There was a time when Aaron Rodgers of the Packers was a bona fide fantasy football stud. It remains to be seen if he can ever recapture those glory days.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback has shown obvious signs of a decline over the past couple of seasons, so much so that the Packers actually used their first-round draft pick on a signal-caller back in April.
Is Aaron Rodgers done? Far from it. He did just lead Green Bay to 13 wins, an NFC North division title and an NFC Championship Game appearance with limited weaponry, after all, so clearly, he has something left in the tank.
But the seasons of Aaron Rodgers throwing 40 touchdowns are probably over.
The Packers didn’t do a whole lot to add more help for Aaron Rodgers this offseason, only signing wide receiver Devin Funchess to a one-year prove-it deal.
Otherwise, Aaron Rodgers will be returning with the same cast of characters he had at his disposal in 2019.
Let’s break down what the 2020 campaign may look like for Rodgers as a fantasy threat.
2019 Fantasy Recap
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t great this past season, but he was still good enough to finish 10th in total points. That being said, he finished 15th in average points per week, so he was really more middle of the road than he was elite.
The 36-year-old played all 16 games in 2019, throwing for 4,002 yards, 26 touchdowns and four interceptions. Clearly, he took phenomenal care of the football, as he usually does. The man hasn’t thrown 10 picks in a single season since 2010.
But it was also evident that Aaron Rodgers was simply not on the level of the upper echelon quarterbacks in the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers missed a lot of throws, completing just 62.3 percent of his passes (his lowest mark since 2015 and his second-lowest since becoming a full-time starter in 2008). He was also wildly inconsistent. For example, in Week 7, he threw for 429 yards and five scores in a win over the Detroit Lions and followed that up with 305 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs the very next game. However, over the ensuing three weeks, Rodgers amassed a grand total of 498 yards and didn’t hit 300 yards again until Week 17.
In Rodgers’ defense, he didn’t have a ton of options outside of Davante Adams, and Adams himself missed four games due to a toe injury. But it’s not like Aaron Rodgers will have a whole lot more help in 2020.
2020 Fantasy Projections
Again, there is a high probability that we have seen the last of Rodgers’ dominance. He no longer seems capable of lighting it up for extended stretches, so while he may be able to do it for a game here and a game there, the likelihood is that we won’t see Rodgers doing that for full 16-game campaigns again.
It’s not all his fault, either.
The Packers have done a very poor job of surrounding Rodgers with the appropriate talent. Yes, there is Adams, but Green Bay doesn’t really have a true No. 2 wide receiver, and the club has regularly failed in its attempt to provide Rodgers with a reliable tight end. The Packers tried Jimmy Graham, and that didn’t work. They also struck out on Austin Hooper in free agency.
Perhaps Funchess can rediscover his 2017 form when he was with the Carolina Panthers, but the reality is that Funchess has had just one truly good year in five NFL seasons.
It’s not like Rodgers is going to be using his legs like Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen, either. Sure, he is mobile, but he is not a running quarterback, as evidenced by the fact that he totaled 183 rushing yards in 2019.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to see Rodgers—who is a year older—putting up much better numbers than he did this past year. Something like 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns seems about right.
Rank at Position
As I stated earlier, Rodgers finished 10th among signal-callers in fantasy points in 2019.
It seems difficult to envision Rodgers not being a top-10 fantasy quarterback, but when you consider the fact that he finished ahead of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Baker Mayfield in 2019, four guys who could be in for much bigger seasons in 2020, it’s concerning.
Brady now has much better weapons in Tampa Bay, Brees is healthy after missing a chunk of 2019 with a thumb injury, Ryan seems to be an every-other-year guy and Mayfield can’t be any worse than he was in his sophomore campaign.
Also, given that most of the quarterbacks who finished ahead of Rodgers in 2019 can also rack up rushing yards, the idea of the Packers great finishing outside of the top 10 in 2020 is actually fairly realistic.
This is not entirely Rodgers’ fault, because, again, Green Bay has not supplied him with a whole lot of help. Unless Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard or another receiver steps up with a surprising season, Rodgers may struggle to post consistent numbers.
Father Time is also a thing, and it seems to be catching up to Rodgers rather quickly.