Win. Your. League.

Receive 3 Free Downloads More Details

Player Spotlight: Aaron Rodgers

A detailed look at Aaron Rodgers' fantasy prospects for 2013.

Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, is a superstar and future Hall of Famer. His “touchdown belt” celebration has even helped to turn him into a household name. He also happens to be only 29 years old and in the prime of his career. Last season, he was championed by some to be the #1 overall selection in fantasy football. While that strategy may not have been the most efficient way to build your team, as value based drafting (VBD) would tell you, it is a testament to Rodgers’ dominance at the position.

RODGERS’ STATISTICS OVER PAST FIVE SEASONS

YR

G

CMP

ATT

PYD

Y/A

PTD

INT

RSH

YD

Y/R

TD

FPT

2008

16

341

536

4038

7.5

28

13

56

207

3.7

4

361

2009

16

350

541

4434

8.2

30

7

59

304

5.2

5

418

2010

15

312

475

3922

8.3

28

11

64

356

5.6

4

374

2011

15

343

502

4643

9.2

45

6

60

257

4.3

3

489

2012

16

372

553

4303

7.8

39

8

54

259

4.8

2

432

AVG

16

344

521

4268

8.2

34

9

59

277

4.6

3.6

415

The efficiency at which Rodgers performs is astonishing. Last season, he attempted 553 passes, yet still managed to finish as the #2 quarterback in fantasy football. The other top-five quarterbacks were Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan; they averaged 627 attempts each. Using Rodgers’ average passing attempts per game, it would have taken him more than two more games to eclipse 627 attempts. Rodgers’ efficiency is all the more impressive when you consider that the Packers lacked an effective running game. Green Bay’s 3.9 yards-per-carry (YPC), which is inflated by Rodger’s 4.8 YPC on 59 carries, ranked just 22nd in the NFL.

RODGERS VS BREES OVER PAST FIVE SEASONS

  Rodgers  Brees 
YRFPTRANKVBDFPTRANKVBD
2008 361 2 98 389 1 127
2009 418 1 124 382 2 88
2010 374 2 80 352 6 59
2011 489 2 201 490 1 203
2012 432 2 110 442 1 120
AVG 415 1.8 123 411 2.2 119

Rodgers’ consistency from a fantasy football standpoint has also been impressive. As you can see in the table above, he has finished among the top-two quarterbacks in each of the past five seasons. Surprisingly, forty-percent of the experts on Fantasy Pros prefer Brees to Rodgers. Although Brees has three first-place finishes over the past five seasons, his averages in each of the categories still fall second to Rodgers.

The Packers’ receiving corps remains loaded with talent even after the departure of Greg Jennings, who only managed to suit up for eight games in 2012. Jordy Nelson is a legitimate number one receiver. He was hampered by injuries last year, but is now fully healthy. Randall Cobb burst onto the scene quickly last season and he has not only developed into a favorite of many fantasy football analysts, but also one of the NFL’s premier slot receivers. Not to mention, James Jones is primed to become a highly coveted free agent after this season and Jermichael Finley remains a mismatch problem even though he has been prone to dropping a few passes.

The Packers made improving the running game a priority and selected not one, but two running backs in the 2013 NFL Draft. Both of their new running backs, Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, ranked among Sigmund Bloom’s top-three running back prospects. An improved running game should only help Rodgers; his play-action should become more effective and he has already proven he can dominate the statistical categories without an exorbitant volume of pass attempts.

POSITIVES

  • Rodgers is widely considered the best quarterback in the NFL by analysts and fans alike.
  • He has finished among the top two quarterbacks in fantasy football in each of the past five season.
  • At 29 years old, he is in the prime of his athletic career.
  • Green Bay continues to maintain a terrific group of receivers for their stud quarterback.

NEGATIVES

  • Although he has lasted as far as the Fourth Round in some expert drafts, he could be reached for as early as the First Round.
  • An improved running game may sap away some of the reliance on Rodgers.

2013 PROJECTIONS

MY PROJECTIONS

CMP

ATT

YD

Y/A

TD

INT

RSH

YD

Y/R

TD

RANK

360

530

4346

8.2

36

10

48

221

4.6

3

1

DAVID DODDS’ PROJECTIONS

CMP

ATT

YD

Y/A

TD

INT

RSH

YD

Y/R

TD

RANK

355

547

4392

8.0

32

11

56

246

4.4

3

1

FINAL THOUGHTS

The elite production combined with unmatched consistency from year-to-year makes Rodgers a player that you can’t go wrong with. When you’re on the clock this year and you’re ready to take a quarterback, Rodgers will reign supreme once again and he should be first on your list.

OTHER PERSPECTIVES

Christopher Harris of ESPN is all aboard with Rodgers as the top quarterback.

Rodgers has been a top-three fantasy quarterback five years running, and there's no reason to believe that will change anytime soon. The Green Bay Packers have questions to answer on their offensive line, as A-Rod was sacked an NFL-high 51 times last year. But even with Jennings leaving town, the Pack has tremendous aerial weaponry. Rodgers should be the first quarterback drafted in all leagues.

Bob Fox of Bleacher Report likes Rodgers' chances to win his second MVP. 

He is currently the highest rated quarterback in NFL history, with a career quarterback rating of 104.9... Rodgers also has plenty of weapons in the passing game... Bottom line, Rodgers has an excellent opportunity to get his second NFL MVP award in three years, based on a number of factors. The most important being the talent of No. 12.


More from Kyle Wachtel:

Forensics Report: Week 16 - December 16
Forensics Report: Week 15 - December 9
Forensics Report: Week 14 - December 2
Forensics Report: Week 13 - November 25
Forensics Report: Week 12 - November 18
Forensics Report: Week 11 - November 11
Forensics Report: Week 10 - November 5
Forensics Report: Week 9 - October 28
Forensics Report: Week 8 - October 21
Forensics Report: Week 7 - October 15