Packers vs. Bears Fantasy Advice: Start Alshon Jeffery; Bench Andrew Quarless

Jonathan Daniel

Under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, both the Green Bay offense and the defense will shine in a ripe matchup for Aaron Rodgers, Jarrett Boykin, and the Packers defenders.

Monday night's Week 9 game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears marks the point of the season where every lineup decision, waiver bid and processed trade gets exponentially magnified. And while I normally advocate being bold in managing your fantasy football team, there's a fine line between being bold and being stupid. (Just ask Matt Millen when it comes to first round draft picks.)

Case-in-point, James Jones has not played since spraining his MCL three weeks ago. Now, while he did indeed practice Saturday in full pads, you still need to be concerned if you're a Jones owner. When getting a win and scoring points is more important now than it has been all season, why risk a 0 for Jones?

At this point, no one knows--not even Mike McCarthy or Jones--if the wideout will play Monday night. And unless you have a guy like Alshon Jeffery or Jarrett Boykin (whom you should already be playing anyway), you need to start a guy who will actually play for your squad. I'd rather take the downgrade to Jeremy Kerley, Vincent Brown or DeAndre Hopkins being in my lineup over Jones. So, still be bold, but don't be dumb--take the points!

Now, onto this week's projections:

QUARTERBACKS

The Bears' pass defense is among the worst in the NFL. Granted, a lot of those stats were accrued without Charles Tillman in the lineup, but he hasn't exactly been a cure-all since returning. I love quarterbacks at home, and Rodgers has to be champing at the bit to get out there and shred. I actually kind of like Josh McCown this week, too. There's no Clay Matthews to worry about coming off the edge, and he has three beastly pass-catchers to throw to in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett; those two factors make Josh McCown a great start for those of you in need of a bye-week replacement for Colin Kaepernick, Matthew Stafford or Eli Manning.

Aaron Rodgers: 320 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 30 yards rushing, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Start in all leagues

Josh McCown: 260 passing yards, 1 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 15 yards rushing, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Start as a bye-week replacement in all leagues and as a QB2 in all 2-quarterback leagues

RUNNING BACKS

Alex Van Pelt said that he wants to make sure James Starks is taking some of the load off of Eddie Lacy going forward. This is a good thing, Lacy owners. You want him healthy for your fantasy playoffs, and making sure he's capped at 20 touches per week is the way to do it. Matt Forte is one of the best running backs in fantasy football, and I expect him to produce at that level Monday night to take some of the pressure of McCown.

Eddie Lacy: 90 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 4 catches, 25 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Start in all leagues

James Starks: 35 rushing yards, 0 touchdowns, 3 catches, 15 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Start only as a deep flex in 12- and 14-team PPR leagues

Matt Forte: 75 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 5 catches, 45 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Start in all leagues

Michael Bush: 10 rushing yards
Verdict: Bench in all leagues

WIDE RECEIVERS

Charles Tillman isn't the elite player he once was, but he is still very good. And in the same vein of Charles Woodson focusing on forcing turnovers after he lost a step, Tillman can be just as dangerous as he ever was. I expect him to be on Jordy Nelson most of the game, with Nelson getting the better of the matchup. Sam Shields didn't practice Saturday, which is a bit disconcerting. The Bears receivers will be able to get theirs Monday with or without him, though.

Jordy Nelson: 9 catches, 100 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in all leagues

Jarrett Boykin: 6 catches, 85 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start as a WR2 in all leagues (unless Jones is active)

James Jones: I don't believe he plays. But if the Packers believe he is healthy enough to go, he will produce. 5 catches, 65 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Bench in all leagues unless you can plug someone in Monday night. If he is active, Boykin becomes a flex play at best, and his numbers look more like 4 for 55 and a touchdown.

Myles White: 4 catches, 40 yards, 0 touchdowns (only if Jones is inactive)
Verdict: Only start if you are a Jones owner if Jones is declared inactive

Brandon Marshall: 8 catches, 80 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Start in all leagues

Alshon Jeffery: 6 catches, 70 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Start in all PPR leagues and as a WR2/WR3 in non-PPR leagues

Earl Bennett: 3 catches, 35 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Bench in all leagues

TIGHT ENDS

Last week, I said I was not a believer in Andrew Quarless, and he did nothing to make me change my mind. He's a blocker, folks, and that's all he is going to be. What was disappointing was that Brandon Bostick was not used more as a pass-catcher in a shootout. It's time to pump the brakes on him a bit, but I'm not cutting him yet unless I absolutely have to. Bennett only got one grab from McCown in the Bears' last game, but it was a touchdown. I'm betting he's more involved this week.

Andrew Quarless: 3 catches, 25 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Bench in all leagues

Brandon Bostick: 1 catch, 10 yards, 0 touchdowns
Verdict: Bench in all leagues

Martellus Bennett: 6 catches, 60 yards, 1 touchdown
Verdict: Start in all leagues

KICKERS

I love both kickers in this matchup. Call it a hunch, but I think they play big roles in this game.

Mason Crosby: 4 extra points, 2 field goals
Verdict: Start in all leagues

Robbie Gould: 2 extra points, 2 field goals
Verdict: Start in most leagues or as a bye week replacement

DEFENSES

I can't see McCown getting through this game unscathed, so I'm betting the Packers defense will be a strong fantasy start this week with or without Shields. And if you're still reading this article, you can find a better defense than Chicago this week.

Packers: 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown, 350 yards allowed, 20 points allowed
Verdict: Start in most leagues

Bears: 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 0 interceptions, 0 touchdowns, 475 yards allowed, 25 points allowed
Verdict: Bench in every league

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