Oct 12, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerbackCasey Hayward
(29) celebrates after making an interception catch during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
After a strong stretch of games, the Packers fell off in the second half defensively against Miami. In terms of fantasy however, they still managed to do well. They put up 7 points (Yahoo! leagues), which isn’t otherworldly…but when it is hard to find a stalwart week-to-week option these days, having production along those lines is pretty good.
That performance was preceded by games with 22, 6 and 12 points respectively, so they have been doing well enough for a decent stretch that it can be seen as more than a fluke. That can be traced mainly to one area: turnovers.
Over the past four weeks, Green Bay has forced 8 INTs and 3 Fumble Recoveries. In case you didn’t know, that is excellent by them. They are almost solely reliant on those turnovers to have a good game though; they tend to bleed yardage and outside of the Vikings game have no more than 2 sacks in any game this year.
The turnover reliance becomes a potential issue against Carolina. Cam has only thrown two INTs all year, and they have lost only one fumble. If that continues here — and there is plenty of evidence to that point — this could be a bad week for the defense. In a game set to be a shootout yardage and points could pile up, so without forcing turnovers it could get ugly from both a real and fantasy standpoint.
When I pick a fantasy defense, I weigh three main areas: the matchup, propensity for turnovers, and their real-life abilities. With the Panthers the matchup looks to be a shootout so that doesn’t bode well, but the injuries they have on offense could help tilt things towards the Packers somewhat. As I said before, they don’t turn the ball over often, but the Packers have been forcing a lot of them so it could go either way. In terms of real-life abilities, Green Bay has a talented secondary that should limit the impact of Newton passing the ball, but he could be a major threat running.
For this week they are a risky play, but if they continue their turnover-forcing ways those who use them could be reaping the benefits.
Prediction: 23 points allowed, 1 turnover forced
Verdict: Bye-Week Fill-In