It’s only July, but fantasy football players are already starting to think about the 2021 season. A lot remains to be seen with Aaron Rodgers’ situation, but until he isn’t dressed for Week 1 against the Saints, we must operate under the assumption that he is QB1.
Here is Aaron Rodgers’ 2021 fantasy outlook:
Depending on your scoring system, Rodgers’ MVP campaign was good enough for QB3 in 2020 – not bad value for a guy who was viewed as a low-end starting QB entering the year.
He eclipsed 4200 yards for the 7th time in his illustrious career and tossed 48 touchdowns to just five interceptions.
It’s also worth noting Rodgers was sacked just 20 times in 2020, the fewest in his time as the Packers’ starter.
Now looking for an equally productive 17th campaign, Rodgers will play a schedule that allowed an average of 19.30 PPG to opposing quarterbacks in 2020.
Prorating 19.30 PPG across last season would be good enough for QB11, meaning Rodgers’ 2021 schedule is going to be more difficult than last year’s.
Rodgers is currently the ninth-ranked signal-caller entering 2021 with an average draft position of 64.3 on NFL.com.
Matt LaFleur’s commitment to the run game (45.7% in 2020) limits Rodgers’ ceiling in comparison to players like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, whose teams ran the ball just 40.8% and 39% of the time, respectively in 2020.
But as we saw last year, the big-play potential in LaFleur’s offense parlayed with Rodgers’ freakish throwing ability will keep the 37-year-old in high-end starting QB territory this season.
Rodgers projects to be slow out of the gate in 2021, facing the Saints, Niners, and Steelers – all who allowed less than 20 PPG to opposing QBs in 2020 — within the first four weeks of the season.
But if it’s the Aaron Rodgers we all know, he will exceed those projections, keeping fantasy managers cool-headed in the early goings of the season.
Rodgers’ schedule eases up in the middle of the season against the Cardinals, Chiefs, Seahawks, and Vikings from Weeks 8-11. Each team allowed more than 20 PPG to QBs in 2020, and I expect game scripts to call for Rodgers to sling it more.
The most appealing part of Rodgers’ schedule could in the final three weeks of the season – also the three weeks of fantasy football playoffs — when he faces the Browns, Vikings, and Lions.
Despite their intimidating roster, the Browns allowed 24.22 PPG to opposing quarterbacks in 2020. The Browns look even scarier this season, but who knows what their team will look like come Week 16.
The Vikings are in a similar boat under Mike Zimmer, but have more question marks than the Browns. The Vikings also allowed 20.63 PPG to QBs last season.
If your league hosts its championship in Week 18 this season and you make it, the Lions could be your ticket to a trophy as long as Rodgers is playing.
The Lions allowed a whopping 27.50 PPG to opposing quarterbacks last season and haven’t got much better on defense this offseason.
It’s tough to imagine any quarterback having a top-three or even top-five fantasy season at age 37, but if Rodgers has shown us anything, it’s that it could be him.
Year 3 in Matt LaFleur’s offense, a dominant run game, the most weapons he’s had in recent memory, and an offensive line that can rival any in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers is poised for another impressive campaign.
I expect Rodgers to play slightly above his draft ranking this season and finish as QB7 in 2021.
If you miss out on drafting him, he could be an exciting trade target, especially after he finishes his tough stretch to start the season and heads into, presumably, calmer waters.
Make your homer pick with confidence this year when selecting Aaron Rodgers, he should remain a high-end starting quarterback in 2021.——————
Joshua Frey-Sam is a journalism student and aspiring sportscaster hailing from Winnipeg, Canada. A Packers fan since 2005, Josh has worked to master the financial and scouting aspect of the NFL over the past few years. Josh remains a firm believer that Dez did not, in fact, catch the ball. You can follow him on twitter at @jfreysam.