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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 1

Rejoice! The extensive football drought is finally over and, what's more, we get to watch a classic matchup to kick off the 2019 NFL season.

In a historic rivalry game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, two NFC North teams with realistic aspirations of getting to the Super Bowl will look to start their season on a high note. With so many fantasy-relevant players on both squads, many fantasy owners will also look to set the tone for the rest of the year this Thursday as well.

Let's dive into Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis for Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season!

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Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

Date and Start Time: September 5 at 8:20 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:


Offensive and Defensive Rankings from 2018 Regular Season:

Packers Bears
Passing Yards 9th 21st
Rushing Yards 22nd 11th
Pass Defense 12th 7th
Rush Defense 22nd 1st


Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineups

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

A lot of turnover has taken place in Green Bay with the hope of the Packers returning to the playoffs, but one man remains the driving force. Rodgers is a must-start in fantasy football despite having been hot and cold against the Chicago Bears Defense last year, scoring three touchdowns in their first meeting versus zero touchdowns and an interception in their second.

Davante Adams (WR, GB)

As about as safe of a fantasy wide receiver as you can project, Adams will always be an essential part of the Packers passing attack given his status as quarterback Aaron Rodgers' most trusted wideout. Bears star corner Kyle Fuller may stymie his upside, but Adams has the ability to overcome even the toughest of matchups.


Solid Options

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

Jones has moved past a hamstring issue that he dealt with in the offseason and ready to lead the Green Bay rushing attack for Week 1. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has made it a point of emphasis to get his running backs more involved in the passing game after the team finished last season ranked 24th in total receptions from the position. However, his ceiling is largely capped by a fantastic Bears run defense.

Solid Option: Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)

The Packers were an above average passing defense last season, but Green Bay's secondary is far from a must-avoid for fantasy purposes. Trubisky enters his second year in Matt Nagy's system with an opportunity to improve on his QB-15 in 2018 against a division rival.

Solid Option: David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

The Bears vacated just under 250 carries with the departure of Jordan Howard. While backfield-mate Tarik Cohen is likely to see some form of uptick in his workload, Chicago didn't spend third round draft capital to have Montgomery take a backseat.

Sleeper: Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI)

It is difficult to draw conclusions on how Chicago's backfield will shape up this season. Cohen will likely see fewer touches with both David Montgomery and Mike Davis being more prototypical first and second down backs, but he should remains the primary option on passing downs.


Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Marquez Valdes-Scantling / Geronimo Allison (WRs, GB)

One promising sign for Valdes-Scantling and Allison is that Green Bay had the third-most passing attempts in the NFL last season, but how those targets are divided across Packers pass-catchers beyond No. 1 option Davante Adams remains to be seen.

Jimmy Graham (TE, GB)

Fantasy owners in need of a streaming option should take a wait-and-see approach with Graham, who only managed to find the end zone twice last season despite his quarterback throwing for over 4,000 passing yards. Only time will tell if Graham can shake the consensus label of a touchdown-dependent TE2.

Jamaal Williams (RB, GB)

Until we see otherwise, Aaron Jones is the presumptive lead dog in Green Bay's backfield and Williams will get a limited amount of touches in the rotation. The fact that the Chicago Bears were the most dominant run stopping unit in the league in 2018 and figure to be one again should also weigh heavily in the decision to bench Williams.

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)

Robinson will undoubtedly see rising star defensive back Jaire Alexander for most of the game, who contested a league-high 36% of his targets as a rookie. Fantasy owners who drafted Robinson will likely have to wait another week to see if their pick was a hit or a miss.

Trey Burton (TE, CHI)

Burton was a tough sell for Week 1 even without him having to deal with a groin injury. A reduced snap count is highly likely given his injury and how many practices he missed in the offseason.

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