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Projecting Green Bay Packers skill-position depth chart and fantasy impact

The Packers have the ingredients to lead the NFL in scoring again, but it all hinges on convincing reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers to return.

Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers #12 participate in work outs during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field on August 17, 2020 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have seen their title hopes revitalized since Matt LaFleur arrived in 2019. The first-time head coach took over a 6-9-1 squad and directed it to back-to-back 13-3 campaigns and NFC Championship Game appearances. Even after falling to the eventual-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to conclude last season, the future for the Packers appeared bright at the onset of the offseason.

But while the Packers have done a stellar job during the first two seasons of the LaFleur era, the near future looks highly uncertain at the moment. Aaron Rodgers, the NFL’s reigning MVP, has informed management that he does not intend to suit up for the team again. The breakdown of the relationship appears to stem from multiple factors, including Green Bay’s selection of Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft. The Packers have publicly stated that they will not trade Rodgers and intend for him to continue as their starting quarterback for “2021 and beyond,” even reportedly offering the quarterback a contract extension. Whether that can convince Rodgers to return remains unclear.

Quarterback

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Jordan Love
  3. Blake Bortles

Running back

  1. Aaron Jones
  2. A.J. Dillon
  3. Kylin Hill

Wide receiver

  1. Davante Adams
  2. Allen Lazard
  3. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
  4. Amari Rodgers
  5. Devin Funchess
  6. Equanimeous St. Brown

Tight end

  1. Robert Tonyan
  2. Marcedes Lewis
  3. Josiah Deguara
  4. Jace Sternberger

Biggest offseason changes

The Packers offense hasn’t undergone any major offseason changes, at least not yet. Running back Aaron Jones re-signed with the team while tight end Robert Tonyan will return as a restricted free agent. The team addressed its biggest loss, All-Pro center Corey Linsley, by investing a second-round pick in Ohio State offensive lineman Josh Myers. If Rodgers does ultimately return, the roster looks fairly similar on offense from the one that led the NFL in scoring a season ago.

Of course, if Rodgers does sit out the season or gets the trade he wants, the unit will look vastly different. Love, while a first-round selection, did not suit up for a single regular-season or playoff game last season and has yet to take an NFL snap outside of practice. Even if the Packers remain optimistic about his long-term future, they cannot feel particularly confident about his ability to take the reins in 2021.

Biggest questions for fantasy football

Once again, the only question that matters centers on Rodgers. If he plays for Green Bay, Davante Adams and company appear well positioned for another year of strong production. That outlook shifts dramatically if Love takes over under center. As stated above, Love has not taken a single NFL snap outside of practice and has never suited up for a game. The Packers can’t expect him to match Rodgers’ mastery of the offense, especially in the near future.

But while every skill-position player in Green Bay would benefit from Rodgers’ return, none of them have a bigger stake in his situation than Adams. A season ago, the wideout caught 115 passes for 1,374 yards and an NFL-leading 18 touchdowns despite missing two games. Adams has produced without Rodgers before — he caught double-digit touchdowns in 2017 when the quarterback missed more than half the season — but the ceiling looks considerably higher with the reigning MVP in the fold.

While not unaffected by Rodgers’ potential absence, Tonyan’s production seems likely to decline regardless of whoever throws him passes. Last year, the tight end turned 59 targets into 52 catches, 586 yards, and 11 touchdowns, unsustainable numbers from an efficiency perspective. Tonyan’s role could grow and he could still put together strong statistics, but he probably will not post an 88.1% catch rate again. How much his output falls could tilt some fantasy leagues.