Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady, a quarterback matchup that has only happened twice since Rodgers became the Green Bay Packers’ starter in 2008.
The third bout will happen in Tampa, Fla. – and it won’t be in a Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Packers.
Green Bay (4-0) travels down south to play Brady’s new team, the 3-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on Sunday
Brady and the Bucs have a stable of offensive weapons, but it is clear the Packers’ skill guys are able to produce big point totals. Even with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard out in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay had no trouble moving the ball with Robert Tonyan and Jamaal Williams picking up the slack.
This is one of the marquee games of the week and with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks manning the offenses, there should be plenty of fantasy points from this matchup.
Who should you start? Who should you avoid? We are here to help.
Players are graded on a 1-5 scale of football emojis, from “don’t even think about starting him” (🏈) to “you’re a fool if you bench this guy”(🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈).
Here’s how Week 6 shakes out:
GREEN BAY PACKERS
QB Aaron Rodgers: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈
After throwing four touchdowns in his last game with his top two wide receivers out, Rodgers is an obvious start. If this is even a question for you, then you should retire from fantasy football. He has thrown for 1,214 yards, 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions in four games, so his average start has been 303.5 passing yards and 3.25 touchdowns. Just another day at the office for A-Rod. In terms of fantasy points, he is averaging 26.01 points per game in standard scoring leagues.
RB Aaron Jones: 🏈🏈🏈🏈
Against most teams, Jones would be an easy choice to start. Here’s the issue: Tampa Bay allows 58.4 rushing yards per game, so it is harder to imagine Jones, or any Packers running back for that matter, gashing the Buccaneers on Sunday. However, Tampa nose tackle Vita Vea is out for the season with an ankle injury, which could mean more open lanes for the Packers. Still, Jones should be a part of the passing game even if the Packers cannot establish the run.
RB Jamaal Williams: 🏈
If you are thinking about starting Williams after his game against the Falcons when he had eight catches for 95 yards, we would advise against it. Yes, Williams finished with 18.5 fantasy points in Week 4 but that appears to be an outlier performance. In the first three games of the season, he averaged 6.4 standard fantasy points per game and has not found the end zone yet this year. Unless your lineup is ravaged by injuries or bye weeks, then stay away from Williams.
WR Davante Adams: 🏈🏈🏈🏈
Adams should be an easy choice to start assuming he is able to play with his hamstring injury. Before missing the Packers last two games, Adams was one of Rodgers’ most reliable targets. He burst out of the gates in Week 1 with 14 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns (41.6 points) then recorded three catches for 36 yards the following game. He will be returning from an injury and has been somewhat inconsistent his first two games, but there is such a built-in trust with him and Rodgers that it is probably best to start him if he ends up playing, especially with Allen Lazard’s targets gone.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 🏈
Valdes-Scantling is a perfectly fine No. 3 receiver and a solid deep threat for the Packers. That does not mean he warrants a start. He always has the potential to explode for a great game like he did in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, but the consistency is not there.
TE Robert Tonyan: 🏈🏈🏈🏈
Unless you have one of the select few elite tight ends on your fantasy team (Kittle, Kelce, Waller etc.), then Tonyan is a great candidate to start. He has 13 catches for 173 yards and five scores – and this without having a reception in the season opener — and has emerged as the Packers’ No. 1 tight end. Tampa’s defense is tied for 13th-best in the NFL against tight ends which should not deter you from starting him.
Packers D/ST: 🏈🏈🏈
From a fantasy perspective, Green Bay’s defense is pretty mediocre. It averages 5.75 fantasy points per game and has only forced three turnovers. There are certainly worse offenses for a fantasy D/ST to go up against, but Brady has already thrown two pick-sixes and did not look great against the Chicago Bears. Maybe if he had an extra down it would have gone differently.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
QB Tom Brady: 🏈🏈🏈🏈
Brady has had some ups and downs in his first five regular-season games with Tampa Bay. He has thrown the pick-sixes and forgotten what down it was, but he also tossed five touchdowns in a game and has 250+ passing yards in three straight contests. You should start Brady this weekend against the Packers defense that has been No. 14 against fantasy quarterbacks. Brady may have some senior moments but has still thrown for 1,375 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions through five games.
RB Ronald Jones II: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈
If you like to have success in your fantasy football league, it would be wise to start Jones. The Buccaneers’ back has rushed for 100+ yards in the past two games and has caught nine passes in that span, so he is an even better player to start in PPR leagues. Furthermore, Green Bay has allowed the second most fantasy points to running backs this season so Jones should have opportunities for production.
WR Mike Evans: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈
Evans might be the best wide receiver in the NFL and the statistics back it up. He has 22 catches for 271 yards and a league-leading six touchdowns. The scores have not come in clusters. The 6-foot-5 wideout has scored a touchdown in each of the Buccaneers’ five games so far and even if his yardage is kept in check, Brady still likes to go to him for jump balls in the end zone.
WR Chris Godwin: 🏈🏈🏈🏈
There is no guarantee Godwin is able to play, but if he is able to suit up then he would be a good choice to start. Godwin has missed three games due to injury already this season but was productive in the two games he played, catching six passes for 79 yards in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints and five catches for 64 yards and one touchdown in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos.
TE Rob Gronkowski or O.J. Howard: 🏈
Don’t get fooled by what Gronkowski once was. In five games this season he has just 12 catches for 140 yards and no touchdowns. Howard has 11 receptions for 146 yards and 2 TDs. The Packers have yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end in four games. Probably best to stay away.
Buccaneers D/ST: 🏈🏈
Green Bay’s lack of turnovers (none) and Rodgers’ escapability (he’s been sacked just three times) make this a tough play. That trend certainly will reverse at some point. Could it happen in Tampa Bay? The Bucs have forced nine turnovers so far in five games and have 17 sacks, with seven players posting 2+, including two safeties.