The Chicago Bears carried a win over the Vikings into the bye last week, and now they hope to come out fresh against the Detroit Lions in week 14. Justin Fields and company worked the Lions for 3 quarters in their matchup last month but completely fell apart and gave up the last 17 points of the game as Detroit stole what should have been a statement win.
Speaking of Fields, the quarterback will play in his third game since returning from a dislocated thumb, an injury that sidelined him for four games in better throwing weather. Despite a snow-free weather forecast, NFL games in December are usually loaded with extra runs, and that makes for a promising fantasy outlook for Fields. Last year's top rushing quarterback, he averaged 59 rushing yards per game last December. He still has a problem with fumbles, and the offense failed to get a single touchdown last week against Minnesota, but Fields is a good fantasy play at quarterback while the league deals with major injury problems at the position.
On the topic of health, the Bears finally look to have all three primary running backs ready to go against Detroit, and it's a major question mark who will lead this backfield moving forward. Khalil Herbert was activated off injured reserve and had 16 carries in their first matchup against the Lions, but he was held to just 35 yards for a paltry 2.2 yards per carry in Motor City. His role was scaled back a bit against Minnesota, with just 6 carries, as Roschon Johnson emerged as a potential leader in the room with 74% of the snaps in Minneapolis. The rookie Johnson will be exciting to watch moving forward, but he only found 12.5 points in points-per-reception format and if that's his ceiling (he had 17.5 against Green Bay mostly in garbage time) then he's not reliable enough in fantasy yet to trust as Fantasy Football playoffs approach.
The dark horse candidate to get a large workload in this game is D'Onta Foreman, who was a high-upside flex play while Herbert and Johnson were sidelined with injuries earlier this season. Foreman, a journeyman running back who was a healthy scratch in 3 of the Bears' first 5 games, averaged 13.03 fantasy points through weeks 6-11, but that's slightly boosted by a 3-touchdown performance against the Raiders in October. He suffered an ankle injury in the first matchup against the Lions, and they really could have used his rushing prowess to put that one away. Hopefully coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy learned their lesson from earlier this week and get Foreman some carries now that he's back at practice and should go this week. His fantasy outlook is very much "heart says yes, brain says no" for this week.
If receiver DJ Moore doesn't make his first Pro Bowl, and/or AP All-Pro this season, then the voters have truly failed at their task. Moore has already eclipsed 1000 receiving yards with 5 games to go, and he's helping Justin Fields keep the focus on the season rather than the quarterbacks in the upcoming draft. Moore saw an immediate boost when Fields returned from injury, jumping from 5 receptions per game under Tyson Bagent to 9 receptions per game in the two games since Fields' return. He's well-removed from the Commanders game, where he flirted with Bears' single-game records, but he's a must-start in fantasy football despite Luke Getsy's best efforts.
Down the page from Moore, the Bears remain quiet at receiver in everything but very deep fantasy leagues. Darnell Mooney only saw 3 targets against the Vikings despite lining up for 81 of the snaps. This is his last year on his rookie contract, and all signs point to a fresh start for both sides next year. It's disappointing, as Mooney jumped from 631 receiving yards in his rookie year up to 1,055 in the next, and hasn't seen a major decline in playing time. He's just covered. Equanimous St. Brown still earns the trust of coaches with nearly half of the snaps against the Vikings, but the best thing he does is block in the screen game. That's helpful for the Bears offense, but bad for fantasy football production. Tyler Scott hasn't seen major playing time since Tyson Bagent stepped aside for Fields' return.
The Bears are getting significant return-on-investment after rewarding tight end Cole Kmet with a four-year contract extension before the season. Kmet has been the 7th-highest scoring tight end in fantasy PPR format, and more importantly for the Bears, he's tied for second-most total non-QB touchdowns on the team with 5 scores. Also getting ROI is fantasy football managers who drafted Kmet, as he's been one to set and forget. Just don't forget to put him back in after the bye!
Let's look at what three major Fantasy Football websites have to say about the Bears players:
In Week 12, Fields completed 27-of-37 passes for 217 yards and added 59 yards on 12 carries in Chicago’s win over Minnesota. Coming out of the Week 13 bye, the Bears will next host the Lions in a rematch of their disappointing Week 11 loss. Fields should be able to do damage both throwing and running the ball and is worth the start at quarterback.
Fields opened the game red-hot from an efficiency standpoint, completing his first 12 passes before one of his throws hit the ground for the first time at the 14:24 mark of the second quarter. The dynamic signal-caller went on to connect with a narrow pool of five targets, and his chemistry with DJ Moore was on display throughout the night to the tune of 11 completions and 114 yards.
Since Week 4, in Fields’ full games played he has finished as the QB3, QB1, QB8, and QB24 in weekly fantasy scoring. That QB8 finish was against the Lions where he completed 69.6% of his passes with 7.3 yards per attempt and 104 rushing yards. Since Week 4 among 36 qualifying quarterbacks, on passes that are not screens, Fields ranks sixth in yards per attempt, third in passer rating, fifth in highly accurate throw rate, and second in adjusted completion rate. Since Week 8, the Lions secondary has struggled allowing the sixth-highest yards per attempt, fourth-highest passer rating, and the seventh-highest CPOE. They have also ranked 16th in time to pressure over their last five games, so Fields should have time to operate in the pocket. Week 14 Positional Value: QB1
Herbert had six carries for 24 yards and caught both of his targets for 14 yards in a Week 12 game with Minnesota. The Bears will next get a rematch with their Week 11 opponent — the Lions — in Week 14. Chicago will likely keep Herbert’s workload around the same amount so we recommend fantasy managers look elsewhere at running back this week.
Herbert entered the game atop the running back depth chart with D’Onta Foreman (ankle) sidelined, but rookie backfield mate Roschon Johnson outpaced Herbert by four carries and three receptions. The third-year pro had logged double-digit rush attempts in three straight contests before Monday’s downturn, but with Foreman potentially back in action Week 14 against the Lions following the Week 13 bye, Herbert heads into the Bears’ pause in play with some newfound uncertainty surrounding his role.
After seeing Herbert’s usage in Week 12, there’s no way anyone can feel comfy about tossing him into a fantasy lineup. Herbert saw his snap share drop to 21% with only eight touches and 38 total yards. This could be related to Minnesota’s love of the blitz and Chicago’s leaning on Johnson as a pass protector, but it also could be the backfield shifting in Johnson’s direction. There’s no way to know which is the truth. The reality is that with this uncertainty surrounding Herbert’s workload and the matchup being terrible for him, Herbert is a sit. Since Week 8, Detroit has allowed the ninth-lowest missed tackles per attempt and the third-lowest yards after contact per attempt. Week 14 Positional Value: Sit
Foreman (ankle) did not play in Week 12 against the Vikings but was able to rest up during Chicago’s bye week. As the Lions arrive in town for a Week 14 battle, Foreman is still listed as questionable. Even if he does play, he will probably not get enough touches to be fantasy relevant.
Prior to going down with the injury, Foreman had been splitting backfield reps with Khalil Herbert in the game against the Lions. Rookie Roschon Johnson then ended up pacing the backfield in touches in Week 12, making it difficult to predict how the reps may be divvied up among Foreman, Herbert and Johnson in the rematch with Detroit this Sunday.
Chicago Bears RB D’Onta Foreman (ankle) logged his second consecutive full participation in practice to begin his week. Foreman was absent from the Bears’ Week 13 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings with an ankle injury, but an opportune bye week afforded him time to heal up before another divisional matchup.
Against the Vikings in Week 12, Johnson had 10 carries for 35 yards and caught all five of his targets for 40 additional yards. After a Week 13 bye, the Bears host the Lions in Week 14. We’d consider giving Johnson a flex start here, but that’s probably his ceiling.
Johnson rushed 10 times for 35 yards and brought in all five targets for 40 yards in the Bears’ 12-10 win over the Vikings on Monday. He also committed a fumble, which was recovered by the Bears. The rookie notably logged four more carries than Khalil Herbert, despite entering the game No. 2 on the depth chart. Johnson also outpaced his teammate through the air, checking in third in receptions, receiving yards and targets on the night for Chicago. Both Johnson’s rush attempts and receiving yards were new career highs.
Among 58 qualifying backs, Johnson ranks 32nd in missed tackles forced per attempt and 33rd in yards after contact per attempt. Johnson will have a tough day on the ground against a Lions’ run defense that, since Week 8, has allowed the ninth-lowest missed tackles per attempt, the third-lowest yards after contact per attempt, and ranks 15th in yards per carry allowed to zone runs (Johnson 59.3% zone). I will not be surprised if Johnson plays a bell-cow role this week, but I also would not be shocked if this becomes a three-way committee and no one from this backfield is playable. Week 14 Positional Value: RB3 / Worrisome flex play
When he last saw action in Week 12 against the Vikings, Moore caught 11-of-13 targets for 114 yards. We expect he will continue to be a high-volume target for QB Justin Fields in Week 14 as the Bears come out of theit bye week for a rematch with the Lions. Moore is worth a look at WR2, or possibly even a fringe WR1 consideration.
Moore brought in 11 of 13 targets for 114 yards in the Bears’ 12-10 win over the Vikings on Monday. The veteran wideout was the epitome of a No. 1 receiver in the low-scoring win, accounting for well over half of Justin Fields’ 217 passing yards while leading the Bears in receptions and targets by a wide margin as well. Moore also saved his best for last, recording 16- and 36-yard grabs on what would turn out to be Chicago’s game-winning drive. Moore’s catch total was a season high, and his yardage tally was his first over the century mark since Week 5. Following the Week 13 bye, Moore gets a crack at a Lions defense he posted a 7-96-1 line against during the first meeting between the division rivals.
Moore is the WR11 in fantasy points per game ranking ninth in deep targets. He dropped 22.6 fantasy points on Detroit in Week 11 to finish as the WR6 in fantasy. He can easily do it again this week. Since Week 8, Detroit has the ninth-highest rate of single-high (61.1%). Moore has a 25.4% target share, a 40.1% air-yard share, 2.88 YPRR, and a 37.2% first-read share against single-high. Among 149 qualifying wide receivers, Moore ranks 21st in fantasy points per route run against single-high. Moore will run about 80% of his routes against Cameron Sutton (61.3% catch rate and 103.6 passer rating) and Jerry Jacobs (66.7% catch rate and 103.4 passer rating). Since Week 8, Detroit has allowed the second-most PPR points per target to perimeter wide receivers. Week 14 Positional Value: WR1
Back in Week 12, Mooney caught 2-of-3 passes for six yards as the Bears beat the Vikings. For Week 14, the team will face the division-leading Lions in a rematch after losing to them in Week 11. For now Mooney can be left off fantasy rosters.
Mooney was reasonably productive when Tyson Bagent was the starting quarterback. In the last two games with Justin Fields under center, Mooney has three catches for 30 yards on four targets. His low floor and limited upside makes him difficult to count on each week.
Mooney was quiet on Monday night as DJ Moore and Cole Kmet combined to catch 18 of Justin Fields’ 27 completions. Mooney has become an afterthought in the Chicago offense, having caught just five passes over his past three contests. He will be on bye in Week 13 before a Week 14 matchup against Detroit.
In Week 12, Kmet caught all seven of his targets for 43 yards as the Bears beat the Vikings. They have a taller task in their Week 14 rematch against the Lions, but we’re optimistic that Kmet will be worth the TE start.
Kmet was second in receptions, receiving yards and targets for the Bears on the night, although he only averaged 6.1 yards per catch. Nevertheless, it was a nice resurgence for the fourth-year pro after he’d underwhelmed with a 3-20-0 line Week 11 against the Lions, and with 56 receptions for 482 yards heading into a Week 13 bye, Kmet is within striking distance of the career-best 60-612 line he put up back in 2021.
Kmet is the TE6 in fantasy, ranking seventh in red zone targets. Among 38 qualifying tight ends, Kmet ranks 11th in target share (17.8%), ninth in YPRR (1.67), and 13th in first-read share (18.0%). Since Week 8, Detroit has had the ninth-highest rate of single-high (61.1%). Against single-high, Kmet has seen his target share drop to 16.6%, his YPRR falls to 1.42, and his first-read share drop to 15.9%. He does rank third in receiving touchdowns against single-high, which has fueled his 0.46 fantasy points per route run against single-high (sixth-best among 57 qualifying tight ends). Detroit has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game and the third-most receiving touchdowns per game (tied) to tight ends. Week 14 Positional Value: TE1
Santos made four of five field-goal attempts in the Bears’ 12-10 win over the Vikings on Monday. Santos provided all of the scoring for the Bears in their upset victory over Minnesota. After having very little production through Week 9, Santos has scored in double digits in each of his last three games. After the Week 13 bye, Santos could be viewed as a streaming option at kicker.
Santos provided all of the scoring for the Bears, who were held out of the end zone by Minnesota. He hit field goals from 25, 39, 55, and 30 yards out. Santos’ final field goal was the game-winner as it came with 10 seconds left in the game.
What do you think? Did the so-called fantasy experts get it right with these outlooks? In my humble opinion, Cairo Santos did a great job shaking off his first miss of the game to connect on his next four straight on Monday Night Football, and Luke Getsy is still running this Bears offense into the ground with screens. Expect nothing less against the Lions, as the Bears should be kicking field goals all day long, and Santos should be good for double-digit fantasy points.
The Bears host the Detroit Lions on Sunday, December 10, 2023 at Noon Central Time.