Welcome Fantasy Football fans to Week 4!
We start this week with an NFC North showdown between the Green Bay Packers welcoming the Chicago Bears to Lambeau Field. This should be an interesting matchup of long-time rivals.
Can the Bears run the ball and control the clock to keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands? Will the Packers have enough offensive lineman? Will Ty Montgomery have similar success as he did in their last matchup?
Find out the answers to these questions and more as we head into Week 4 and the Thursday Night Game Preview and Fantasy Predictions.
Week 4 Thursday Night Game Preview and Fantasy Predictions
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7) (45.5)
Week 4 Thursday Night Game Preview: Bears Offense vs. Packers Defense
The Bears offense is their running game. Jordan Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen combined for 216 rushing yards in the victory over the Steelers on Sunday. Howard posted the second-highest rushing output of his career with his 23 carries, 138 yards and two touchdowns, including the 19-yard walk-off game-winner in OT. He accomplished all of this while fighting through obvious soreness in his right shoulder. Howard is a must-start in standard leagues. While Cohen remains the safer PPR option, Howard will continue to be the focal point of the offense.
Tarik Cohen has been an exciting player to watch in his first three NFL games. He saw eight targets in each of his first two games, and another four in week three. He has totaled 126 receiving yards and 157 rushing yards through three games. Cohen is carving out a solid dual-threat type of running back role for himself.
Through three games, Mike Glennon has only one completion longer than 20 yards. Overall, the Bears’ dink-and-dunk attack ranks 30th in yards per pass play (4.8). With a stingy defense and a productive running attack, this is part of the Bears’ winning formula for now with Glennon. If the Bears have to play catch-up to stay close to the Packers, then Cohen could be very busy as the Bears try to fight back a chunk of yardage at a time.
In Sunday’s game against the Steelers, Glennon made only five throws that traveled in the air at least 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He only completed one pass to a wide receiver. Look for the Packers to challenge the Bears to throw. They use a three-safety package called “nitro” that highlights Morgan Burnett’s versatility as a safety, linebacker, or cornerback.
The Bears’ strength is the Packers’ weakness. Green Bay ranks in the bottom third of the league in run defense (113.7 yards per game).
Green Bay’s secondary can be beaten, but not by Glennon. He is not worth starting unless in a real pinch in two-quarterback leagues.
Kendall Wright has some talent at wide receiver and should be considered as the number one receiver in this offense, besides Cohen. He is tough to trust and is a shaky start at best.
Week 4 Thursday Night Game Preview: Packers Offense vs. Bears Defense
Aaron Rodgers is struggling under pressure more to begin this season than we have ever seen in the past. The Packers have been crushed by injuries at both tackle positions, now down to their 5th and 6th string offensive tackles, which is quite amazing. Rodgers has three 300-yard games with six touchdowns through the first three games of the season. The only issue that has presented itself with this added pressure is that he has thrown one interception per game. He is no-brainer each and every week, but I don’t have to tell you that.
Ty Montgomery had a career-high 162 rushing yards on 16 carries in the Packers victory at Soldier Field last December. He’s a physical runner, and at approximately 220 pounds, he’s difficult to tackle. He is showing that he is capable as a starting running back with the dual-threat type of play-making ability. In addition, he has improved as a pass blocker and in running routes out of the backfield.
The chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers truly makes Jordy Nelson dangerous and a lock for targets, specifically in the red zone. He has shown no setbacks to the quad injury that plagued him in week two. Through two games, he has three touchdowns and 131 yards on only 17 targets. He is a must-start WR1 for this matchup, in fact, for all matchups.
Preliminary reports are saying that Randall Cobb (chest) has been practicing and will play this week after being out last week. He is a PPR sure-fire start or a WR3 with upside in a standard.
Davante Adams will provide inconsistent production based upon the healthy weapons now at Rodgers’ disposal. He has a safe floor and still worthy of a weekly start.
Martellus Bennett is a fringe TE1 with upside. He is getting the targets but he is struggling with drops. Hopefully, he can eliminate the drops shortly and develop the trust of Rodgers while continuing to build chemistry.
Week 4 Thursday Night Game Preview: Game Prediction
The Bears are 1-10 away from Soldier Field, including last season’s 26-10 loss at Lambeau. Of their seven losses to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay since 2008, five have come by double figures.
This game should not be a blowout. The Bears will try to stay committed to the run like they did in last week’s win against the Steelers because they never fell behind. Once the Packers stop the run, the game is over.
The Packers will have to overcome injuries to both of their offensive tackles, but the game will come down to the fact that the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, and the Bears have Mike Glennon. And Rodgers is at home. The injuries on the Packers side make the game close and interesting but Rodgers makes enough plays to lead the Pack to a win. Packers 27 Bears 17
Week 4 Thursday Night Game Preview: Player Fantasy Grades
QB-Mike Glennon: C
RB-Jordan Howard: A
RB-Tarik Cohen: A
WR-Kendall Wright: D
WR-Josh Bellamy: F
TE-Zach Miller: C
Green Bay Packers
QB-Aaron Rodgers: A
RB-Ty Montgomery: A
WR-Jordy Nelson: A
WR-Davante Adams: B
WR-Randall Cobb: B
TE-Martellus Bennett: C
Stay tuned for the remaining game previews and fantasy predictions for the Week 4 games coming soon.