For those that are not aware, part of my work with SB Nation involves helping manage our fantasy football content at SB Nation Fantasy. Last year, we developed a live chat for it called The Fantasy War Room, and it is back this year. The War Room is live today from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. PT, offering up advice on your lineups, trades and waiver wire considerations until kickoff. I'll be operating it from 7-10, so drop by with your fantasy football questions.
The 49ers-Packers matchup features a host of fantasy talent. Duckneck Merton put together a fantasy preview for Week 1 earlier this week, but I thought I'd drop in with a few thoughts now that we know the injuries and potential inactives for today's game.
The most notable injuries belong to the Packers, with CB Casey Hayward and OT Bryan Bulaga sitting out this game, and FS Morgan Burnett looking like a game-time decision. If you own the 49er defense/special teams, or Aldon Smith in IDP leagues (Individual defensive players), they could be in for a big day against rookie David Bakhtiari. The Packers aren't just going to roll over on the left side of the line, but the 49ers defense has a clear advantage. They need to now go in and execute, but the opportunity is there.
The absence of Heyward, one of the Packers best corners last year, opens the door for the 49ers passing game. The problem from a fantasy perspective is that we just don't know which receivers will be targeted. Well, we know Anquan Boldin will get a lot of looks, which makes him valuable, particularly in PPR leagues (points per reception). Beyond that, it's a tough call. I think Quinton Patton has the most upside among the receivers, while Kyle Williams is the biggest question mark. Some folks expect big things from KW, but having sat out the entire preseason, what can we really "expect" in Week 1? I'd love to see him go out there and blow things up, but we have such a limited sample from which to project.
For the 49ers, it will come down to the ground game. We could see them light it up through the air with that Colin Kaepernick-Vernon Davis connection, but it will all be set up by the power rushing attack. Frank Gore is a strong start today, and I would argue Kendall Hunter is actually not a horrible flex play if you are in a particularly deep league. I honestly would even consider starting him ahead of a guy like Eddie Lacy. That's not to say you necessarily agree, but Lacy faces a very tough 49ers defense. He could wear the defense down, but much like Eric Reid getting Aaron Rodgers, Lacy drawing the 49ers defense is one of the toughest he could draw.
If you have any lineup questions for today, drop by The Fantasy War Room. We'll even have a live video segment (not featuring me, though) from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. PT. Enjoy!