If you made the playoffs in your fantasy league, congratulations! (If you didn't, just stop reading and go back to the main page now.) You're probably wondering if you should start Aaron Rodgers this week. Just kidding, if he's on your team and you're in the playoffs, you've started him all year and not given it a second thought. Keep that up, and you just might win your league.
GB: QB Aaron Rodgers
See above. Even when he's not having success passing, he finds a way to be effective with his legs. That's a dangerous combination against a team missing several playmakers on defense.
Start with confidence:
GB: WR Randall Cobb, Defense/special teams
CHI: RB Matt Forte, WR Brandon Marshall
Cobb's been a monster lately, and I'm not afraid of the Bears' defense in this matchup, even if they've given up the fourth-fewest points to wideouts. That was with Tim Jennings playing on the outside. Cobb should still get a ton of targets this week and is the best play of any in the Packers' receiving corps.
Remember what the Packers did to Cutler and company in week two? Four picks, seven sacks, and an awesome fantasy day. Asking for a duplicate performance is awfully lofty, but it's possible. More likely is two interceptions and four sacks, but add in the possibility for a TD on defense and you have a solid play.
Forte is probably in for a pretty good day. Green Bay has given up eight rushing scores to running backs over the past eight weeks, and Forte is one of the better backs that they will have faced over that time period. The bigger factor is whether Forte can get going in the passing game. I have no clue who will be covering him, and the thought of Forte matched up against one of the Packers' linebackers in pass coverage isn't one that I'm excited about. Plus, with backup Michael Bush banged up, Forte should see nearly all of the carries on Sunday.
Marshall, despite his tirade and likely seeing multiple defenders all day, will still be seeing a ton of balls thrown his way. The Packers held him to two catches in week two (something that only the 49ers defense could duplicate), but he did drop a wide-open touchdown in that game. I think Marshall gets more like a 50% catch rate this week, which on 12-14 targets is still good for 6 or 7 catches. He'll be a solid start, but don't expect a 10-reception, 160-yard day like last week.
GB: WR James Jones, TE Jermichael Finley
CHI: Defense/special teams
Jones hasn't done much in recent weeks, but he did have another highlight-reel touchdown catch against the Vikings two weeks ago. His ceiling is likely around 60 yards and a score, but if you don't have other options that's not a bad way to go.
Before week two's game, I listed Finley's success against the Bears, and I think he'll be a big part of the game plan again this week to attack the cover-2 defense that Chicago runs. Teams haven't had a whole lot of success using their tight ends against the Bears this year though, but he's still worth a look if you don't have a top-tier option.
The Bears' defense is always in the running, but this week I'm not real high on them. They're up against a QB that doesn't turn the ball over much, they're missing their top ball-hawk in the secondary, and they're also without a second turnover machine in Brian Urlacher. Whatever you say about him losing a step, he still has a nose for the ball. They're worth thinking about this week because of Charles Tillman and their pass rush, but I'm not as high on them as I am on the Packers' defense this week, due to injuries and the matchup.
Leave on the bench:
GB: RB Alex Green, WR Greg Jennings
CHI: QB Jay Cutler, WR Alshon Jeffery, TE Kellen Davis
The Packers' running game looked great in the second half last week, but DuJuan Harris and Aaron Rodgers were the players who scored on the ground. I can't advocate starting Green until he shows signs of being a true bell-cow type running back who's given 20 or more carries per game. Jennings will be used widely in this game, but Rodgers hasn't thrown a whole lot of balls his way yet, instead continuing to focus on Randall Cobb.
Don't play Cutler against Green Bay. Ever. Jeffery will see a lot of man coverage, but it will likely be against Sam Shields and/or Casey Hayward, who have both been very good. I don't see him having a big game. Davis seems to play well against Green Bay, but nine catches in the past eight weeks. Look elsewhere.
Best of luck to you if you made the playoffs. If you didn't, there's always next year!