Aaron Rodgers has done quite a bit for the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers fantasy football owners during his long and storied career. However, age and the changes to the Packers roster bring into question how much of a fantasy impact Rodgers will have in 2022. At least on paper, it appears the team wants to rely more on their running game. Consequently, the short passing game for the upcoming season will be used to get them over the hump and to another Super Bowl.
2022 Fantasy Football Outlook: Aaron Rodgers
Last year, the 37-year-old signal-caller was fantasy football’s QB5 and number 10 player overall (333.30 points) in most standard leagues. He was especially valuable down the stretch for the Packers and fantasy owners. Over the final seven games of 2021, Rodgers completed 72.0 percent of his passes, threw 20 touchdown passes without an interception, and produced a passer rating of 124.4. He threw multiple touchdown passes without an interception in all seven games, including three or more touchdown passes in four of the seven games. His seven-game streak with two or more touchdown passes and zero interceptions is the second-longest in NFL history.
What makes this even more impressive was how this came about. Rodgers was able to post these numbers while fighting through the lingering pain in his fractured pinky toe and practicing only sporadically during the week. He contracted COVID-19 on Nov. 2, forcing him to miss a game in Kansas City. He put up great numbers while playing behind an offensive line missing four key starters for much of the stretch. Yet, he still led all quarterbacks in touchdown percentage (7.0), interception percentage (0.8), and passer rating (111.9). There were quarterbacks that will better fantasy numbers in 2021. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a more reliable quarterback for the last half of the fantasy season.
Best Pass TD/INT ratio in a division game since start of 2020
(min. 200 attempts)
Aaron Rodgers 38/0*
Josh Allen 25/4
Kirk Cousins 24/5
Dak Prescott 17/4
Justin Herbert 28/7
*wait wut pic.twitter.com/H9z9EfeLWo
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) June 29, 2022
The biggest news concerning the fantasy value of Aaron Rodgers was that in the offseason, Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. Adams was by far his most productive and favorite target. At this point, the top three wide receivers on the depth chart are Allen Lazard, aging veteran Sammy Watkins, and promising second-round pick Christian Watson. Interesting options, but not a group that suggests that Rodgers will produce fantasy numbers as he has in previous seasons. It may be possible that the Packers take a look at some of the unsigned veteran wideouts, such as Julio Jones and John Brown, but the frugal nature of the team suggests that they will stick with the current group heading into the season.
The consensus is that the Packers will focus more on the running game and some short, controlled passes to keep some of the heat off of Rodgers. While that may bode well from a team standpoint, it significantly hurts the fantasy value for Rodgers. We already have a sample of what happens to the Green Bay offense when Adams was not in the lineup. Rodgers has averaged 0.362 fantasy points per offensive snap played with Adams on the field, compared to 0.279 when Adams was not.
During the Week 8 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, the Packers were without their three top receivers. With those attempts, Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon carried the ball 31 times for 137 yards and a score split right down the middle. However, Jones led the team in receiving with 51 yards on seven catches. While this bodes well for the fantasy value of Jones and Dillon, it does not inspire any confidence in the fantasy numbers of their quarterback.
Average Draft Position
Because of the offseason moves and the fact that Rodgers is now 38 years old, many pundits do not consider him a top-tier fantasy quarterback in the 2022 season. Fantasy Pros has him ranked 15th among quarterbacks, which does not even make him a starter in most fantasy leagues. He is the 13th ranked quarterback on cbssports.com, with the suggestion that his ideal draft slot would come in the eighth round of standard leagues. Most mock drafts have him being drafted, on average, from the eighth to the 10th round.
However, remember that we are talking about Aaron Rodgers. Everything that has been mentioned before would be a good selling point to fellow owners on draft day, making sure that if you miss out on the top-tier quarterbacks, Rodgers will fall in later rounds and provide an owner with some nice value. His highly competitive nature and skill set suggest that he will still produce decent fantasy numbers and be worthy of a starting spot in most fantasy leagues.