Evan Silva’s Matchups Breakdown for Eagles vs. Packers
Photo credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Davante Adams
Below is a breakdown of Thursday night’s matchup by Evan Silva of Establish The Run. The goal is to help fantasy players and bettors alike understand the game at the deepest level. For all of Silva’s breakdowns and more fantasy analysis, visit EstablishTheRun.com.
Team Totals: Packers 24.5, Eagles 20.5
Nearing must-win mode after consecutive one-score losses to Atlanta and Detroit, the Eagles catch their toughest draw yet at Lambeau facing a Packers defense that ranks third in the NFL in sacks (12) and fifth in QB hits (23) and has forced eight turnovers, approaching every-week starter treatment as a D/ST. Badly missing DeSean Jackson (groin) and Alshon Jeffery (calf), Carson Wentz was fortunate to survive seven dropped passes for last week’s QB9 fantasy result and is difficult to trust as more than a high-end QB2 on a short week in this environment, even with Alshon back. … Packers DC Mike Pettine’s defense is more vulnerable on the ground, conceding a combined 73/364/4 (4.99 YPC) rushing line and a league-high 26 catches to enemy backs. While the good news is Miles Sanders totaled 126 yards against the Lions, the bad news is his college ball-security woes returned with two fumbles, he played a season-low 34% of Philly’s offensive snaps, and Sanders was vultured at the goal line by Jordan Howard in the first quarter. Sanders remains the Eagles’ most-valuable fantasy back, but he is at trap-play risk on Thursday night. Passing-game specialist Darren Sproles is worth a long-shot look in one-game DFS tournaments.
Wentz’s Weeks 2-3 target distribution: Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz 23; Mack Hollins 15; Sanders 8; J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 7; Sproles 4; Howard 2; Dallas Goedert 1. … Wentz hasn’t stopped peppering Agholor despite four drops in the past two games, including Week 2’s would-be game winner. Volume remains the name of the game in fantasy football, and Agholor has capitalized on it with back-to-back WR1 weeks. D-Jax won’t return before Week 5, and Jeffery’s health remains questionable on a short week nursing a tricky calf strain. … Matt Patricia’s Lions sold out to stop Ertz with sticky man coverage, holding him to a season-low seven targets, just one second-half reception, and none in the fourth quarter of Detroit’s 27-24 win. Week 4’s No. 2 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model, Ertz’s target projection remains as high as any tight end’s on this slate, even if Green Bay has put to-date clamps on his position. Keyed by stud safeties Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos, the Packers have allowed 72 scoreless yards on 12 targets (6.0 YPA) to enemy tight ends. … Hollins played all but one of the Eagles’ Week 3 offensive snaps and is clearly favored by Wentz over Arcega-Whiteside, whose snaps dipped from 93% in Week 2 to 72%. JJAW also dropped a potential game-winning catch in last week’s fourth quarter. Now dealing with a heel injury, Arcega-Whiteside figures to be weeded out of the rotation with Alshon back. The Packers’ secondary has been just generous enough to perimeter WRs Allen Robinson (7/102/0), Courtland Sutton (5/87/0), and Stefon Diggs (1/49/1) for Hollins to maintain WR4/flex viability. Green Bay has yielded seven completions of 27-plus yards in three games, and Hollins is Week 4’s No. 4 buy-low receiver in Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. Jeffery is playable on one-game DFS slates only. … Debilitated by his own calf injury that has lingered for six weeks, Goedert played just nine Week 3 snaps and dropped his lone target, a would’ve-been wide-open touchdown.
After surviving Chicago, Minnesota, and Denver in Weeks 1-3, Aaron Rodgers catches his best shot at a breakout game against Philadelphia, whose disappointing defense ranks 31st in the NFL in sacks (2) and 22nd in QB hits (17) and has allowed top-eight fantasy results to 2-of-3 quarterbacks faced. Rodgers’ upside still isn’t what it once was in a slow-tempo offense on what has become a defense-oriented team, evidenced by his Weeks 1-3 finishes of QB23, QB19, and QB25. He hasn’t thrown three TD passes in a game since Week 5 of 2018. Nevertheless, if there was ever a time to bet on Rodgers, this is it at home facing one of the NFL’s softest pass defenses. … Although Aaron Jones salvaged his Week 3 box score with a pair of short touchdowns against the Broncos, it’s more than a little concerning that he was out-snapped 61% to 39% and out-touched 14 to 11 by Jamaal Williams, who also doubled Jones in routes run (18 to 9). It may not matter against a stout Eagles front, but Green Bay’s backfield should be viewed as a near-even timeshare going forward with Jones in low-end RB2 range and Williams as a low-upside flex. Philadelphia has held enemy backs to an anemic 53/141/1 (2.66 YPC) rushing line thus far.
Rodgers’ target distribution: Davante Adams 23; Marquez Valdes-Scantling 22; Jimmy Graham 9; Jones, Williams, and Geronimo Allison 8; Marcedes Lewis 6; Robert Tonyan 4; Jake Kumerow 1. … Limited to 4/56/0 receiving in last week’s win, Adams fell victim to a combination of Rodgers’ light passing day and Chris Harris’ shadow coverage. Now missing “top” CB Ronald Darby (hamstring), the pass-funnel Eagles have been torched by fellow perimeter WRs Terry McLaurin (5/125/1), Julio Jones (5/106/2), Calvin Ridley (8/105/1), and Marvin Jones (6/101/1). With Mike Evans’ window slammed shut, Adams is now fantasy’s top buy-low receiver. Unsurprisingly, Adams also checks in as Week 4’s No. 2 buy-low wideout in Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. … Valdes-Scantling plays outside even more (89%) than Adams (69%) and has more Air Yards (253 to 236) on the year. MVS’ plus opportunity and matchup render him an upside WR3 play against the Eagles following last week’s breakout game (6/99/1). MVS scored his 40-yard touchdown on a patented Rodgers free play after Von Miller jumped offsides, beating Kareem Jackson. … Battling a debilitating groin injury, Graham has posted back-to-back goose eggs and played just 41% of last week’s snaps. Blocking TE Lewis (56%) was more active. … Allison has 28 Air Yards and 24 actual yards to show for his eight targets. Droppable in season-long leagues week ago, Allison is little more than a one-game DFS-slate dart throw against an Eagles defense that has defended slot receivers well. The Packers should begin giving serious thought to replacing Allison with Kumerow in three-wide sets.
Score Prediction: Packers 24, Eagles 23