By Steve Silverman
That’s a sigh of relief coming from Wisconsin. It turned out all the Packers needed to do to get well was take a trip to Chicago, which has been perhaps their favorite city to play in over the years.
Aaron Rodgers was back in top form in Week Four, as he led the Packers to a remarkable 38-17 victory over the Bears in which they did not even have to punt once. (Neither did the Bears, for that matter.)
The Vikings also pulled off a surprising win, as they beat the Atlanta Falcons with a shocking offensive performance that included a stellar bit of production from running back Matt Asiata.
These two bitter rivals will lock horns at Lambeau Field tonight in a key early-season NFC North showdown.
QB Teddy Bridgewater – While Bridgewater had a fine showing (317 yards, no interceptions) in his first career start against the Falcons, you can’t put him in your lineup in this game unless you are an extreme gambler. Bridgewater injured his ankle in the victory over the Falcons, and the coaching staff won’t make a final decision on him until shortly before gametime. The evidence indicates that head coach Mike Zimmer will sit Bridgewater and let Christian Ponder have at the Packers. Neither one looks like a good play. BENCH EITHER VIKING QUARTERBACK (Bridgewater or Ponder).
RB Matt Asiata – Few looked at Asiata as a suitable replacement for Adrian Peterson when the child abuse/cruelty charges came down and took the All-Pro running back out of the picture. But Asiata is a remarkably confident player and he relished the opportunity. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams against the Falcons when he pounded the ball into the endzone three times and rushed for 78 yards. We don’t expect three TDs in this game, but Asiata could approach 100 yards against Green Bay’s soft run defense and at least one touchdown. PLAY HIM.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson – The true difference maker in the Vikings’ lineup. If Patterson had a high-level quarterback working with him, he would have a legitimate chance to develop into a star. However, with Bridgewater gimpy and Ponder undependable, it would not be prudent to put Patterson in your lineup tonight. He only caught two passes for 38 yards, and he’s not going to do much better than that vs. the Packers. BENCH HIM.
QB Aaron Rodgers – There are few quarterbacks in the game who are capable of simply taking over like Rodgers when he is comfortable in the pocket. He certainly was against Chicago, as the Bears couldn’t put a glove on him. After throwing for 302 yards and four TDs vs. Chicago, look for another 300-yard game and three TDs. vs. the Vikings. PLAY HIM.
WR Jordy Nelson – He is Rodgers’ favorite receiver and nothing is going to change that in this game. He was targeted 12 times in Chicago, and he should be on the receiving end of at least 10 passes here. Look for Nelson to get into the endzone at least once and go over the 100-yard mark. PLAY HIM.
WR Randall Cobb – This is a much trickier call because Cobb had not played well through the first three games of the season, but he certainly got well against the Bears. He went over the 100-yard mark and also caught two TDs, but can he sustain his success. It appeared that Cobb was starting to doubt himself, but we are betting that those doubts have been erased. Look for another fine day here with at least five catches for 75 yards and one touchdown.
Steve Silverman has been writing, talking about and playing fantasy football since the early 1990s. He co-hosted Fantasy Football Weekly, the first Fantasy Football television program, in 1994 and ’95. Follow Steve on Twitter @profootballboy.