Last updated: January 16th at 9:45am ET
Team Totals: 49ers 26, Packers 19
Even if Green Bay’s 37-8 loss at San Francisco in Week 12 provides too small of a sample to be viewed as a predictive Conference Title Week blueprint, the Packers’ on-paper disadvantages are similarly evident as touchdown-plus road dogs in The Bay Area. Aaron Rodgers deserves to contend for fourth among Week 20’s four starting quarterbacks from a box-score perspective with yards per attempt splits that crash from 8.09 at home to 6.12 on the road, while the 49ers’ sack rate flies from 4% to 11% with now-healthy DE Dee Ford on the field. Rodgers projects to be uncomfortable in the pocket away from Lambeau with limited non-Davante Adams weapons at his disposal. Although Rodgers-to-Adams stacks remain a must for anyone firing multiple DFS-tournament teams, their hit likelihood is lower than usual.
Even as Jamaal Williams returned from his late-season shoulder injury, Aaron Jones maintained bellcow usage in last week’s win over Seattle and now has touch counts of 22 > 22 > 13 > 25 in Williams’ last four appearances. Yet raw usage projections are among the few factors working in Jones’ Week 20 favor as a touchdown-plus road dog facing a rejuvenated 49ers defensive front that stymied enemy backs for 64/231/4 (3.61 YPC) rushing over its last four games, including its Divisional Round shutdown of All-Pro Dalvin Cook (9/18/0). Including playoffs, touchdown savant Jones has averaged 1.05 home-game TDs versus 0.62 on the road. Jones didn’t catch a pass in these clubs’ Week 12 date, while San Francisco permitted the NFL’s second-fewest receiving yards to running backs (400) on the year. Jones remains in DFS play based on his projected workload, but he isn’t nearly as big of a priority as he was last week.
Rodgers’ Weeks 10-19 target distribution: Davante Adams 91; Allen Lazard 33; Jimmy Graham 27; Jones 25; Geronimo Allison 22; Williams 18; Marquez Valdes-Scantling 16; Robert Tonyan 9; Jake Kumerow 7. … Adams eked out a 7/43/1 stat line in these teams’ Week 12 date and enters Week 20 with double-digit targets in nine of his last ten games, banking 100-plus yards in seven of his last eight. Even at his high DFS cost, Adams is a near-must play facing a 49ers defense that gave up at- or above-expectation stat lines to Julio Jones (13/134/2), Michael Thomas (11/134/1), Robert Woods (8/117/0), D.K. Metcalf (6/81/1), Stefon Diggs (2/57/1), Tyler Lockett (6/51/1), Adam Thielen (5/50/0), Ted Ginn (4/50/0), Brandin Cooks (4/39/1), Cooper Kupp (4/31/1), and Tre’Quan Smith (2/29/1) over its last five games. … The rest of Green Bay’s wideouts are weekly dart throws; Lazard twisted his ankle and was replaced by Kumerow for most of the Divisional Round, yet Kumerow emerged catch-less on one target. Allison is scoreless since Week 4 and hasn’t topped 40 yards once during that span. Valdes-Scantling has lost the trust of Rodgers; even as Lazard missed much of the Divisional Round, MVS played just five snaps versus Seattle. … Graham’s usage is extremely dependent on game script; he ran 40 pass routes in Week 17’s comeback win at Detroit, then just 18 in last week’s controlled at-home victory over the Seahawks. Especially with 49ers TE stopper Jaquiski Tartt back healthy, this matchup projects poorly for Graham.
Beyond home-field advantage, the 49ers’ top on-paper edge over Green Bay is Kyle Shanahan’s ground game; enemy backs rocked the Packers for 87/405/4 (4.66 YPC) rushing over the last five weeks, while Green Bay hemorrhaged the NFL’s seventh-most running back rushing yards on the year. For DFS, critical is determining whether Weeks 13-19 lead RB Raheem Mostert will recapture his role after longtime Shanny heartthrob Tevin Coleman passed him in the Divisional Round. Mostert’s playing-time reduction was attributed to a week-long sickness that caused in-game cramps, and his salary plummeted on DFS sites. On a cost-relative basis, Mostert looks to be Week 20’s superior play, even if his touch projection is even with Coleman’s, and Matt Breida remains involved after logging eight Week 19 touches on 16% of San Francisco’s offensive snaps. As the Niners are big home favorites with a chance to impose their will against a soft defensive front, playing Mostert and Coleman in the same DFS lineups is a viable tournament strategy. I’m riding with Mostert to score more raw points if forced to pick from the two.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s recent resume consists of multiple TDs accounted for in just five of his last six starts, one 300-yard passing game since mid-November, and an average of 25.2 pass attempts over the last two months; NFL average is 34.8 attempts per game. I was surprised this week to hear DFS-community buzz on Garoppolo over Ryan Tannehill. Still, San Francisco figures to have little trouble moving the ball into scoring position against a Green Bay defense that appeared thoroughly worn out for the entirety of last week’s second half and is likely to get pummeled by Kyle Shanahan’s elite scheming in the middle of the field. On a two-game slate, Jimmy G is very DFS-tournament playable in stacks with George Kittle & Co.
Jimmy’s Weeks 13-19 target distribution: Kittle 49; Deebo Samuel 32; Emmanuel Sanders 31; Kendrick Bourne 17; Mostert 9; Kyle Juszczyk 8; Coleman and Breida 4. … A Divisional Round dud as San Francisco required just 11 Garoppolo completions to take care of the low-scoring Vikings, Kittle is an obvious bounce-back play after destroying Green Bay for an error-free 6/129/1 stat line on six targets in these clubs’ Week 12 date. Expect a long day for Packers ILB Blake Martinez in pass coverage. … Samuel and Sanders remain in very similar DFS territory. So late in the year, my bets are on Samuel’s fresher rookie-year legs and slightly superior stretch-run target share, although Sanders’ DFS cost has fallen into value-play range. Over their last nine games, the Packers conceded fantasy-valuable stat lines to fellow WRs Tyler Lockett (9/136/1), Allen Robinson (7/125/0), D.J. Moore (9/120/0), Anthony Miller (9/118/1), Mike Williams (3/111/0), Kenny Golladay (3/72/0), D.K. Metcalf (4/59/0), Terry McLaurin (4/57/1), Stefon Diggs (3/57/1), Deebo Samuel (2/50/1), Darius Slayton (6/44/0), Steven Sims (4/40/0), Sterling Shepard (3/40/1), and Curtis Samuel (5/35/1). This is a plus draw for both 49ers wide receivers. … Slot man Bourne wound up a Divisional Round difference maker (3/40/1) but ran just 13 routes on 29% of San Francisco’s offensive snaps and remains a touchdown-or-bust DFS dart throw versus Green Bay.
Score Prediction: 49ers 28, Packers 20