I touched on a few key players that I thought might be crucial to your fantasy success this week in a post earlier today, but now I'll really get into ranking the players involved in the Packers-49ers game on Sunday. I'll break it down by my confidence in how strongly I feel you should be playing these guys.
Start all of these players with confidence. Based on your draft, they're probably your top option at each position, and rightfully so. They should be in your lineup regardless of the matchup.
Nelson is a little less consistent than Jennings and will be hard-pressed to duplicate his 2011 production, but he's still an excellent choice at WR2. Finley should definitely be in your lineup as well, and I think he's likely to have a big game.
SF: RB Frank Gore
A lot has been made about the 49ers reducing Gore's workload, but he's the type of versatile back that can give the Packers fits. They finished in the middle of the NFL in run defense last year, so the matchup isn't a knock on Gore. There may a lot of depth at the running back position by the bay, with Kendall Hunter and Lamichael James looking to steal snaps, but Gore is a solid option for your RB2 or Flex spot this week.
More coming up, but if you didn't see a guy profiled before the jump, I'm probably going to advocate that you leave him on your bench.
Until we know what these players' roles are within their respective offenses, I'm not comfortable endorsing any of them as viable fantasy options. If for some reason you need to pick one, I think Crabtree is the best option of the bunch by virtue of his familiarity with Smith and the offense and his physical tools. Cobb always gives you the potential of a special teams touchdown, but there are better options out there.
On that note, I wouldn't be crazy about either defensive unit either. The Packers' pass rush should be better than last year and get you a couple of sacks, but both offenses are known for limiting their turnovers. You may not have better options, though, since both units were likely drafted in the top layer of fantasy defenses.
Avoid At All Costs:
GB: RB Alex Green
SF: QB Alex Smith
Don't let either of these guys sniff your starting lineup. The Packers force turnovers like it's going out of style, and a second-string RB will do little to nothing against the 49ers run defense.
GB: WR James Jones
I'll try to pick out an under-the-radar player who I think might make a big impact each week. I mentioned Jones earlier today, but I really think he could be a sneaky play at a WR3 or Flex position. He's also available in 79% of Yahoo fantasy leagues, so you can probably get him on the waiver wire. The Niners' defense had games last season where they gave up tons of points to opposing wideouts, and with most of the attention focused on Jennings and Nelson, I have a hunch Jones will break free on a big play or two.
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