Many are expecting a shootout between these two teams, but the recent history actually says otherwise - though Vegas' expected total number of points is 55, the game has been under the expected total each of the last six times these teams have played and 9 of the last 10. In other words, combined with the cold and possible snow expected today, it could very well be a lower-scoring game than we think.
In any case, let's look through our burning last-minute fantasy questions for today's game.
Will Lacy's receiving stats keep it up?
There's no question that if you just look at Eddie Lacy's rushing lines from the past two games, you'd be questioning what's going on with him. Thankfully, he has brought far more to the Packers' offense, as his receiving contributions have been significant. The screen pass is fully back in Green Bay, and with the Packers needing to find ways to avoid the Eagles' talented pass rush, Lacy should have more opportunities this week. Furthermore, the Eagles have had trouble containing running backs in the passing game this year.
Finally, despite just one 100-yard rushing game, Lacy is now right on the cusp of being a top-10 running back, in 11th place. Start him with confidence this week.
Davante Adams, maybe?
I'll admit, I've been saying for a while that the Packers' offense can support three legitimate fantasy receiving threats, but with Jordy Nelson's and Randall Cobb's ability to run free, Aaron Rodgers hasn't really needed a third option to take pressure off the two premier wideouts. In this game against an Eagles secondary that allows the third-most points to opposing receivers, Adams has a good shot to break out, but we obviously can't recommend him. As usual, there's the possibility of a big game, but also a strong chance that Adams has one reception.
What to do with Mark Sanchez?
If you're really hurting fora quarterback, sure, it's probably worth giving Sanchez a look this week. However, keep in mind that the Packers' defense is better-than-average at allowing fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Also, take a look at Sanchez' two games in place of Nick Foles. Against Houston, he threw for a little over 200 yards, with two scores and two picks. But against the Panthers, he threw for 300 with a pair of scores and no interceptions. Which is more likely against the Packers' defense? Definitely the former, with the way the Green Bay pass rush and secondary have been playing. After all, the Panthers have one of the worst pass defenses in the league this year.
Look at Sanchez as a low-end QB2 this Sunday, and as a starter only in case of emergency.
And those Philly WRs?
Jeremy Maclin has been a stud this year, slotting in between Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb in standard fantasy scoring. He's starting for you no matter what. The bigger question is what to do with rookie wideout Jordan Matthews. The Vanderbilt product has seen a nice uptick in his production with Sanchez under center (and in general lately), scoring three of his five touchdowns in his past two games. The Panthers game in particular was his biggest game of his rookie season, with 138 yards and two scores.
Once again, don't expect a similar stat line for Matthews today. It seems logical that Davon House might be matched up frequently against the 6'3" wideout, with Sam Shields keeping an eye on Maclin. That's a much tougher matchup than anyone on the Panthers roster, so 60-70 yards and a possible score seem more reasonable for Matthews.
Start the defenses?
The Packers' defense has been just okay from a fantasy perspective, except for when they play NFC North foes at home, as they racked up 16 or more points in most leagues against each of the Vikings and Bears during the blowout wins. Otherwise, they're under 10 points per game on the regular. Still, they shoud have opportunities to get to Mark Sanchez and force a few turnovers in this game. 8 points sounds about right though.
The Eagles' defense, however, is the top unit in football, thanks primarily to their ability to convert turnovers into points and score on special teams. Oh, and all those sacks don't hurt either. Based on Aaron Rodgers' ability to avoid interceptions at home, I wouldn't expect much in the way of turnovers, but a special teams score from Darren Sproles is a fairly good possibility, and a few sacks of Rodgers are likely. Feel free to start them as you have been.
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