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Thursday Night Showdown Breakdown

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This may not have been a regularly scheduled article, but football is awesome. We’re all excited so I wanted to bring the same style breakdown we have at Game by Game, so let’s get after the very first slate of the season!

Packers Overview

QB – Typically, Aaron Rodgers isn’t even a question but on a showdown slate vs the Bears in Chicago, it’s at least possible to think about not playing him. Chicago was #1 in DVOA last season vs the pass, and Rodgers was mixed last year vs this team. The first week of the season he hung 3 TD’s on them but likely had some painkiller influence in that one. The second time around, it was 274 yards and a pick with no TD’s. Rodgers is going to have a chip on his shoulder after the disaster last season, but he draws the team that gave up the 2nd fewest DK points to the position. They had 27 INT’s to 21 TD’s allowed, but we do need to remember that Vic Fangio is gone as the DC. He is the head man in Denver and that might be enough to knock this defense down just a notch.

RB – I struggle to remember a running back that has the amount of buzz Aaron Jones does within the community and Twitter but draws virtually none from his own team. I don’t think there’s much doubt he’s talented with 22 explosive runs in 133 attempts and 26 missed tackles forced, but will he get the workload? That’s also been the question and the Packers finished dead last in rushing attempts last season. Matt LaFluer wants to bring a little bit of balance and hopefully Jones sees more than 17 carries, which he didn’t last year. The Bears only allowed 80 yards per game on the ground and only allowed 2 100 yard rushers in Saquon Barkley and the Infinite One, Frank Gore.

WR – In the 2 games Davante Adams played vs the Bears last season, he had 5/88/1 and 8/119/0. I think he’s one of the prime candidates for the Captain spot and people may shy away just a bit. Adams is so good and with metronome consistency, he’s the Packers player that I’m most interested in. Guessing what happens with Geronimo Allison and Marques Valdez-Scantling is difficult, to say the least. We saw a limited amount of work for Allison but he did proceed over 15 yards per reception and both he and MVS had aDOTs over 12 yards. I would prefer Allison but we don’t know exactly how they plan on deploying these players quite yet.

TE – The Bears were 10th in the league vs TE’s last year and Jimmy Graham frankly looked pretty rough last year. He appeared in all 16 games and only found the end zone twice, and the WR corps is healthier this year.

K – Mason Crosby returns for the Packers and he’s actually pretty attractive here. It’s not tough to see a scenario where the Packers can grind out some drives but not finish the job.

D/ST – I think the Packers D could really not be that great of a play tonight. They finished tied for the third fewest takeaways last season but they did register 44 sacks. The elusiveness of Mitchell Trubisky could give the defense some fits.

Bears Overview

QB – Mitchell Trubisky fascinates me in this one. After his shoulder injury, his rushing attempts dropped from about 5.5 a game to 4 and that’s going to cap his ceiling, if it was still an issue. I believe it’s not and Trubisky quietly finished 5th in rushing yards among QB. I’m not sold on him as a passer overall, and the reviews from camp have been mixed. I think I prefer him to Rodgers, which is weird to say but the price does help and so does the matchup. Some Showdowns I jam in QB, but I don’t think that’s needed tonight.

RB – My favorite Captain play is David Montgomery, and Adams might be the next best but a tier below. Everything about this kid has been sunshine and rainbows during the summer, and he brings quite the resume as well from Yahoo Spots – 

Though Montgomery’s combination of size (5-feet-10, 222 pounds), collegiate production (1,216 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in 2018) and elusiveness (he led college football in broken tackles last season) already made him an alluring pick, Montgomery’s humility and workmanlike attitude was a primary reason the Bears and general manager Ryan Pace fell in love with him.

Matt Nagy has said they want to manage Tarik Cohen’s touches this year, which makes it abundantly clear he’s not a lead back in the eyes of this coaching staff. Also, let’s hop in the way back machine to this matchup last year in Week 1. Jordan Howard got 15 carries and 5 targets, so Nagy wanted to load him up. Howard simply doesn’t have the skill set and Montgomery certainly does. Cohen is a GPP play that can blow up and might even return kicks, so playing him and the Bears D/St is a double dip chance. I don’t think Mike Davis is that big of a factor, even if he draws the “start”.

WR – The Packers got mashed by WR last year, giving up the third most DK points to the position but they did draft a lot of defensive talent. It’s interesting that Allen Robinson was closing in on 900 receiving yards last year and only played 14 games with a 12.1 aDOT. I think he’s the best match with Trubisky in cash, but Taylor Gabriel is interesting in GPP. They both had a target share of right about 19% with Cohen coming in at 17% so Gabriel is still an integral part of this passing game. Anthony Miller did not exceed a 13% target share overall or in the red zone, but is on the map for GPP for TD upside with 8 last season.

TE – It appears that Trey Burton is truly questionable and the next man up would be Adam Shaheen. He only has 20 career targets and he does have 4 touchdowns, but the real appeal is he’s $400. That’s it. $400. To say that opens up roster construction is an understatement and any amount of production makes it a win.

K – Eddy Pinero is fine, but totally unproven and more expensive than Crosby.

D/ST – Normally we don’t play D/ST vs Aaron Rodgers, but this can be a spot that it works. I think if Shaheen plays, we can use that as a punt and have more skill players. If not, the Bears could be interesting and are in play no matter what.

Captain Picks – Montgomery, Adams, Trubisky, Rodgers, Robinson

Player Pool – Bears D/ST, Allison, Packers D/ST, MVS, Gabriel, Miller, Cohen, Kickers(Crosby 1st), Shaheen as prime punt

Favorite Player Props

All Props taken from the FD Sportsbook 

First TD Scorer 

Davante Adams +650

David Montgomery +750

Mitchell Trubisky +1800

David Montgomery Total Yards – Over 75.5

Mitchell Trubisky Rushing Yards – Over 22.5

Allen Robinson Total Receptions – Over 4.5 

Geronimo Allison Receiving Yards – Over 45.5

Aaron Rodgers Total Passing Yards – Over 267.5