Fantasy Football 2013: Bears at Packers Week 9 Preview
Chicago Bears (4-3) at Green Bay Packers (5-2)
Monday, November 4, 2013: 8:40 PM (ET)
Coming up in the Week 9 edition of “Monday Night Football” will be a no-holds-barred slugfest that should prove crucial to the playoff positioning in the NFC North. The Bears will be heading to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers in an effort to even records up at the top of the division. Chicago (4-3) is coming off a bye, but still reeling from the loss of their starting QB in Week 7. Green Bay (5-2), meanwhile, posted a big win over the division-mate Vikings this past Sunday.
This game will likely decide many fantasy fates out there, so it’s a very important matchup. Let’s take a look at some of the key players on both sides so that we can get a feel for what to expect from our rosters.
Josh McCown, QB, Chicago Bears: With No. 1 QB Jay Cutler sidelined for at least another three weeks or so with a torn groin muscle, the offense will be in the hands of the veteran McCown. If his relief efforts against the Redskins are any indication, he’s a very capable signal-caller. He posted 204 yards and a score on 14-for-20 passing (and 33 yards on the ground) after Cutler went down, so he should be okay with two weeks to prepare here. We don’t mind McCown as a lower-end option if you’re stuck for a QB.
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Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: Rodgers did the vast majority of his damage in the first half against the Vikings, then allowed the running game to take over. He finished with a very efficient 24-for-29, 285-yard, two-touchdown performance in the win, with both scores going to Jordy Nelson. Rodgers also padded his stats with 31 yards rushing on six carries, a season-high in both categories. As one of the top fantasy quarterbacks out there, he’s an automatic start, and he should continue to play well against this aging and familiar defense.
Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: Forte doesn’t get the fantasy press of a Marshawn Lynch or an Arian Foster, but he’s quietly been putting up some solid numbers. He managed three touchdowns (a career-high) against the Redskins, tallying 91 rush yards and 18 receiving yards in the loss. Forte has only missed double-digit fantasy points once this year, and even then he was very close. He’s a no-duh fantasy start, so make sure to get him back into your lineup.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Lacy has really come into his own over the past four games. He’s getting all sorts of opportunities in the Green Bay offense, as evidenced by his 29 rushes and four receptions against Minnesota. Those touches resulted in 112 total yards and a TD, his second in as many weeks. You can expect a steady diet of rush attempts in this one as well, so Lacy owners should keep him cemented in the lineups.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears: Marshall is probably the big fantasy question mark after the quarterback switch. He had a good thing going with Cutler, so it remains to be seen what sort of opportunities he’ll get with McCown. For what it’s worth, he posted 75 yards on six receptions against Washington, and we’d imagine McCown will utilize his big receiver at least a little bit. Marshall injured his wrist in Week 7, but appeared to avoid anything serious. He should be okay for Monday.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Nelson has been incredible in fantasy this year, as evidenced by his two-score, 123-yard effort on seven grabs against the Vikings. He’s the cornerstone of the Packers passing game, especially now that the receiving corps is so beat up. Given his great chemistry with Rodgers, we fully expect the big numbers and high targets to continue, so leave him strapped in and watch the fantasy points fly.
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