Sunday Night Fantasy Breakdown: Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots

Jeremy AlpertSenior Analyst IIDecember 19, 2010

Week 15 Matchup:  Green Bay Packers (8-5) at New England Patriots (11-2)

Rankings based on top 16 QBs, 32 RBs, 48 WRs and 16 TEs.

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Green Bay Packers (Packers Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

New England Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 31st - TDs Allowed T-20th

New England Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 14th – TDs Allowed T-15th


Green Bay Offensive Cast

Aaron Rodgers (QB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 268/410 – for 3,289 yards and 23 TDs

The decision on came down on Saturday that Rodgers will spend this game on the sidelines.  Get him out of your lineup now and hope your other option pulls through for you.


Matt Flynn (QB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 16/29 – for 182 yards and no TDs

If he couldn’t do anything against Detroit in a dome, you can’t expect much more against the Patriots outdoors.


Brandon Jackson (RB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 143 carries for 546 yards and three TDs || 39 receptions for 313 yards and one TD

Not that New England’s rush D is any better than average, but that’s still good enough to hold down Jackson.


James Starks (RB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 24 Carries for 81 Yards and no TDs || No Receptions

…and James Starks for that matter.


Greg Jennings (WR Week 15 Ranking: No. 16)

2010 Season: 61 receptions for 996 yards and 11 TDs

Matt Flynn will be running the show this weekend, so Jennings barely fits in here as a WR2 option.  Flynn might look to his top receiver quite a bit Sunday night, so Greg will certainly have a chance to put up good numbers, especially against this Patriots pass D.  Not all hope is lost here.


Donald Driver (WR Week 15 Ranking: No. 44)

2010 Season: 40 receptions for 449 yards and four TDs

With Flynn under center, you can’t expect much more than a few catches for maybe 40 yards or so.  Then again, a backup QB might actually lean on a steady veteran like Driver, so you never know.


James Jones (WR Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 40 receptions for 540 yards and three TDs

You’d really have to have a depleted WR corps to be throwing Jones in there this weekend.


Jordy Nelson (WR Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 38 receptions for 403 yards and one TD

A WR4 with a backup QB?  Not during the fantasy playoffs, that’s for sure.


Andrew Quarless (TE Week 15 Ranking: No. 16)

2010 Season: 17 receptions for 205 yards and one TD

You can bet the rookie tight end will be getting his fair share of looks from the inexperienced QB, just like he did against the Lions last week (six targets, five catches, and 62 yards).  With the Patriots ranking in the lower third of the league against TEs this season, feel free to take a chance on the rookie if your other options aren’t that appealing.


New England Patriots (Patriots Schedule)


Opponent Defensive Ranks

Green Bay Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 3rd - TDs Allowed T-3rd

Green Bay Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 19th – TDs Allowed T-3rd


New England Offensive Cast

Tom Brady (QB Week 15 Ranking: No. 2)

2010 Season: 284/425 – for 3,398 yards and 29 TDs

Brady’s hot streak right now is unprecedented and doesn’t look like it can be stopped by rain, snow, or anything else nature has to offer up.  Green Bay actually has one of the best pass defenses in the league, but with the short dink-and-dunk game that Belichick and Brady have going right now, there’s simply no way to stop it.


BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RB Week 15 Ranking: No. 15)

2010 Season: 184 carries for 786 yards and 11 TDs || Eight receptions for 64 yards and no TDs

The Firm has been outstanding for the Pats this season as he’s averaged a touchdown a game over his last 11.  He might even be the most automatic TD-producer in the league when his team gets around the goal-line, which seems to be a regular occurrence for New England lately.


Danny Woodhead (RB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 73 carries for 376 yards and four TDs || 30 receptions for 335 yards and one TD

I am going to repeat this statement until Danny Woodhead is a household name:  The records this kid set at both his High School in North Platte, Wisconsin and at his D-II school at Chadron State College are simply staggering.  I mean Madden 2011-style staggering.  As in the kid averaged 183 rushing yards/game over FOUR YEARS at Chadron State (212.0 was his highest average – Junior Year) and had 109 total TDs during that time (38 was his most – Junior Year).  He rushed for more than 200 yards in a game 19 of his 39 appearances and scored in 37 straight contests, both NCAA records.  Just to top it all off, Woodhead also ran track in High School for one year and broke his school’s 100-meter record with a time of 10.5 seconds.  Undrafted in the NFL or not, this kid is special. 


Fred Taylor (RB Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 32 carries for 123 yards and no TDs || Two receptions for six yards and no TDs

Even though Fred had a few numbers in his stat column last week (three carries, 16 yards), I’m having a tough time believing it was actually him.


Wes Welker (WR Week 15 Ranking: No. 12)

2010 Season: 80 receptions for 787 yards and seven TDs

The Slot Machine just keeps on churning out the big paydays.  Wes continued his hot streak last week against the Bears putting up 115 yards on eight catches in basically the worst weather the NFL season has seen so far this year.  Ride this kid as a solid WR2 play through to the end of the year.


Deion Branch (WR Week 15 Ranking: No. 21)

2010 Season: 57 receptions for 760 yards and six TDs

Branch was supposedly a little gimpy going into last week’s match-up against the Bears, but he looked fine to me hauling in eight catches for 151 yards and a TD while playing in a blizzard.  With a sizzling hot Tom Brady as his QB, it might not matter if Charles Woodson guards him or not this Sunday night.


Brandon Tate (WR Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 21 receptions for 345 yards and two TD

Tate isn’t getting enough targets to be worth having on your team at this point, even with a streaking Mr. Bundchen.


Aaron Hernandez (TE Week 15 Ranking: No. 10)

2010 Season: 41 receptions for 532 yards and four TDs

The Patriots will be using a two-tight end set again this Sunday night against a Green Bay pass rush that ranks fifth in the league in sacks.  Gronkowski is the blocker (as he should be at 6’6”, 265 pounds) while Hernandez (6’1”, 245 pounds) will be scurrying out in the flat for dump-offs all game long.  With the way Brady is playing, Aaron is worth taking a chance on this week.


Rob Gronkowski (TE Week 15 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 31 receptions for 365 yards and seven TDs

Rob is a massive man (6’6”, 265 pounds) to be sure, which can have its various advantages for a tight end.  However, my guess is that Rob will be used as more of a blocker against the Packers tough front seven this week.