The Chicago Bears secured their first victory of the season on Thursday Night Football, beating the Washington Commanders 40-20 behind a stellar 230 receiving yards 2 touchdown performance from DJ Moore. The defense also made their mark, keeping Sam Howell uncomfortable, with 5 sacks on 23 QB pressures and an interception. Did Eberflus learn how to blitz?
Quarterback Justin Fields, the rightful FedEx Air Player of the Week according to this poll, did most of his damage throwing the ball as opposed to running it, with 282 passing yards and 4 touchdowns to zero interceptions. It was again his best performance of the season. He’ll look to continue his recent success against a Minnesota defense ranked toward the bottom in many defensive categories, and his fantastic connection with DJ Moore should only continue to prove doubters wrong.
Injuries have struck their Bears’ running back room. Khalil Herbert remains out with a high ankle sprain, missing multiple practices this week and unlikely to suit up on Sunday. Rookie Roschon Johnson was still in the NFL’s concussion protocol as recently as Wednesday. D’Onta Foreman has been a healthy scratch the past few games, but he is likely to pace all Bears running backs this Sunday. His best career fantasy football performance, Week 8 last year against the Falcons (when he was with the Panthers), he went off for 118 yards and 3 touchdowns. You can watch his highlights here, and it’s clear he’s a powerful downhill runner.
At wide receiver, the Bears have a top-5 wide receiver for the first time since...Jeffery? Marshall? Maybe? It’s fun to watch DJ Moore get targeted so often in the passing game, and he’s rewarded fantasy owners and his own quarterback with 531 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns already, and we aren’t even a third of the way through the season yet. Good things happen when you throw the ball toward #2. Darnell Mooney saw 4 targets against the Commanders, but couldn’t haul in a pass and is a dangerous play in fantasy with three games of 0.00 points. Rookie Tyler Scott could be in play for a 1-catch-1-touchdown anomaly, but the Bears are finding too much success throwing to DJ Moore for fantasy owners to trust another receiver on this team. It’s a good problem for the Bears to have.
The Bears found a way to get Robert Tonyan involved again in the passing game, so Cole Kmet isn’t the only tight end worth mentioning, but the latter still saw 83% of the snaps and continues to be a good play in fantasy. Kmet has a hamstring injury limiting him in practice this week, but should be good to go on Sunday and continues to be a top-10 tight end in the league.
Let's look at what three major Fantasy Football websites have to say about the Bears players:
Fields completed 15-of-29 passes for 282 yards with four touchdowns, and added 57 yards on 11 rushes in the Bears’ Week 5 victory over the Commanders. He’ll be hungry for a second win as the Vikings come to town for a Week 6 matchup. Fantasy managers can feel just fine starting Fields in their QB spot.
Four days after a stellar showing against the shaky Broncos secondary in which he threw for a season-high 335 yards and four touchdowns, Fields produced a similarly impressive performance that saw the connection between him and top wideout DJ Moore in elite form. Eight of Fields’ completions and 230 of his passing yards were achieved in conjunction with Moore, who also hauled in touchdown passes of 20, 11 and 56 yards. Fields hit tight end Cole Kmet from four yards out for a four-yard scoring toss just before halftime as well, leaving him just six touchdown passes short of the 17 he threw last season over 15 games. Fields’ rushing total was also his second highest of the campaign, affording him plenty of momentum for what could be another busy day for him and his pass catchers against the Vikings in a Week 6 home matchup Sunday, Oct. 15.
Just like that, Fields is now the QB5 in fantasy. Amazing what back-to-back top-three weekly fantasy finishes (QB3, QB1) can do for your fantasy value. Over the last two weeks among 32 qualifying quarterbacks, Fields has been everything I thought he could be this season. He ranks third in yards per attempt, third in passer rating, tenth in adjusted completion rate, and eighth in highly accurate throw rate and hero throw rate. It has been beautiful to watch Fields absolutely crush. Minnesota has fielded a pitiful pass defense that loves to blitz this season. The Vikings have given up the eighth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. They also have surrendered the third-highest passer rating and second-highest adjusted completion rate. Minnesota has blitzed at the highest rate in the NFL despite ranking 31st in pressure rate. Fields is eighth-best in yards per attempt and 11th-best in passer rating against the blitz. Crush Fields. Crush. Have yourself another day and silence the haters and the doubters. Week 6 Positional Value: QB1
Foreman has been inactive for the Bears’ last four games, but looks like he will be forced into action in Week 6 against the Vikings due to injuries in the Bears’ RB room. Even so, we see no reason to add Foreman to your fantasy roster.
In the aftermath of Thursday’s 40-20 win over the Commanders, all three backs the Bears had active for the contest sustained an injury. The high-ankle sprain that No. 1 back Khalil Herbert suffered is the most significant and will likely sideline him for multiple weeks, while backups Roschon Johnson (concussion) and Travis Homer (hamstring) are also looking iffy for the Week 6 contest. The Bears have already restored some depth to the position group by poaching Darrynton Evans from the Dolphins’ practice squad, but Foreman profiles as a more realistic candidate to lead the ground attack if neither Herbert nor Johnson are available. After carrying five times for 16 yards and adding two receptions for eight yards in the Bears’ Week 1 loss to the Packers, Foreman fell out of the backfield rotation while the coaching staff elected to install Johnson as Herbert’s top understudy.
Moore had a breakout game catching 8-of-10 targets for 230 yards and three touchdowns in Chicago’s Week 5 victory over Washington. He’ll get even more opportunity against a suspect Minnesota defense in Week 6, which is why we have him projected as a WR1.
The prized offseason acquisition was coming off his most productive game in a Bears uniform yet in Week 4 against the Broncos, when he’d posted an 8-131-1 line. Moore managed to outdo himself by a wide margin on the same number of catches Thursday, hauling in touchdown grabs of 20, 11 and 56 yards, with the last two coming in contested situations. Moore’s third scoring catch, which saw him run free 48 yards down the sideline into the end zone after the reception, sealed the game for Chicago by extending its 30-20 lead. Moore now has five touchdowns in five games after recording seven across 17 contests with the Panthers a year ago, and he’ll next get a crack at a vulnerable Vikings defense in a Week 6 home matchup Sunday. Oct. 15.
Moore delivered the best game of his career (and one of the best fantasy performances in recent memory) on Thursday night. Chicago hasn’t excelled against some of the league’s stronger teams, but they have looked very solid over the last two weeks versus Denver and Washington. He suddenly ranks first among all wide receivers in total fantasy points this season and should be viewed as a high-end WR2 versus Minnesota in Week 6.
In Week 5 against the Commanders, Mooney did not catch any of the four targets sent his way. He will look to pick things up against a beatable Vikings defense in Week 6, however we’d recommend looking for other fantasy options at receiver.
Just four days after posting a serviceable 4-51 line against the Broncos, Mooney was surprisingly blanked on the stat sheet for the third time this season. The speedster’s increasingly frequent disappearing acts are perplexing, especially considering he’s working with a quarterback in Justin Fields that he already has plenty of familiarity with. Fellow wideout DJ Moore’s increasingly critical role in the air attack (Moore lit it up with an 8-230-3 line Thursday) is naturally part of the reason for Mooney’s downturn early this season, but the third-year pro could have a good chance to bounce back against a vulnerable Vikings secondary in a Week 6 home matchup Sunday, Oct. 15.
Mooney has only managed a 9.9% target share, a 17.3% air-yard share, and a 13.5% first-read share. Moore has dominated deep targets with 13, but Mooney is second on the team with four. Mooney could be headed for a nice game in Week 6. Minnesota has allowed the third-most deep passing yards, the seventh-highest deep passer rating, and the 12th-highest deep adjusted completion rate. Mooney might only need one or two deep targets to pay off this weekend. Mooney will run about 69% of his routes against either Byron Murphy (79.3% catch rate and 141.4 passer rating) or Josh Metellus (92.3% catch rate and 110.9 passer rating). Week 6 Positional Value: WR5 with WR3 upside
Kmet brought in all five of his targets for 42 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ Week 5 win over the Commanders. He will face a questionable Vikings defense in Week 6 and we are comfortable slotting him in as a starting fantasy tight end.
Kmet’s reps were capped for the second practice in a row, and he may need to upgrade to full participation Friday to avoid carrying an injury designation into Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Through the Bears’ first five games, Kmet has performed as one of the league’s better fantasy tight ends with a 23-231-3 receiving line on 29 targets.
Kmet is putting together a breakout season as the TE5 in fantasy. Among 34 qualifying tight ends, he is ninth in target share, 13th in YAC per reception, sixth in YPRR, and fourth in expected fantasy points per route run. Kmet faces a Minnesota pass defense that has held tight ends to the ninth-fewest receiving yards and lowest yards per reception but has also allowed the third-most receiving touchdowns. Kmet is 12th in red zone targets among tight ends. The matchup isn’t great, but if he scores this week, he’ll be a top-12 option again. Week 6 Positional Value: TE1
Santos came into this game averaging less than four points per game, so his 16-point performance appears to be an outlier. However, if the Bears can build on their recent offensive success, Santos may work his way into being a reliable fantasy option.
Santos converted his field goals from 22, 36, 37, and 43 yards out. This was his best performance of the season, and Santos has a chance to be a top-12 fantasy kicker going forward if the Bears’ offense continues to trend upwards.
What do you think? Did the so-called fantasy experts get it right with these outlooks? In my humble opinion, Justin Fields has been trending in the right direction the past couple of weeks, and the Vikings defense should allow for him to move the ball through the air and on the ground. It may not be another 4 touchdown day, but as Fields takes what the defense gives him, he should find more fantasy points in other ways.
The Bears host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, October 15, 2023, at Noon Central Time.