Head coach Matt Nagy continues to run an abhorrent offense onto the field, and the (healthy) players aren’t giving fans much hope that the current regime will be around in future years. COVID-19 protocols took enough starters out of the defense that multiple practice squad players were called up. They played as well as you could ask for, but the offense, fielding most of their starters, didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
The Chicago Bears lost in week 15 to the Minnesota Vikings, a team nearly as directionless as Da Bears. Fantasy production doesn’t quite explain how bad this offense was, perhaps most evidenced by Quarterback Justin Fields - 16.9 fantasy points. That was, of course, boosted by a just-for-fun touchdown thrown to tight end Jesper Horsted as time expired.
Fields did well to drive the Bears into enemy territory all game, but was a part of the problem with the Bears losing two fumbles on offense (one by Fields) and thrice turning the ball over on downs. The Bears added a muffed punt to make it three fumbles lost, and spent all night failing to get out of their own way with penalties as well.
Running back David Montgomery was the other one to cough a ball up on offense, although he was used enough in the passing game to reach 11.3 fantasy points in PPR format. This marked his fourth straight game with double-digit fantasy points.
The Bears receivers returned to the Darnell Mooney show, with the second-year wideout finding 11.6 fantasy points on a healthy 12.6 yards per reception average. With Allen Robinson out due to COVID-19 protocols, Damiere Byrd found more action on offense, finishing with 9.2 fantasy points. Slim pickings, there.
Tight end Cole Kmet finished with his third-highest fantasy scoring output of the season, with 13.1 fantasy points thanks in part to 71 yards receiving. He’s often been a candidate to sit in these start/sit guides, because if you’re storing him on your fantasy team to wait and see then, well...wait some more. With so many players out due to health across the NFL, though, Kmet may have actually stepped in one of the better tight end options.
The Bears travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks this weekend, and all eyes will be on Justin Fields vs. Russell Wilson.
Here’s your start/sit guide for the Bears in week 16:
START: Justin Fields
The Seahawks defense presents an interesting matchup in fantasy production. They average 17.57 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but in three of the previous four matchups they surrendered the following: 15.46 points (Stafford), 15.96 points (Garoppolo), and 11.22 points (Heinicke).
They’ve played above their standard in recent matchups, and are due for a regression back to the mean.
Justin Fields, meanwhile, has exceeded 16.0 fantasy points in three of his previous four starts. He’s finding receivers and moving the ball down the field, although he’s joining his team in struggles to score touchdowns. His 7 passing touchdowns are among the worst int he NFL at 31st in the league. Even when considering his rushing touchdowns, he’s still struggling to finish drives.
ESPN projects Fields as:
A respectable statistical showing against the Vikings earned Fields 16.9 fantasy points, and he’s tallied at least that many points in four of his last five starts. The Seahawks have ceded the 13th-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season, so this isn’t an ideal matchup for the rookie, but at least there’s enough rushing potential to consider him in deeper formats and multi-quarterback leagues.
The Bears are out of playoff contention and have nothing but pride to play for, but they enter Lumen Field in Seattle on Sunday taking a Seahawks team also almost assuredly looking from the outside in at the postseason.
Look for the Bears to play with more pride than they have in recent weeks, with the playoff monkey off their shoulders, and Fields to throw multiple touchdowns for just the second time this year.
SIT: Khalil Herbert
Those in deep leagues may be desperate for a running back to fill a spot on their team, and if they looked to week 15 fantasy production they would be deceived. Khalil Herbert finished the game with 6.4 fantasy points in PPR format, a number entirely made up of three receptions for 34 yards. That many points without a carry should scream it aloud, but if you dive into the play-by-play, you’ll be reminded how little he’s played now that David Montgomery is healthy.
On Monday, after Minnesota took the ball past the two minute warning with a two-score lead, they punted to the Bears, effectively ending the competitive part of the ball game. To that point, Herbert had 1 catch for 8 yards. He hasn’t been projected for many points lately, but that’s even lower than his original projection.
Then the Vikings dropped into prevent defense and he found receptions underneath. It’s an unfortunate part of fantasy, and player statistics in general, that the numbers sometimes disguise a game where Herbert was again a kick returner and nothing more.
ESPN doesn’t even list a projection for Herbert, although they assigned a number of 2.9 fantasy points to drop him way below acceptable standards for a playoff start in fantasy. Leave Herbert on the wire, even in a deep league you can find others.
In other news...
WINDY CITY GRIDIRON FANTASY LEAGUE MEMBERS!
Postseason round one saw some excellent upsets, with the #1 seed in the WCG Navy League getting bounced, and the #2 seed in the WCG Orange League seeing their season come to an end. We’re hopeful that the second round is more stable for COVID-19 quarantines. Be sure to leave a comment if you advanced into the second round of playoffs.
Here is the semifinal playoff bracket in the Windy City Gridiron Fantasy Football - Navy League:
What’s your favorite name of these four semifinalists for the WCG fantasy crown?
Here is the semifinal playoff bracket in the Windy City Gridiron Fantasy Football - Orange League: