With Thursday's season-opener getting under way tomorrow in Seattle, we wanted to make sure to add our fantasy football input for this week's matchup for both teams. Please understand that we are not experts, and that we're going to pass along advice to you with the hopes of helping you win. Mistakes will happen, just like they should.
Without further ado, let's discuss some of the main players you could be keeping an eye on during the game:
Rodgers is bar none a top-3 player at his position for the upcoming year as he is fully healed from his collarbone injury that knocked him out for a portion of last season. He still has a nice set of bullets to unload in Green Bay's offense, and even with Eddie Lacy's emergence, he'll fling the ball around 30 times per game as he should. For his first matchup of the season he faces a Seahawks defense that has the best secondary in the NFL. Even with the departure of Brandon Browner and Jeremy Lane's status still up in the air, the unit remains elite because of Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. The Seahawks held offenses led by Cam Newton and Drew Brees last year to a combined total of just 14 points. Rodgers is a solid play, but against the best defense on the road in that hostile environment, I would suggest to look elsewhere if you have another favorable matchup to start your season. Otherwise stick with Rodgers, but don't have the highest expectations.
Wilson against an underrated Packers secondary should still be able to manage about 15-20 points. That;s near what you should expect from him. Seattle will run the football a ton in this game after the injury to B.J. Raji at nose tackle, which can certainly open up the passing game.
Some would have him higher than Lynch on running back ranking (including myself). I think he's poised to finished as one of the top 3 backs this season, but this game won't be his finest. If you start him, make sure you have a strong second option to compliment.
He's a top-10 running back for a strong reason and I bet he's tasting the rainbow as he gets ready to run inside on Green Bay's unit. He'll be money from the goalline and I see him accounting for two scores for Seattle.
Nelson will move around all over the field this week as the Packers' coaching staff will likely try to match him up on other corners besides Richard Sherman as much as possible. However, Sherman recently said that when Rodgers gets out the pocket, he'll look for Nelson, so he'll have his eye on number 87. These two teams have been studying each other the entire summer so they'll both be prepared. I think Sherman and the Seahawks' talented safeties have the edge in the first bout, forcing Rodgers - and fantasy owners - to look elsewhere Week 1.
I think if you're going with a receiver from Green Bay tomorrow it's Cobb. He'll be going up against the young Byron Maxwell opposite of Sherman along with playing in the slot and on special teams. That'll help the speedy wide-out gather more yardage on the ground and points in a variation of ways. Look for Rodgers to connect often with Cobb on crossing and out routes tomorrow night. I'd start him with some confidence.
With Golden Tate leaving to Detroit during the off-season, Percy Harvin will be the first guy Wilson looks to for while under center. Harvin has battled through his rough stretch of injuries during his career, but he proved his possible worth during the Super Bowl. I don't know if he'll be able to show that form the entire season -- and his first action back last postseason against the Saints was a brief one after suffering a concussion -- but I'm optimistic. I think Harvin can be a good No.3 or flex option down the stretch, but he needs to prove consistency regarding his health first before going any higher than that.
Baldwin is the next guy up if you're not all that confident in Harvin, but he's certainly not worth the investment. Jermaine Kearse and Baldwin are very good real-life players for Seattle, but from a fantasy perspective, they're free agent hit or misses.
If you're going with a tight end from Green Bay this week, it's Richard Rodgers, bar none. Rodgers has seen first-team reps throughout the preseason and has spent the most time on the field with Rodgers. The Packers have a stacked receiving core and it's really unsure how many targets the California-product will get in his first start. If you're feeling froggy ... jump. Otherwise, pass along this week.
Miller only had 33 catches last season. No thanks.
If you went up and drafted the Seahawks' defense, you made an investment. As I mentioned on Rodgers, Seattle held Carolina and New Orleans to a combined total of 14 points on their home turf all season last year. In all of their games in 2013, they only scored less than 9 points only two times. The Packers will be a test, but at home, this unit is worth the dice roll.
Until the Packers can stop the run and establish that they can generate turnovers from the secondary (hello safeties), the unit isn't that valuable heading into the season. That may change over the next few weeks, but the Seahawks' offense looked damn good in the preseason (yes it's the preseason but it was that good). They did make changes this summer at linebacker and safety, but this isn't the ideal matchup to start the season on the defensive side of the ball.
Good luck as you prepare for your first week of football in your leagues.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,000,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 1's NFL games. It's only $25 to join and first place wins $100,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1pm ET. Here's the link. FYI: These are just my opinions and Fanduel gave me money to play.