The Week 2 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings features a classic divisional rivalry that could turn out to be lopsided this time around. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers almost let a victory slip away in Jacksonville last week. Thankfully, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was able to stand his ground and he delivered for fantasy owners. He only threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns, which is subpar by his standards, but Rodgers also used his legs to rush four times for 16 yards and an additional touchdown. Given that he got off to a rough start in the game, it was an all's-well-that-ends-well kind of game. He’s up against a much tougher defense this week than last week but Minnesota is going to struggle on the offensive side of the football. Rodgers should be able to pick apart the Vikings defense, particularly in the second half of the game, as players begin to fatigue.
Hopefully another week of actual regular season play helps wide receiver Jordy Nelson advance his confidence. After missing all of last year with a knee injury, Nelson caught six passes for 32 yards and a touchdown last week in Jacksonville. Those numbers aren’t reflective of the type of receiver he’s been throughout his career, but as he gets comfortable again fantasy owners can expect his numbers to increase steadily. This week against Minnesota will be a good test to see what he can do now that he has one game under his belt. Hopefully he can get closer to the 100-yard games fans and owners have become accustomed to throughout his career.
It looks as though Minnesota Vikings fans won’t have to wait long to see the debut of quarterback Sam Bradford. He took all of the first team reps at practice on Wednesday. Although he still likely needs more time to fully wrap his head around the playbook, Bradford should be more likely to throw the ball down the field than veteran backup Shaun Hill. That can only work to benefit a wide receiver like Stefon Diggs, who is showing that he can go for over 100 yards no matter who is throwing the football. Diggs caught seven of nine passes for 103 yards against the Tennessee Titans last week. He’s the most talented wide receiver the team has and he will gladly welcome Bradford’s arm into the lineup. Somebody will have to catch passes for the Vikings if they plan to keep Green Bay close, and it will be Diggs.
Perhaps if running back Adrian Peterson can give Diggs some help, the Vikings can walk away from their first game at a brand new stadium with a victory. Despite carrying the ball 19 times last week, Peterson only managed to rush for 31 yards. The performance prompted some pundits to question whether he might be getting too old to produce the way he used to, but with Sam Bradford being more of a threat than the aforementioned Hill, opportunities should open up for one of the game’s best running backs. Peterson has scorched Green Bay in the past and there’s no reason he won’t be in top form this time around.