The 2014 NFL season has arrived, and so, too, has the fantasy football year. Thursday Night Football is back and brings us a potentially epic clash between the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. This is already enough hype to have you tune in, but add in the fact that the last time these two teams met was with the replacement referees and that infamous “Fail Mairy”, and the revenge factor even plays in a bit.
There’s a little more to this Thursday night battle, however, as it also marks the start of the 2014 fantasy football season. For the most part you’re going to want to play all of your studs, but naturally some will be concerned about some lineup decisions. We’ve got you covered there, as we’ll break down the Packers and Seahawks and see which options are best for the top fantasy results out of this matchup.
Let’s go by position for this game alone and see which options should be the pick:
Aaron Rodgers vs. Russell Wilson
A lot of people are in love with Wilson for 2014. I think he’s fine as a two straight finisher inside the top-10, but he’s not Aaron Rodgers. A-Rod obviously has the more difficult matchup, but he was fine against Seattle last time and looked fantastic during the preseason. I think there’s a chance he shocks with a great performance in a huge game. Either way, he has more upside in a defensive battle, so he’s the pick.
Eddie Lacy vs. Marshawn Lynch
Both of these guys are going to see the ball a ton on Thursday night, but Lacy carries more upside. Lynch has the better matchup, but Lacy is going to get more receptions and Green Bay is going to do all they can to control the clock and pace of this game. I have a feeling Lacy has a very good performance. Remember, Zac Stacy mashed this run defense up. They are very good, but they can be had.
James Starks s. DuJuan Harris vs. Christine Michael vs. Robert Turbin
Starks probably wins out by a very small margin, with Turbin coming in a close second. Harris may not see the field but for a snap or two, while Michael is nicked up and might sit week one out.
Jordy Nelson vs. Randall Cobb vs. Percy Harvin
Richard Sherman doesn’t shadow receivers, so both Jordy and Randall have a chance at killing it or sucking. Harvin is fragile as hell, so even though the matchup is awesome, he’s tough to play over either of these guys. I tend to think Sherman will be all over Nelson on TNF, so Cobb is a safer bet out of the slot. I’d rank them Cobb, Nelson, Harvin for week one.
Jarrett Boykin vs. Davante Adams vs. Jermaine Kearse vs. Doug Baldwin vs. Paul Richardson
Boykin should be on the outside in all three receiver sets, which doesn’t bode well for him against Seattle’s top two corners at all times. Some think he’d go unnoticed as the third option, but he could be in for a long night. Adams won’t see the field much and Richardson might not, either. It’s down to Kearse and Baldwin. Baldwin is probably technically the safer play as a starter, but Kearse seems to just make big plays routinely. I like Kearse out of this group.
Richard Rodgers vs. Andrew Quarless vs. Zach Miller vs. Luke Willson
Seattle is typically strong against tight ends and no one in Green Bay stands at all. I’m sure Rodgers and Quarless get targeted, but this is a platoon attack that is not very inspiring. I like the upside of Rodgers in a sense, but this puke fest may force you to use the more stable Miller. Really, hopefully you don’t have to use any of these sorry sacks.
Mason Crosby vs. Steven Hauschka
I reckon both of these guys will be solid options on Thursday Night Football, as both teams look to play ball control offense and stiff defense. I’m cool with both, but Hauschka seems like the safer bet at home.
Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks
I do think Green Bay will be improved and Seattle’s offense is the easier one to stop, but this isn’t even close. Seattle actually held GB in check fairly well the last time they faced and we all know what they did to the damn Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, of all places.