Buccaneers vs. Bears - Week 5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears
44 O/U -5.5 (TB)
The Buccaneers travel to Chicago to take on the fellow 3-win Bears on Thursday. Tom Brady faces off against the only active QB who has beaten him in a Super Bowl, although both he and Nick Foles have found their way to new teams. It should be a great evening for football, a clear night in the high 50’s. Unfortunately, the short week will likely put a ceiling on the offensive output.
Through the Air
Chicago has turned to Nick Foles to replace Mitchell Trubisky, a move that led them to a come-from-behind win in Atlanta. Foles is not a great option at QB this week, and you can leave him on the waiver wire for now in 1QB leagues. His weapons at WR include Allen Robinson, a WR1 who has already seen 41 targets, and Anthony Miller, a solid weapon who slots in as a WR3 or Flex if you’re desperate. Darnell Mooney is a lottery ticket option, a WR who has seen more targets than Miller and is second in receiving yards for the team. Jimmy Graham leads the TE group, behind only Robinson in targets on the season. He is a solid option for streaming this week as a high-end TE2.
On the Ground
The Bears are really missing Tarik Cohen, their dynamic gadget back who was lost for the season two weeks ago. They’re looking to David Montgomery to continue to bear the load for the team, and due to his volume, he slots in as a RB2. The issue here is that the team has not managed a rushing TD yet this season, and the Buccaneers defense is limiting teams to under 65 yards per game, including under 50 the past 2 weeks. It will be hard to sit Montgomery, but be aware of the risk he poses for a bad game this week. If you’ve got another option in the RB2 tier, it might be better to look elsewhere.
Through the Air
Tom Brady comes off a 5-TD fantasy point deluge in week 4 and looks to regress a bit closer to the mean this week. Look at him as a mid-level QB2, an option to stream but don’t expect to approach the numbers we saw this last weekend. Part of that is his WR corps, a group that has been hit with the injury plague. Mike Evans seems to be the best option here, although his status is in doubt as he missed practice on Tuesday. Keep an eye on his status, but it will be hard to bench him if he does end up playing. Scotty Miller is a distant option, but he also missed Tuesday’s practice and is questionable for the game. 2019 breakout WR Chris Godwin? Also missed practice Tuesday. It’s a very fluid situation, and if only one of these guys plays, they’re probably a good option to get a big share of the workload. It’s also possible that they’re all resting due to the short week and are all planning on playing. A situation to watch if you have any of these guys. At TE, we saw OJ Howard have a great breakout game last week… before he ruptured his achillies and landed on IR. Gronkowski is the remaining TE, but he’s hard to trust after seeing how Bruce Arians offense has looked this year. He’s worth a streaming start if those injured WRs do end up sitting, though.
On the Ground
The injuries don’t stop at WR – LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette also did not participate in practice Monday or Tuesday, so this bumps Ronald Jones up to around the mid-RB2 area this week. Ke’Shawn Vaughn is an interesting RB to watch, but don’t slot him into your lineup yet. Avoid the other two, even if they’re active for the game and end up getting some snaps, their injuries will lower their ceiling considerably.
The kickers in this matchup aren’t very enticing, look elsewhere for a streaming option. The Bucs’ Ryan Succop has a bit of potential, but there are better picks at K. The Buccaneers D/ST has a solid chance to be in the top tier this week, favored with a low total. Lock them in if you have them. Avoid the Chicago D/ST this week, even with a lack of WRs, Brady isn’t likely to turn it over much.