Week 2 is upon us, and as we know from the mouth of Davante Adams, there’s definitely some unfinished business today as Aaron Rodgers and company takes on the Minnesota Vikings in Lambeau Field, for the first time since Rodgers’ collarbone injury in 2017. How will his fantasy prospects fare today? Let’s find out.
As of this writing, Rodgers is expected to play, per Tom Pelissero:
Barring a setback, Aaron Rodgers will start at QB for the #Packers on Sunday against the #Vikings, sources tell @RapSheet and me. Still dealing with swelling and soreness in his sprained knee, but improved throughout week, practiced Saturday, impressed teammates. Go time.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 16, 2018
If there’s a will, there’s a way with Aaron Rodgers. Fueled by determination and adrenaline, he came in and pulled off one of the all-time sports comebacks in recent memory. But the reality is that Rodgers is dealing with a sprained knee, something that needs to be managed by team doctors and himself to prevent any further injury. For fantasy purposes, Rodgers faces a stout Minnesota Vikings defense, one that will take away a lot of what Aaron does best. With the sprained knee also taking away a part of what else Aaron does best, it may not be a great stat line, one we’re accustomed to as Packer fans. If you drafted him, you’re starting him for sure, but don’t be surprised if he has a better real life NFL line than a fantasy stat line.
Jamaal Williams/Ty Montgomery
In the last week before this backfield becomes a 3 headed monster, Jamaal Williams should get the bulk of the carries, but with little running room likely for him, he needs to capitalize on his specialty: yards after contact. Game script in Week 1 necessitated the increased usage of Ty Montgomery out of the backfield, but in tighter contests or negative game scripts, Montgomery might be the back of choice with his receiving chops. Also, in the event that Rodgers’ injury is aggravated, he could be on a short leash and would most certainly be a huge benefit to DeShone Kizer were he to step in. Both are PPR flex options, Williams being the one I would prefer to start.
Even with his shoulder injury, Davante Adams is expected to suit up today as of this writing:
Not only are the #Packers slated to have QB Aaron Rodgers, but standout WR Davante Adams (shoulder) is expected to play, as well, I’m told. He was listed as questionable.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2018
If Adams does suit up, he faces a tall task: one of the NFL’s best shadow cornerbacks in Xavier Rhodes. As it turns out, Adams did have a touchdown with Brett Hundley in Week 6, although he did have all Eric Kendricks lined up across from him, so, grain of salt there. All points considered, if you have better options to start, I don’t blame you for benching him for today. Just don’t be surprised if he raises his game in this ever-important divisional matchup. I’d slot him as a bottom end WR2 for today.
Randall Cobb/Geronimo Allison
My Packers’ start of the week, Randall Cobb more than likely will not see coverage from Xavier Rhodes or Trae Waynes, but a combination of Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes. I feel like Cobb has the best chance to succeed today among the Packers’ wideouts, and he’d be in my lineup as a solid WR2/high end WR3 today. Geronimo Allison should see plenty of snaps as a tertiary target for Rodgers; albeit one with limited upside considering the likely matchup with Trae Waynes. With a volatile variety of outcomes even in a good matchup, I wouldn’t trust Allison as anything more than a flex play.
Touchdown dependency knows no matchup. Jimmy Graham being such a big, athletic target, he can certainly out-muscle a large portion of his counterparts for scores. He did only see 4 targets last week against Chicago, but his usage should certainly increase. He’s still a good, solid TE1 for the time being.
The Minnesota Vikings
Games like this are why Kirk Cousins was paid so much in the offseason. Cousins is expected to begin his living up to the large contract to beat Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau, not Jimmy Garoppolo, with all due respect. Cousins is a low end QB1 this week, as even a 200 yard/2 TD statline should be a good baseline for him and prove useful for fantasy owners. Dalvin Cook played over 80% of snaps in Week 1, cementing the fact that Cook is indeed back and healthy after his 2017 ACL tear. Cook sliced and diced his way to the tune of 95 scrimmage yards, though he did fumble once. Consider him a high end RB2 for today’s matchup. The Packers’ defense will have their hands full today with the numerous targets in the passing game, like Stefon Diggs. Diggs and Adam Thielen do not eat into eachother’s targets, in fact, those two and TE Kyle Rudolph prove there’s plenty of room at the table and there is plenty of food for everybody in the Vikings offense. All should be starters today, Diggs/Thielen being good WR2s and Rudolph as a high end TE1.
Good luck today in your leagues, and #GoPackGo!