Bears

Fantasy Football: Seven waiver wire pickups for Week 7

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Fantasy Football: Seven waiver wire pickups for Week 7

Hopefully your Week 6 matchup didn't end up like this play.

More than 36 hours and a few odd explanations later, we still don't get how this ended up happening. 

But nevertheless, the Colts tried to outsmart arguably the smartest team in football and it expectedly blew up in their face. 

[MORE: Get all your fantasy football coverage here]

Here's our waiver wire pick ups for the week that will actually allow you to outsmart your opponents going forward:

1. Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN

He might be the receiver we all thought Charles Johnson was going to be. Diggs has posted back-to-back strong performances (6+ catches, 80+ yds). I'd love to see him reach the end zone but it's a great start for the rookie. He's looked better than Johnson and Mike Wallace, who has drawn an Antonio Brown comparison to him. It's no longer a question of what will happen to Diggs when Johnson is healthy. He's earned his spot in the starting lineup going forward and is an intriguing future FLEX play. (John "The Professor" Paschall)

2. James Starks, RB, GB

The handcuff no one talked about finally broke through in Week 6, rushing for 112 yards and a score and adding another receiving score in the Packers' sixth straight victory. Mike McCarthy added after the game that Eddie Lacy is still banged up, and while a bye week will help that injury situation it's to consider Starks more than just an insurance policy for the bruising Lacy. Hell, McCarthy admitted they could have gone back to Lacy but wanted to keep the hot hand in there. As long as Starks produces when he's in, he's got value on just about every fantasy team. He's worth an add, regardless of Lacy's injury status. (Mark Strotman)

3. Christine Michael, RB, DAL

I'm not going to lie. I got really excited when the Cowboys traded for Michael just before the season started. He hasn't done anything (almost literally) this year but the whispers are getting louder than he's going to have a bigger role going forward. It's no secret Joseph Randle hasn't blown anyone away and neither has Darren McFadden. Expect Michael to get many more touches going forward. (Paschall)

4. Landry Jones, QB, PIT

I can't believe I'm writing this but that's the NFL for you. While it's not certain, it seems like the Steelers are going to start Jones this week with Michael Vick and Big Ben out. Jones actually looked pretty good during his time against the Cardinals, who have a solid defense. Luckily for Jones, things get much easier as the Steelers take on the Chiefs next. Jones has all the weapons he needs to succeed and the Chiefs defense has been putrid. He's a nice one-week emergency start if you need it. (Paschall)

5. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, TEN

More rookie wide receivers? You bet. He hasn't posted any huge numbers but his role in the Titans offense is starting to grow. He's arguably the most talented receiver they have (Kendall Wright up there too) but he has the size that every quarterback loves. He's going to be a red zone monster going forward and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see his game gradually pick up. (Paschall)

6. Falcons defense, ATL, DEF

No, Devonta Freeman doesn't play on this side of the ball and can't help you. But consider that before they got run all over by Drew Brees and Co. on a weird Thursday night, the Falcons had compiled 34 fantasy points (and three touchdowns) against sub-par offenses in Houston and Washington. Now they square off against a Titans team ranked 32nd in offense that likely will be without Marcus Mariota? Um, yeah. Give me the Falcons defense all day. This could be the stream of the year.

7. Jordan Cameron, TE, MIA

Owned in just 62 percent of ESPN leagues, this is a simple reminder that if anyone dropped Cameron to go out and snag him if you can. Miami's offense looked entirely different under Dan Campbell, and remember that Campbell was previously the team's tight ends coach. That should mean bigger and better things from Cameron, who caught three passes (on eight targets) for 30 yards and a score last week. Things are only looking up for this Dolphins team, so owners of Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry and now Jordan Cameron can feel better about those picks. I expect Cameron to be back at TE1 status by the end of the year, making him a nice pickup if he can be had.

Is Bears “D” in “football shape?” Lacking ability to finish? Fourth-quarter fades raise questions

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USA Today

Is Bears “D” in “football shape?” Lacking ability to finish? Fourth-quarter fades raise questions

During the critical fourth-quarter Oakland Raiders drive for a game-winning touchdown, one former Pro Bowl’er and NFL observer remarked to this writer that he was surprised to see a lot of hands on hips and mouth-breathing by members of the Bears defense – two common signs of being gassed.

Critiquing conditioning – or lack of – is problematic the way judging pain tolerance is. And if the Raiders score were an isolated incident, the question likely doesn’t come up.

But something is amiss. While the Bears defense remains among the NFL’s best, at least statistically, a shadow of concern is falling over the defense and its ability to close out games that it has within its reach.

The Bears held fourth-quarter leads over Denver and Oakland and allowed go-ahead touchdowns. They were rescued by Eddy Piñeiro’s 53-yard field goal in the final second. No such rescue in London.

Fully half of the eight touchdowns scored by Bears opponents in 2019 have come in fourth quarters. (The Bears themselves have not scored a single TD in any fourth quarter this season, but that’s a separate discussion.) By contrast, last season the defense did not allow a fourth-quarter touchdown in any of the final five regular-season games.

The temptation is to look only at the numbers, which are in fact positive. Even with the 24 points the Raiders scored against them in London, the Bears ranked second only to New England in scoring stinginess (13.8 ppg.) and fifth in yardage allowed (312 ypg.).

But the Bears have 17 sacks as a team; only three of those have come in fourth quarters.

Opposing quarterbacks have passed at an 81.3 rating in first halves; they are throwing at a 91.4 clip in second halves.

The defense has allowed 16 first downs in first quarters; 21 in seconds; 20 in thirds.

In 2019 fourth quarters, 34 first downs allowed.

Pulling the camera back for a wider view, extending back to include the disturbing 2018 playoff loss:

Vs. Philadelphia
Eagles drive 60 yards in 12 plays and nearly 4 minutes to score game-winning TD with :56 remaining. Cody Parkey’s double-doink overshadows fact that Bears defense forces Eagles into only two third downs and allows winning score on a fourth down.

Vs. Green Bay
With the Chicago offense sputtering all game and in need of a short field, Packers go on a 10-play, 73-yard drive that consumed 6:33 to set up a field goal to go up 10-3 deep in the fourth quarter.

At Denver
Inept Broncos offense scores 11 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 13-3 Bears lead, driving 62 yards in 12 plays, converting two fourth downs and a two-point conversion. Denver’s second-half drives: 41 yards, 56 yards, 84 yards, 62 yards.

Vs. Washington
Bears build 28-0 lead before one of NFL’s worst offenses scores a pair of largely meaningless second-half TD’s.

Vs. Minnesota Vikings
Drive 92 yards in 13 plays for TD before Bears stiffen to stop two-point PAT and next Minnesota possession.

Vs. Oakland (London)
Raiders win game with 92-yard drive that includes fourth-down conversion on punt fake run despite Bears leaving No. 1 defensive unit in, anticipating fake.

Guess which highly-paid NFL kicker is only making 58% of his field goals?

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USA Today

Guess which highly-paid NFL kicker is only making 58% of his field goals?

Remember that time when the Bears tried out like 47 kickers and put them through a wide variety of arbitrary tests all while fan favorite Robby Gould was using the team's desperation as leverage to become the NFL's highest-paid kicker? Classic! 

It's been like three months since those totally-sane summer days, and reader, things have not gone so hot for Gould: 

Meanwhile, Eddy P is not only 8/9 on the season, but is already well on his way to becomming a fan favorite. We're already calling him Eddy P! After 5 games! 

That said, we won't truly know if the Bears made the right decision until Piñeiro beats out several Hall of Famers -- including someone credited for literally starting the NFL -- on the path to winning an offseason bracket-style fan vote.