The Chicago Bears returned to form in all the worst ways last Sunday, playing into the Vikings’ hand by allowing the pass rush to ruin all semblance of offense, and turning the ball over on offense three times in a one-score game. As Bill Zimmerman wrote, the season is basically over for the loser of that contest, which was, unfortunately, the Bears.
The Fantasy Football season is far from over, however, and Bears players are still involved in that discussion. So while it’s rough to watch this team get caught in their own spokes every week, there is another reason to tune in.
With starter Justin Fields out for an as-yet determined (but likely short) amount of time, UDFA rookie Tyson Bagent is predicted to start at quarterback this Sunday against the Raiders. The young kid out of Shepherd College struggled mightily in his first NFL action, with an ugly fumble on his first drive and a game-sealing interception where he put the ball up for grabs in a scenario where his receiver couldn’t make a play. Bagent did have a rushing touchdown to contribute toward a few positive points in his fantasy football stat line, and he ran the ball very well in the preseason. However, until he can take care of the football, he can’t be trusted in fantasy.
Running back remains in flux for the Bears, with starter Khalil Herbert on IR and rookie Roschon Johnson still in concussion protocol. Veteran D’Onta Foreman, signed this past offseason after a productive year in Carolina, had a serviceable performance against the Vikings, averaging 4.3 yards per carry and ripping off a few fun runs in a game where the Bears offense looked stagnant otherwise. Trailing him, but not by much, in carries and snaps was recently signed Darrynton Evans, returning to the Bears last week from the Dolphins practice squad. Neither saw the endzone, as Bagent had the only touchdown for the Bears. The Bears only have 14 touchdowns total through 6 weeks, and it’s significantly hindering the fantasy football value of their players.
Wide receiver has regressed back to early season woes, as the Bears have to throw the ball for somebody to have a chance at catching it. They’re toward the bottom of the NFL in passing attempts and completions, so despite superstar receiver DJ Moore being open downfield, that pocket protection and quarterback play is a hindrance. Speaking of Moore, going from averaging 5 touchdowns and over 6 receptions in the 3 games leading into this past one made his game so much worse to watch. He still saw 8 targets, and Bagent was looking his way often, so he’s a must-start, but it’s an unhappy marriage for fantasy owners. Don’t expect another Commanders game. Rookie Tyler Scott finally got going in the passing game when Bagent came in, so that will be something to watch on the waiver wire, but that’s where he should stay for now. His looks may come at Darnell Mooney’s expense, so without the volume, Mooney may be a touchdown-or-bust fantasy player moving forward.
Tight end Cole Kmet should continue to see almost all the Bears snaps on offense as long as he’s healthy, but with a backup quarterback, it’s worth wondering if they will run the ball more to mitigate turnover risk. With Kmet primarily playing at the end of the offensive line, more runs will likely mean more blocking assignments and less targets. Robert Tonyan could get more looks in the passing game, but like Mooney, he would be relying on a touchdown for real fantasy value. In short, there are better fantasy tight ends out there than can be found on Sunday at Soldier Field.
Let's look at what three major Fantasy Football websites have to say about the Bears players:
Bagent is expected to start Sunday’s game against Las Vegas, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Spin: This essentially has been the expectation since Monday when coach Matt Eberflus referred to Justin Fields (thumb) as being doubtful. Fields then missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, moving Bagent one step closer to his first NFL start, though Eberflus hasn’t confirmed it would be the rookie filling in for Fields rather than journeyman Nathan Peterman. The Bears opened the season with Peterman as their backup QB before switching to Bagent at the beginning of October. The undrafted rookie then committed two turnovers filling in for Fields during Sunday’s 19-13 loss to Minnesota, though he also had a rushing TD and completed 10 of his 14 passes (for 83 yards).
With starting QB Justin Fields (thumb) doubtful for Week 7, Bagent is preparing to make his first NFL start Sunday. The rookie saw his first action in the league during Week 6, completing 10 of 14 passes for 83 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He added four yards and a score on two carries.
Johnson was held out of Week 6 with a concussion. If he clears protocol in advance of Week 7, Johnson merits deep league RB2/flex consideration against a Raiders defense that struggles to stop the run game.
Johnson still hasn’t practiced since suffering a concussion in Thursday night win over Washington in Week 5. Travis Homer, on the other hand, returned to full practice participation Thursday after missing last week’s game with a hamstring injury. If Johnson can’t play Sunday against the Raiders, it’ll likely be D’Onta Foreman leading the rushing attack again while Homer and/or Darrynton Evans handle the obvious passing situations and perhaps some carries.
Johnson originally sustained a concussion nearly two full weeks ago in a Thursday night win for the Bears. The rookie RB has been sidelined ever since, and given Wednesday’s report, he is certainly in question for Week 7.
Update: RoJo is out again this week.
With the Bears top two running backs sidelined in Week 6, Foreman was active for the first time since Week 1. He responded with 65 yards on 15 carries and one reception for two yards. Roschon Johnson could return to the Chicago backfield in Week 7 but even if Foreman retains lead back duties, there are more reliable options for fantasy points from the running back position.
Foreman took the reins of the backfield as expected with Khalil Herbert (IR-ankle) and Roschon Johnson (concussion) unavailable, and the veteran back put together a solid effort in a game during which the Bears lost Justin Fields to a hand injury. Foreman unsurprisingly didn’t factor much into the passing game, but he certainly gave a strong enough accounting to continue handling lead-back duties in a Week 7 home matchup versus the Raiders if Johnson is unable to clear concussion protocol in time for that contest.
Foreman made the most of his opportunity to handle the bulk of the backfield work, averaging a modest 4.3 yards per carry on the day. The 27-year-old could be relied on even more if quarterback Justin Fields (hand) is unable to take the field against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 7.
Moore reeled in five of his six targets in Week 6, accounting for 51 yards. The Bears passing game stagnated after QB Justin Fields exited the game. Fields’ doubtful status for Week 7 against the Raiders hurts Moore’s potential, but he’s still worth a fantasy start.
Moore did lead the Bears in receptions, receiving yards and targets, but his numbers were a far cry from his standout 8-230-3 line against the Commanders in a Thursday night Week 5 win. Moore’s output was naturally affected by Justin Fields’ early exit from the game with a hand injury and undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent replacing him. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports X-rays on Fields’ hand were negative and that the third-year quarterback will undergo an MRI on Monday, and Moore’s near-term fantasy prospects will likely hinge largely on how soon Fields can get back under center.
Moore has been crushing this season as the WR9 in fantasy, but the helium has been taken out of his balloon. Justin Fields will be sidelined by his mangled thumb, which leaves Tyson Baegent starting in Week 7. Last week with Bagent under center, Moore still saw eight targets as he finished with five receptions and 51 receiving yards (WR37). Baegent will determine Moore’s ceiling and floor moving forward as long as Fields is sidelined. Moore is fourth among wideouts in deep targets. Among 99 qualifying wide receivers, Moore ranks 21st in Target share (23.3%), fourth in air-yard share (45.9%), eighth in YPRR (2.97), and sixth in first-read share (37.4%). Bagent should know where his bread is buttered as a passer. Feed Moore, and you have a chance, rookie. Moore will run about 83% of his routes against Marcus Peters (66.7% catch rate and 99.3 passer rating) and Amik Robertson (62.5% catch rate and 92.7 passer rating). Week 7 Positional Value: WR3
Mooney’s two receptions in Week 6 marked just the third game he has registered a catch this season. Despite serving as the Bears No. 2 wide receiver, Mooney’s lack on involvement precludes him from fantasy deployment.
A game after being shut out on four targets against the Commanders, Mooney bounced back to an extent with the help of a game-long 39-yard grab. The speedy fourth-year pro could be a trade candidate with the Oct. 31 deadline fast approaching, but for the time being, he’ll look to build on Sunday’s numbers while working with either Justin Fields (hand) or Tyson Bagent in a Week 7 home matchup against the Raiders.
Mooney has yet to offer fantasy managers a viable option to begin the season, failing to record a catch in three of five contests. The wideout will continue to be a risky option and is best left out of lineups, with a Week 7 contest against the Las Vegas Raiders on tap.
Scott garnered a season-high four targets in Week 6, securing two for 12 yards. The uptick is encouraging, but not nearly sufficient to move the fantasy needle.
Scott caught two passes for 12 yards in the Bears’ 19-13 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. Scott also had two receptions in the season opener, but his two receptions in this game brought him up to five grabs on the year. However, his four targets were one fewer than he had in the previous five games. With Equanimeous St. Brown (hamstring) set to miss at least three more games, it’s possible that Scott could continue to see regular targets.
Kmet was limited to two receptions for nine yards in Week 6. Kmet’s low output was likely due to QB Justin Fields getting injured. Kmet should rebound to TE1 territory in Week 7 against the Raiders.
The trusted tight end couldn’t get anything going when Justin Fields (hand) was in the game, and Kmet’s day predictably didn’t improve once undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent took over under center in the third quarter. Kmet’s yardage total was a season low, and if Fields is forced to miss any further time, the former’s production could certainly be affected.
Kmet is the TE5 in fantasy, seeing a 19.6% Target share (eighth-best). He ranks 11th in raw target volume and tenth in air-yard share. Kmet has seen the seventh-most deep targets and third-most red zone looks among tight ends. Among 43 qualifying tight ends, Kmet ranks sixth in receiving grade and eighth in YPRR. Kmet’s stock takes a big hit with the quarterback change this week in Chicago, so don’t expect more than TE2 numbers. Las Vegas ranks 17th in receiving yards and 14th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Week 7 Positional Value: TE2
Santos was very quiet over the first four games of the season, but he has scored 23 points over his last two games. If the Bears continue to show improvement on offense, Santos could work his way into being a streaming option at kicker.
Santos has been a steady option to begin the season for fantasy managers, remaining perfect while recording at least four points in each of five games for the Bears. The 31-year-old will look to continue his solid start to the season in a Week 7 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.
What do you think? Did the so-called fantasy experts get it right with these outlooks? In my humble opinion, DJ Moore is the best bang-for-your-buck in Fantasy Football on the Bears this week. Plenty of Bears can be found on the waiver wire and offer potential, but Moore is the sure thing for a reason and he’s a buy low candidate while Fields is out.
The Bears host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at Noon Central Time.