The New York Jets are reportedly set to land another veteran future Hall of Fame QB from the Green Bay Packers in a desperation move to try and make the playoffs. A few decades ago it was Brett Favre. This time around it’s Aaron Rodgers. With Rodgers in New York to try and lead the Jets to the postseason and the Packers looking to QB Jordan Love, there’s big fantasy football implications on both sides. Let’s take a look.
Fantasy football impact: Aaron Rodgers trade
Let’s take a look at the Jets first. New York brought in Rodgers’ former offensive coordinator with Green Bay, Nathaniel Hackett, after he was let go by the Denver Broncos. It was said that Hackett was hired by the Broncos specifically to lure Rodgers to Denver. That didn’t work. Neither did Russell Wilson. Anyway, moving on.
The Jets have a very young, talented offense (kind of like the Packers). It’s led by second-year wideout Garrett Wilson, who had a very impressive rookie season. He finished with 83 catches for 1,103 yards with four TDs despite playing with perhaps the worst QB room in the NFL all season.
Wilson had to work with four different mediocre QBs — Zach Wilson, Mike White, Chris Streveler and Joe Flacco. In 2022, Wilson finished just outside the top 20 in wide receiver scoring in PPR. Wilson could develop into a top-10 fantasy wideout with Rodgers under center. There also could be a learning curve like we saw with Rodgers and rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs in 2022 with Green Bay.
The running back group should benefit from having an actual QB under center as well. Breece Hall was looking like a top rookie back before going down with injury last season. Hall, Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight will round out the RB room. We saw all three backs get significant work in 2022 due to injuries and inconsistency. Hall should lead the backfield and has a ton of upside if Rodgers can be at least a middle-of-the-pack QB in 2023.
As for Rodgers, he didn’t look very good last season, though the Packers had some issues. He was working with mostly rookie wide receivers (both of whom emerged as solid targets toward the end of the season). The offensive line was banged up much of the season. Rodgers also played through injuries himself. The problem may be the division and AFC in general. Rodgers should have a tougher time going up against the AFC East than the NFC North. We also could see the Jets play defense and run the ball quite a bit. So Rodgers’ fantasy value isn’t impacted much. In deeper leagues and super FLEX leagues, sure, you can take him as a late-round sleeper.
Let’s start with Jordan Love, who has sat behind Rodgers since being drafted back in the first round in 2020. Love is signed through 2023 and then has a club option for 2024. The Packers can use this upcoming season to see if Love is the starting QB of the future. It’s tough to figure out expectations for Love as a starter. He played well in four appearances last season, but only threw the ball 21 times, completing 14 passes for 195 yards and a TD. He had a 112.2 QB rating in that small sample.
Love doesn’t have a big arm but could develop into a competent pocket-passer who can do a little bit with his legs. Love is 6-4 and mobile, so you’d think he can develop into more of a deep threat while also extending plays outside the pocket. Love will have some decent weapons in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, plus a great running game led by Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
The biggest impact of Rodgers leaving is on Watson and Doubs. It’s tough to trust an offense led by a QB who has only played in 10 NFL games and has 83 career passes. Watson emerged in the second half of the season as a big-time play maker. Doubs was a steady safety blanket for Rodgers most of the season with Watson out and inconsistent. Heading into 2023, Watson and Doubs figure to be the top 2 wideouts and see most of the targets. We’ll need to see if Love can push the ball down field. If he struggles, Watson’s value could take a big hit. Doubs may be the safer option but would lack upside. The Packers — similar to the Jets — should do a lot of running with Jones and Dillon to take pressure off Love.