The 2018 NFL season kicks off this Thursday with the defending Superbowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta Falcons. The Eagles have announced that the Superbowl MVP Nick Foles will start the game with their franchise quarterback Carson Wentz still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered during the 2017 season.
The 2018 NFL season looks to be one of the most exciting seasons in recent times, especially in the NFC, where a double-digit win team could very well be left out of the playoffs.
With the 2018 season slated to begin this week, let's take a look at the Top 3 matchups to watch this week both in quality and from a fantasy point of view. A couple of matchups including the season opener of Eagles-Falcons and 49ers-Vikings have missed the cut but they are also good matchups to keep an eye on.
#3 Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Earlier this off-season I had the season opener between the Eagles and the Falcons, but after the blockbuster trade of Khalil Mack by Chicago Bears, this game and this team are now a must watch.
The return of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' 100th season also makes this game a must watch. After suffering a collarbone injury last season, Rodgers is back but will be missing his favourite target Jordy Nelson, who was a cap casualty this offseason. But Rodgers instead got a new red zone target in TE Jimmy Graham. The Rodgers-Graham connection should be a great combo this season.
The Chicago Bears have also revamped this season in every department. The new Head coach, ex-Kansas City Chiefs OC, Matt Nagy will be the Sean McVay of the season and the Bears could be this year's Rams. The Bears have added weapons in Allen Robinson and the Superbowl Hero TE Trey Burton. The Bears defense was underrated last year, but now with the addition of Khalil Mack the defense is legit and could be a nightmare for many offenses.
This game could have a huge impact from the fantasy perspective. There are a lot of under the radar players in both the teams that could help you win your week's matchup. I am not going to mention the top-shelf players like Aaron Rodgers because they are always must starts, regardless of the situation.
Trey Burton, TE Chicago Bears: Green Bay Packers were one of the teams that were at the bottom of the league last season in giving away points to the Tight Ends. The defense hasn't been upgraded that much this year and Trey Burton had a breakout season and sees himself in a favorable situation under Matt Nagy, who likes to target the Tight Ends.
Jimmy Graham, TE Green Bay Packers: As mentioned above Graham now could be the favourite red zone target for Rodgers. Graham had the most TDs scored by a Tight End in the red zone in 2017. So, every time the Packers are in the red zone look out for Graham streaking in to score a TD.
Under the Radar Picks:
Chicago Bears, Defense; Jamaal Williams, RB Green Bay Packers: Both these suggestions are for the whole season rather than this one week. These two could be under the radar picks which can go either way. If at least one of them can put up double-digit points this week they are a must add in fantasy.
The Bears defense will be facing a very strong quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. If they could help restrict the Packers on the opening game of their 100th anniversary there is nothing they will not be able to do. The addition of Khalil Mack and Vic Fagino's defensive schemes should only help the team in the long run.
With the suspension of Aaron Jones for the first two games, Jamaal Williams will have the chance to cement his role as the number 1 Running Back in the team. He is poised to have a breakout season in 2018. If he can manage to put up double digits points against a strong defensive line like Chicago Bears, he could solve the problem that is plaguing the Packers for the past couple of seasons.
This game could go down the wire with both teams taking shots at each other. But the Packers will open their 100th season and Aaron Rodgers his MVP campaign with a win over the Chicago Bears.
Score: Packers 27 Bears 21