Jeff’s Hardcore Core- Showdown Slate Packers vs Bears Thursday Night Game

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson September 2, 2019 21:51

Jeff’s Hardcore Core- Showdown Slate Packers vs Bears Thursday Night Game

The first Showdown slate of the year comes on opening Thursday night football and features the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears.  Throughout the season I will mix in strategies, game theory, and ideas into this column that will help you be more successful in Showdown slates (which are Captain Mode).   If you are not a Football Insider Edge member already, be sure to sign up for only $99 for the entire season- Click Here

Showdown contests are obviously very different from our main slates, because they feature a Captain, who will earn 1.5X the standard fantasy point value. What also makes this tricky is that the Captains salary is 1.5X as much.  Last year I was able to hit a couple decent paydays in Showdown slates and I am happy to share with you all  of the expertise that I have.

One thing I like to do with Showdown slates is develop a “game script” that I believe can play out.  This game script will help dictate the players that I select.  It is certainly possible that both teams runningbacks and both teams defenses are among the six highest scoring players on a Showdown slate, but also not likely.  Generally, defensive scoring comes from sacks and turnovers, which generally come from opposing teams throwing the ball often.  If both teams are running the ball enough for their runningbacks to be among the highest scoring players, chances are the points via sack and interception are not racking up.  This is why it is important to develop a possible game script, so that the players on your roster have a positive correlation.

There are a lot more game scripts than you might think. One of the most obvious is one team getting up early (Team A) and keeping the ball mostly on the ground throughout the latter part of the game, while (Team B) is in catch-up mode and passing the ball a lot.  In this example, you might want to make sure to target Team A’s runningback, Team A’s defense, and Team B’s quarterback and receivers.  Clearly others could be very high scorers, like Team A’s quarterback and receivers while they were getting a large lead or Team B’s runningback who could be scoring a lot from catching the ball out of the backfield.  Identifying a game script is by no means an end-all-be-all strategy, it is simply a framework to help identify the best plays with a postive correlation, because with the salary structure the way it is, you can’t just roster the best players.

Jeff’s Strategy & Core-

First of all, the game total is 46 with the Bears a 3-point home favorite.  46 is not a low number, but also not high (8 games lower and 7 games higher this week).  The last two times Aaron Rodgers has visited Chicago, the result have not been great (2018- 274 yards, 0 Tds, and 1 Int, 2017-DNP, 2016- 252 yards, 0 Tds, and O Int).  The Bears gave up the seventh least passing yards per game last year and the leagues least amount of points per game (17.7).  Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is gone, but the Bears return 10 of 11 starters from that solid defense last year that ranked DVOA #1 against the pass and #2 against the run.  I will have exposure to Aaron Rodgers, because he is often match-up proof, but I also don’t believe you need to go all-in on him at $12,400.   When considering the price, Davante Adams looks like a better buy.  Last year against the Bears Adams went for 19.8 DK points (5 catches for 88 yards, and a td) and 24.9 DK points (11 catches for 71 yards and a td) in Chicago.  The one player that is new for the Chicago defense this year is Buster Skrine at slot corner who came over from the Jets and gave up 54 catches, 630 yards and 5 touchdowns in his coverage last year.  Marquez Valdes-Scantling had the most slot time last season, but Geronimo Allison is slated to get the most action there and Adams will line up there about-15% of the time.

We always need some bargain basement players and the best option for the Packers appears to be Jake Kumerow this week.  #4 receiver Equanimeous St Brown was placed on the IR on Saturday and will miss the entire year.  That elevates Kumerow, who caught three passes in each of his last two games last season and also caught a touchdown against the Raiders this preseason.  Just as likely to have a touchdown this game as catch zero balls on zero targets, but in Showdown slates you need to save dollars somewhere and take risks and this could be the best option.

The Bears are stout against the run (#2 DVOA last season). Last year the Bears stuffed the Packers run game and only allowed 63 rushing yards to runningbacks (Jones- 8 yds, Williams-55 yds) in Chicago and only 54 rushing yards in Green Bay (Williams-47 yds, Montgomery-7).  I expect Aaron Jones to be much more effective this year under Matt LaFleur’s offense (including in the passing game), but based on past performance Jones won’t be lighting up the Bears Run D.

Finally, the Bears defense is tough against the tight end (9th in fantasy points against last year) and Jimmy Graham caught 5 balls for 40 yards and zero touchdowns in two games against them last season.   Graham was a limited participant in practice on Monday, and listed as questionable on Thursday.  He is likely to play, but if he does not then Jace Sternberger becomes an option.  I don’t love the tight end position against the Bears, but at $1,600 (vs $4,600 for Graham) it could possibly be worth a flyer.  UPDATE: Since I wrote this  article Sternberger has been placed on IR and it sounds as though Jimmy Graham will play.

It appears the Packers are going to have a tough time in all departments. It is tough to tell what Matt LaFleur’s new offense will bring and it is even more difficult considering most Packers starting skill position players didn’t play this preseason.  I will likely target the passing game of the Packers vs. that of the running game.

Last year the Packers ranked 28th DVOA against the pass and 23rd against the run. With Jordan Howard gone, David Montgomery will be the Bears main back and should average 20 touches/game this season.  Tarik Cohen is the main third down and change of pace back again this year and is capable of breaking a long one anytime he touches the ball.  Much more capable in the passing game is Cohen, but Montgomery will likely see any goaline touches, which makes him extremely valuable in a Showdown slate and he is actually $200 less than Cohen, which is a bit of a head scratcher.

My favorite option in the Bears passing game is Allen Robinson who will see the majority of his coverage from Kevin King, which is a plus match-up.  In their play-off match-up against the Eagles last year Robinson posted 10 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown en route to his second 30+ DK point game of the season, which shows you his upside.  Anthony Miller is also a decent option for $2k less than Robinson as he gets slot duties and likely will have the second most targets for the Bears receivers. Cordarrelle Patterson is not much more than a gadget player at this point, but still has speed and possible big play breaking ability.  Likely not to see much volume, but it only takes one and for only $1,000 another GPP long-shot.

Bears tight end Trey Burton is dinged up and questionable for Thurday’s game. The fact that he is even questionable at this point is concerning and does not breed a ton of confidence in his upside.  If however we see he is ruled out then all of a sudden in steps Adam Shaheen who isn’t going to make us forget Mike Ditka at tight end, but he is only $400. A starting position player who will get all of the snaps for $400 is highly unusual.  Remember, if Burton plays, probably forget you ever heard the name Adam Shaheen, but if Burton is out, he might be a decent salary saving flyer.

Before I give you my core of players I will be building Showdown lineups around, I am going to share with you one game script that I have been using-  Bears defense is tough and the Packers can’t get anything going early, especially on the ground.  The Bears are able to run the ball and can move the ball efficiently, control the ball, and produce many more offensive plays than the Packers.  The Bears build an early lead fueled by the emotions of week 1 and a rowdy home crowd.  The Packers find themselves down early, abandon the run, which means more volume for Rodgers and the Packers pass catchers.  Being in catch-up, passing mode, it opens up more opportunities for the Bears defense to score DK points.  In this scenario the Bears kicker (Pineiro) will likely have more opportunities than the Packers kicker (Crosby) because the Bears will have plus field position more of the game.

By no means am I predicting that this will be the exact game script.  It is just a simplistic scenario that I want to illustrate how I go about thinking about outcomes and what players would compliment each other if the scenario happened to play out that way.  It could also happen that the Packers explode and put up 35 points.  In that scenario, you would certainly want 4 or 5 Packers on your roster.

Think through and write down some game scripts and build your rosters accordingly.


Aaron Rodgers $12,400

Mitchell Trubisky $11,600



David Montgomery $8,200

Tarik Cohen $8,400



Davante Adams $12,600

Allen Robinson $8,600

Geronimo Allison $7,400

Marquez Valdes-Scantling $6,800

Anthony Miller $6,600

Cordarrelle Patterson $1,000

Jake Kumerow $600



Adam Shaheen $400 (*only if Burton is ruled out)

Ben Braunecker $300 (also a flyer if Burton is ruled out)


Pineiro (Bears) $3,400



Bears $5,000

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson September 2, 2019 21:51

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