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NFC Championship Game Preview: Packers at Seahawks

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Source: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America

Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks
Sunday January 18, 2015. 3:05 p.m. EST, FOX

Packers’ fans are riding high after knocking off the polarizing Cowboys and silencing their always mouthy fan base. A combination of a one legged QB and fast acting karma doomed Dallas and propelled Green Bay to victory. Aaron Rodgers was visibly hobbled in the game but stepped up when it mattered most. He shined in the fourth quarter and looked like the MVP he will inevitably become at the end of this month. Meanwhile, in Seattle, the Seahawks just continued chugging along, dominating everything in their path. Let’s be honest, the Panthers never really had a chance. Let’s be honest again, neither do the Packers. Not in Seattle, not with a hobbled QB. The Seahawks front seven is going to get at Rodgers and The Legion of Boom will eat them alive. Last time these teams faced off on opening night Rodgers didn’t even throw at Richard Sherman once. More importantly, it’s the last time Rodgers looked really bad. If he was 100-percent, they would have a very slight chance in Seattle. With Rodgers at about 80-percent, no chance. Seattle will get a chance to defend their title in Arizona.

Green Bay Packers: What to look for

Quarterbacks
Believe it or not, Rodgers is the cheapest starting QB on DraftKings.com. If you think that’s crazy, what’s even crazier is the fact that you should go nowhere near him. At $7,800 he is $200 cheaper than next cheapest QB Russell Wilson and $700 cheaper than top QB Tom Brady. Along with Andrew Luck, all three QBs are better options this week than your next NFL MVP. He is playing in Seattle with a tear in his calf. No QB can overcome those odds.

Running Backs
The once duel-threat of Eddie Lacy and James Starks has become a one man show. As a matter of fact, Starks actually has the same $2,000 price tag of Packers full back John Kuhn. Lacy is the second most expensive RB at $6,300. Much like his superstar QB, you are best to avoid him this week. Not only are the Seahawks typically good against the run, allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs this season, the matchup sets up particularly favorable for the Seahawks defense. With Rodgers hobbled they will not need to drop extra players back in coverage, not that they usually do anyway. Without the threat of an MVP caliber candidate the Seattle defense will be able to put plenty of focus on the run to slow Lacy down. Smart money is on the Seahawks defense, not anybody else.

Wide Receiver
The Packers WRs aren’t terrible options this week, but as the two most expensive WRs (Randall Cobb $7,700, Jordy Nelson $7,600) they are both very risky plays. Odds are one of these guys will have a decent game. While I would avoid both guys, if you insist on plugging in one of these guys Cobb is the better play. It’s the smaller slot guys that give the Seahawks a lot more problems. The best value at WR may actually be rookie Davante Adams at $4,300. You don’t want to overreact to one great game by a rookie wideout, nevertheless, against a team like Seattle with great corners, the secondary role players can really excel. At such a low price Adams could have some nice value.

Tight Ends
The Packers’ TEs are extremely pedestrian. Their priciest TE Andrew Quarless is only $2,600. While he could possibly catch a TD, that’s about all he brings to the table. With that said, if the Seahawks defense does have a weakness (and that’s a big if), it’s against TEs. They were ranked 16th in the league against opposing fantasy TEs. Yes average is as bad as this defense gets.

Seattle Seahawks: What to look for

Quarterbacks
Wilson is a nice play this week at $8,000. Not only does he statistically have the best matchup of all the QBs, but he’s also the second cheapest. You have to love Wilson in a big game. The Packers also really struggle against duel-threat QBs. For some reason they just can’t seem to slow them down. Wilson is a great play this week.

Running Backs
Speaking of guys you have to love in big games, Marshawn Lynch has a highlight reel of great moments in big games. While he’s by far the most expensive RB this week ($7,600) and disappointed owners last week, the other RBs playing on Sunday do not exactly strike confidence in fantasy owners. The second most trustworthy RB is probably Boom Herron. What does that tell you? Lynch is probably worth the extra cash this week.

Wide Receivers
Doug Baldwin is still a decent pick this week at $5,000. He has as much upside as pretty much any WR in his price range. He may be a top three WR this week period. On the other hand, Jermaine Kearse’s big game last week has inflated his price tag to $3,800. That’s more expensive than a player like Donte Moncrief. While Kearse has some upside, he’s not worth starting this week at that price. You don’t want to buy high.

Tight Ends
Much like the Packers’ TEs, the Seahawks’ TEs are subpar at best. Luke Wilson is their best option and has played decently down the stretch. Nonetheless, he’s not particularly good and priced at $4,000. Dwayne Allen is a much better by at $3,800 or even Quarless as well. Stay away from Wilson this week.

 

Predictions

Final Score
Green Bay: 13
Seattle: 27

Best Play
Packers: Randall Cobb
Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch

Sleeper
Davante Adams

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