The NFL season is less than a week away, and with football season also comes fantasy football season! Whether you already had your draft weeks ago, or have a draft coming up right before the season begins on Thursday, let’s take a dive into what kind of value the Packers offense has in fantasy for this upcoming season.
Note: statistics will be based on a standard PPR (point per reception) fantasy format, and ADP (average draft position) will be based on data provided by fantasypros.com
The biggest question mark in the Packers offense this season is none other than quarterback Jordan Love. On average, Jordan Love gets drafted as the 22nd quarterback off the board at about pick 164. Love is going behind guys such as Russell Wilson, Brock Purdy, Kenny Pickett and Derek Carr, but going ahead of guys such as Matthew Stafford, Bryce Young, and C.J. Stroud. Now, is this projection fair? I think so. Nobody really knows how Love will perform this season, but there are things to like. This preseason, Love looked confident and in command of the offense, finishing 21/33 with 193 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Love was far from perfect, however, missing a few wide open throws and possessing some noticeable late anticipation against the Seahawks. However, in all 3 preseason games, Love seemed to settle in after missing a few throws early on. After all, a few misses would be expected of a quarterback playing his first season as a starter. With a young and quick receiving corps along with an elite offensive line and running back corps, Love does have a great fantasy ceiling. However, he has only started 1 game in his career, and has a very low floor if he does not reach the great expectations of replacing Aaron Rodgers. In 2022, Aaron Rodgers had a down year for his standards with 3,695 passing yards and 26 touchdowns in the same offense, but still finished as the 13th best quarterback in fantasy. Love’s ceiling could be even higher, as the offense improved in the offseason and he even has upside a rusher, something Rodgers did not possess anymore. Overall, you should consider Love as a high upside backup quarterback in fantasy, and should seriously consider taking him late in your draft when guys like Jared Goff, Kenny Pickett, and Brock Purdy are off the board.
Take Aaron Jones. Currently, Jones is taken as about RB15, but I would take him over guys ahead of him such as Jonathan Taylor and Najee Harris. With a new QB at the helm, the packers offense is going to run through Aaron Jones. Here’s a fun fact: Aaron Jones is tied for 3rd all time in yards per carry (YPC) amongst running backs, at 5.1 YPC. Jones will be running behind an elite offensive line, and will be available as a check down option for Love on passing plays. My only concern for Aaron Jones would be his age. Jones is 28 years old, which is the age that many running backs start to deteriorate. Last year, Aaron Jones finished with the 9th most points amongst running backs, and I do not expect him to slow down much.
If Aaron Jones gets injured, AJ Dillon can win you your fantasy league. However, we are going to look at this assuming Jones does not get injured. Dillon finished last season as RB26, and is now going as the 32nd running back off the board. This is a fair ranking for Dillon, who is the clear RB2 on the Packers, but does have a lot of touchdown upside due his huge frame which can power through bodies in the red zone. Take Dillon if you have Jones on your team, otherwise, take other guys in that range like James Cook or Khalil Herbert.
Currently, Watson is taken as the 23rd wide receiver off the board at about pick 55. He gets taken right behind guys such as DJ Moore, Deandre Hopkins, and Keenan Allen, while going ahead of players like Mike Williams, Chris Godwin, and Drake London. After struggling as a receiver and dealing with injuries the first 9 weeks of 2022, Watson went berserk the rest of the season. Watson broke out in week 10, with 4 catches for 107 yards and 3 touchdowns to help lead the Packers to a win against the Dallas Cowboys. Although he finished as the 41st best receiver in fantasy last season, Watson was the 9th best receiver in fantasy from weeks 10-18. Concerned about Jordan Love? Watson caught a slant and took it 63 yards to the house after Love came in against the Philadelphia Eagles. Watson is a great talent, and with his great speed and yards after catch ability, he is still an extremely viable fantasy option even if Love plays below average. If Love plays like an above average quarterback, however, Watson has legitimate top 10 fantasy receiver upside. Take him as your WR2 in drafts over older, banged up guys like Keenan Allen, Deandre Hopkins, and Terry McLaurin.
After a lot of preseason hype in 2022, Romeo Doubs disappointed, finishing as WR71. Now it’s 2023, and here we go again, with reports that Doubs is Jordan Love’s favorite target, and great catches being made by Doubs in preseason games against the Bengals and Patriots. However, Doubs missed multiple games last year with various injuries, and now his status for week 1 against the Chicago Bears is in jeopardy due to a hamstring injury suffered in practice. Despite all of this, I think Doubs has potential to be a viable option in fantasy this season. As long as Doubs can stay healthy, there is noticeable rapport between Love and Doubs when they are on the field together. Currently, Doubs is drafted as the 58th receiver off the board at around pick 161. I expect Doubs to be the #2 target in this offense behind Watson, and would take him over a few of the guys being drafted before him such as Jalin Hyatt, Tyler Boyd, and Jakobi Meyers. This is due to his relatively safe floor and high ceiling because of his connection with Love if healthy. Take him around pick 150 in your draft as a backup receiver.
Reed is not expected to be too fantasy relevant barring injuries to the guys ahead of him. However, he has potential to be a great safety blanket at slot for Love, as he had some of the best hands in college football for Michigan State. Currently, Reed is taken as the 76th receiver off the board, undrafted in most leagues. This is a fair ranking, right behind guys who are higher in their respective depth charts such as Isaiah Hodgins and Darnell Mooney. Consider taking Reed very late in deeper leagues as a possible upside pick.
Musgrave was on and off with injuries at Oregon State, but was a beast when on the field. Musgrave has impressed at training camp with his elite speed, and has the potential to be the #3 target in this Packers offense. Take Musgrave as a backup tight end with a high ceiling if guys like Sam LaPorta and Greg Dulcich are off the board.
Everybody else on the Packers offense is unlikely to have any fantasy impact barring injuries to the guys ahead of them. In deeper leagues, consider picking up the preseason MVP for the Packers, the speedy Emanuel Wilson, if there is an injury to either Aaron Jones or AJ Dillon, and consider picking up the safety blanket tight end Tucker Kraft if there is an injury to Luke Musgrave.
The Packers offense is a big question mark in 2023 without Aaron Rodgers. However, there are guys with major upside like Christian Watson and Aaron Jones even if Love does not meet expectations. If you are a believer in Jordan Love, you should definitely consider guys like Romeo Doubs, Luke Musgrave, and Jordan Love himself later in drafts. The Packers offense has great upside, but a not so great floor if things do not go according to plan.