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Aaron Rodgers Trade Impact on Fantasy Football

The wait is finally over. After yet another off-season saga of speculation on his future, Aaron Rodgers is now the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. This trade gets done just in time for the 2023 NFL Draft. The Aaron Rodgers trade impacts the already imbalanced talent of quarterbacks in the AFC versus the NFC. It of course has a major effect on the fantasy football landscape, as well. Let’s break it all down.

Aaron Rodgers has found a new home. Does your fantasy football league need to follow suit? Once you see how we stack up to the competition, we think you’ll be calling Fantrax home for the upcoming NFL season.

Analyzing the Aaron Rodgers Trade

Breaking Down the Trade

Green Bay Packers receive:

  • 2023 1st (13th overall)
  • 2023 2nd (42nd overall)
  • 2023 6th (207th overall)
  • Conditional 2024 2nd
    • Becomes a 2024 1st if Aaron Rodgers plays 65% of snaps

New York Jets receive:

  • Aaron Rodgers
  • 2023 1st (15th overall)
  • 2023 5th (170th overall)

First things first; the Packers and Jets are swapping 1st Round picks. Green Bay jumps up two spots, ahead of the New England Patriots (14th overall), to improve their top pick ever so slightly. This is key considering three quarterbacks are projected to come off of the board prior to their selection. That gives the Packers a great opportunity to select a top-10, non-quarterback player and perhaps a top player at a specific position. Considering both Green Bay and New England could use wide receivers, this pick swap could prove beneficial.

Next, the 2023 2nd (42nd overall) from the Jets heading to the Packers is the pick New York received from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for wide receiver, Elijah Moore. The Jets still have their own 2nd round pick (43rd overall) to work with. Then, there’s a 5th and 6th round pick swap that’s a difference of 37 draft spots in favor of the Jets.

The conditional 2024 2nd round pick is likely to become a 2024 1st-round pick assuming Aaron Rodgers plays 65% of the offensive snaps. If this team has success, as a result, that pick should be no higher than 19th overall in next year’s draft.

While the 1st round pick swap could prove to be a savvy move, it’s not a seismic shift in draft capital for the Jets; nor is the 5th and 6th round pick swaps. That said, one could look at this trade, in theory, as a 2024 1st round pick and Elijah Moore in exchange for Aaron Rodgers. It’s a nice deal for both sides, especially given that Rodgers was not going to play for Green Bay again and the Jets had fully committed to bringing him in prior to making it official.

Aaron Rodgers After the Trade

Aside from heading to a very competitive AFC conference, specifically the AFC East, Rodgers’ personnel is the best it’s been in a long time in New York. For starters, he’s reuniting with offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett. Aaron Rodgers won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards under Hackett as a Packer in 2020 and 2021.

Since drafting Sam Darnold third-overall in 2018, the New York Jets have started eight different quarterbacks, including Darnold, over the last five seasons. One can safely assume they’re going to throw at a high rate with Aaron Rodgers under center. That’s factoring in the trade, the addition of weapons, and, above all else, his talent. Rodgers is averaging 34.1 pass attempts per game over the last five seasons. Over a 17-game span, that’s about 580 pass attempts, which would be his highest number of attempts since 2018 and third-highest of his career.

Aaron Rodgers’ group of pass catchers in New York as a whole is the best group he’s had in more than a decade. He should throw for over 4,000 yards during the 2023 regular season. Of the nine quarterbacks to do so in 2022, six finished as a QB1 in fantasy football. The other three were no more than 1.4 points per game from doing so themselves.

He would have to go on a tear and average two to three passing touchdowns per week to push for top-five numbers. I’m comfortable claiming his ceiling is more likely QB7 or so given how top heavy the position can be, especially with mobile quarterbacks. With weapons like Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, and Mecole Hardman on an expected high-volume passing offense, Rodgers has a low-end QB1 floor in fantasy football.

I think Rodgers is a great best ball option after the obvious, top names are off of the board. As for dynasty, the sell-high window is wide open. Rodgers is 39 years old, after all. If you’re not in a position to win your league in 2023, then find someone who is and would want him.

Fantasy Fallout Elsewhere

Zach Wilson is the biggest fantasy football loser from the Aaron Rodgers trade. Unless something catastrophic happens, Wilson is riding the bench until further notice. Dynasty managers are either praying he gets a fresh start somewhere else or selling for pennies on the dollar.

Jordan Love has just 83 career pass attempts but is the big fantasy winner. Love has three years of experience learning from Rodgers and in the Green Bay offense. Not to mention, Love has a full off-season ahead of him knowing he will be under center in Week 1.

Furthermore, Love will be throwing to a game-breaker like Christian Watson and should see additional receiving help added in the draft, specifically at tight end. Aaron Jones is also sticking around in 2023 which bodes well for Love. Jones is one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league and led Green Bay in targets last season. He’s in for another big fantasy season in PPR leagues.

The obvious and biggest winner for fantasy football is the New York Jets offense in its entirety. Garrett Wilson caught just 83 of his mouthwatering 147 targets as a rookie. His 147 targets rank seventh amongst all positions last season. With Rodgers, his efficiency increases with a similar, if not larger, target share. I also foresee positive touchdown regression after catching just four last season. Wilson has the making of a top-12 receiver in fantasy football in 2023. Draft him as such with confidence.

As for the other players on the Jets’ roster, an improvement at the quarterback position improves the offense as a whole. Rodgers is a significant upgrade for a team in such desperate need of one. The Jets are tied for the second-least offensive touchdowns per game (1.6) from last season and scored the fourth-least points per game (17.4), as well. Rodgers will pump those numbers up providing plenty of fantasy value to everyone with a significant role in their 2023 offense.

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