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This Sunday, the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks will square off once again as the two NFC favorites renew what has become a regular rivalry in the past year or two. In just a week two matchup, however, the fantasy football implications of this game are high, as there are plenty of highly-drafted players on both offenses this week.
Start with confidence
This one's a no-brainer, and not just because you don't have any comparable options. Rodgers is primed to have a good day against this depleted Seahawks secondary that is missing Kam Chancellor and might not have nickel corner Tharold Simon. Sure, Rodgers has historically not performed particularly well statistically against the Seahawks, but between home-field advantage and the bodies missing in the secondary, he is poised for a big game.
The Packers just gave up 189 yards on the ground to Matt Forte, and now they face Lynch, who ran for 157 yards in the NFC Championship Game. Furthermore, they have to do so without Sam Barrington, one of the best run defenders on the team. Lynch could very well have another big day.
Richard Sherman might be moving around more often these days than he did in the past, and that means that he'll probably see some of Cobb in the slot. Even so, Cobb has a skill set that should allow him to have success regardless of the corners opposite him. Cobb also scored in both matchups against the Seahawks a year ago, and we're betting he does so again this Sunday night.
The Packers have had some trouble with big, athletic tight ends in recent years, Graham among them. He caught five passes for 59 yards and a score with the Saints a year ago, and now he is the featured receiving weapon on the Seattle offense. Even if Clay Matthews is matched up in coverage with him regularly, Graham should see a lot of passes and many of the red zone looks.
Start because you have to
Dom Capers and company did a remarkable job containing Wilson in the playoffs last year, holding him to just over 200 yards with two total touchdowns and four interceptions. With a struggling offensive line in front of him, Wilson will be under pressure early and often on Sunday. However, you're probably forced to start him if you drafted him by virtue of his draft status. Plus, there's always the chance for some big rushing numbers from Wilson as weill.
As a first-round pick, Lacy will be in the starting lineup for everyone who selected him. In January, Lacy had a decent day on the ground, with 21 carries for 73 yards, but he didn't find the end zone or catch a single pass. Lacy should have a few receptions this week, but a big day for him will be dependent on a short touchdown.
The Packers' second receiver had a big game against Dallas in the playoffs, but was almost an afterthought against Seattle, catching just one pass for seven yards (though he was targeted on a deep pass after Aaron Rodgers thought he had drawn Seattle offsides). If Sherman ends up shadowing Cobb, Adams should have plenty of opportunities against Cary Williams or another Seahawks defensive back. However, he might see some of Sherman himself, which is why we can't advocate starting him with any strong confidence.
It's probably crazy to put the Packers' defense higher than the Seahawks, but a lot of this has to do with the Seattle offensive line. Dom Capers and company should be able to put plenty of pressure on Wilson and company, and thereby rack up points from sacks and turnovers. They're a sneaky play this week and could pay off in a big way.
Bench or use only in case of emergency
We mentioned that Jones' fantasy productivity would be almost entirely dependent on his ability to find the end zone; last week against the Bears, he had two scores and a third that was wiped out by penalty. We'll continue to say that gabling on Jones is gambling that he scores a touchdown, and I just have a feeling he won't end up with a score on Sunday.
The only receiver you might want to consider this week is Jermaine Kearse, and really only if you're in a PPR league. Kearse was targeted 10 times on Sunday and caught eight passes and might be an option if you're in a deep league.