Let’s take a look at what to expect from Jordan Love as you prepare for the 2023 fantasy football season.
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The Green Bay Packers drafted Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 26th overall pick. The Utah State quarterback started 32 games over three years, with the highlight of his college career coming in 2018 as a true sophomore. He tossed 32 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions as PFF’s 5th-highest graded quarterback in the 2020 NFL quarterback draft class.
However, Love’s success did not carry over to his junior season, under a new head coach and offensive coordinator. He threw 17 interceptions to just 20 passing touchdowns in 2019 after just 12 interceptions combined in his first two seasons. Love was extremely aggressive going downfield, leading the entire 2020 QB class in deep pass attempts (85 attempts 20-plus yards downfield) slightly edging out Joe Burrow (83 attempts). But he struggled with his accuracy in the short-to-intermediate area of the field and when facing pressure to go along with his poor decision-making.
But Love’s off-script playmaking ability, desirable size, dual-threat skill set, elite traits, athleticism and exceptional arm talent still earned him a back-end first-round selection, with the Packers hoping they could develop him into a high-end NFL starter sitting behind Aaron Rodgers.
They probably didn’t think that it would take until Love’s fourth season for him to earn the starting nod, but Rodgers’ high-end play with back-to-back MVP awards forced their hand to keep him. It wasn’t until this past season when Rodgers’ production slightly fell off that team felt more comfortable moving on from him, ultimately trading him to the New York Jets this offseason.
As for Love, he has seen extremely limited real action over the past three seasons, with just 83 passes attempts since 2020. His lone start in Week 9 of the 2021 season was an utter disaster versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Love’s second-half Week 18 action of the 2021 season also wasn’t great. He finished the 2021 season with a 58% completion rate with 2 TDs and three interceptions (6.6 yards per attempt). Love definitely showed signs of growth in 2022, although he played in fewer games. The Eagles game (where he was thrust into the starting lineup) was promising.
Going back and watching all of Love’s games, he definitely flashes the traits of a fantasy-friendly quarterback. The Packers quarterback is definitely underrated as an athlete, and I think that gives him some sneaky rushing upside that fantasy managers should acknowledge. Love averaged over 20 yards per game in his final college season.
Love is slated to start for the Green Bay Packers in 2023 after sitting on the bench behind a future HOFer, Aaron Rodgers, for the past three seasons. Love was viewed as a raw prospect – a poor man’s Patrick Mahomes because of his traits and ability to make off-script plays – who needed time to marinate entering the league, so I am cautiously optimistic about his prospects this season and beyond. He played well in limited action in 2022 and possesses athletic traits that could translate to rushing production.
The weapons in Green Bay aren’t exactly elite, but there’s room for this offense to be a surprise if second-year wide receivers like Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs take another step. Both guys can deliver downfield splash plays, which Rodgers didn’t necessarily take full advantage of last season. The new Jets quarterback went deep at the seventh-highest rate last season but finished below average in adjusted completion percentage on throws 20-plus yards downfield.
Green Bay also added a plethora of weapons to aid in Love’s first season in the 2023 NFL Draft between Jayden Reed, Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft.
General Outlook for 2023 and Rest of Career
Love is currently the QB26 in dynasty ADP, which is a sixth-round pick in Superflex formats. It’s severely underpriced for a former first-round pick who still isn’t 25 years old yet. He is under contract until 2025, after agreeing to a one-year contract extension in place of his fifth-year option this offseason. The former Utah State quarterback has the chance to thrive in the Packers’ RPO offense after so much time spent learning Matt LaFleur’s offense.
The Packers have a very favorable schedule to open the 2023 season and the No.1 easiest strength of schedule for fantasy QBs per FantasyPros’ strength of schedule tool. Through 7 games, they will face Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit, Las Vegas, Denver, Minnesota and the Rams.
Therefore, Love has the chance to surprise in fantasy circles early on even if he’s just an average quarterback in real life. He’s a player that I would be looking to buy across all formats because the market just isn’t convinced that he can be a legitimate fantasy quarterback option. But I believe Love can be exactly that, after honing his skills behind Rodgers for the last three seasons. Remember, part of why he wasn’t playing was due to Rodgers playing at an MVP level. Not necessarily because Love is a bad quarterback. His ability at the NFL level remains to be seen, but I am fully invested in finding out at the current price.