49ers vs. Packers - Week 9
Packers @ 49ers
51 O/U -3 (GB)
The Packers look to bounce back after a rough loss as they travel to San Francisco and take on the injury-ridden 49ers. Neither of these teams is served well by having a short week at this point in the season, and it’s only exacerbated by positive COVID tests for both teams. Like most Thursday nights, it’s hard to know what to expect in this game, but it would appear that the Packers are pretty solid favorites.
Through the Air
Nick Mullens appears to be the starter going forward for San Francisco, and that’s not great for the team overall. He’s a fringe bye-week fill in for 2QB leagues until proven otherwise. He’ll be looking to target Brandon Aiyuk early and often, as he’ll be missing Kendrick Bourne who just tested positive for COVID, and Deebo Samuel who has a hamstring injury and has been ruled out for the game. They no longer have Dante Pettis, as he was cut yesterday, so their list of options is thin. He may look to make it up by targeting TEs, but George Kittle is injured as well, so he’ll be hoping for the return of Jordan Reed alongside Ross Dwelley. Aiyuk is the only play here, as a low-end WR2, and he could get lots of targets if the game script goes against the 49ers. But the Packers defense will be focusing on him due to the lack of playmakers at other spots, so temper your expectations here.
UPDATED: Brandon Aiyuk is OUT. AVOID EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS PASSING ATTACK
On the Ground
Green Bay, as evidenced last week against Dalvin Cook, is horrible against the run. This would be great, if San Francisco had any of their top 3 RBs. However, with injuries to Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson, they’ll be looking to JaMycal Hasty and Jerrick McKinnon to run the show. It should provide a great opportunity for both, and it seems that Hasty will get the bulk of the volume. McKinnon did seem to get some goal line/short yardage work last week though, so that could limit the ceiling a bit for Hasty. Either way, Hasty should be a solid RB2 against this defense.
Through the Air
Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams have been on fire this season, and they should continue their elite connection this week. Both should be in your lineup without reservation. After Adams, the WR pecking order is a bit of a tier structure, with Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the low-end flex/WR4 range, and everyone else in a group that should probably still be on the waiver wire. Robert Tonyan comes in as a low-level TE1, so boot him up if you don’t have a top guy in that spot.
On the Ground
This is as messy as the 49ers WR situation. Aaron Jones is questionable, and has missed the last two weeks. In a normal situation, they’d keep him on the bench and give him the extra 10 days to rest. However, both his backup and the 3rd string RB, Jaamal Williams and AJ Dillon, are in the COVID protocol and won’t be available for the game. This may force the hand of Matt Lefleur to put in Jones. As it stands, he’s a game time decision. Start him if they do indeed play him, but realize the potential for a re-aggravation of his calf injury. Dexter Williams and Tyler Ervin look to be the main guys if Jones is ruled out, and they’re pretty much lottery tickets at this point, with 5 and 10 carries on the season, respectively. It’s tough to trust either, so avoid them even if Jones is out, unless you’re totally desperate. I’d lean Ervin over Williams, but I think it’s a coin flip either way.
The Packers D/ST is a decent option this week as they draw Mullens, while the 49ers should be avoided. Same at the Kicker spot, I would suggest starting Mason Crosby and fading on Robbie Gould. I see this being somewhat close early, with SF not being able to move the ball on offense but making just enough plays on defense to stay in it, with Green Bay pulling away in the second half after wearing the 49ers out.