Fantasy Goggles: How good is Aaron Rodgers, really?
But fantasy season is rapidly approaching and we're going to put Rodgers under the magnified glass like a sick kid lighting ants on fire. Leadership skills, locker room presence— none of that matters. In fantasy football, stats don't lie. It's time for Aaron to be scrutinized (spoiler: he's still awesome, but let's see how awesome).
Total Passing Yards
Aaron Rodgers is a passing machine. In his five years as starting QB, he's surpassed 4,000 passing yards in four seasons and missed the fifth by less than 100. He threw for an insane 4,643 yards in 2011. Losing Jennings to the Vikings is going to hurt, but Rodgers will likely make up the ground with favorites like Jordy Nelson and at least come close to another 4,000-yard season, if not exceed it.
Comparable: Despite the god-awful playoff rapport, Tony Romo is another consistent 4,000-yard quarterback, doing it four out of his past six seasons.
Total Rushing Yards
No one puts Rodgers in the lineup for rushing stats, but it is worth noting that he hasn't fumbled the ball in two seasons, and is good for a couple hundred yards and a few touchdowns each year. That's not bad considering a QB like Colin Kaepernick only has marginally better rushing stats with far inferior throwing yards. It's a good balance for a pocket passer.
Comparable: Given a full season to start under center, Kaepernicks balance between throwing and rushing will look much better compared to 2012, making him a solid backup if Rodgers gets drafted before your pick.
After Favre, its hard to picture any Packer as one who throws too many interceptions. You could have dedicated a Sunday Ticket channel just to watch all of Favre's reckless throws. When Rodgers threw 13 picks in his first starting season, it looked like we might have ourselves another loose cannon. But after some accuracy improvements set in, Rodgers only threw 14 picks across his two most recent seasons. 2013 will likely be another accurate season.
Comparable: Ben Roethlisberger is another QB who's wise with his passes, throwing just eight interceptions last season. If your league's settings bring down the hammer on an INT, this is a pick to consider if another team grabs Rodgers.
Okay, so Aaron Rodgers is awesome in both real life and fantasy. It wasn't hard to figure out. But more importantly, he's one of the most balanced fantasy QB's out there. He doesn't have the throwing yards of Drew Brees or the rushing yards of RG3, but he does have a little bit of everything where it counts. So, yeah, make him your starting quarterback.