Make a Call in Fantasy Football: Jordan Love

Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers
There was a lot to like from Jordan Love in 2023 — but is he being over-ranked (or under-ranked) this season? (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) (Patrick McDermott via Getty Images)

This is the first part of a new series that will examine players who are tough to rank, beginning with Jordan Love.

After an inconsistent first half of the season, Love ranked second in EPA/dropback and CPOE and first in PFF pass grade from Week 9 through the playoffs. Love averaged more fantasy points per game than C.J. Stroud last season, when he also averaged the third-most yards per scramble among QBs.

Over his final 11 games (including the postseason), Love averaged 264.1 passing yards (7.8 YPA) with a 25:5 TD:INT ratio, adding two rushing scores. From Weeks 11-18, only Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Joe Flacco averaged more fantasy points than Love.

Love has the most improved and the best overall projected strength of schedule among quarterbacks in 2024. The Packers are also well-coached, led by a strong Matt LaFleur system, and Green Bay appears comically loaded at wide receiver with Christian Watson, Jayden Reed, Romeo Doubs and Dontayvion Wicks. Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft are two capable tight ends, and rookie MarShawn Lloyd should be a pass-catching weapon out of the backfield.

If 2023's second half is any sign, Love could shoot to stardom in 2024 while backed behind the league’s youngest offense.

Love’s 7.2 YPA ranked 13th last year, and it’s a mark that typically results in far fewer than 32 touchdown passes. Volume helps, but Love’s 5.8% TD rate ranked top-three in the league and will be especially difficult to sustain with low efficiency. Love benefitted from the second-most red-zone attempts (100) last season, but Green Bay added big back Josh Jacobs during the offseason. The Packers scored 76.2% of their touchdowns through the air last season, while Jacobs averaged 11 rushing TDs over 2020-2022. Moreover, the Packers are highly unlikely to score a touchdown on a historical 95% of their goal-to-go possessions like last season, which was the highest rate since at least the 90s.

Maybe we should give more credit to Love’s second half given it was his first year as a starter, but it’s also worth noting it was a small sample. Love also generally didn’t perform well in terms of stable prediction metrics, and his big jump in the second half was helped by improvement under pressure, which isn’t super reliable when predicting future performance.

Love passed the eye test down the stretch, and his wide receivers will help, but he’s my QB12 right now, which is a couple spots below his expert consensus rank. The two quarterbacks I have ranked higher compared to ECR are Brock Purdy and Jayden Daniels, both of whom I’d draft comfortably ahead of Love (and Caleb Williams is close).

Purdy just posted the best YPA season in NFL history, when he threw for more yards and just one fewer TD pass than Love in 135 fewer pass attempts. The 49ers are projected to score the most points in the league in 2024 (including the fantasy playoffs), while Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are both ranked as top-10 fantasy WRs. The Packers don’t have a WR in the top 30, while George Kittle is the TE5 by ECR. Kyle Shanahan’s recent personnel decisions also suggest he may pass more in 2024 (like he did in Atlanta), especially with Christian McCaffrey coming off a 400+ touch campaign.

The difference in YPAs between Love and Purdy last season would be like 300 points in OPS in baseball terms. Purdy is no longer recovering from elbow surgery but continues to get less respect than Rodney Dangerfield at fantasy draft tables.

Daniels is a bigger injury risk than Love and has never done it before, but the rookie undoubtedly possesses more fantasy upside given his incredible rushing ability. Daniels could be a problem for Washington this season, but his running will still lead to him being a top-10 fantasy QB in possibly the league’s fastest-paced offense.

Love should have a productive season, but he’s slightly over-ranked thanks to running hot on touchdowns that will be tough to repeat. Love will need to improve his YPA if he’s going to be a top-10 fantasy QB in 2024.

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