Bears

Webb motivated by Packers' draft day snub

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Webb motivated by Packers' draft day snub

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
Posted: 1:16 p.m. Updated: 5:38 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com Bears Insider Follow @CSNMoonMullin Sick bay

The Chicago offense will be without two starters receiver Earl Bennett and tackle Gabe Carimi but there is officially a 50-50 chance they will have several key figures back for the Green Bay game on Sunday.

Officially.

Guard Lance Louis (ankle) and running back Marion Barber (calf), who did not practice last Friday and did not play after being listed as doubtful on the week-end injury report, finished this week listed as questionable. Also in that group was wide receiver Roy Williams (groin), expected to play Sunday but not certain as to whether or when he returns to the starting lineup.

Safety Chris Harris (hamstring) also went from doubtful and not practicing last Friday to questionable, although he is expected to give way to Craig Steltz in the starting lineup for this week. Brandon Meriweather, who started at free safety in New Orleans alongside Wright, will stay in that job in what is likely to be a permanent move.

A key indicator: Barber, Harris, Louis and Williams all went through full practices, albeit on Friday when practices are not the full-pads sessions of a Wednesday.
Major Wright, listed as questionable, practiced on a limited basis but the Bears will not rush a player with a head injury back onto the field.

The Packers will be without safety Nick Collins (neck, out for season), defensive end Mike Neal (knee) and linebacker Frank Zombo (shoulder). All other Packers are listed as probable, including starters Chad Clifton (knee), Clay Matthews (quad) and Charles Woodson (foot) who either sat out of practice or were limited.

Duly noted

The Bears under Lovie Smith are 8-7 against the Green Bay Packers. All seven losses came when the Bears failed to score more than 15 points.

If the Bears have managed to hold the Packers and Aaron Rodgers to lower point totals, the Packers have been positively inhospitable to Jay Cutler. In the five games played with Cutler against the Packers, the Bears have scored just 15, 14, 20 (with a Devin Hester punt return for a TD), 3 and 14 points, an average of 13.2 points. And all 14 of the points in the NFC Championship game were Caleb Hanie productions.

The Bears offense under Mike Martz in three Green Bay meetings is averaging 10 points per game. In 12 Green Bay games with Ron Turner as offensive coordinator, without adjusting for defensive or special-teams scores, the Bears averaged 18.8 ppg. with quarterbacks Rex Grossman, Chad Hutchinson, Kyle Orton and Brian Griese.
The chip's in place

Bears great Jay Hilgenberg made it a career mission to take the measure of No. 1 draft choices whenever he faced them. The seven-time Pro Bowl center had been an undrafted free agent and used the draft-day slight for motivation.

JMarcus Webb knows the anger.

Webb at least had the relief of being drafted in 2010 but not until the seventh round. That passed-over feeling was there in a rookie year that saw him win the starting job at right tackle before moving to left tackle this offseason.

Of course it bothers me, Webb said. There is definitely a chip on your shoulder to prove to those teams and yourself that youre better than they thought you were. Youve got to have that competitive mindset as well.

If he wants motivation in the form of No. 1s, the Packers will have rush linebacker Clay Matthews (2009 first round, No. 26 overall) and nose tackle B.J. Raji (2009 first round, No. 9 overall) in their front for him.

A more direct diss for Webb: Green Bay also thought tackle Bryan Bulaga was worth a No. 1 pick last year, 23rd overall, and didnt think enough of Webb to make a move on him in any of the next five rounds, either.

But being a veteran in his second NFL season has mellowed Webb. Or so he says. It was something I definitely thought about a lot last year, he said. This year I think its more about myself and how I can get better, how to help my team.

One way: dominate some former No. 1 pick.

Numbers-gaming

The Bears under Lovie Smith are 42-9 when they hold a team to 17 or fewer points, the standard defensive point target. That fact is particularly relevant when the opponent is the Green Bay Packers.

Eight of the 15 times Smiths Bears played the Packers, Green Bay scored those 17 or fewer. The Bears are 7-1 in those games.

Meaning: Whatever the Bears do, they cannot turn the game into any kind of scoring fest and need desperately to shorten the game by consuming time, and also by keeping Aaron Rodgers watching.

That will not be easy.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy is 6-0 in road openers, and this is the Packers road opener. Worse for the Bears, the Packers have won 14 of the last 19 games played in Soldier Field.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Power Rankings Roundup: People are pretty apathetic about losing to the Patriots

Power Rankings Roundup: People are pretty apathetic about losing to the Patriots

While the notion of a "good loss" is more coachspeak than anything of real substance, it looks like NFL media agree. 

After a close loss to the Patriots -- about three feet close, to be exact -- Power Rankings makers aren't blaming the Bears too much. In fact, shoutout to our mothership, Big NBC Sports, for actually *raising* the Bears in their latest rankings. Thanks guys! 

Here's what they're saying: 

Ours: #17, down 4 -
You can do worse than barely losing to the Patriots, but what on earth has happened to Chicago's defense?

NBCSports: #10, up 1 - 
Bears went toe-to-toe with the Patriots and made it to the later rounds before taking one on the chin. No shame in that.

NFL.com: #11, N/A - 
The opportunities were there for the Bears, who took it to the Patriots in the first half Sunday. The second half was a different story, as Chicago was stuck in catch-up mode.

Washington Post: #16, down 1 - 
The Bears came up a yard shy of a tying TD on the Hail Mary against the Patriots. This was a far less egregious loss than falling to Brock Osweiler and the Dolphins a week earlier. But it was still a loss.

ESPN: #13, down 1 - 
Need more from: RB Jordan Howard. Howard is averaging only 3.46 yards per rush, which ranks 41st out of 47 qualifying running backs. Bears running backs as a whole rank 30th with 1.45 yards after contact per rush, and Mitchell Trubisky has led the team in rushing in two of the past three games.

Sports Illustrated: #18, N/A - 
The Bears were 3-1 before starting a four-game tour of the AFC East. They need to take care of business against the Jets and Bills to keep pace in a tough NFC North.

Sporting News: #16, down 1 - 
Mitchell Trubisky and the offense have become a fun, unpredictable and mostly explosive roller-coaster ride, but the defense is showing it has plenty of leaks behind Khalil Mack.

FanSided: #17, down 2 - 
Mitchell Trubisky and those special teams were a disaster on Sunday.

Bleacher Report: #15, N/A - 
The problem is the Bears also have five tough divisional games remaining, including two with the Vikings. A date with the Rams also looms. However, if the Bears take care of business in the first four games mentioned, they will need to go just 3-3 in their remaining six matchups to go 10-6 and (presumably) make the playoffs.

Fantasy Football: 15 players to target on your waiver wire

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Fantasy Football: 15 players to target on your waiver wire

We've crossed the halfway mark in the regular season for most Fantasy Football leagues, so it's officially crunch time.

As we get ready to make a push for the stretch run and with Bye Weeks in full gear, the waiver wire has never been more important in 2018.

If Nick Chubb is available in your league still, change that immediately. But considering he should've been scooped up in every league after Carlos Hyde was traded away from Cleveland Friday, we're more focused on guys who should be available and worth spending your free agent budget on.

Here are 15 guys worth targeting on the waiver wire:

1. Kenjon Barner, RB, NE

It appears Sony Michel has avoided serious injury, but he still will probably miss at least Week 8 and possibly longer. James White will see a larger role without Michel, but Barner suddenly goes from a guy not even worth sniffing at in Fantasy to a must-own. As soon as Michel left the game, Barner entered and tallied 10 rushes against the Bears defense. If you're desperate for a running back in Week 8, Barner might be a good add as he has a fantastic matchup against a Bills defense that just allowed 219 rushing yards to the Colts.

2. Chris Ivory, RB, BUF

LeSean McCoy was forced to leave the Week 7 contest with a concussion, opening the door for a decent game for Ivory (126 total yards on 19 touches). If McCoy continues to miss time, Ivory is the clear beneficiary, though it's not a great matchup in Week 8 against the Pats.

3. Danny Amendola, WR, MIA

It's been a while since Amendola was anything more than a tease in Fantasy Football, but the soon-to-be-33-year-old has had back-to-back good games while building a good rapport with Brock Osweiler. Amendola has hauled in 143 yards and a tuddie on 14 catches (18 targets) the last two weeks and while he is banged up, he practiced in a limited capacity Monday. If he can suit up Thursday, he should be the Dolphins' top target as both Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are expected to miss that contest with their own injuries.

4. Raheem Mostert, RB, SF

Matt Breida and Alfred Morris owners must hate this guy, but Mostert has emerged from complete irrelevance to lead the Niners backfield the last two weeks. The 26-year-old has 23 touches the last two games while Morris has tallied just 9 touches (all in Week 7) and Breida has racked up 19 touches as he works through a bunch of injuries, including an ankle issue. It will be tough to predict how this situation will play out this week, but Mostert has been the only Niners back worth starting recently and this group of RBs now has the best matchup of the week against the woeful Cardinals defense. Mostert at least deserves to be owned, even if you're not comfortable starting him at the moment.

5/6. Jalen Richard/Doug Martin, RB, OAK

With Marshawn Lynch on IR, Richard and Martin should be owned in all formats just for the sheer possibility of a heavy workload. However, both are questionable Fantasy starts for Week 8 — even coming off a Bye. Richard should be the call in PPR leagues while Martin figures to eat up most of Lynch's carries. 

7. Tyrell Williams, WR, LAC

Williams is owned in hardly any league, but he's racked up 236 receiving yards and 3 TDs the last two weeks. He's not getting a heavy workload (only 8 targets in that span), but the Chargers love throwing deep to this guy and it's paid off in back-to-back weeks. Williams isn't close to being a safe bet as his value is completely contigent upon whether he catchs a deep bomb or not, but you could do a lot worse in your Fantasy lineups.

8. Martavis Bryant, WR, OAK

With Amari Cooper now in Dallas, somebody's gotta catch balls for Jon Gruden's Raiders. There's no guarantee that's Bryant, but he's slated to start Week 8 and he has the talent and resume to be at least a servicable Fantasy player the rest of the season.

9. Donte Moncrief, WR, JAC

The good: In 3 of the last 4 weeks, Moncrief has tallied at least 5 catches and 76 yards. The bad: In the other week during that stretch, he did not record a single catch on 3 targets. So there's clearly some risk here, especially considering the state of the Jags passing offense and QB situation. But Moncrief may be worth a pickup and start in Week 8 if you're desperate, as the Eagles have given up some of the most Fantasy points to opposing WRs. 

10. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, BUF

Benjamin was drafted in most leagues but was unable to post as many as 10 Fantasy points in even full-point PPR leagues until Week 7, and that was a modest 11-point total. Nobody blames you if you've given up on Benjamin, but he finally topped 3 catches and 50 yards in Week 7 and has a rapport with Derek Anderson from their time in Carolina. 

11. Trenton Cannon, RB, NYJ

Who? Cannon is owned in 0.0 percent of Fantasy leagues, which makes sense given he had a grand total of 2 Fantasy points entering Week 7. But when Bilal Powell left the game with a neck injury, it was Cannon that stepped up with 69 receiving yards on 4 catches while Isaiah Crowell still handled rushing duties. If Powell misses time in Week 8 or beyond (neck issues are no joke), Cannon is the main beneficiary in the passing game and should be rostered in all PPR leagues.

12. Chris Herndon, TE, NYJ

The Jets' fourth-round pick from this spring is another no-name in the Fantasy world, but that's quickly changing after back-to-back weeks with a TD. Herndon has clearly become the top tight end for fellow rookie Sam Darnold, seeing 7 targets last week and hauling in 4 of those catches for 42 yards. If you're desperate for a TE or you're in a dynasty league, target Herndon now. 

13. DeVante Parker, WR, MIA

Parker has been worth absolutely nothing in Fantasy this year, finding his way out of the lineup on a weekly basis. But he's worth a speculative add in case he's traded by next week — like he wants — and he also receives a boost for Week 8 by default, as the other Dolphins wideouts are all banged up and Parker essentially has to play.

14. Jakeem Grant, WR, MIA

Notice a trend here? We're all-in on South Beach receivers this week. Same logic applies because of injuries to Stills and Wilson, but obviously all of Parker, Grant and Amendola will not be worth a Fantasy start in Week 8. This is still Osweiler and the Dolphins we're talking about. But Grant is fun with his gamechanging speed and has at least contributed in every single week of the season so far even before he's become an increased part of the gameplan, so his floor isn't "0" like Parker's or some of the other WR options on the market.

15. Colts D/ST

We can't end this without a defense/special teams unit, right? The Colts gave up at least 31 points for 3 straight games from Week 4 through 6, but they absolutely dominated the Bills last week and now draw a Raiders team that just lost its two best offensive playmakers over the last 10 days. There is no better D/ST to stream out there than the Colts, and they're available in more than half of leagues.

Bonus: Rishard Matthews, WR, NYJ

Matthews is reportedly signing with the Jets, who need some WR help. Matthews quit on the Titans earlier this season after they completely went away from him in the gameplan, but this is a guy that racked up 1,740 yards and 13 TDs from 2016-17. He's worth an add in all leagues just for the potential.