Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is out for Sunday’s Week 9 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19. The news is obviously huge, with both the over/under (down from 55.5 points to 48.5) and the point spread moving a full touchdown in a matchup previously projected to be this week’s highest scoring game.
Rodgers was a borderline top-five fantasy QB facing a Chiefs defense allowing the most yards per play in the NFL and the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
Should fantasy players consider Jordan Love?
Enter Jordan Love, who’s a complete unknown after Green Bay surprisingly took him in the first round of the 2020 draft. He’ll benefit from the Packers likely getting Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling back, but Love will be making the first start of his career Sunday (in Arrowhead). He has just seven pass attempts in the NFL. Love has good speed but didn’t run much at all in college, and he’s nothing more than a deep desperation Superflex option in fantasy leagues this week. I’d much prefer to start Tua Tagovailoa (44% rostered in Yahoo), Taysom Hill (20%), Daniel Jones (45%) and/or Teddy Bridgewater (26%) if you need QB help in Week 9.
How much will Rodgers' absence hurt Davante Adams?
I moved Adams from WR2 to WR10 this week. He remains a must-start in fantasy leagues, but his ceiling obviously takes a hit. Adams is no longer a DFS option ($38 on Yahoo) for Week 9 — unless you wanted to go contrarian in a tournament, as he’s going to have his lowest roster percentage of the season.
Will the Packers just lean on the ground game?
Aaron Jones didn’t see the bump as expected when Adams missed last week, as he’s splitting a lot of work with AJ Dillon. Still, Jones remains a top-10 RB this week, as he’s likely to be plenty involved as a receiver in a favorable matchup against a Kansas City defense that ranks second-to-last in DVOA. Dillon is also a flex option, but both backs have lower upside with no Rodgers, as Green Bay will likely be scoring fewer points with Love. But the Packers’ game plan Sunday will undoubtedly be run-heavy and feature both backs heavily.
Ripple effect on the Chiefs' fantasy ceiling
There’s no need to adjust Kansas City rankings or players in fantasy lineups much, but no Rodgers likely means a lower scoring game and therefore a lower fantasy ceiling for Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and company. However, with Kansas City now 7.5-point favorites and projected to see a more favorable game script, Derrick Gore is a real sleeper if Clyde Edwards-Helaire remains sidelined. Gore looked noticeably better than Darrel Williams last week, when he was given a whopping six red-zone opportunities on 15 snaps. The Packers enter with the No. 30 ranked run defense in DVOA, and Gore is the minimum ($10) in DFS.