Fantasy football: Life after Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay

Fantasy football: Life after Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay

NFL free agents and fantasy football impact

Fantasy football: Life after Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay


Although the trade has yet to be consummated, the New York Jets’ acquisition of quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers appears to be a matter of when, not if. The move will usher in a new era for the Packers, which have had Rodgers at the helm since 2008. Now, the mantle of QB1 passes to Jordan Love, who was selected 26th overall during the 2020 draft.

While the team is likely to add key personnel in the draft and free agency, it’s still a good time for a first look at what the Packers offense could look like post-Rodgers.

Jordan Love fantasy football outlook

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A year ago, the Packers handed Rodgers a massive contract extension in part due to questions about Love’s readiness to take the starting job. Now, the team looks to have full confidence in the Utah State product’s ability to run the show. As such, don’t expect head coach Matt LaFleur to completely redesign his offense. Granted, you’re likely to see more condensed formations and motion (something Rodgers disdained), but the idea that the Packers will transform into a ground-based attack feels misguided.

While Love hasn’t played a ton of regular-season snaps, his 2022 performance in Philadelphia opened a lot of eyes with his decisiveness, quick release, and ball placement. Love was considered raw coming out of college, but after three years to develop, he should hit the ground running. The 24-year-old has more athleticism than Rodgers, and he’s expected to execute the offense more to LaFleur’s design than his predecessor, who had free rein to make presnap adjustments. There’ll doubtless be growing pains, but there’s reason to feel bullish on Love. Current fantasy outlook: QB2 with upside.

Aaron Jones fantasy football outlook

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Jones reworked his contract to remain with the club, and with Rodgers gone he takes over as the offense’s preeminent playmaker. Jones has averaged better than five yards per carry in four of his six NFL seasons, and he has excellent hands, catching more than 45 passes in four straight years. Jones has had some fumbling issues, however, and his workload has ebbed at times to the frustration of fantasy owners. With the playoffs no longer guaranteed, the desire to “save” Jones could be mitigated, so he may see more touches in 2023. Current fantasy outlook: strong RB2.

AJ Dillon fantasy football outlook

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Entering the final year of his deal, Dillon has a lot to play for. Coming off an encouraging second season, the Boston College alum saw modest erosion in his numbers, though how much of that was his usage — repeatedly being run out of the shotgun instead of hitting it up inside and using his 247-pound frame to displace defenders — is open to debate. Either way, it feels like there’s another level for Dillon, both as a runner and a receiver, and if Love works under center more often it could help the bruising back elevate his game. Current fantasy outlook: RB3/flex with upside.

Christian Watson fantasy football outlook

Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries and a brutal drop on the first offensive play of the season marred the first half of Watson’s rookie year, but once he hauled in a long touchdown against Dallas in Week 10, the NFL was put on notice. Including that game, Watson caught 31 passes for 523 yards and seven TDs over the final eight — he also ran for a 46-yard touchdown. Physically, Watson is a nightmare for defenders with good size and strength to go with elite speed. His 63-yard catch-and-run TD from Love against Philly constitutes a glimpse of what could be. The team will be hoping for a second-year leap from Watson in 2023. Current fantasy outlook: WR2.

Romeo Doubs fantasy football outlook

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Doubs flashed throughout camp and started the season strong before suffering a high ankle sprain against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 6 that put him on the shelf for a month-plus. He returned to play the final four games but managed just 11 receptions, 111 yards, and no scores. Unlike Watson, it’s hard to say exactly how big of a role Doubs will play. If the team uses an early pick on a receiver or finds a veteran on the free-agent market, he could be the No. 3 receiver. If not, Doubs might start opposite Watson. Current fantasy outlook: WR4 with upside.

In conclusion

The Packers have tight end Robert Tonyan facing free agency, and no one else on the roster has enough experience to be trusted in fantasy. This is a deep class for the position, which suggests someone will be drafted, but rookie tight ends rarely matter in fantasy.

We’ll put a bow on the entire team outlook in our divisional preview series following April’s selection process.


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