too long, Burrow was sacked a league-high 51 times. He has been sacked 83 times in 26 NFL career starts.
- He has already suffered one significant injury, and until the on-paper upgrades along the line show it on the field, Burrow will continue to be a quarterback fantasy owners have to fear will miss time due to injury.
- He threw 14 interceptions last season, just one fewer than Rodgers has thrown in the last four years combined.
- Although he didn’t show too many ill-effects from the significant leg injury he suffered in 2020, his rushing attempts bottomed out. As a rookie, he averaged 3.7 rushing attempts a game. In 2021, he dropped to 2.5 attempts. His rushing yards also took a hit, dipping from 14.2 yards a game to 7.4 yards a game.
Fantasy football outlook
Rodgers (ADP 6:06) is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he has the weakest supporting cast of receivers at any point during his career. Without his security blanket in Adams, he has to count on lesser receivers to get the job done.
Burrow (ADP 5:10), on the other hand, has young dynamic weapons who are only getting better with time. Because of that, if he stays healthy, Joe Burrow is the better fantasy quarterback option in 2022.