This week, we are getting to the fantasy value of the Packers a little late. To be honest, there was nothing much in the Thursday game between the Rams and the Seahawks that I would have told you to jump on. As you get ready for your fantasy playoff game, or even your daily fantasy game, keep these things in mind:
Well, we can point to the first Packers-Bears game as a turning point for Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers had his first 300 yard game since Week Nine of 2015. Coming off a big game against a top tier pass defense, Rodgers now gets to play against a mid-tier pass defense. In redraft leagues you start Rodgers. I would avoid him in DFS as he is the second highest in terms of cost. You could save $800 and start Derek Carr, or save $1,000 and have Jameis Winston.
Yeah, you are not going anywhere near this. Sure, Alshon Jeffery is back, but the Packers have Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall back. Barkley has had just one 300+ yard game and he needed 54 pass attempts to do it. Just stay away.
Jordy Nelson/Davante Adams/Randall Cobb
The Bears defense will be starting Tracy Porter and a lot of young guys in the defensive backfield. Packers receivers have been very good getting off the line in recent weeks. You should start Nelson and Adams in all formats. Nelson is a low-end WR1 and Adams is a high-end WR2. Cobb is a WR2 in PPR formats. In DFS, take Adams. He is $1,000 cheaper than Nelson and gives you roughly equal output.
Alshon Jeffery/Cameron Meredith
Jeffery returns as Marquess Wilson departs. The Bears’ third option at quarterback does not help Jeffery’s numbers. The four weeks without playing will help the timing either. Meredith is young and a burner. In the end, they might have to throw a lot in this game. Meredith has only crossed 50 yards twice in his last seven games (and no games over 100). In that time he has just two touchdowns. Jeffery has just one game of 100+ yards and a single touchdown this season. You cannot trust either. You only start them if you are hoping for a miracle. If so you start Meredith. Barkley has never actually thrown a pass to Jeffery.
This is the only Packers running back you are considering at this point. James Starks entered concussion protocol after a car accident. Starks was not doing well enough to really get consideration in fantasy leagues anyhow and Christine Michael is sick, making him uncertain for Sunday. Montgomery has been gaining traction in the Packers running game slowly. He has speed and shiftiness. Montgomery will also get you receptions. Added value in a PPR league, he is really a flex option for the most part. He might get more play if the Packers get up by a few touchdowns.
Howard had his single worst game of the season against the Packers. It was actually a game where Ka’Deem Carey ended up as the Bears leading rusher. Howard has some more time behind him now. Howard will likely out-perform his 22 yards from the last meeting. Expect Howard to be an RB2, but a low-end one at that. The Packers run defense will stop him from reaching the RB1 level.
THE REST OF THE LEAGUE
Andy Dalton had 366 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers in Pittsburgh and now he will face them at home. This could be someone to get you one level further in your playoffs. Dalton is available in 40% of ESPN leagues and 25% of Yahoo leagues. If you are looking in a deeper league Joe Flacco is out there in almost any league. Flacco had 20+ in his last two games (Miami and @NE). A home game against Philadelphia should still net good numbers. With an average running game, the Ravens are fast becoming a pass first team.
Jamison Crowder remains stunningly underowned. He is still available in about 20% of leagues at this point. He has top ten numbers this season in PPR and non-PPR formats. He had a down week last week, but a home game against the Panthers should be good for boosting numbers. Pass heavy Arizona just released Michael Floyd. Floyd had 71 targets this year (27 more than the third highest). Now, young J.J. Nelson will assume the role of second WR in Arizona. He is available in about 90% of leagues at this point. Nelson will cost you $3,900 on Draft Kings and that puts him $2,900 below Dez Bryant and $4,500 below Antonio Brown.
Bilal Powell will be taking all the snaps that would go to a healthy Matt Forte. This will mean his value goes up, but against a Miami defense, Powell remains a likely RB2 this week. He is still available in 17% of ESPN leagues and 30% of Yahoo leagues. Rob Kelley remains an interesting figure this week. Washington faces Carolina and will likely have a lead most of the game. Kelley is the focal running back and will play all three downs. Kelley is available in 13% of ESPN and 20% of Yahoo leagues.