Week 4: TNF Fantasy Preview Eagles @ Packers

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

I’m not sure why it happens, but TNF matchups are usually laughable, with limited fantasy opportunity for either team. We have seen the Buccaneers in action with Jameis Winston throwing 300 interceptions, the Titans and Marcus Mariota underwhelm with talent, and Minshew Mania with the Jacksonville Jaguars last a whole 1st half. We’ve also seen the Packers on a Thursday, once already during the season opener against the Bears.

Why did the Packers get cursed with two TNF games in the same month? Maybe the Bears made the schedule.

Either way, now that 2019 has some data in the books, we can finally start looking at this year’s data instead of relying on last year’s numbers to make some predictions about upcoming fantasy matchups. Soooo, we’ll be about 1.2% more accurate. Maybe.

If there is one thing I have learned previewing TNF games, it’s that nothing goes according to planned in fantasy, especially on a Thursday night matchup. But, I’m going to give it a go anyway.

Packers’ Defense vs. QB, RB, WR, TE

As I mentioned before, we now have a bigger sample size to project over the relevant 16 weeks of the 2019 season. Nowhere is this more poignant than looking at the Green Bay Packers’ defense. Last year, the Packers finished 28th in fantasy points against the WR position. Defense against RBs was a more respectable 15th, while QB and TE ranked 21st and 13th respectively.

So far this year, the Packers have are now ranked 1st vs WRs, 2nd vs the QB, 3rd against TEs, but they are an abysmal 30th defending against RBs.

This would be great for fantasy if the Packers were playing anyone else besides the Eagles, who have taken the running back by committee to annoyingly new heights.

It’s almost impossible to predict which running back is going to see the goal line looks in this matchup, but we can take a look at snap counts and redzone looks to give us a better guess.

Snap Counts
Miles Sanders – 41.9%
Darren Sproles – 33.3%
Jordan Howard – 25.9%

Total RedZone Looks (includes rush and rec attempts)
Miles Sanders – 7
Darren Sproles – 4
Jordan Howard – 6

Miles Sanders had indeed outworked Jordan Howard and Darren Sproles, but Howard remains in the mix as a fantasy-relevant option. After Sanders fumbled twice last week, one for a turnover, Howard got his shot to make waves. He ran in the first RB rushing touchdown, much to the chagrin of Sanders owners.

Starters – Eagles

Zach Ertz, Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard

I will admit that I have more faith in Sanders, but Howard has been sniping looks and has just as good of a chance to see the end zone as Sanders does. For many of us, Ertz is a must-start since you most likely don’t have any better options.

Because Green Bay’s defense vs the QB and WRs terrifies me this week, coupled with the loss of DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery being banged up, I am sitting Carson Wentz. I hate it. Thursdays are always weird so even though the matchup says to sit him (which I am doing), watch him blow up. I am sitting the Eagles WRs as well. I just don’t trust it.

Eagles Defense vs. QB, RB, WR, TE

While the Eagles defense isn’t nearly as stout as the Packers, they are also not easily dismissed. The problem here is the Eagles defense facing a QB like Aaron Rodgers. As if fantasy football wasn’t complicated enough.

Eagles defense vs…
QB – 23rd
RB – 5th
WR – 29th
TE – 14th

The best aspect of the Eagles defense is their ability to stop the run game. In fact, they have held their opponents to under 170 yards rushing and only 1 touchdown. Aaron Jones has a shot against the Eagles, but he is ranked 16th this week in 0.5 PPR behind names like Todd Gurley, Kerryon Johnson, and Leonard Fournette. For the complete list, visit FantasyPros.com.

If you are a Davante Adams owner, you may be lamenting spending high draft capital on a WR who has done very little for your fantasy team so far. This matchup against the 29th ranked Eagles defense may be just the ticket to make you feel better. I also like Marquez Valdez-Scantling this week.

Since you are starting the WRs, starting Rodgers isn’t a bad idea either, as he’s ranked 7th this week according to FantasyPros.

I am avoiding Jimmy Graham this week. He’s had limited practice so far this week and probably won’t be a factor with other WR options available. Again, watch him score another touchdown. Why do we play this game?

Starters – Packers

Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, MVS, and Packers DEF/ST

As always, if you have starters in the Week 4 TNF matchup, make sure you move any of those players out of your flex spot and into your regular lineup.

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