Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love will hold some one-week fantasy football appeal Sunday as he takes over the offense from Aaron Rodgers, who was ruled out for the Packers' Week 9 game against the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19.
Love, a first-round pick in the 2020 draft, is set to make his first career start and just his third NFL appearance, but he'll do so under favorable conditions.
The Packers' playmaking group, which has been ravaged by injuries and COVID-19-related absences in recent weeks, has a good chance to get closer to full strength against the Chiefs as wide receivers Davante Adams (reserve/COVID list) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring) could be available.
Adams, Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb give Love no shortage of weapons in the passing game, and running back Aaron Jones will be available to take some pressure off the second-year signal-caller out of Utah State.
Love also benefits from getting to face a Kansas City defense that's struggled to contain the pass in the season's first half. The unit has allowed the eighth-most passing yards per game (269.8), the joint-sixth-most passing touchdowns (15) and the sixth-highest opposing passer rating (103.3).
In addition, the California native gets to work with the first-team offense for the entire week of practice rather than getting thrown into the fray at the last second.
It's always difficult to project how a quarterback will perform in their first start with limited experience outside of practice and exhibition games—Love has thrown just seven regular-season passes—but he finds himself in a more promising position than most.
Fantasy-wise, Love is a high-upside bye-week replacement for managers who may be without the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady on his bye week.
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With Aaron Rodgers out, can Jordan Love be fantasy relevant in Week 9? <a href="https://twitter.com/FieldYates?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FieldYates</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/KyleSoppeESPN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KyleSoppeESPN</a> explain: <a href="https://t.co/WwIZzBj8W2">pic.twitter.com/WwIZzBj8W2</a>
Although there's some bust potential because it's his first start, all the other factors are working to his advantage, including a game script that should feature plenty of passes to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes and Co. While Love isn't a major threat with his legs, he did score nine rushing touchdowns in 38 college games to boost his fantasy floor.
Conservatively, it's best to rank the Packers' fill-in starter somewhere between No. 15 and No. 20 among Week 9 fantasy quarterbacks, but it wouldn't be a shock if he finishes inside the top 10.