After an offseason dominated by Aaron Rodgers rumors, 2022 has provided comparatively little with regard to the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback. Other than waiting until mid-March to make a decision on whether to sign an extension, request a trade, or retire, Rodgers has largely stayed out of the spotlight.
Even so, the team around Rodgers hasn’t remained as quiet. All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams forced his way out of Green Bay via trade, leaving the Packers without their most dangerous offensive weapon. Additionally, All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari has yet to return to the field, raising some eyebrows given the full year and change that has passed since his torn ACL. The front office has restocked the receiving corps and offensive line with talented rookies, but they will likely endure growing pains as they adjust to playing in the NFL. Rodgers too must make adjustments.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Passing: 366 completions on 531 attempts (68.9% completion) for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns, and four interceptions
Rushing: 33 attempts for 101 yards and three touchdowns
Fantasy: Sixth among QBs in total scoring (eighth in per-game scoring)
Packers’ offseason moves
Other than extending Rodgers on a multiyear deal, the Packers made the largest waves with the surprising trade of Adams. To help fill the void left by the superstar receiver, the team added veteran Sammy Watkins in free agency and drafted three rookie wideouts, a group headlined by second-rounder Christian Watson. Up front, Green Bay drafted three offensive linemen to help with Rodgers’ pass protection and potentially improve the ground game.
2022 best-case scenario
While no single receiver can feasibly replicate Adams’ production and dominance, the youth-laden group has the potential to keep the Packers’ passing game effective. Watson and fourth-rounder Romeo Doubs specialized in explosive plays in college, an area where Green Bay struggled at times in 2021. If the group comes together and the backfield tandem of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon continue to perform well, the offense (and Rodgers in particular) should remain coveted options each week this season.
2022 worst-case scenario
Despite impressive debuts from Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase in recent years, expecting a rookie wideout to lead a passing game remains a lofty, unreasonable expectation. Watson and Doubs should have nice moments and could eventually develop into starters, but Rodgers will probably have to make do with Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and a mostly limited receiving corps. Even a four-time MVP like Rodgers could have middling outings with that group.
The Packers offense might take a few weeks to find its new normal, but Rodgers should remain an average or better fantasy starter over the course of the season. Rodgers has spent a year without his top target before, playing the 2015 season minus Jordy Nelson (ACL) while Cobb and Adams battled injuries of their own. Still, he finished among the top-10 quarterbacks in fantasy scoring. Look for another finish between fifth and 10th in 2022.