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Welcome to volume 1 of 16 as we preview the relevant Packers fantasy players this week, as well as those of their opponent, the Chicago Bears. We will let you know who to have on your starting lineup as well as who to sit, and who will be out with injury. After a rather rough preseason for both the Packers and the Bears, here is who to start come Week 1:
Green Bay Packers: Start 'Em
1. Aaron Rodgers
In the matchups against the Bears in 2014, Rodgers threw for 10 touchdowns and no interceptions, racking up 71.7 fantasy points in just those two games. The Packers will be without Jordy Nelson and an injured Randall Cobb, but it would be a mistake to think Rodgers won't be able to put up that production against an average Bears secondary, despite the addition of Antrel Rolle.
2. Davante Adams
In my preseason fantasy preview I had Adams near the bottom of the draft board, but with key injuries at the receiver position, Adams has skyrocketed in value. With Randall Cobb's status for Week 1 still up in the air, I would start Adams as he looks to be Rodgers' number one target, especially for the deep ball. Adams made some highlight-reel plays in the preseason and should continue that into the first game.
3. Eddie Lacy
Eddie Lacy had pretty decent games against the Bears last season putting up 11.9 points and 17.8 points in each respective contest. With the Bears not making too big of a splash in the offseason to help their 17th-ranked rush defense, expect Lacy to put together a solid game with a dash across the goalline or two.
Green Bay Packers: Sit 'Em
1. Randall Cobb
This isn't as much of a "bench him" as much as it is "be ready to rearrange your roster last minute" spot for Randall Cobb. Although Cobb has said himself he is doing everything within his power to play against the Bears, and has been involved in limited practice, a shoulder injury is concerning for a receiver. I would not be surprised to see him on the field Sunday, but he will not be at his normal star caliber. Start him if you do not have any other healthy receivers, but don't expect too much.
Chicago Bears: Start 'Em
1. Matt Forte
Forte usually has productive games against the Packers, and with Green Bay's run defense not what it once was, he could have another. In the team's first meeting in 2014, Forte racked up over 150 offensive yards, and in 2013 Forte had monster games, totaling 57.6 fantasy points in just those two games. Forte is always dual threat coming out of the backfield, and Jay Cutler's check down man, which makes him a fantasy stud year in and year out.
2. Martellus Bennett
With Alshon Jeffery questionable to play after missing the entire preseason with a calf injury and Kevin White out, Bennett looks to be one of Cutler's favorite targets heading into Week 1. Forte will be used out of the backfield, but expect Cutler to try to find Bennett down the field when the Bears need to spread Packers young secondary.
3. Eddie Royal
Royal has been called the "MVP of camp" and will most likely be the number one receiver in Week 1. Royal is an inconsistent fantasy player, but with Cutler having limited targets to throw to, Royal should see more passes coming his way this season out of the slot. With the Packers young secondary opposite him, look for Cutler to test them early and get the ball into Royal's hands.
Chicago Bears: Sit 'Em
1. Jay Cutler
Cutler averaged 20 points per game against the Packers in 2014, but his turnovers always erase any positive point output he could have. Jay Cutler has thrown at least one interception in every game against Green Bay for the past three seasons, and there isn't any evidence to suggest this season will be any different. Marc Trestman's "pass first" offense is gone, the receiving corps is banged up, and Brandon Marshall was traded in the offseason, his options will be limited.
2. Alshon Jeffery
Jeffery will be a solid fantasy starter once he gets healthy, but for now I would sit him, even if he ends up on the field on Sunday. He will not be 100%, and his production will be very, very limited.