This week, the reigning MVP and likely first-round fantasy draft pick travels to Indianapolis to take on a rookie quarterback whose top skill players are an aging former superstar wideout and a fourth-year running back who hasn't lived up to his potential. You can probably guess which team's players I will be advocating for you to start this week, but let's get to it anyway,
GB: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Jordy Nelson, Defense/special teams
The Colts' defense made Jay Cutler look like an MVP candidate in week 1, when he threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns. Pass-rusher extraordinaire Dwight Freeney is questionable this week, which should at the very least reduce his effectiveness rushing the passer on Sunday. All those signs point to another big day for Rodgers. With Greg Jennings likely out for this game, Jordy Nelson will have another chance to be the top receiver, and he should be able to find the end zone at least once.
Meanwhile, the Colts' offense hasn't been particularly impressive. Chicago's opportunistic defense forced five turnovers in the opener, and though Andrew Luck has only taken five sacks, those all came in the first two games against Chicago and Minnesota before the offensive line pitched a clean slate against Jacksonville. Expect the Packers' pass rush to connect a few times and force a few turnovers as well.
Start with confidence:
GB: RB Cedric Benson, TE Jermichael Finley, WR James Jones
IND: WR Reggie Wayne
Benson gets a defense which gives up the 5th-most fantasy points to running backs. Benson looked very strong last week and will get another chance at a big day on Sunday. My guess is that Benson gets in the end zone again as well. Finley hasn't put up one of his big games yet, but I still have a hunch that he's ready to break out. Go ahead and bash his hands if you want, but the guy played well last week and was targeted in the red zone again on a pass that was ultimately knocked out of his hands. The Colts' defense has been stingy in terms of tight end fantasy points this year, but they haven't played against one with the skills and quarterback that Finley has. Unless you have another top-5 option, keep Finley in your lineup.
As for Jones, he would be a good play at a flex position or 3rd wide receiver spot this week, especially if bye weeks are starting to give you problems. With Jennings out, he'll start and he should see his targets increase. Plus, consider the final catch of Sunday's game--that's likely to stick in fans' memories for a while and I would guess that it will earn him a little extra trust from his QB moving forward.
Wayne is really the only player I would consider starting confidently this week for Indianapolis. He seems to keep his production up regardless of his age or opponent, and it seems like each week he's a lock to pick up at least six catches for 80 yards with a strong possibility of a score. Those numbers should play in any scoring format.
Potential bye-week fill-in:
GB: WR Randall Cobb
IND: WR Donnie Avery
Cobb might be available on the waiver wire this week, and with the way Rodgers likes to spread the ball around, he could see another 6 or 7 passes his way. Or he could vanish again like he did in weeks 2 and 3. He's a high upside play, especially in PPR leagues, but he's at high risk for laying an egg as well.
Avery is a smaller, speedy receiver who has the tools to give the Packers' secondary some issues. I don't think he will do anything substantial this week, but he's a guy who has the potential to break a tackle and get loose on a big play or take advantage of blown coverage.
Avoid if possible:
IND: QB Andrew Luck, RB Donald Brown
Since week 1, the Packers' defense has been fairly stingy against running backs, and Donald Brown isn't exactly an All-Pro. The Colts will hopefully be playing from behind much of the game, which doesn't lend itself much to establishing a running game. That said, with Luck forced to pass, the Packers' pass rush will likely get to pin their ears back, which will lend itself to sacks and turnovers. Luck may be useful on your bench as a fill in for bye weeks or in certain matchups, but this one doesn't look promising for him.
IND: Defense/special teams
See Rodgers, Aaron.
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