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Benching Brett Favre

Brett Favre is on the downside of an amazing career.   Favre is a Super Bowl winner, an NFL MVP and a future Hall of Famer.  But right now, in 2007, he's not a great fantasy quarterback.  He's not even a very good fantasy quarterback.

Packer fans probably want to cause me bodily harm right now.  As this article shows, they are fiercely loyal to Favre and to their team even to the point of committing horrible crimes:

A couple who admitted locking a 7-year-old boy in his room with a bucket for a toilet while they watched Packers games at a casino received jail sentences Monday. Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner called the couple's actions "abhorrent" and ordered them to undergo psychological screening.

"What both of you did certainly shocks the conscience of the community," Wagner said.
Scott Scherer, 39, and Melanie Hardrath, 30, admitted locking Hardrath's son in his room with a loaf of bread, peanut butter and jelly, and a bucket that he would have to clean when they returned.

They had enough money to hire a baby sitter, said Assistant District Attorney Chris Liege, who showed the judge photographs of the couple's extensive collection of Packers memorabilia.

Yes, I realize those idiots are not representative of Packers fans.  

But the Pack's rabid, if mostly law-abiding, fan base does hold a lot of sway with the front office. Can anybody in Green Bay do the unthinkable and bench Brett Favre?

It's a fact that Favre will eventually retire.  And it's possible - even likely - that Favre will be ineffective as a quarterback at some point before he retires.  You could argue that point is already here.  From a fantasy football perspective, I say it is already here.

Last season the Broncos were in the playoff hunt and benched Jake Plummer for rookie Jay Cutler.  They realized that it was time to move the franchise forward and that meant getting Cutler playing time - even if that cost the Broncos a post season berth.  As a fantasy football writer I should be forbidden from mentioning Favre and Plummer in the same sentence, but the same issue applies to the Packers.  Shouldn't the Packers say it's time to move the franchise forward and let Aaron Rodgers take the helm?

From a fantasy perspective, the answer is a resounding yes.  Favre is not a factor in fantasy football.  He will sit on rosters as a #2 QB, somebody you may use as a bye-week fill-in.  Next year - if he comes back next year - he'll be even less valuable.   But Aaron Rodgers would be a new quantity and everybody loves a sleeper.  He would have good receivers in Driver and Jennings and a questionable running game in Morency and Jackson.  He would likely find himself in situations where he has to throw the ball a lot.  That's a good situation for fantasy football owners.

If Rodgers were the starting quarterback in Green Bay this season, I would rank him towards the bottom of the Top 25, somewhere near Matt Schaub and Jason Campbell.  But he would certainly have the potential to be much better than that.  I currently have Favre ranked #19 and I don't see much potential at all for him to finish as a Top 15 fantasy quarterback.

I wish Brett Favre all the best and he may prove me wrong and have a great season.  But if (when?) it becomes clear that won't happen I hope the Packers make the tough call and let Rodgers take over.   For fantasy owners, a possible breakout in Rodgers is more exciting than a declining Favre.