What We Saw: Packers at 49ers

A Thursday Night Football matchup ravaged by injuries was actually a lot of fun...well, not for 49ers fans!

Packers @ 49ers

 

The Green Bay Packers climbed another hurdle in their quest for the No.1 seed in the NFC by disposing of the derelict and derisory San Francisco 49ers 34-17 in Santa Clara on Thursday Night Football.

Key moments in the 2nd quarter gave the Packers a fortunate advantage. The first came on 4th and inches with 9:11 remaining in the half – Green Bay was up 7-3 and Rodgers managed to convert on a perfect pass to Adams. Later in the drive, a poor call from the officials on 3rd and 5 handed Green Bay a 1st down at the goal line after Jason Verrett was harshly penalized for defensive pass interference. The next play resulted in a touchdown for the everlasting Marcedes Lewis, stretching the Green Bay lead to 14-3. Matt LaFleur‘s playcalling massacred Robert Saleh‘s defensive schemes throughout the night and the Packers ran riot after that early controversy.

 

Green Bay Packers

 

Quarterback

 

Aaron Rodgers: 25/31, 305 yards, 4 TDs, 1 sack | 1 carry, 7 yards

 

It was as about as comfortable an outing as Aaron Rodgers (28.90 fantasy points) has ever experienced in a Packers uniform. With a quarterback rating of 147.2 for the night, Rodgers picked his targets and executed at will against a hapless 49ers defense. It was no surprise Rodgers looked to his star wideout Davante Adams to do the most damage once again.

 

Rodgers sat the final five minutes in an act of mercy. Rodgers has now thrown 3+ TDs in 5 of his past 6 starts. He is performing at an MVP level and should be a fantasy darling for the rest of the year.

 

Running Backs

 

Aaron Jones: 15 carries, 58 yards | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 21 yards

Tyler Ervin: 8 carries, 24 yards | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 48 yards

Dexter Williams: 2 carries, 8 yards

John Lovett: 3 carries, 6 yards

 

For those of you surprised to see such heavy involvement from Aaron Jones  (12.90 fantasy points) tonight, the lead back in Green Bay showed no signs of ailment after returning from a pesky calf injury that has kept him sidelined for the previous two games. The Packers didn’t really need to lean on Jones as they have done in previous weeks but he was still productive when needed. It was disappointing to note that Jones didn’t get a single carry in the red zone.

 

Tyler Ervin (11.20 fantasy points) was really impressive tonight spelling Jamaal Williams, however, don’t expect him to see more looks in this offense with Williams and 2nd-round pick A.J. Dillon to come back. It is a shame as the nifty scatback looks to have dynamic movement and explosive speed at the next level.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Davante Adams: 12 targets, 10 receptions, 173 yards, 1 TD

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 53 yards, 2 TDs

Robert Tonyan: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

Darrius Shepherd: 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards

Jace Sternberger: 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard

Marcedes Lewis: 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard, 1 TD

 

There is no doubt that Davante Adams (33.30 fantasy points) was ready to ball out right from the off in Santa Clara – this sensational catch, which had just a 27.9% completion probability according to Next Gen Stats, opened the scoring for the Packers on their first drive.

 

Adams was far too good for the 49ers secondary and Rodgers knew it, feeding his star wideout at every opportunity. This was my favorite play of the night.

 

Rodgers turned away in disgust in the 2nd quarter after Marquez Valdes-Scantling (19.30 fantasy points) dropped a pass on 3rd down that should have been corraled in easily to move the sticks. We have seen Rodgers completely blank receivers for this kind of a drop, however, he hit MVS deep just before the half to put the Packers firmly in control, 21-3. It was a perfect pass from Rodgers and if MVS has a strength it is his ability to separate and make plays down the field.

 

MVS topped off a memorable night with another touchdown on the first Packers drive of the second half. He is the ultimate boom or bust fantasy option at wide receiver, indeed this was his first double-digit fantasy performance since Week 1. He will likely cede work to Allen Lazard once he returns off of IR.

 

Wily veteran Marcedes Lewis (7.10 fantasy points) sniped a touchdown away from all the other fantasy-relevant options. Why, fantasy gods? Why!

 

San Francisco 49ers

 

Quarterback

 

Nick Mullens: 22/35, 291 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack, 1 FUM | 1 carry, 0 yards

 

It was a torrid night for 49rs backup quarterback, Nick Mullens (12.64 fantasy points).

Mullens loved targeting Ritchie James down the middle of the field early on. One of the criticisms of Jimmy Garoppolo is his inability to push the ball downfield when needed, especially with those intermediate throws. This isn’t the case with Mullens and this offense was distinctly more watchable through the air early on.

However, Mullens made a horrific mistake in the middle of the 2nd quarter by throwing up a ball under pressure from Preston Smith, who completely annihilated left tackle Justin Skule (deputizing for Trent Williams) all night. The pass was easily intercepted by Packers safety Raven Green, who returned the ball back into 49ers territory. This resulted in a major shift in the trajectory of the game and Mullens’ performance nose-dived significantly afterward.

 

Mullens was nearly picked on his next drive too, Darnell Savage failing to hold on to a risky throw down the middle in the direction of Jordan Reed. The 49ers lost any early momentum quickly and Shanahan had no answers through the air once again. The lack of a clear WR1 in Santa Clara has plagued this team ever since Lynch and Shanahan were hired.

Mullens was completely destroyed by Za’Darius Smith in the 2nd half from his blindside, something he couldn’t do much about due to his poor protection.

 

Mullens did salvage his fantasy night with a heap of garbage time yardage and a passing touchdown to Ritchie James. Once again, the starting quarterback question will rear its head for the 49ers going into Week 10.

 

Running Backs

 

Jerrick McKinnon: 12 carries, 52 yards, 1 TD | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 16 yards

JaMycal Hasty: 4 carries, 3 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards

Kyle Juszczyk: 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards

 

The ability of Kyle Shanahan to scheme up big plays for his running backs and speedy receivers out of the backfield is second to none. The issue for fantasy owners is working out just which guy in the backfield will get the nod and amass points galore each week. This week, it was Jerrick McKinnon (15.80 fantasy points). Saying that the 49ers couldn’t get anything going on the ground against a Packers defense that shipped 163 yards and 4 TDs to Dalvin Cook last week. McKinnon never had the chance to get into a rhythm as the game ran away from the 49ers quickly in the 2nd quarter.

Everyone who took the big risk and started McKinnon over Hasty had to wait with bated breath until the final 8 seconds for his fantasy night to be worthwhile. We don’t need those stresses right now!

 

Undrafted rookie JaMycal Hasty (3.30 fantasy points) saw a big decrease in touches after fumbling twice in Week 8. This offense needs Raheem Mostert back desperately.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Richie James: 13 targets, 9 receptions, 184 yards, 1 TD

Ross Dwelley: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 52 yards

River Cracraft: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards

Trent Taylor: 4 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards

Jordan Reed: 2 targets, 1 reception, 3 yards

 

The decimated 49ers receivers room welcomed a host of new names that announcers were likely practicing pronouncing all the way up to kick-off. One of those was River Cracraft (3.30 fantasy points), who going into tonight had one career reception for 44 yards back in 2018 for the Denver Broncos. He nearly made a name for himself in the 1st quarter just failing to bring in a touchdown pass that was beautifully placed by Mullens. The play was initially ruled a score but on replay, the officials correctly overturned the call.

Ritchie James (33.40 fantasy points) was Mullens’ favorite target all night and he connected with him nicely early on.

 

James was the only receiver who put in a performance worthy of note tonight. James has been off the fantasy radar for a couple of years now, demoted to returning punts if active. Tonight, he may have restarted his career in a big way, going off in primetime with 9 catches for 184 yards. He was rewarded with a late touchdown grab against the backups in the Packers secondary.

 

James was literally the only talking point after the rest of the receivers failed to make an impact on the stat sheet.

 

Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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