Jordan Love, selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, will be the starter for the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. As we discovered Wednesday morning, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play this week. Rodgers is also considered unvaccinated by the NFL, complicating matters further, as he will miss at least 10 days of work. You can also consider him questionable for the Packers’ Week 10 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Many fantasy managers are wondering how Rodgers’ absence will impact the team’s offense.
Love was impressive in a limited amount of snaps during the preseason. During a blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, the Packers’ only loss of the season, he completed five of seven passes for 68 yards. Green Bay’s offense hasn’t been a juggernaut, averaging only 337.5 total yards (ranked 22nd) and 24 points (16th) scored per game. However, Rodgers has been ridiculously efficient, averaging 238.6 passing yards and two touchdowns per game while completing 68% of his passes.
With Love under center for his first start, it would be wise to lower your expectations for offensive production for the Packers, especially on the road against the Chiefs in a hostile environment like Arrowhead Stadium. Even with Green Bay’s offensive line providing solid pass protection this season, Love at this stage of his career doesn’t have the pocket presence of Rodgers. From a fantasy football perspective, he’s not the best streaming option and can be viewed as a low-end QB2. It would be surprising for him to exceed 25 passing attempts.
Davante Adams, who could come off the COVID-19 list himself as early as Thursday, averages 10.3 targets, 7.4 receptions, 106.3 receiving yards, and 20.6 fantasy points per game, will continue to be the top target when Love drops back to pass. Chiefs cornerbacks aren’t talented enough to contain the star receiver. If Adams is matched up against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, they should force-feed him the football since he’s their weakest secondary link. The only Packers receiver you can count on is Adams. You could consider Josiah Deguara at tight end if you are in a bind. Robert Tonyan suffered an ACL injury last week and is out for the season. He had 28 targets, 18 receptions and 204 receiving yards through eight games, and Deguara will be expected to fill the void facing a Chiefs defense that has given up the second-most points to tight ends. On Monday Night Football against the New York Giants, this defense allowed a touchdown each to Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph.
The switch at quarterback benefits Aaron Jones, who can be considered a high-end RB1, and AJ Dillon, who once again finds himself on the RB3/flex radar. The Packers have relied heavily on their running backs this season. A total of 29.9 opportunities (rushing attempts and targets) and 141 total yards were averaged each game. Jones and Dillon could help the Packers surpass these averages against the Chiefs.
The Packers’ defense might be able to control this game more than you think. The Chiefs have found themselves in a rut offensively for much of the season and needed a late field goal to beat the Giants. This season, the Chiefs have turned the football over 19 times and have allowed Patrick Mahomes to be sacked 16 times. As a result of Kansas City’s franchise quarterback’s pressing, disastrous results have occurred at times. Mahomes and the Chiefs face a Packers defense that is coming off of a two-sack, three-takeaway game against the Arizona Cardinals. In this matchup, Green Bay might not be in as bad of shape as many think.