Battle for the NFC North: 180-plus Games and Counting….
“Did you win last week?” The Fantasy Greek hopes you did and hopes you are ready for some more fantasy football! Week 1 was very much like a balloon blown up to its breaking point and then suddenly popping – POP! That feeling of, “How are things going to go in Week 1?,” or “Will I win in Week 1?” is now gone. Week 2 has several good games on tap. In any case, fantasy football teams that won last week, could easily lose this week.
Week 2 kicks off with the longest NFL rivalry between two teams — Bears versus Packers. For those familiar with the local geography, there are many family households bordering the great states of Illinois and Wisconsin where each household gets the local programming showing the Chicago Bears games and the Green Bay Packers games. In the same household, a mother and her son can be Packers fans, and in the same household a father and his daughter can be Bears fans. The Bears-Packers game makes for great drama, good conversation, and spirited banter between Bears fans and Packers fans — moms/sons. fathers/daughters — to say the least.
The Bears lead this close to 100-year old series barely, by six games. The Packers have won the last four meetings.
The goal in “Fantasy Football Choices” is to provide you, the fantasy football player, with enough information to make sensible and reasonable choices in setting your line-up this week by reviewing the weekly match-ups and identifying which players are “On the Gridiron,” a “Coach’s Decision,” or “On the Pine.” For many of you, the information provided simply provides affirmation to the decisions you have already made. If you like, skip the fluff, and find your player’s match-up for analysis. We also provide a down & dirtly listing of players listed in each category within the Quick Hits. If you are looking for a waiver wire pick-up, then look for those players still on your waiver wire, and you can read that analysis too.
ON THE GRIDIRON: Identifies players you should play because of their match-up or because of their role on their team’s offense.
COACH’S DECISION: Identifies players who you normally would play but whose match-up this week is not very good; identifies players who you normally would not play but whose match-up this week is good; or identifies players who are injured that you, the fantasy coach, will need to make the call on whether or not to play.
ON THE PINE: Identifies players who you should likely avoid unless there is no one else on your roster or on the waiver wire that can help your team win.
Now, onto the review!
Thursday, September 13, 2012
8:30 p.m. EST
BEARS v. PACKERS
It’s hard not to look at Week 1 and get a genuine feeling that the Bears are for real this season, more so than in seasons past, because of the “new” offense. It’s as if it was the missing piece. The Packers on the other hand, seem to be on their heels after their Week 1 loss to the Forty-Niners and look all too human. If there is a time and if there are circumstances where the Bears can beat the Packers in Lambeau field, this is it. In what will be a close, hard fought game, the Fantasy Greek is calling this a Bears win.
ON THE GRIDIRON: In Week 1, the Bears rolled out their new offense and were able to total some monstrous stats: 455 all-purpose yards and 5 touchdowns. Suffice it to say, this new look offense has little to do with field position and ball control. As such, QB Jay Cutler makes for a solid start for fantasy football players in what looks like could turn out to be, a high scoring game. While some may have thought there could be no harmony between RB Matt Forte and RB Michael Bush playing in the same backfield together, that is simply not the case. If the Packers couldn’t stop Frank Gore last week, both Forte and Bush should be good options this week in fantasy football with Bush being more of a low-end RB2 or flex-play. WR Brandon Marshall reunited with Jay Cutler with great fanfare. The magic they provided on the field in Week 1 has not been seen by Bears fans in awhile. There is no reason to believe that Week 2 should be any different against a Packers defense that is still having its share of difficulty defending the pass.
Let’s forget what happened last week in the Packers/Forty-Niners game. QB Aaron Rodgers is still a stud quarterback in fantasy football and should be on fantasy football gridirons this week along with WR Greg Jennings (groin), WR Jordy Nelson, and TE Jermichael Finley. Look for RB Cedric Benson to bounce back this week. In fantasy football, Benson makes for a decent flex-play. While you might think this could be a week to avoid the Bears DST and Packers DST, this is simply not the case. While this may not be their best week in fantasy football, both units make plays, and that’s all that matters. Fantasy footballers with either unit would be hard-pressed not to play them this week unless they do have a better option.
COACH’S DECISION: Almost lost in the Bears Week 1 win over the Colts was the performance of rookie WR Ashlon Jeffrey who posted some solid yardage as well as his first NFL touchdown. Given his size, speed, and talent, Jeffrey should become a weekly box score name and makes for a low-end WR3 for fantasy footballers looking for help, or a flex-play option. If Greg Jennings misses this week’s tilt against the Bears, WR James Jones becomes a solid fantasy football option, if not a must-start. WR Randall Cobb would also get some work out of the slot but could be a riskier play. Still, Cobb makes for a decent, not great, flex-play.
ON THE PINE: While this is the kind of game players like WR Devin Hester and WR Earl Bennett for the Bears, and WR Donald Driver for the Packers, thrive on, in fantasy football, they are simply risky plays. No other players for the Bears or the Packers is worth fantasy football consideration.
Good luck this week!