Packers vs. Rams: Fantasy Sit/Start Advice

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Who should you start in light of the Packers' offensive explosion against the Texans last week?

If you have any Packers receivers on your fantasy team last week, congratulations. You probably won your matchup handily. And if you didn't, then that's on you for having scrubs at your other positions. Anyway, the Packers get the Rams this week and will be put to the test against a tough pass defense.

No-brainer starters:
GB: QB Aaron Rodgers

The Rodgers we saw last week was the Rodgers we as Packers fans and fantasy football players expected all year. His throws were on the money and he made a very good Texans defense pay for every mistake they made. Even with the strength of the Rams' defense being in the secondary, it's foolish to bench Rodgers against anyone after that performance.

Start with confidence:
GB: WRs Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Defense/Special Teams

Jones is on a remarkable streak, scoring a pair of touchdowns in each of the past three games. That isn't likely to continue this week, but with the way he's catching the ball this year he should get at least a few targets in the red zone. Nelson will get more targets though, and he is the better play overall since he's more likely to rack up substantial receiving yardage.

The defense forced three interceptions last week, finally bringing in the football when it hit them in the hands. Casey Hayward looked particularly impressive on his first pick. Add in the fact that the Rams' offensive line ranks 23rd in adjust sack rate and you can see why the Packers' defense is a good play.

Borderline starters:
GB: WR Randall Cobb, RB Alex Green
STL: RBs Steven Jackson, Daryl Richardson

Cobb will face a talented nickel back in Trumaine Johnson. This kind of matchup is where Cobb's route-running and preparation skills can shine. The Rams' special teams are graded below average in coverage by Football Outsiders, giving Cobb a chance in the return game as well. Green should continue to get the bulk of the carries for Green Bay, and with the Rams' rushing defense grading out below average, he should have a good shot at 80 yards and a score if his shoulder doesn't limit him.

The Rams' running backs have worked their way into a time-share, with the veteran Jackson fighting to keep the starting job over 7th-round pick Richardson. Both have been productive of late, but neither one has scored a touchdown yet this season. They're each a good bet for 60 total yards with a chance for a score.

Playing the lottery:
GB: TE Jermichael Finley
STL: Defense/Special Teams

Finley's a quandary this week. He wasn't productive against the Texans, and he wasn't doing much even before he got injured against the Colts. The problem is that the Rams have a known weakness at free safety, and Finley is the most likely Packer weapon who will attack that weakness. I can see him duplicating his production from last week but I can also see him going off for a big day. If you're feeling lucky (or just don't have any other halfway decent options) go ahead and start him.

The Rams' defense could definitely rack up a handful of sacks with their excellent pass rush, but Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks against the blitz. If they can't get consistent pressure with just their front four, the Rams will play right into Rodgers' hands.

Leave on the bench:
GB: RB James Starks
STL: QB Sam Bradford, WR Brandon Gibson, Chris Givens

Starks might be a candidate to get substantial carries, but only if Green is limited by his shoulder injury. Unless you hear something serious about that injury, keep Starks stashed safely on the bench.

The Rams passing game will be challenged by injury and the Packers' defense. Danny Amendola might be a good start from the slot if he were healthy, but he won't be ready to go by Sunday. Combine that with a solid Packers pass rush and a secondary that finally started catching the balls that hit them in the hands and you can predict a long day for Bradford and company.

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