Matchup Analysis: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Packers 22, Bears 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Packers Rushing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Bears defense.

The Packers backfield that averaged a mediocre 104.2 rushing yards per game remains relatively unchanged from the 2018 season with both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams set to serve as their primary running backs. They did part ways with Ty Montgomery and add right guard Billy Turner, but both are less significant changes. What will be most significant for this rushing offense is the change in coaching staff with Matt LaFleur at the helm. It is no secret that the previous coaching regime made some questionable decisions on how they utilized Aaron Jones, who averaged a staggering 5.5 yards per carry despite being afforded fewer than 10 carries per game. LaFleur recognizes Jones’ talent, and despite LaFleur’s comments of an expected timeshare between Jones and Williams, it can be expected that Jones will shoulder most of the load for this backfield. This offensive line remains a top-tier unit and Jones has the talent to put up great numbers running behind them--but this week, in particular, looks to be a rough start to the season.

The Bears run defense returns all key players from a stellar 2018 season in which they allowed a league-low 80 rushing yards per game and a league-low 13.3 fantasy points per game to running backs. Guys like Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks on the interior with Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd on the outside can make it tough for even the best of offensive lines to make space for their runners. The Bears linebackers are solid and they also have some of the league’s top run-defending safeties to crowd the box when needed. This was the elite run defense last year, and there is no reason to believe they will take any steps back this week or this season.

Packers Passing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Bears defense.

The Packers have a new coaching staff, but the same field general as Aaron Rodgers returns at the helm of what should not be a drastically different offense from what we saw in 2018. If anything, the introduction of an offensive-minded head coach like LaFleur may help add some creativity to what Rodgers and company can accomplish in the passing game. Another year of experience will also be a bonus for what is a relatively young group of receivers returning. Davante Adams should be the top target again this year after finishing 2018 as the highest scoring fantasy wide receiver on a per-game basis in PPR formats (21.8 points per game). Marquez Valdes-Scantling is expected to be the second receiver opposite Adams, as he was clearly had the best season amongst the three rookie receivers the Packers rostered last year. Scantling has the size and speed to outmatch many top cornerbacks, yet he will get the #2 option of many teams with Adams drawing top talent in coverage. Geronimo Alison looks to start the season in the slot after a disappointing 2018 campaign in which he only played five games due to injuries. Jimmy Graham rounds out the primary weapons for Rodgers. Graham had a respectable season in 2018 with 636 yards and two touchdowns, but the lack of red zone usage was extremely underwhelming given Graham’s historical track record. Age and injuries have caught up to Graham, so it is tough to hold high expectations for him to turn things around this season beyond a couple of decent games.

Despite the offseason departure of top slot cornerback Bryce Callahan and the loss of their defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the Bears passing defense remains one of the best in the league. Proven coordinator Chuck Pagano is taking over this unit that will retain one of the top pass-rushing attacks in football led by Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd on the edges with Akiem Hicks applying pressure on the interior. The Packers have a top tier offensive line with a pair of elite tackles, but this defensive line will outmatch almost any opposing unit in the trenches. It is no question that the loss of Callahan drops this secondary down a notch though, as Buster Skrine is far from a one-for-one replacement of what Callahan brought to the table in the slot. If there is another concern in the secondary, it is the loss of Adrian Amos who was one of the top safeties in the league last season. Amos is being replaced by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix who has had an up and down career but is coming off of a solid season from a coverage standpoint. This secondary is still anchored by Pro Bowl corner Kyle Fuller, and safety Eddie Jackson. With strong pressure and coverage, this Bears defense will give the Packers all they can handle in their season opener.

Bears Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Packers defense.

The Bears backfield was shaken up this offseason with the departure of Jordan Howard to the Eagles, the addition of veteran Mike Davis from Seattle, and the third-round draft selection of David Montgomery. Tarik Cohen is the only consistent piece of this backfield from 2018, and his usage should not be expected to change much. The usage split between Davis and Montgomery will likely evolve throughout the season, but Davis should be the incumbent starter coming into Week 1 with Montgomery working in on multiple drives. Montgomery has more upside but will need some time to develop in pass protection and learn the offense before the Bears coaching staff will be comfortable with him shouldering more of a load. The Bears offensive line is an above-average unit, particularly on the left side anchored by a couple of Pro-Bowl players in Charles Leno Jr. and Cody Whitehair. With a healthy Kyle Long on the other side, this line is more than capable of holding their own.

The Packers will look a bit different up front this season as they lost long-time defensive end Mike Daniels to the Lions. Daniels had a rough 2018, but he was still an effective player particularly against the run--so his loss is an impactful one for this run defense. Nose tackle Kenny Clark will return and anchor this run defense, as he is one of the better run-defending nose tackles in the league. Behind him at linebacker, the Packers will return Blake Martinez--who was serviceable against the run in 2018. They also added Adrian Amos at safety, who has been known for his ability to contribute against the run while with Chicago’s top-ranked run defense last season. Beyond those key guys, however, this run defense has some question marks. Injuries have plagued the Packers already as one of their starting linebackers, Oren Burks, suffered a torn pectoral muscle and is out indefinitely. Behind Burks, rookie Curtis Bolton suffered a knee injury and was seen on crutches. Rookie first-round defensive lineman Rashan Gary then was also injured during the preseason with his status in the air for Week 1. Needless to say, the Packers may be patching together a shoddy group to square off against a very solid Bears offensive line in this week’s opener.

Bears Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Packers defense.

Mitchell Trubisky will look to take another step forward as this Bears passing offense kicks off the season against the Packers on Thursday night. Trubisky showed tremendous improvement in his second year as a pro with his completion jumping from 59% to 66% while he passed for over 50% more yards and over tripled his passing touchdowns. The reports are not positive coming out of the preseason, but Trubisky has not seen much game time at all while he also gets the pleasure of practicing against the league’s top defense--so take those reports for what they are worth. All of his primary weapons will return, with Allen Robinson looking the part of a clear No. 1 receiver throughout this preseason. Robinson led the team in targets despite missing 3-4 games worth of playing time last season, and when healthy, he can be expected to be a favorite option of Trubisky throughout the season. Trubisky’s second-favorite target could be any one of Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, or Tarik Cohen, as Trubisky was known for spreading the ball around in 2018. Given what Cohen showed last season, he will likely remain heavily utilized in this offense despite the addition of rookie David Montgomery to eat into Cohen’s playing time. Trey Burton is slowly recovering from hernia surgery and is slated to be a game-time decision as of mid-week.

The Packers finished 2018 with a middling pass defense and return most of their young secondary coming into 2019 that should have the potential to continue to grow together. Second-yard cornerback Jaire Alexander and third-yard pro Kevin King will start at cornerback, pending King’s full recovery from a hamstring injury (he is on track to start). Alexander is the stronger cornerback and should line up opposite Taylor Gabriel while the larger Kevin King should be stuck on Allen Robinson, who has a slight advantage in this matchup. Top tier safety Adrian Amos, recently added from the Bears, will serve as a safety blanket over the top and has proven effective at limiting big plays over his past two seasons with Chicago. From a pass rush perspective, the Packers are not particularly strong on the edges and are already dealing with various injuries at the linebacker position which will force them to roll out an inexperienced group at that position in Week 1. Kenny Clark is their strongest defensive lineman, but he will need help applying pressure on what should be a very cohesive Bears offensive line. If the Packers can apply some resemblance of pressure, this could be a tough day for Trubisky.

Aaron Rodgers (FanDuel: $8200, DraftKings: $6500)

1PROJ-Dodds23362591.50.63130. (H=44)20.2 (H=56)
1PROJ-Tremblay25402791.50.83150. (H=48)21.2 (H=61)
1PROJ-Bloom22332691.80.94190. (H=52)22.2 (H=66)

Aaron Jones (FanDuel: $6800, DraftKings: $5400)

1PROJ-Dodds12580.32.8230.110.513.311.9 (H=21)13.3 (H=32)
1PROJ-Tremblay10440.42.01408.210.29.2 (H=13)10.2 (H=20)
1PROJ-Bloom16650.43.0250.1121513.5 (H=26)15 (H=40)

Jamaal Williams (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $3300)

1PROJ-Dodds5190.11.41103.654.3 (H=4)5 (H=9)
1PROJ-Tremblay5200.11.51103.75.24.5 (H=5)5.2 (H=10)
1PROJ-Bloom3130.11.0702.63.63.1 (H=2)3.6 (H=5)

Tyler Ervin (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1PROJ-Dodds0000.8500.51.30.9 (H=0)1.3 (H=1)
1PROJ-Tremblay0000.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Davante Adams (FanDuel: $8700, DraftKings: $7700)

1PROJ-Dodds6.3820.600011.818.115 (H=25)18.1 (H=39)
1PROJ-Tremblay7.2870.600012.319.515.9 (H=27)19.5 (H=44)
1PROJ-Bloom6.0750.500010.516.513.5 (H=20)16.5 (H=33)

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (FanDuel: $5900, DraftKings: $4400)

1PROJ-Dodds3.7460.30006.410.18.3 (H=13)10.1 (H=24)
1PROJ-Tremblay3.1430.20105.68.77.2 (H=10)8.7 (H=19)
1PROJ-Bloom4.0510.40007.511.59.5 (H=16)11.5 (H=31)

Devin Funchess (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $4000)

1PROJ-Dodds2.6310.20004.36.95.6 (H=7)6.9 (H=14)
1PROJ-Tremblay2.9370.20004.97.86.4 (H=8)7.8 (H=17)
1PROJ-Bloom2.0260.20003.85.84.8 (H=5)5.8 (H=10)

Jake Kumerow (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3100)

1PROJ-Dodds1.0130.10001.92.92.4 (H=2)2.9 (H=4)
1PROJ-Tremblay1.9250.10003.154.1 (H=5)5 (H=10)
1PROJ-Bloom1.0130.10001.92.92.4 (H=2)2.9 (H=4)

Equanimeous St. Brown (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3300)

1PROJ-Dodds0.000000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Tremblay0.000000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Jace Sternberger (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2800)

1PROJ-Dodds0.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)
1PROJ-Tremblay0.000000 (H=0)0 (H=0)

Mason Crosby (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)


Green Bay Packers (FanDuel: $3700, DraftKings: $2700)

1PROJ-Dodds253722.30.90.600. (H=16)7.2 (H=22)
1PROJ-Tremblay24.53762.210.600. (H=20)8.1 (H=27)

Mitchell Trubisky (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $5700)

1PROJ-Dodds22332371.40.93220.119.319.319.3 (H=46)19.3 (H=59)
1PROJ-Tremblay21332421.615260.221.321.321.3 (H=55)21.3 (H=70)
1PROJ-Bloom20302261.515220.219.719.719.7 (H=48)19.7 (H=61)

Nick Foles (FanDuel: $6500, DraftKings: $5300)

1PROJ-Dodds23352461.60.8250.1191919 (H=50)19 (H=61)
1PROJ-Tremblay22342401.515110.219.319.319.3 (H=51)19.3 (H=63)
1PROJ-Bloom21352311.50.811016.816.816.8 (H=40)16.8 (H=50)

David Montgomery (FanDuel: $6400, DraftKings: $5200)

1PROJ-Dodds13530.42.0150.19.811.810.8 (H=19)11.8 (H=27)
1PROJ-Tremblay9380.32.1170.17.9109 (H=14)10 (H=20)
1PROJ-Bloom14540.52.0150.110.512.511.5 (H=21)12.5 (H=30)

Tarik Cohen (FanDuel: $6300, DraftKings: $4800)

1PROJ-Dodds5210.14.0370.27.611.69.7 (H=16)11.7 (H=29)
1PROJ-Tremblay4190.12.9270.26.49.38 (H=11)9.4 (H=20)
1PROJ-Bloom3160.14.0450.27.911.910 (H=17)12 (H=30)

Allen Robinson (FanDuel: $6500, DraftKings: $5400)

1PROJ-Dodds4.8650.40008.913.711.3 (H=20)13.7 (H=34)
1PROJ-Tremblay3.4480.30006.6108.3 (H=12)10 (H=19)
1PROJ-Bloom5.0640.50009.414.411.9 (H=22)14.4 (H=37)

Anthony Miller (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4300)

1PROJ-Dodds3.2400.30005.897.4 (H=11)9 (H=20)
1PROJ-Tremblay2.5350.30205.586.8 (H=9)8 (H=17)
1PROJ-Bloom3.0380.30005.68.67.1 (H=10)8.6 (H=19)

Ted Ginn (FanDuel: $5000, DraftKings: $4200)

1PROJ-Dodds2.6350.20004.77.36 (H=8)7.3 (H=14)
1PROJ-Tremblay2.0280.20104.16.15.1 (H=6)6.1 (H=10)
1PROJ-Bloom3.0470.30006.59.58 (H=14)9.5 (H=23)

Cordarrelle Patterson (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3600)

1PROJ-Dodds1.2140.11402.43.63.1 (H=3)3.7 (H=5)
1PROJ-Tremblay0.8110.131503.243.7 (H=4)4.1 (H=6)
1PROJ-Bloom1.090.121002.53.53.1 (H=3)3.6 (H=5)

Jimmy Graham (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3600)

1PROJ-Dodds3.3350.24.786.4 (H=9)8 (H=20)
1PROJ-Tremblay3.1330. (H=8)7.6 (H=18)
1PROJ-Bloom2.0320. (H=7)6.4 (H=13)

Demetrius Harris (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

1PROJ-Dodds1.310.10.721.4 (H=0)2 (H=2)
1PROJ-Tremblay0.9100. (H=1)2.5 (H=3)
1PROJ-Bloom1. (H=1)2.4 (H=3)

Eddy Pineiro (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)


Chicago Bears (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3700)

1PROJ-Dodds20.93482.90.80.600. (H=18)8.5 (H=22)
1PROJ-Tremblay21.53682.60.80.700. (H=18)8.7 (H=22)