Free agency and the NFL Draft have come and gone: It’s time to fully embrace the 2023 offseason by breaking down the fantasy football aspirations of each and every team before draft season truly gets underway.

What follows is a fantasy-focused breakdown of the Green Bay Packers, looking at key questions like:

  1. Just how high should expectations be for year one of the Jordan Love experience?
  2. Is Aaron Jones or A.J. Dillon the better fantasy pick at ADP?
  3. Could Christian Watson boom in a major way entering his second season?

Every fantasy-relevant player from the Packers will be covered in the following paragraphs. Make sure to check out the Fantasy Life Team Preview Landing Page through the end of June for more all-encompassing fantasy football coverage.

Notable offseason moves

From the front office, to the coaching staff, to the roster: Every 2023 NFL team will be different than its 2022 version.

Head coach Matt LaFleur is back for his fifth season; we’ll have a good idea of how much of the team’s success has been purely due to longtime baller Aaron Rodgers in just a few months. At least LaFleur will once again be flanked by offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich and defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

Jordan Love

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) passes the ball against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, January 1, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won the game, 41-17.Tork Mason/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Apj Packers Vs Vikings 010123 2931 Ttm

It would make sense if LaFleur puts a bit less on Jordan Love’s plate, but then again, the 24-year-old has spent three years learning this very offense.

Don’t be surprised if the Packers remain a balanced attack that doesn’t make a habit of moving the ball down the field with the biggest sense of urgency.

Additionally, the Packers have made plenty of changes to their roster. The following QBs, RBs, WRs, and TEs have either joined or left Green Bay in some way, shape, or form this offseason:

  • QB: Maybe you heard the Packers traded longtime franchise QB and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers to the Jets. Well, they did, and accordingly received the positive side of a first-round pick swap in addition to a 2023 second-round pick and 2024 second-round selection that becomes a first if Rodgers plays 65% of the Jets' plays this season.
  • RB: None.
  • WR: Rodgers took his friends Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb with him to the Jets. The Packers didn’t add any reinforcements to their WR room through free agency and accordingly have the NFL’s fewest 2023 dollars devoted to the position.
  • TE: 39-year-old veteran Marcedes Lewis remains an unrestricted free agent, while former 11-TD scorer Robert Tonyan signed a small deal with the Bears. The Packers didn’t add any reinforcements to their TE room through free agency and accordingly have the NFL’s sixth-fewest 2023 dollars devoted to the position.

The Packers added a trio of day two picks to their pass-catching core—and for good reason. Michigan State WR Jayden Reed (2.50), Oregon State TE Luke Musgrave (2.42), and South Dakota State TE Tucker Kraft (3.78) could be relied on as full-time offensive starters as early as day one.

Packers player moves

That probably isn’t as true for day three additions if the history of draft capital tells us anything. It’d be surprising if Penn State QB Sean Clifford (5.149), Virginia WR Dontayvion Wicks (5.159), Central Michigan RB Lew Nichols (7.235), or Charlotte WR Grant DuBose (7.256) make a serious fantasy impact in 2023.

QB: Jordan Love (Ian’s QB22), Sean Clifford (QB59)

Love has exactly three extended regular-season appearances since being drafted with the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft:

  • Week 9, 2021: Started in Arrowhead and only led the offense to seven total points. The most memorable moment was his family getting hilariously bad seats.
  • Week 18, 2021: Played half the game and didn’t exactly impress with just 134 yards, one touchdown, and a pair of interceptions on 17 pass attempts against the Lions' “vaunted” defense.
  • Week 12, 2022: Relieved an injured Aaron Rodgers late in the Packers’ eventual loss to the Eagles. Credit to Love for connecting with Christian Watson on a 63-yard score, although the TD was more of a YAC-induced success than anything.

It’s tough to have any overly meaningful takeaways from Love’s 83 career regular season pass attempts; his better highlights are mostly from preseason affairs.

Fun fact for parties: Love’s average of 9.3 yards per pass attempt led the NFL last season (minimum 20 attempts).

Like most first-year starting QBs: Nobody really knows just how good Love is going to be this season. However, the fact that he didn’t do anything in 2020 to 2022 behind Rodgers also isn’t enough evidence to rule out the potential for the 2020 NFL Draft’s No. 26 overall pick to be pretty damn good.

Dane Brugler wrote the following on Love in his always fantastic “The Beast” breakdown back in 2020:

“A three-year starter at Utah State, Love lined up at quarterback in former offensive coordinator Mike Sanford’s up-tempo, shotgun offense, finishing his career as the second-winningest quarterback in school history with a 21-11 record (.656). He set school-records in 2018, including passing yards (3,567) and touchdown passes (32), under the tutelage of head coach Matt Wells and offensive coordinator David Yost (both now at Texas Tech). But with a new coaching staff and only one other returning starter on offense in 2019, he took a step back in his development, producing very inconsistent results. From a physical standpoint, Love will create Patrick Mahomes-like flashes with his loose passing skills and impressive arm talent. However, he doesn’t have a great feel for tempo within the relationship of his progressions and the defense, requiring time to mature mentally. Overall, Love is still very raw as a passer and his inconsistent decision-making is a concern, but he has immense, high-ceiling talent that is ready to be cultivated, projecting as a high-risk, high-reward NFL prospect.”

At 6’3", 224 pounds with 73rd- and 87th-percentile marks in the 40-yard dash (4.74) and Burst Score (121.1), Love seems capable of offering at least some sort of fantasy-friendly rushing floor, albeit his average of career collegiate 170-403-9 rushing line in 38 games (10.6 yards per game) didn’t inspire a ton of confidence in him truly booming on the ground.

It’s great that Love gets to work behind PFF’s reigning third-ranked offensive line, while the team figures to once again have a fairly lethal rushing attack behind Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. The team’s WR and TE rooms need some work to say the least; just don’t be too quick to count out LaFleur and a Packers organization that has produced a below-average scoring offense just four total times since 1991.

The unknowns around Love and lack of bona fide stud pass-game weapons around him make it tough to squeeze him much higher in the ranks—but he profiles as one of the best late-round streaming options to start the year off with for managers looking to completely fade the position in drafts.

  • Week 1: Bears (No. 27 in fantasy points per game allowed to QBs in 2022)
  • Week 2: Falcons (No. 21)
  • Week 3: Saints (No. 12)
  • Week 4: Lions (No. 32)

Don’t be too quick to assume Love won’t be a viable fantasy QB in 2023 because it costs you virtually nothing to find out. Our ability to accurately identify low-end QB1s in fantasy land is far worse than when calling out the top-tier options at the position.

Currently the QB21 over at Underdog Fantasy, Love is a discount version of Geno SmithKirk Cousins, and Jared Goff, who all regularly go two to four rounds ahead of him in drafts. 

While it’s paramount to build stacks in best ball land, I like the idea of a “first or last” strategy at the position in redraft land with guys like Love, Russell Wilson, and Matthew Stafford standing out as potential late-round values.

You can take a stab at Love as a late-round QB on Underdog Fantasy, where you get a 100% deposit match of up to $100 when you create a new account. Sign up below and start drafting today!

RB: Aaron Jones (Ian’s RB18), A.J. Dillon (RB32)

Jones joins Derrick Henry as one of the two marquee RBs hitting the dreaded age cliff this season. Of course, absolutely nothing about Jones’s performance in 2022 indicated a serious decline is imminent:

  • PFF rushing grade: 90.7 (No. 2 among 33 qualified RB)
  • Yards per carry: 5.3 (No. 1)
  • Yards after contact per carry: 3.2 (No. 10)
  • PFF receiving grade: 64.6 (No. 12)
  • Yards per route run: 1.25 (No. 8)
  • Elusive Rating: 71.4 (No. 8)

That said, great efficiency doesn’t guarantee great fantasy production without great volume; last year Jones finished as just the RB17 in expected PPR points per game. He led the way over teammate A.J. Dillon in rush attempts (213 vs. 186) and targets (72 vs. 43), but neither discrepancy was big enough to warrant constantly firing up Jones as the top-10 talent that his underlying per-touch numbers said he was.

Perhaps the six-year veteran tells Father Time to f*ck off for one more year, but drafting Jones as the RB16 he’s currently priced as means giving up the middle-WR3 tier in addition to the last true upside options at TE (George KittleKyle Pitts) and QB (Justin HerbertTrevor Lawrence).

I’m not completely fading Jones this year, but at cost I prefer the lower-end RB3 tier with guys like Samaje PerineDevon Achane, and Antonio Gibson, who each regularly go four-plus rounds later than the Packers’ longtime RB1.

You know who else is in that appealing low-end RB3 tier? Mr. Dillon, who might not be more than a touchdown-dependent RB3 as long as Jones is healthy enough to do his thing—but he deserves to be ranked this highly thanks to the reality that he’s one injury away from bursting into the top-12 discussion.

Jones has stayed healthy for the heavy majority of his career, but the Packers have been willing to give Dillon a near every-down role on the four occasions that their nominal starting RB has been limited to 25 or fewer snaps:

  • Week 11, 2021: 11-53-0 rushing, 6-44-0 receiving, 75% snaps
  • Week 13, 2022: 18-93-1 rushing, 3-26-0 receiving, 68% snaps
  • Week 16, 2022: 11-36-1 rushing, 2-12-0 receiving, 58% snaps
  • Week 17, 2022: 12-41-1 rushing, 0-0-0 receiving, 46% snaps

Overall, Jones boasts relatively modest advantages in targets (137 vs. 80) and rush attempts (384 vs. 373) compared to Dillon over the past two seasons; the Packers rotate them far more as 1.A./1.B. options than clear early-down/pass-down complements.

Aaron Jones

Dec 25, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) looks on from the field after running with the football during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Week-to-week scoring upside isn’t expected to be as prominent in the post-Rodgers era; just realize Dillon should still see double-digit touches far more weeks than not, and he’d immediately be a must-start option with a theoretical three-down role should Jones miss any time.

Dillon is usually available right after the top-50 WRs or so are off the board; he’s been one of my favorite targets of the best ball offseason thanks to the reality that he’s available right after the WR position gets pretty gross.

WR: Christian Watson (Ian’s WR27), Jayden Reed (WR66), Romeo Doubs (WR73), Dontayvion Wicks (WR133)

Watson’s average of 2.26 yards per route run ranked 11th among 80 qualified WRs; just imagine how great things would have been without his infamous drop on the Packers’ first offensive play of the season.

It might have taken until Week 10 for the rookie to show any real signs of life, but after that he posted four consecutive top-10 PPR finishes. The hot stretch cooled off over the final month of the season; at a minimum, Watson still proved capable of winning weeks thanks to his big-play ability—even occasionally (one time) with Love under center!

The highs were truly something.

Top-10 in PPR points above expectation, Watson’s big-play ability obviously shouldn’t be held against him, but there’s a low floor here should Love struggle to run the offense. 

Look at Watson a bit more as a boom-or-bust WR3 inside of a passing game that isn’t exactly guaranteed to feature him as a Davante Adams-esque target hog; I prefer guys at lower ADP like Mike WilliamsJerry Jeudy, and Terry McLaurin straight-up over Watson, although they are certainly all in the same big WR2-3 tier.

The allure of the rest of the room is similar to why drafters might take a longshot gamble on Love: They are starting and they are cheap. 

It remains to be seen whether or not the Packers will go back to their 2022 early-season well and look to utilize their pony (2-RB) formations, or if their decision to draft two day-two TEs leads to more 12 personnel; either way, Doubs and Reed should be inside the team’s three-WR formations from day one in 2023.

The former receiver did well with Watson sidelined early in 2022, turning in three top-20 PPR performances in a six-week stretch before suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 9. Granted, these games all occurred with Watson either limited or completely sidelined; just realize there were actual murmurs surrounding who was the Packers’ No. 1 WR prior to Watson’s nuclear stretch.

Dane Brugler’s summary on the latter receiver, aka the Packers’ 2023 second-round pick:

“A three-year starter at Michigan State, Reed was a perimeter receiver in offensive coordinator Jay Johnson’s offense. Although his senior year fell short of expectations because of injuries and the Spartans’ offensive struggles, he accounted for 46 explosive plays (20-plus yards) over the past two seasons and became just the third player in school history with multiple punt return touchdowns in the same season. Reed has outstanding foot quickness and skillfully throttles his route speed to separate from coverage. Despite dropping too many easy ones, his focus is heightened on contested windows, and he shows a knack for timing his leaps and snatching the football off the helmets of defensive backs. Overall, Reed will have a tougher time overcoming his slight size vs. NFL defensive backs, but his speed, route tempo and downfield ball skills are the ingredients of a potential NFL playmaker. With a few technical tweaks to his game, he has NFL starting ability (slot and outside) and adds value as a return man.”

Ultimately, Doubs and Reed are quality late-round darts thanks to their respective status as cheap starting WRs. While I do prefer to get most of my WRs drafted well before the mid-double-digit rounds, both options are in play for lineups that chose to get most of their RBs early in the draft.

TE: Luke Musgrave (Ian’s TE37), Tucker Kraft (TE38)

Both Musgrave and Kraft profile as capable every-down options at the position—which is good in the sense that each could theoretically handle a full-time role as a true pass-game threat, but also a potential sign that LaFleur’s offense might once again refrain from overly featuring one single player at the position.

There simply hasn’t been a consistent track record of success by Packers TEs since 2019. Their leading target earner by year has been as follows:

  • 2022 Robert Tonyan: 53-470-2 on 67 targets, TE25 in PPR points per game
  • 2021 Josiah Deguara: 25-245-2 on 33 targets, TE44
  • 2020 Tonyan: 52-586-11 on 59 targets, TE6
  • 2019 Jimmy Graham: 38-447-3 on 60 targets, TE28

Credit to Tonyan for scoring more TDs (11) than incomplete targets in his direction (7) in 2020, but he failed to obtain a true full-time role in 1.) 2021 before his injury, and 2.) 2022 when the offense was completely devoid of proven pass-catchers..

The presence of guys like Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis could (unfortunately) continue to render all parties involved as non-viable fantasy options. No, neither Deguara nor Davis profile as guys capable of beating out Musgrave or Kraft for a fantasy-friendly role; the problem is that they combined to play between 26-53% of the offense’s snaps in all but one game last season.

This TE by committee system also reared its ugly head on the 2022 Broncos under former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett; the answer to which TE to draft out of Green Bay is most likely just “no,” although I’ll give Musgrave the slight edge overall thanks to his slightly superior draft capital.

2023 win total: 7.5 (-120 juice on the over)

Last season’s 8-9 campaign marked the first time a LaFleur-led Packers squad failed to win 13 games. Hell, even his 2017 Rams (11-5) and 2018 Titans (9-7) offenses helped push those teams over the .500 mark during his time as offensive coordinator.

Expectations are lower than ever for the 2023 Packers due to the lack of a proven baller under center, although the offensive line and run game remain borderline elite, and their defense is filled with *eight* former first-round picks.

Packers Depth Chart

Just because the Packers look more beatable than they have in recent memory doesn’t guarantee the 1.) still-rebuilding Bears, 2.) rising, but unproven Lions, and/or 3.) offensive-heavy Vikings, will absolutely dominate this unit.

I’m taking the Packers to win over 7.5 games due more so to the lack of a true juggernaut in this division as opposed to true belief in Love and company. Still, a fairly easy schedule and a leap on defense could keep the Packers in contention atop a division they have largely owned over the years.

You can tail the Packers' over on DraftKings Sportsbook, where you can also get up to $1,000 in DK Dollars when you create a new account. Sign up below and start betting today!

Green Bay packers
Ian Hartitz
Ian Hartitz
Ian is a senior fantasy analyst at Fantasy Life and he truly believes every day is a great day to be great. He's spent time with Action Network, NBC Sports and Pro Football Focus over the years, writing and podcasting about all things fantasy football along the way. Ian's process relies on a mix of film analysis and data study; whatever is needed to get the job done (job done). There's no reason fun can't be had along the way — we do live on a rock floating around a ball of fire after all. Outside of football, Ian enjoys MMA, his dachshund Lilly and candles.