Bears

FanDuel Friday: Bears-Chargers full of fantasy options

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FanDuel Friday: Bears-Chargers full of fantasy options

What in the world are we going to do without the Cardinals offense in DFS this week?

They've been a source of points for a lot of DFS players because of their big play ability and not-so-expensive prices. 

But fantasy life must go on without them (just for this week). So who is catching our eye this week in our FanDuel lineup?

[MORE: Get all your Fantasy Sports coverage for the week here]

The CSN Fantasy guys break it down here and tell you who will win you some money this weekend.

Hopefully we (and you) don't miss like this guy did:

Yikes. As always, good luck.

John "The Professor" Paschall

What's this?! A lineup without Todd Gurley!? Yes, he's not only getting pricey but he's ending up in everyone else's lineup too which makes picking Gurley no longer fun.

As for my actual lineup, I'm a big fan of the Bears offense this week in primetime against a Chargers team that Adam Gase knows well (and also happens to give up a lot of yards and points). The Cutler-Jeffery combo has been rock solid since the receiver's return and nobody in the Chargers secondary will stop that. Monday night should also be a big night for Bennett as the San Diego defense has given up a touchdown to an opposing tight end in five out of its eight games this year. 

The Patriots run game is almost nonexistent but Lewis is still the most effective Patriots running back and his production shouldn't stop against the Redskins at home. Ivory is a good tournament play this week because he's coming off two bad outings. The Jets want to get back to running the football and should have some success against the Jaguars. Ryan Fitzpatrick's return to the lineup should help Ivory and the other Jets receivers as well. 

[MORE: Complete Fantasy Football coverage at Rotoworld]

Crabtree is getting more targets than Amari Cooper, which is somewhat surprising but a reality that we all must face. I'm expecting Steelers-Raiders to be a big time shootout.

I almost went for the trap of the Falcons defense against the 49ers and Blaine Gabbert but I'm resisting and going with the Patriots at home against Kirk Cousins for the same price. 

Michael Smith

I started my lineup this week with Tyrod Taylor, who is the 15th highest priced QB at only $7,200.  If you’re not going to spend up for Brady, Rivers or Brees, Taylor is a great option as a fantasy friendly dual-threat QB.  At RB I like Devonta Freeman and Chris Ivory as two workhorse Running backs whose teams are favorites by at least a touchdown.  Both are focal points of their offenses, and should see plenty of touches as their teams are trying to run out the clock

This week I’m again buying in on the number one passing offense in the league, the San Diego Chargers.  With Keenan Allen now out for the season, Stevie Johnson steps into the top wide receiver spot and Antonio Gates should help take up the slack for Allen, who was second in the NFL in receptions.  Amari Cooper survived Darrell Revis and the Jets defense and now faces the much easier task against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who rank 26th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.

[RELATED: Fantasy Football Start/Sit Week 9]

At defense and kicker I think this is a week where spending up will really help your lineup.  The Patriots projected to score the most points this week, which should lead to lots of kicking opportunities for Stephen Gostkowski.  The Broncos have been the best defense in the NFL in yards allowed and points allowed and Denver is also 1st in the NFL in sacks and 2nd in takeaways.  After watching the Broncos disrupt Aaron Rodgers and Packers last week, I think there is no reason to believe the struggling Colts will have any success.

Tony Andracki

 

Eli Manning throws 6 tuddies and winds up with just a $7,800 price tag despite a cushy matchup with the Bucs?? Dude ain't get no respect.

At running back, I opted for two guys whose situations are on the rise...but their pricetags aren't. Langford and Williams are now the unquestioned starters in solid offenses and Langford's matchup this week is especially appealing against the Chargers, who give up the most fantasy points to opposing RBs.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

WR-wise, I felt Jarvis Landry was actually a steal at $7,000 given that he's a Top 15 receiver. It's odd that his pricetag doesn't reflect that. Demaryius is actually on pace to have the best season of his career in terms of receptions and close to it in yards, but he's found the endzone just once so far (he had 10-14-11 TDs in the last three years). That could change in a hurry, as Demaryius could easily find the endzone three times in one game, especially with the Broncos offense firing on all cylinders coming out of the Bye.

Stevie Johnson is another guy with a great situation now that Keenan Allen is out and I found it impossible to stay away from Rob Gronkowski this week with no Travis Kelce or Tyler Eifert available.

Scott Krinch

Eli Manning was my quarterback last week and he won me a little cash after tossing six touchdowns. The fact that he's only $7800 against a bad Buccaneers defense is highway robbery. I didn't have to put much thought into filling my quarterback position with him.

As far as running back goes, Todd Gurley will be in my lineup each week moving forward. I don't care how much he costs. The rookie is that good. Jeremy Langford's price tag was a little higher than I expected, but I see great value in him filling in for the injured Matt Forte and facing a terrible Chargers run defense. 

My wide receiver is group is the area in which I really feel like I'm going to hit it out of the park in Week 9. ODB and Alshon Jeffery will each see a minimum of 10 targets against horrible pass defenses. Expect shootouts in both games with the duo racking up plenty of FanDuel points. I stayed in California for my final wideout in Chargers' de facto No. 1 Stevie Johnson. The veteran will get a surplus of passes thrown his way with Keenan Allen done for the season, and for the low price of $5400 he needs to be in all of your lineups this week.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins won't be $5200 for much longer. Finally healthy, the tight end will be a monster in the Buccaneers passing game and should be one of Jameis Winston's top targets for years to come. Spend big elsewhere and grab ASJ.

Bears receive Sports Illustrated's top offseason grade in NFC North

Bears receive Sports Illustrated's top offseason grade in NFC North

The Chicago Bears are less than one month from the start of training camp, but the praise for general manager Ryan Pace's offseason continues to pour in.

Pace and the Bears received an A for their offseason -- the best grade in the NFC North -- from Sports Illustrated. A big part of the perfect score was the overhaul at wide receiver.

Chicago had one of the weakest receiving groups in the NFL last season—the team ranked dead last in passing yards per game (175.7)—so that position was clearly an area of focus this offseason for general manager Ryan Pace. The additions of Allen Robinson from Jacksonville, Taylor Gabriel from Atlanta and Anthony Miller via the draft will boost a stagnant group, assuming Robinson returns fully healthy from last September’s ACL tear. If 2015 first-round pick Kevin White can stay healthy for a full season for the first time in his ill-fated career, it’s an added bonus.

Much is expected from the revamped group of pass-catchers even though none of them have an overwhelming history of production. Robinson had a dominant season in 2015 (1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns), but his last two seasons involved mediocre production in 2016 and a torn ACL in Week 1 last year. Gabriel's never topped more than 621 yards in a season and tight end Trey Burton has been a backup his whole career. Miller has yet to play a snap in the NFL and White, now entering his fourth season, is still looking for his first touchdown catch.

Mitch Trubisky has a lot of work to do once training camp kicks off. Not only must he master coach Matt Nagy's offense, but he must do so while building chemistry with all of his new receivers. Growing pains will happen, but the upside and expectations for the Bears in 2018 are higher than they've been in many years, and it's all because of a great offseason had by the front office.

Bears shut out (again) in NFL Network players’ poll naming Top 100 players of 2018

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USA TODAY

Bears shut out (again) in NFL Network players’ poll naming Top 100 players of 2018

No NFL season is without its snubs – Pro Bowl omissions, (insert job)-of-the-year head-scratchers, endless “rankings” of units and individuals based on some sort of logic or arcane analyses that challenge credulity.

But the Bears have received a group snub for the second straight year, something that, even discounting personality factors, can be considered a cause for concern, and escalating concern at that.

No Bear is among the Top 100 NFL players as voted on by those NFL players, in the results of the annual poll by NFL Network/NFL.com. The final 10-1 selections air Monday night on NFL Network, but any suspense involves only whether Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers is the players’ choice for the No. 1 player in their game, or how the Bears can possibly match up with the L.A. Rams this season and beyond with three in the top 38 and all young (Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff).

This year’s blanking follows a shutout in last year’s poll, which represented returns from more than 900 players. This year the number was more than 1,100, making the rankings more than simply the opinion of an individual or even small group.

Making them more disquieting from a Bears perspective is the fact that this marks a de facto third consecutive year that the Bears approach a season without a player whose peers rate him among the top 5 percent in the game. Because the 2016 survey (coming out of the 2015 season) listed running back Matt Forte (No. 90) as the lone Bear, and he was on his way to the New York Jets by the time his number was called.

Rankings based on opinions can skew strangely. Akiem Hicks’ absence from the top 100 is more puzzling than his finishing out of the Pro Bowl money. Same with Eddie Goldman, maybe even Leonard Floyd, to name a few.

But they aren’t there yet. And whether the Bears are bottom-third in pass protection, Nick Kwiatkoski is top-five inside linebacker, or who has a high rating in Madden ’19 can all be classed as cred-lite.

Not so easily dismissed when the evaluation is the aggregate take of nearly two-thirds of the league.

More to the concerning side, some correlation may be drawn between that index of star power and team performance, either cause or effect, or both. The last time the Bears had more than Forte representing them in the Top 100 was 2014, meaning coming off the 2013 season. That Top-100 included Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jennings and Forte – from the last Bears team (8-8) to win more than six games in a season.

Enough fingers were pointed at Marc Trestman and then John Fox for what happened on the field. But the New York Giants (2) and Houston Texans (4) had fewer wins than the Bears last season but still were represented on the players’ honor roll.

“I need to point the finger at myself as well,” GM Ryan Pace said in the wake of firing Fox. “Our record is a reflection on me as well. But I feel good about where we’re at right now. I feel much better about where we’re at right now than at this time last year and that starts with the quarterback position. We have a 23-year-old quarterback that we feel very good about that we need to build around. We need to build upon that core and fortunately we have the resources to do that.”

One of Pace’s mandates has been to bring Bears talent to a level competitive with at least the NFC North. The more than 1,100 players canvassed don’t think it’s happening: The Bears are one of only four teams (plus Indianapolis, Tampa Bay and the Jets) not represented in the top 100, while Detroit (2), Green Bay (7) and Minnesota (5) have multiple selections. Even the 0-16 Cleveland Browns boast a pair – wide receiver Jarvis Landry, running back Carlos Hyde) by virtue of their offseason moves.

Getting down to Bears cases

The Bears may be convinced that Mitch Trubisky is a franchise quarterback, but his 12 starts apparently didn’t show enough for his peers to vote him into elite status. Deshaun Watson (No. 50, six starts) and Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 90, five starts) fared better in the balloting.

Trubisky goes into 2018 as the fourth-best quarterback in a four-quarterback NFC North. Player voting pretty much confirms that, leaving him off a list that includes Kirk Cousins in Minnesota (No. 94), Matthew Stafford in Detroit (No. 31) and Rodgers (top 10). And Trubisky knows he’s got some catching up to do.

“I just feel like I know what to expect more on a day-to-day basis,” he said during minicamp. “What I need to do, how I can make my teammates' job easier — and just continue to set goals. Weekly goals, short-term goals, continue to meet those goals, keep raising the bar and get better each and every single day.”

Jeffery and Marshall are Bears no longer, but Allen Robinson is, which Pace has wagered heavily will be a very good thing. Robinson’s peers in the past have agreed: Robinson was pegged at No. 31 in 2016, coming in off his 80-1,400-14 season of 2015. He came back to produce 73-883-6 in 2016 but finished off the list, perhaps not entirely surprising after his Jaguars went 3-13 in 2016. The Bears are gambling that Robinson will return to his elite form from last year’s torn ACL; the rest of the NFL has effectively said “prove it.”

Jordan Howard’s fit in the offense of Matt Nagy/Mark Helfrich has been and will be debated until he proves himself conclusively as a receiver. And Howard and Tarik Cohen may be popular among rankers of backfields.

But not yet with their peers. Neither made the players’ list, while New Orleans placed Alvin Kamara No. 20 and Mark Ingram 43rd among the top six running backs, which include Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt.

Floyd, Goldman and Hicks? Too many Pro Bowl selections ahead of them, at least at this point.