Week one has come and gone, and if you took my advice, James Jones got you about 14 points last week. Boom. Did you really think I'd pass up a chance to gloat about my awesome prediction? Not a chance. Here are my suggestions for what to do if you have players in Thursday night's Bears-Packers game.
GB: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Jordy Nelson, K Mason Crosby
CHI: RB Matt Forte, WR Brandon Marshall, K Robbie Gould
Get used to seeing Rodgers' name on this list every week. With Greg Jennings likely out, Nelson should definitely be started as the Packers' top wideout against a Bears pass defense which could be without its top cornerback in Charles Tillman. If Tillman doesn't miss the game, he'll likely be limited by his shin injury. Frank Gore carved up a great deal of yardage on the ground and found paydirt against the Packers' defense last week, and Forte is a more complete back yet. I'd expect a big day from him. Marshall is far and away Jay Cutler's best receiving option, and looks to be a solid every-week starter. I expect Cutler to make his share of mistakes, but also get a number of balls to Marshall. If you have both one of these kickers and a backup on your roster, you probably need more help than a fantasy column can provide.
Start with confidence:
GB: TE Jermichael Finley, Defense
See my post an hour ago for why Finley should be in your starting lineup. As for the defense, the pass rush looked improved with their four sacks last week, and the Bears' offensive line hasn't been the model of stability in recent years. Expect the rush to get to Cutler multiple times and force some bad throws. After all, he did throw a pick-six to the Colts yesterday when Dwight Freeney was still in the game pressuring Cutler.
GB: WR Randall Cobb
CHI: RB Michael Bush, TE Kellen Davis
If you're in a PPR league, bump Cobb up a notch. He looked every bit the part of a possession receiver in the mold of Wes Welker last week, and will be a valuable weapon if he continues to take snaps out of the backfield. Bush could very likely snipe a goal-line touchdown and has value at a Flex spot if he gets another 12 carries or more. Kellen Davis is another big, athletic tight end in the Vernon Davis mold and while he didn't catch a pass last week, expect him to be part of the game plan against the Packers.
More advice can be found after the jump.
Possible matchup play:
GB: WR James Jones
CHI: WR Alshon Jeffery, QB Jay Cutler, Defense
These are players who I'd only advocate starting if your normal players have a really bad matchup. Jones and Jeffery are deep threats, as they proved in week one. I just wouldn't count on either one to get into the end zone this week. I'm not sold on Cutler as a fantasy starter, but especially against the Packers - as a Bear, he's never finished a game against Green Bay with more touchdowns than interceptions. It's entirely possible he could rack up some substantial yards, though. The Bears' defense has a tough task this week, but Aaron Rodgers' performances against Chicago are a mixed bag of great and mediocre. The pass rush will probably get to Rodgers a few times, and I'd estimate that you're likely to see them turn the ball over once.
GB: RB Cedric Benson, WR Greg Jennings
CHI: Other wide receivers
Benson didn't show much of anything on Sunday, and the Bears' run defense is still solid with Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Julius Peppers around. I'd hold off on Benson until he has a better matchup (Week 4 against the Saints, perhaps) or until he shows some signs of life against a good defense. Jennings' injury makes his presence on the field unlikely on Thursday night. Nobody else on the Bears' offense impresses me - Earl Bennett might get a few looks in single coverage, but he shouldn't be under consideration this week.
Best of luck in your fantasy leagues! That is, unless you're playing me in an APC league, of course; in that case, please start John Skelton at quarterback.
Previous Packers vs. Bears Coverage:
Week 2 Fantasy Preview: Big Day For Finley | Key Match Up #2: Cedric Benson vs. His Old Team | Key Match Up #1: Gabe Carimi vs. Nick Perry | Injury Report
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