Man Up/ Step Aside: Week 1 TNF
Thursday night needs no introduction. The NFL is kicking off the season with its ‘oldest rivalry’ a much-anticipated matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. The NFL will be on full display with its 100th anniversary season, the opening game for Week 1 is full of drama already.
For the Green Bay Packers, they’re coming off a disastrous 2018 campaign with a 6-9-1 record. Aaron Rodgers was banged up the whole way, Mike McCarthy was fired with four weeks left into the season, but more notably, this was the second consecutive year that the Packers would go on to miss the playoffs.
Now with new head coach Matt LaFleur, there’s a lot of hope in him that he could stop this sinking ship, and a win on the road in the Windy City would be the perfect stamp to kick off the 2019 season.
#NFL100 kicks off with the league's oldest rivalry.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 2, 2019
The Bears are also coming into the season with a chip on their shoulder. A lot of NFL teams and their fan bases would gladly take a 12-4 campaign anytime that it would be possible, but after making the playoffs for the first time since 2010, they were sent home by the Philadelphia Eagles after a disappointing loss in the Wild Card round.
Mitchell Trubisky should have another solid year in 2019, especially with the North Carolina product expecting a new deal pretty soon, but all eyes will on the Bears defense. They were in a tier of their own last season, but this unit led by Khalil Mack was the main reason that the Bears had such a successful season.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 4, 2019
This exciting young core will feature most of the same faces in 2019. Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan who all combined for over 220 tackles last season look to knock off their long-time rival in GreenBay. With Jordan Howard gone, the backfield is going to have new look with rookie running back David Montgomery sharing snaps with Tarik Cohen. We also get to see what improvements the sophomore receiver, Anthony Miller has made.
Many fans will be watching this game hoping for a shootout between Rodgers and Trubisky, but LaFleur is going to do everything possible to make sure that his quarterback can stay upright and healthy this season. That’s when Jones comes into play. He’s not your typical workhorse right out of the gate, but Jones has the speed and vision to help lead his team to success this year. Also, Packers fans don’t want #12 holding the ball for too long with Mack on the opposite side.
Miller showed some flashes last season as a rookie of what he can do, but Miller is looking to rebound after a forgetful end to his rookie season. Not only did his target share going down later in the season, Miller wasn’t able to do a whole lot with his receptions because he struggled with drops. Now that he’s healthy and has a full year in this offense, Miller could find himself as one of Trubisky’s favorite targets in 2019 and a strong candidate for your flex spot.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 3, 2019
First off, Geronimo is just an awesome name and while Allison may not have breakout season just yet, there is a case to be made for Allison in your flex spot in deeper leagues and super-flex leagues. We all know the big play-ability is there. Allison just needs that one catch and next thing you know it turned into a 60-yard touchdown. With Allison being the number two receiver alongside Davante Adams, fantasy managers should consider Allison as a sneaky play for Thursday nights showdown.
Rookie running backs always come into the season with several questions about the role that they will play early on with their teams, but there’s quite a loud buzz when it comes to Montgomery. Jordan Howard is no longer in Chicago, so there is pressure on Montgomery as he will have some large shoes to fill as their main back. There’s nobody really there to challenge Montgomery for touches and when it comes to Tarik Cohen, he’s more of a change of pace guy. Start Montgomery as your RB 2 with confidence because he’s going to be given a lot of touches as the season progresses.
As long as Rodgers is healthy for the most part, he’ll largely be considered as a strong QB 1 option. One of those set it and forget it kind of players. Last year in the season opener Rodgers threw for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. This time around fantasy managers may just have to look at other options if they have any. If you have a Dak Prescott on the bench who’s going up against a failing NYG defense or even a player like Lamar Jackson who should shine against the Dolphins defense. It’s also difficult seeing the Packers going into this road game with the plan to throw the ball a lot.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 28, 2019
Burton will be a viable fantasy option for your roster this season, however, he’s going into 2019 a little banged up with a groin issue. Burton is one of those players who should have a stronger connection with Trubisky with another year in this offense, but many fantasy managers want to see that chemistry on full display before they start plugging in Burton into their lineups more often. Burton also managed to have games with 5 or more catches only three times last year.
This is mostly for deeper leagues and team managers that waited longer than expected to draft a tight end. Graham’s first season as a Packers was viewed as disappointing, but it’s difficult to put a lot of blame on Graham when his quarterback was going into gameday questionable for the most part, and in his second year will be under the wing of yet another head coach. Without the top 3 tight ends in your lineup, each week could be unpredictable, but this should be one of those games with red flags all over it if you’re considering playing Graham.
It should be fun seeing which playmakers for the Bears are going to step up in 2019 to balance out the offense more to match the defense, but in Week 1, starting Robinson as a WR 2 or flex should not be viewed as a good thing. Many fantasy managers remain hopeful that Robinson will return to the dynamic player that he was when he spent time with the Jaguars before tearing his ACL, but isn’t one of those weeks in which fantasy managers should be feeling comfortable about playing Robinson.