When the single-game “Showdown” slates were introduced, I vowed to never put any money toward them since I view them as a crapshoot. A year later, here I am writing an article about them as I’m ready to dip my toe into the single-game pool. I will try to write up a single-game slate article for each of the Primetime matchups (Thursday, Sunday, and Monday) throughout the season this year. They will be free (at least for now) as I navigate finding optimal plays and roster construction with a focus on Cash games and Single Entry GPPs.
So let’s jump into the deep end of the pool with a look at the Packers/Bears tilt to open the season on Thursday night including game analysis, my Cash and GPP recommendations, and a Best Bet.
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Note: DVOA referenced in this article stands for Defense-adjusted Value Over Average which is a metric from FootballOutsiders.com.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
|Green Bay Packers||42||34||32||38||38||44||37||46|
- Jimmy Graham – likely to play
Running Game: Aaron Jones should have the shackles off this season with a new coach, Matt LaFleur. However, he’ll have a daunting Week 1 matchup against the Bears who ranked 2nd DVOA against the run last season including a league-low number of rushing TDs.
Passing Game: The Packers will have a new offense this season with LaFleur taking over as coach. Aaron Rodgers didn’t play a single preseason snap, so there are question marks on how fluid the passing game can be early in season. They will face a tough challenge right away against a Bears defense that ranked 1st DVOA against the pass last season. Never count Rodgers out, but you might want to limit expectations in Week 1.
Top Targets: With so many questions on offense including the WR corps, look for Rodgers to lean on his go-to man WR Davante Adams to gobble up the targets and most of the production in the passing game. He had 13 receptions for 207 yards and one score in their two meetings last season. Keep an eye on RB Aaron Jones, who I expect to be more involved in the passing game this season. I would ignore everyone else until we see how the pecking order shakes out and the Packers get a better matchup.
- Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams
- Aaron Rodgers to Aaron Jones
- Trey Burton – limited in practice and is questionable to play
Running Game: There are some questions around what the workload split will be between rookie David Montgomery and the newly acquired Mike Davis this season. Personally, I expect Montgomery to run away with the job as the season progresses, but in this game look for the distribution to be a little more even with just a slight edge to Montgomery. The Packers defense was overhauled from a unit that ranked 23rd DVOA against the run last season. I’m probably taking a wait-and-see approach with the Bears backfield in Cash games, but I’ll gladly take a flier on Montgomery and Davis in GPPs.
Passing Game: Look for QB Mitch Trubisky and the Bears passing game to take it to another level this year in their second season in Matt Nagy’s offense. The Packers pass defense should be improved this season, but they have a long way to go as they ranked 32nd DVOA against the pass last season. I think Trubisky is one of the safest bets for fantasy production in this game.
Top Targets: With TE Trey Burton potentially missing this game, that would funnel even more targets to the WRs and RBs. Both Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller should lead the way in targets, including red zone opportunities, with a little bit of Tarik Cohen and Montgomery mixed in.
- Mitchell Trubisky to Allen Robinson
- Mitchell Trubisky to Anthony Miller
- David Montgomery rushing
- QB Mitchell Trubisky – I prefer to go with a RB or WR in the MVP/King slot but I think Trubisky is the safest bet for the highest floor/ceiling combo in this game
- WR Davante Adams – He should soak up most of Rodgers production
- WR Allen Robinson/Anthony Miller – The passing game for the Bears should flow through these guys
- RB Mike Davis – He is significantly cheaper than Montgomery and should get work
I think the GPP pivot in this matchup is to stack up the passing games using both QBs and pairing them with secondary receiving options, especially for the Packers like Marques Valdes-Scantling and Jake Kumerow.
Packers/Bears Over 46
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