Thursday games are always tricky, though that’s not groundbreaking news. Let’s take a quick look at some of the more questionable decisions for tonight’s game and try to decide who we should trust and who should be avoided:
Is there any value in the Packers’ backfield…
It appeared that the Packers had ample depth in their running back room, but they could take the field on Thursday without their Top 3 options:
- Aaron Jones – He’s a game time decision, but appears unlikely to play
- Jamaal Williams – Out, currently on COVID-19 list
- A.J. Dillon – Out, currently on COVID-19 list
The likely outcome is Dexter Williams and Tyler Ervin operating in the backfield in what could be a pass-heavy attack. Ervin is far better known as a return man, though he does have 4 carries for 43 yards and 6 catches for 33 yards on the season. Clearly he’s explosive with the ball in his hands, and it’s easy to envision the Packers trying to get creative and finding ways to get the ball in his hands in the open field. Those chances will likely come in the passing game, and with the ball likely in Aaron Rodgers hands early and often in PPR formats he should be a viable FLEX play.
As for Dexter Williams, the 2019 sixth round pick is currently on the practice squad. In his final season at Notre Dame he averaged 6.3 YPC (995 yards on 158 carries) and totaled 13 TD. He is going to be the favorite for carries on early downs and in short yardage situations, but how many times are they going to hand him the football? In standard formats the upside may be higher, but the floor is also lower because the ball should be in Rodgers’ hands as much as possible.
- Tyler Ervin – Start ‘Em (as PPR FLEX option)
- Dexter Williams – Sit ‘Em (desperation play in standard formats, but far too low of a floor)
With all of the injuries, can we trust any 49ers…
The San Francisco 49ers have been riddled with injuries, with Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Tevin Coleman and Deebo Samuel among those who will be sidelined. Nick Mullens is going to be the starter, but taking on a Packers’ defense that’s allowed the 7th fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers and 10th fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks the passing game may be better left for someone else to gamble on (especially with Samuel, Brandon Aiyuck and Kendrick Bourne all sidelined).
Instead it’s the Packers’ running defense, which has allowed the most points per week to opposing running backs, that the 49ers will likely target. Just look at the numbers:
- Rushing – 741 yards and 10 TD
- Receiving – 443 yards and 4 TD
With all of the injuries it’s been JaMycal Hasty who has emerged as the leader in the backfield. He has at least 9 carries in each of the past three games, delivering 123 yards on 30 carries (4.1 YPC). Even if he just gets to 15 carries, that would play into the 60-70 yard range with there being a good chance at a TD.
Hasty is likely the best play for the 49ers this week, as a viable RB2 in all formats.
Green Bay Packers Start/Sit Decisions:
- Aaron Rodgers (QB) – Start ‘Em
- Tyler Ervin (RB) – Start ‘Em (viable FLEX)
- Dexter Williams (RB) – Sit ‘Em
- Davante Adams (WR) – Start ‘Em
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR) – Sit ‘Em
- Robert Tonyan (TE) – Start ‘Em (borderline TE1)
San Francisco 49ers Start/Sit Decisions:
- Nick Mullens (QB) – Sit ‘Em
- JaMycal Hasty (RB) – Start ‘Em
- Jerick McKinnon (RB) – Sit ‘Em
- Trent Taylor – Sit ‘Em
- Jordan Reed (TE) – Sit ‘Em
- Ross Dwelley (TE) – Sit ‘Em (given injuries, could be a desperation play)
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN
Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: