With Week One of the NFL season upon us, it is once again time for the Bruno Boys to pick a Game of the Week, with a fantasy football twist. Each week we will choose one NFL game that we feel will have a lot of impact on the fantasy football world.
This week we will head to Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers will host the Chicago Bears in a NFC North division battle. With the addition of Jay Cutler at quarterback in Chicago, this game will feature two of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.
It also features some very good running backs and a couple of very nice receiving options. Boy, gone are the days when the NFC North (or NFC Central) was referred to as the “black and blue” division and featured fearsome defenses like the “Monsters of the Midway” and the “Purple People Eaters.” It is now becoming a hotbed for some of the better offensive stars in the game.
It all begins with the quarterbacks this week. In his first season as the Packers' starting quarterback in 2008, Aaron Rodgers passed for 4,038 yards with 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He quickly became the leader of the Packers offense, and we look for him to continue to improve this season. Rodgers is a must-start QB1 in all formats this week and we have him as the No. 5-ranked quarterback this week.
Jay Cutler enters his first season in Chicago coming off a Pro-Bowl season in Denver last year when he had 4,526 passing yards with 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Cutler is also a must-start QB1 option this week as he is our No. 9-ranked quarterback.
Both the Bears and Packers also have prolific running backs on their teams. The Bears will feature second-year man Matt Forte, who had 1,715 total yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns as a rookie in 2008. He is a RB1 option this week and he is our No. 10-ranked running back.
The Packers will feature Ryan Grant, who—after missing most of training camp in 2008—spent a good portion of the year dealing with nagging injuries. He still managed 1,203 yards rushing with five total touchdowns. Healthy, and with a full training camp under his belt, we expect Grant to improve on last season’s totals. Consider him a solid RB2 this week as we have him as the No. 15-ranked running back.
This game will also feature some very good receiving options. Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target will be Greg Jennings, who had 80 catches last season for 1,292 yards with nine touchdowns. He has improved on his reception and yardage totals in each of his first three seasons. Jennings is a must-start WR1 this week, and our No. 7-ranked wide receiver.
The Bears return both of their leading pass catchers from 2008, but neither were wide receivers. Jay Cutler’s top option in the passing game will likely be tight end Greg Olsen, who had 54 catches for 574 yards with five touchdowns in 2008. Olsen is heading into his third NFL season and could be in for his biggest statistical season yet. He is our No. 4-ranked tight end this week and will likely be a must-start on a weekly basis. The leading pass-catcher in terms of receptions last season was Matt Forte, who had 63.
The Bears and Packers both feature solid kickers in Robbie Gould and Mason Crosby respectively. Either kicker would be a worthy fantasy starter this week and they both ranked in the top-ten in our preseason rankings.
Both teams have respectable D/ST units, but in a game that should have a lot of points being scored, you may want to keep them on your bench if possible.
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