Week 3 is in the books, and we’re all re-reading the last chapter of this Bears season trying to understand what we missed. Justin Fields? 3.92 fantasy points. David Montgomery? 7.5 fantasy points. Allen Robinson? 4.7 fantasy points. (All in PPR format)
Not to mention Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, and Jimmy Graham. It’s obvious that the Bears were a wasteland for fantasy football production in week 3.
Held without a touchdown through sixty long minutes of professional football game time, Cairo Santos put together the only respectable game, connecting on two field goals including a 40+ yarder. The Bears’ defense would have had a fine showing with 5 sacks had they not been on the field the entire game. Still, some teams have WR3s who are better positioned for success than Allen Robinson, and Bears fans are predictably readiying the guillotine for this staff.
Head Coach Matt Nagy is very close to the end of his rope, with the Bears currently dead last in the NFL in offensive yards per game with 191.7, a mile away from the next lowest team (Saints, 234.0).
The Lions are a mess, and there’s still room for Robinson and Montgomery in your starting lineup, but there’s a clear lock this week to start against Detroit:
Start: Bears Defense
Team defenses have had enough success against the Lions so far in 2021 to keep fantasy GMs happy. In week 1, the San Francisco 49ers Defense had 7.0 fantasy points. Week 2, the Packers had 6. Week 3, the Ravens scored 5. The Lions still have yet to put the opposing defense in the negative for fantasy points this year.
Newly-acquired quarterback Jared Goff specifically has been an underwhelming addition to a Lions team desperately needing a star player. He currently sits with a 40.8 adjusted QBR, good for seventh-lowest in the NFL. Last year, he tied a few others for the second-highest number of interceptions thrown in the entire NFL. While the Bears’ strength clearly isn’t their secondary, the pass rush could either get home or force early throws and the Bears could take advantage.
ESPN projects the Bears’ defense in week 4 as:
While their offense isn’t offering fantasy managers much to work with, the Bears defense is faring better. Consider them to be a low-end starting unit going up against a Detroit offense without much depth in Week 4.
The Lions primary fantasy scorer this year, running back D’Andre Swift (3rd overall running back in PPR scoring format), will have a matchup nightmare catching balls out of the backfield in Roquan Smith. On top of that, the Bears are holding teams to 119.3 rushing yards per game, middle of the pack in the NFL but not a weakness if Justin Fields and company can keep the Bears’ defense hydrated on the sideline.
That’s not a given, but the Lions don’t have the Browns’ defense and this game should look different than last Sunday.
SIT: Cole Kmet
Cole Kmet is going to turn this thing around eventually, and live up to his draft position. He’s still seeing almost every offensive snap, and the Bears are very eager to get him involved on offense.
The problem: With 96% of the snaps in week 3, Kmet managed just 1 reception.
That’s not to say there were receptions to spare. Justin Fields line for the game, where he completed 6 passes and was sacked 9 times, is a sign of just how inept the brain trusts behind this Bears’ offense still remain, after all these years they’ve had to fix it. It’s clearly to the point where Matt Nagy’s coming unemployment is a shoe-in rather than a debate, and the million-dollar question is only whether it will happen in the middle of the season or after.
Back to that Browns game, the target share last Sunday doesn’t reflect a good opportunity for Kmet: 11 targets for wide receivers, 5 for tight ends, 4 for running backs.
ESPN lists Kmet’s week 4 projection as:
Kmet turned four targets into just one catch for 11 yards in Chicago’s Week 3 loss to the Browns. That brings his total over the last two weeks to two catches for 11 yards as the Bears continue to come up short on offense. Kmet should not be in fantasy lineups against the Lions in Week 4.
Detroit doesn’t boast an star-studded defensive secondary, and this could be the week where Allen Robinson finally breaks out. It could also be a game for Darnell Mooney. With the Bears struggling so much to find anything, they could run some plays specifically for Jimmy Graham in an effort to bring out his veteran leadership and spark a flame for the rest of the team.
Let Kmet sit this week, and look forward to when Justin Fields is more comfortable in the pocket to make Kmet a star tight end.
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