2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Free Agency Preview: Green Bay Packers
Andrew Cooper dives into a player-by-player breakdown of the Green Bay Packers to help you make those tough decisions on dynasty fantasy football rosters during the 2023 NFL offseason!
It hasn’t been formally announced yet but the writing is on the wall that Aaron Rodgers will soon be out and Jordan Love will be the new starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers had been linked to teams like the Las Vegas Raiders and Indianapolis Colts but the Jets have emerged as the most likely destination. The Packers are pretty set at running back but they might need to retool the pass-catchers moving forward as the Jordan Love era begins. Let’s take a peak at what they might do.
With this series, we are taking a look at each NFL team to gauge the direction of the offense from a dynasty fantasy football perspective. Is this team gearing up for a Super Bowl run? Are they in the midst of a rebuild? Are they considering blowing it up? We’ll take all of that into account as well as the current contracts, upcoming free agents, and 2023 NFL draft class to give you our best recommendations on how to handle these weapons in your dynasty fantasy football leagues.
BUY - Attempt to acquire this player at or slightly above market value
HOLD - The player is likely more valuable than the market indicates. Hold them if you have them or try to acquire them at a discount.
SELL - The perceived value for this player is higher than the projected remaining value in your average dynasty league. Cash out now.
SELL/DROP - Depending on the depth of the league, always try to sell guys before dropping. But this player is likely not worth the bench spot he’s occupying so you might need to just drop them.
*Contract information is proved courtesy of Spotrac.com*
Green Bay Packers Quarterback
The Packers have two quarterbacks under contract for 2023.
Aaron Rodgers - age 39
Contract: Aaron Rodgers is under contract through 2026.
Outlook: Aaron Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. And he was the back to back MVP as recently as 2020 and 2021. There’s no question he can still play at a high level - the only question is where.
Dynasty Recommendation: HOLD - Aaron Rodgers is going to play football in 2023. And it likely won’t be for the Packers. The most recent talk is that a trade to the Jets is essentially done. The report suggests that a framework for a trade is in place. He doesn’t have a no-trade clause but the Packers have made it clear they aren’t going to trade him somewhere he doesn’t want to go. So we’re just waiting on him to make that call. If you are competing now, you hold Rodgers but, if you are in rebuild mode and are a couple of years out, it would be wise to move him. Once you hit 40, it doesn’t matter if you want to play or not - the wheels are coming off at some point. And Rodgers is the exact kind of guy who could retire at any moment. Even right now it’s not out of the question.
Jordan Love - age 24
Contract: Jordan Love is under contract through 2023 though they can pick up his fifth year option for 2025.
Outlook: We really haven’t seen Jordan Love but we also didn’t see Aaron Rodgers for multiple years behind Brett Favre. Patrick Mahomes sat a year and Steve Young sat until he was 30. We have to have a bit of blind optimism here but the Packers seem confident enough to name him the starter.
Dynasty Recommendation: HOLD - The Patriots have been in this situation twice. One time they opted to trade Drew Bledsoe away to roll with young Tom Brady. The next time they decided to keep the vet and trade away Jimmy Garoppolo. In this case, the Packers seem adamant that Jordan Love deserves a shot here which at least has us mildly interested. They need to decide on whether they are going to pick up his fifth year option this May so that will be another telling milestone for the young QB. I’m holding if I have him and I’d actually be more inclined to buy him at his current market value than sell. In superflex and 2 QB leagues, his value is going to increase the moment he’s named the starter and that moment is coming.
RESERVES/FUTURES: Danny Etling
Free Agency/Draft Outlook
As of right now, this team has a “too many quarterbacks” problem. But they are soon to be in need of a backup QB. I doubt they go out of their way to bring someone in that would compete with Jordan Love for the starting job. And the team isn’t likely to be competing for a championship now so backup QB isn’t a major priority. This is one of the few teams I’d expect to just fill the spot with a cheap option or take a later stab in the draft on a guy who will be a career backup. Or perhaps they just elevate Danny Etling.
Green Bay Packers Running Backs
The Packers have two running backs under contract and two signed to future/reserve contracts.
Aaron Jones - age 28
Contract: Aaron Jones is under contract through 2024.
Outlook: Aaron Jones is a talented player which is why they extended him to keep him around. But talent isn’t the only reason he scored 30 touchdowns over a 30 game span a couple of years ago.
Dynasty Recommendation: SELL - It’s not the easiest sell because everyone knows the basics of what we know. He’s 28. Aaron Rodgers is leaving. AJ Dillon is there. But I personally think his value could be even lower right now and that things can only get worse had the 2023 season played out slightly differently. The Packers last year had a very strange season so only had 12 RB carries inside the five yard line. AJ Dillon got 10 of them scoring four touchdowns. Inside the 10 yard line that was 17 carries for Dillon to 9 for Jones. Had the Packers been more efficient at getting into scoring areas, everyone would have seen how clear it was that Dillon is now the goal line back, which could have hurt Jones’s value even further. That’s not likely to change this year and they’ll probably be even worse at scoring. So I’m looking to move Aaron Jones while I can. According to some trade charts out there that try to capture market value, like Alex Korff’s (PeakedInHighSkool on Reddit), you can still potentially get a late first for him. I’d even take a second rounder now given what we know.
AJ Dillon - age 24
Contract: AJ Dillon is under contract through 2023.
Outlook: They extended Jones after drafting Dillon so Dillon actually becomes a free agent before Jones (even in 2024, Aaron Jones is not easy to release because his contract has guarantees tied to it). As we mentioned above, Dillon is the bruiser of the two so he’s likely more valuable in standard or half PPR formats than he is in full PPR.
Dynasty Recommendation: HOLD - For now Dillon is a handcuff+ that you can throw in your lineup if need be when you have injuries or bye weeks. But he is a bit of a TD coin flip - he either scores or he doesn’t. I’m holding for now because, if things go well with Jordan Love, he could have a future with the Packers or, if things go poorly, he could jet next year as a free agent. The concern for him will always be that he ends up as part of a timeshare because he won’t be on the pass catching side. He has proven that he’s an NFL caliber back though so the upside is he gets a workhorse role at some point. He’s flashed pass-catching ability at times.
RESERVE/FUTURES: Patrick Taylor, Tyler Goodson
Free Agency/Draft Outlook
The Packers have their one-two punch at running back so they really just need to fill out the depth chart. The New England Patriots used to employ a run-down back, a pass-down back, a third well-rounded back to backup both “starters”, and then a special teamer that can help in a pinch. An example from the Patriots in past years would be Sony Michel in the AJ Dillon role, James White in the Aaron Jones role, Rex Burkhead as backup, and Brandon Bolden on special teams. There are tons of serviceable guys that could handle those last two jobs in both free agency and the draft. James Robinson and Trenton Cannon, for instance. But you might not need someone as expensive as James Robinson.
Green Bay Packers Wide Receivers
The Packers have three wide receivers under contract for 2023 with two signed to reserve/future deals.
Christian Watson - age 23
Contract: Christian Watson was a second round pick in 2022 so he’s under contract through 2025.
Outlook: When Watson finally made his way onto the field and secured a full-time role he flashed in a BIG way with seven touchdowns over four games. He was viewed as a very boom/bust prospect but he seems like he’s more boom than bust.
Dynasty Recommendation: BUY - With Aaron Rodgers leaving, we might have a window here to buy. I’m in on the talent and I’m not worried as much about the quarterback situation. The age apex for WRs is 26-29 and he’s still only 23. With DJ Moore we trusted the talent and he finally got traded from the Panthers to get a shot with a new QB at 25. Watson might not hit his peak right away but we want as many talented athletics freaks on our dynasty roster as possible.
Romeo Doubs - age 23
Contract: Romeo Doubs is under contract through 2025.
Outlook: Romeo Doubs started the season playing a full snap share opposite Allen Lazard - from Weeks 3 to 6 he played between 82% and 96% of the snaps in each game. Then he got hurt and, when he returned, he was the third fiddle behind Christian Watson and Allen Lazard. Allen Lazard is a free agent now so he could get his shot once again opposite Watson.
Dynasty Recommendation: SELL - I’m not confident that Jordan Love will be able to support two fantasy-relevant wide receivers in his first year starting. I’m also not even confident that the Packers don’t bring another wide receiver in. My policy is generally that, anytime there is hype behind a Day 3 wide receiver and I can cash out, I do it. The hit rate on Day 3 wide receivers is like 5% so the odds are much better that you are holding Travis Fulgham or Preston Williams than you are Amon-Ra St. Brown. If Doubs slid in the draft for a specific reason like Tyreek Hill, maybe we would make an exception but he likely just slid because he’s not that great.
Samori Toure - age 24
Contract: Samori Toure is under contract through 2025.
Outlook: The seventh round pick was just a depth piece in 2022 but he finds himself as the third best wide receiver under contract right now. Mainly because they only have three WRs under contract.
Dynasty Recommendation: SELL/DROP - The Packers aren’t just going to go into 2023 with three WRs and whoever they add will just push Toure down the depth chart. No need to hold.
RESERVE/FUTURE: Jeff Cotton, Bo Melton
FREE AGENTS: Chris Moore, Phillip Dorsett
Free Agency/Draft Outlook
The Packers need depth at wide receiver - no question about it. Christian Watson is a full-time starting player for this team. So the only question is whether the wide receivers they sign slot in above Romeo Doubs in the pecking order or below. In most instances, you need to be a top two pass catcher on the team, playing in two WR sets to have upside. With Jordan Love at QB, even that might not be enough. But, if they sign someone better than Doubs or Watson, it’s going to be Doubs’s value that takes a huge hit. Watson would need them to sign or draft two high end WRs to really feel the pain. I foresee them adding someone that can play right away then filling out the depth chart with upside stabs. This team will be doing live tryouts for the future this year.
Green Bay Packers Tight Ends
The Packers have one tight end under contract.
Josiah Deguara - age 26
Contract: Josiah Deguara is under contract through 2023.
Outlook: Deguara actually played more snaps at fullback and at slot than he did at inline tight end so he’s not really a true tight end. More of a hybrid like Chris Cooley was.
Dynasty Recommendation: SELL/DROP - If you can sell based on the fact that he’s technically at the top of the depth chart, I would do it. But most people won’t fall for it. He’s likely not all of a sudden going to be fantasy relevant, especially after Rodgers is gone. So you don’t need to hold him in most formats.
RESERVE/FUTURE: Nick Guggemos, Austin Allen
FREE AGENTS: Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Tyler Davis (RFA)
Free Agency/Draft Outlook
Even with Rodgers gone, this is a prime landing spot for a tight end either in free agency or the draft. A guy like Mike Gesicki could play slot for this team and be a top two option in the attack almost immediately. If they bring back Robert Tonyan, that would be a lot less appealing but it’s always on the table. Given their blocking tight end is going to be 39 this year and he’s a free agent, they’re going to need someone to fill that role as well. The whole tight end room honestly needs an overhaul.
Follow Andrew Cooper on Twitter @CoopAFiasco for more NFL and fantasy football insights and stay tuned as we hit on all 32 NFL teams in this series leading into NFL free agency!
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