Kickoff: Sunday, September 26th at 8:20 PM ET
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Betting Odds: GB +3.5, 49.5 total via Oddsshark
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers (Start, Low-end QB1)
After a terrible Week 1, Aaron Rodgers bounced back with an impressive overall QB5 performance in Week 2. The Packers’ offense looked much better, and Rodgers drove downfield with ease. Unfortunately, this could be an arduous game for AR12. Green Bay tends to struggle when they travel to San Francisco, and the 49ers allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks last year. That’s enough to downgrade Rodgers a bit, but not enough to put him outside QB1 territory. It should be a tough game, but I believe Rodgers can achieve a respectable fantasy performance this week.
Aaron Jones (Start, RB1), A.J. Dillon (Sit)
Aaron Jones had a monster fantasy performance last week with 41.5 points against the Lions and four touchdowns. The 49ers allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs last year but haven’t been great so far in 2021. Either way, Jones is a focal point of the Green Bay offense, and fantasy managers would be crazy to bench him.
A.J. Dillon is averaging 3.6 fantasy points and only 4.5 carries per game. It’s still Aaron Jones’ backfield in Green Bay, and Dillion is no more than a stash for now.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Davante Adams (Start, WR1), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Sit), Allen Lazard (Sit), Randall Cobb (Sit), Amari Rodgers (Sit), Robert Tonyan (Start, Low-end TE1)
After a substandard Week 1, Davante Adams turned in a respectable high-end WR2 performance last week against the Lions. San Francisco’s secondary has been capable this year, but that won’t be enough to downgrade Adams this week. Fire up your elite receiver with confidence.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling had the second-most targets among Green Bay receivers last week and had an end-zone target, but “MVS” ended up with a goose egg in Week 2. Valdes-Scantling needs to show more production before he’s trustworthy on fantasy rosters. Allen Lazard was a reliable receiver last year but has struggled in 2021. Zero targets in Week 2 and only two short catches in Week 1 is concerning.
Randall Cobb is getting a bit more work in the slot than rookie Amari Rodgers but neither is likely to find much fantasy relevance this year. Cobb caught a few clutch passes last week but three targets aren’t much to work with.
How can Aaron Rodgers have a QB1 performance with only one consistent wide receiver? Well, look no further than last week against the Lions, where Rodgers threw three of his four touchdowns to running back Aaron Jones and the other to his tight end.
After a disappointing performance in Week 1, Robert Tonyan returned to form against the Lions with the fifth-best fantasy tight end performance of Week 2. It seems Tonyan’s hyper-efficiency from last year is still present in his game. “Big Bob” tallied 14.2 fantasy points with three targets, three receptions, and a touchdown. The match-up isn’t great, and I’m placing Tonyan towards the end of the TE1 tier because of it, but I believe Robert is still a start-able option this week.
San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo (Sit, Low-end QB2)
Jimmy Garoppolo had a respectable 19.6-point performance last week, but a rushing touchdown salvaged his fantasy output (something he’s only done three times in his career). The Packers’ defense seems shaky this year, but that isn’t enough for me to trust “Jimmy G” this week. His floor is safe enough, but Garoppolo’s low ceiling should have you looking for better options in leagues that start one quarterback.
Elijah Mitchell (Start, Low-end RB2), Trey Sermon (Sit), JaMycal Hasty (Sit), Trenton Cannon (Sit)
This situation is messy, so I’ll try my best to sort out a complicated backfield. First, JaMycal Hasty is out for a few weeks with a high ankle sprain, and Trey Sermon is in the concussion protocol. I’m not trusting Sermon if he plays this week. He got injured on the first play of his professional career, so I’m going to need to see some consistent production first. Trenton Cannon hasn’t earned enough trust to be in any starting fantasy lineups yet. That leaves us with Elijah Mitchell, who is day-to-day with a shoulder injury. Fantasy managers need to keep an eye on his status, but Mitchell should be capable of RB2 production if he suits up this week (which he should). The Packers’ rush defense has been dreadful, allowing the fourth-most ground yards per game so far in the 2021 season, so I like Mitchell’s potential upside if he’s good to go in Week 3. It seems like this is Mitchell’s backfield, at least for now.
It’s no secret the 49ers have been plagued with running back injuries this year, and it seems they are doing everything they can to bring in additional support. T.J.Yeldon, Duke Johnson, Lamar Miller, and Jacques Patrick were all linked to San Francisco over the week. That’s quite the list, and it’s anyone’s guess whether any of them can find fantasy relevance this year, but none of them will be start-able in Week 3.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Deebo Samuel (Start, WR2 with upside), Brandon Aiyuk (Sit), George Kittle (Start, TE1)
Deebo Samuel has emerged as the best receiving option in San Francisco. He had an impressive 31.9-point performance in Week 1 but came back down to Earth a bit in Week 2 with 16.1 points. I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen from the Packers’ defense this year, so I believe Samuel should be a reliable WR2 with plenty of upside this week. I’m not too worried about Jaire Alexander. If I’m not mistaken, Alexander doesn’t “shadow” specific receivers very often, and Deebo tends to play all over the field. My chief concern is that the 49ers’ run game will be so effective this week that they hardly need to throw the ball.
Brandon Aiyuk has only seen two targets this year for a total of one catch. He will need much more production before fantasy managers can start trusting him. He’s probably still worth a bench spot for now, but he shouldn’t be in any starting lineups yet.
It’s been a disappointing season so far for fantasy managers with George Kittle on their roster. One of the most elite tight ends in the NFL is only averaging 8.75 fantasy points per game in 2021. The 49ers ran 38 rush plays and 30 passing plays last week, so Kittle was more of a blocker. George should receive more targets when the 49ers find themselves in a pass-happy game script. I know they’ve only played two games, but the Packers are allowing the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Hopefully, we see the dominant Kittle we all know and love this week.
-Ryan Kruse (@ryanpkruse)