November 9, 2021

How Jordan Love's Disastrous Debut Impacts Your Fantasy Football Team

The Week 9 showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs was supposed to be a potential Super Bowl LVI preview based on preseason expectations.

The Packers, enjoying a stellar potential farewell season from MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers, had been cruising with seven straight wins. The Chiefs returned with enough offensive firepower to win any game as Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid would surely continue their dominance.

However, by the time kickoff arrived, much had changed between these two teams. The Packers were forced to start 2020 first-round pick, Jordan Love, at quarterback as Rodgers contracted COVID-19 and was exposed as an unvaccinated player. On the other side, the Chiefs had stumbled to a 4-4 record filled with frustration and self-inflicted wounds.

The Chiefs struggled en route to an ugly 13-7 win, but at least walked away with a much-needed victory and some confidence in their defensive performance. The Packers, even if they knew Love wouldn't replicate Rodgers' brilliance in his starting debut, must be slightly more concerned about their future after Love struggled so much.

In terms of fantasy football, your team should be terrified for any more games Rodgers might miss due to Covid or injury.

First Start Woes

The raw numbers were discouraging enough as the Packers managed just 190 passing yards from Love and 99 rushing yards between Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. The Chiefs rank 24th in points against, 21st in passing and rushing yards allowed, which made the Packers look completely unprepared. Love has somewhat of an excuse since he's a backup making his first start, but he was also so inaccurate that his playmakers never had a fighting chance.

Love's 55% completion rate and 6.3 yards per attempt might be more forgivable if the Packers were still without their top three receivers and facing an elite defense. After all, we're seeing only slightly better results from Justin Fields, and he gets the benefit of the doubt because of his situation.

However, we can't apply the excuses to Love since Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Allen Lazard were playing.

Love's passing chart is similar to what his collegiate results were. He's a solid enough short thrower, and his deep passing looks pretty because of his windup. But throwing intermediately and especially towards the sideline can expose his lack of touch.

This isn't the worst news for Cobb since he lives in the short spaces. It's devastating for Adams and Lazard fantasy owners, though. We continually saw Love miss Adams despite the star receiver creating space.

This can determine how a league plays out.

All You Need Is Love?

Rodgers is still questionable for Week 10's battle against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Now 7-2, the Packers must protect any lead they can build for the top seed in the NFC as the conference is stacked with tough competition.

Love was unable to install any confidence he can help his team and fantasy owners produce at a respectable level. DFS players have to consider this when taking anyone from Green Bay. It's not as if Love is good between the twenties and then must rely on the backs to score. He simply doesn't move the ball.

It's not time to panic as a Packers' shareholder since Rodgers will be back soon. Re-draft players may want to move Adams or Jones if there's a plump offer, though, and hedge against any catastrophic results. Your team may miss the playoffs if Rodgers is out again and you need a big week from a Packers' playmaker.

For the Packers, it's clear they must invest heavily around Love if Rodgers departs this offseason. The young gunslinger is still a raw talent who has a long way to go before he understands coverages and how to harness his strong arm.

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