Oct 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles with the football during the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
QB – Aaron Rodgers
Last Game: 16/29, 255 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 14 rush yards; 19.60 fantasy points
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Though he is great, part of that had to be attributed to the unit he was facing. San Diego is 30th in Defensive DVOA* to this point of the season, and they were also missing some of their best and/or most important players on defense during the game (Eric Weddle, Manti Te’o). Not to say that Rodgers wouldn’t have decimated them anyway, but missing key pieces makes the job easier.
This week brings a defense that should provide a greater challenge, to say the least. Denver has the #1 defensive DVOA, including the #1 pass defense DVOA. They have pass-rushers galore; Demarcus Ware, Von Miller, Shane Ray and others combine to make a terrifying pass rush, even if Ray (and possibly Ware) miss the game due to injury.
Past them, there are plenty of players across the back seven that can have a strong impact: Brandon Marshall (the linebacker, not the former Broncos receiver) is an excellent player, Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. are possibly the best 1-2 punch at cornerback league-wide, and T.J. Ward is one of the better safeties playing today.
Even on the road against a formidable unit such as this, Rodgers is capable of great things. He’s the best quarterback in the NFL, after all.
It helps that his guys around him should be somewhat healthier as well. James Starks has a hip injury, but could still end up right beside Eddie Lacy for carries and dumpoffs. Ty Montgomery might not play, but Davante Adams is finally back to give the offense a deep threat again. The offensive line has had time to heal up.
These signs all point to the Packers doing well., and I think they will. It should indeed be an impressive performance from under center that leads them, but the numbers may not quite be on the level we tend to expect out of Rodgers. We may see a turnover or two forced by Denver along with a suppressed scoring line; that defense is definitely legit.
In the end though, we have the league’s top quarterback in his prime heading an offense that is getting healthier and should be able to attack the field more efficiently across all levels of a defense. It won’t be some stat-producing fest, but it should be effective enough to give Green Bay the offense needed to win.
Week 8 Prediction: 225 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 25 rush yards; 17.50 Fantasy Points
Verdict: Low-End Starter Due To Matchup
*DVOA is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation.
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