The NFL season is finally upon us! And with that, it is our first official taste of daily fantasy in Alabama during the NFL regular season since it became illegal a few years ago. In case you didn’t know, daily fantasy is legal again in the state of Alabama which means you can play DraftKings, FanDuel and all of the other daily fantasy sites this season!
Thursday sees a match-up between the Packers and Bears at Soldier Field as this rivalry kicks off the NFL season yet again. As we get closer to kickoff, here are a few things to remember and a few players to look out for. We will be using DraftKings prices and terminology here, but the same basic rules apply on FanDuel as well.
For single game events, the strategy is different than in full day events. Single games use a game style called “Showdown” where you don’t pick a roster based on position, but rather a roster comprised of six players of any position, with one of them being deemed the “captain”. The captain gets 1.5x fantasy points, but also costs 1.5x as much. For instance, Bears QB Mitch Trubisky costs $11,600 normally, but costs $17,400 as a captain.
Bears QB Mitch Trubisky ($11,600) – Trubisky is listed at 20.7 fantasy points per game (FPPG), putting up 15.04 on the road to start last year against Green Bay and 19.0 at home against the Packers in Week 15. The Packers’ pass defense ranks 27th in fantasy points, and therefore should show that he could surpass his average against the Packers tonight.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers ($12,400) – Aaron Rodgers is an elite quarterback who averages 20.6 FPPG. Last year, after missing part of the first half with injury, he rattled off 24.94 fantasy points in the opening week game against the Bears throwing three touchdowns and no picks. However, that was at Lambeau and when he went to Soldier Field in week 15 he only put up 14.46 fantasy points, throwing now touchdowns and one interception. He’s also going up against the top unit in football last season DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average, which calculates a team’s success based on the down and distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successfully each team is compared to the league average).
No team in the NFC allowed fewer fantasy points to the QB position than the Bears.
Packers WR Davante Adams ($12,600) – The most expensive player on the board is Adams, who averaged 23.0 FPPG last season. If you want to spend less on Trubisky but still get the #1 target of Rodgers, then choose Adams who will get the lions share of targets. He was targeted 25% of his rounds and his 0.34 PPR points per snap were the third most of any receiver who saw the field on at least 25% of their team’s plays last year. He had 13 catches for 207 yards in the two games against the Bears last year.
Bears RB David Montgomery ($8,200) – Iowa State rookie running back David Montgomery is looking to become the #1 running back for the Bears in 2019, but Tarik Cohen looks to continue to get more carries now that Jordan Howard is gone. The question becomes – who gets more carries and should you play either one of them because of the split? Matt Nagy has made it sound like Tarik Cohen won’t get the majority of carries and David Montgomery was brought in for just that – to be the starter.
Packers RB Aaron Jones ($9,200) – This price is a little steep for me. Jones might could put up decent numbers on average, but this Bears defense is awesome against the run and the Packers led the NFL last year in overall pass rate at 67.5% because that’s what you do with Aaron Rodgers. However, there is a new guy in control now with Matt LaFleur who just had Derek Henry and Dion Lewis to work with in Tennessee.
Packers WR Geronimo Allison ($7,400) – Allison is the slot receiver for the Packers and is coming off injury from last year. With no Randall Cobb or Jordy Nelson anymore, after Adams it kind of drops off. Jimmy Graham is with the Packers but can’t be trusted to be the same threat he once was, especially since the Bears were the best defense against tight ends last year. Equanimeous St. Brown was set to be another big target for Rodgers, but he was injured in the preseason and will miss the first few weeks of the season on IR. You also can’t trust the Packers’ run game against this staunch Bears defense, and as I noted Aaron Jones is a little high priced for me. It depends on your lineup if you can afford Jones or need to step down to Allison.
Others: Chicago DST ($5,000), Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($6,800), Allen Robinson ($8,600)
Bears TE Adam Shaheen ($400) – Yes, you read that right, only $400. However, he is only a valuable pick if Trey Burton doesn’t go. We still don’t know and it’s only hours to kickoff so pay attention to that, but the Packers gave up the highest pass success rate to opposing tight ends last season so whoever starts at tight end could find some success. Obviously a $400 guy could be a great captains pick at only $600.
Bears WR Cordarrelle Patterson ($1,000) – Patterson is set to be the primary kick returner for the Bears and #4 receiver, which means he could get some points if you need a value player. He averaged 5.9 FPPG last season for the Patriots.
Others: Trey Burton ($6,000), Mason Crosby ($3,200), Mike Davis ($4,200)
Bears: Trubisky, Robinson, Montgomery