Kickoff: Sunday, December 5th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Betting Odds: Chi +7.5, 45.5 total via Oddsshark
Andy Dalton (Sit)
It doesn’t look like rookie Justin Fields will be returning after cracking ribs in week 10. This gives the start to Andy Dalton again. Dalton has played okay this season in limited time. He faces a tough defense in the Cardinals. CBS has them ranked as the 3rd best in not giving up points to the quarterback position. The Bears just don’t have the weapons in the receiving game to overcome a tough defense and an average quarterback in Dalton. You have to find a better option this week.
David Montgomery (Start, RB2), Khalil Herbert (Sit)
The return of David Montgomery has been less than stellar from a fantasy point of view. He has ranked as the 30th, 26th, and 23rd best running back in the past 3 weeks he has played. He is still getting volume which is great to see for a running back. over those games, he has gotten 13,14,17 carries. As the Bears struggle as an offense as a whole Montgomery has been one of the focal points. He gets a tough matchup against the Cardinals. With the injuries on the Cardinals team, we could see a low-scoring game that generally lends itself to running backs. Montgomery is a decent play this week based on volume. Behind him is Khalil Herbert who has played well this season but lacks the opportunities. Herbert is only playing on less than 15% of plays. Damien Williams has been out for a while and he doesn’t project to be back this week. Even when he does come back it seems that Herbert has fully taken over the backup role.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Allen Robinson (Sit, Flex), Darnell Mooney (Start, WR2), Marquise Goodwin (Sit, Flex), Cole Kmet (Start)
The Bear’s offense has been a mess this season Allen Robinson missed weeks 11 and 12 with a hamstring injury. Even when he was playing he has been a bust on the season. In nine games he has only 30 receptions, 1 touchdown, and 339 yards. The one bright spot is the ascension of Darnell Mooney. He has already bested last year’s numbers in targets, receptions, and touchdowns. He has been the leader of the team. He has scored in 2 of the last 3 games. He seems to be viable no matter who the quarterback is. He has fully taken over the number one spot. Since Robinson has been out Marquise Goodwin has seen increased targets. I think this week even if Robinson plays Goodwin has a chance to be a low-end flex play. I would want other options since it’s a bad matchup but Goodwin could get a long bomb touchdown. I really like Cole Kmet this week. With it being a tough matchup Dalton (or Fields) could be looking to get the ball out quick and dink and dunk to the tight end. Kmet had 11 targets in week 12 and has seen a team-high 8 red-zone targets on the season while also playing 84% of the team’s snaps. Jimmy Grahm did get the touchdown in week 12 but that is a fluke and not something you can count on.
Kyler Murray (Start, QB1), Colt McCoy (Sit)
The Cardinals are hopeful that Kyler Murray can return from his ankle injury. If he starts he draws a tough Chicago defense that CBS ranks 12th best in not giving up points to the quarterback position. One of the highlights of Kyler’s game is his rushing ability which will be limited even if he starts due to the ankle injury. He is still a very good passer and doesn’t need the run to carry his fantasy value like say a Jalen Hurts does. A lot of Murray’s value will be tied to his wide receiver’s availability. I still think he would be an okay start this week if he plays. If it’s Colt McCoy, I’m benching him for better options. Most likely if you had Murray, you have already found a fill-in for the past few weeks. I think the match-up and questions about Hopkins playing make McCoy not someone I want to start against a defense that puts pressure on quarterbacks.
James Conner (Start, RB1), Eno Benjamin (Sit)
The good news for Cardinal fans is that there aren’t any questionable players in the backfield. James Conner has been a fantasy star so far this season. He has scored in all but 3 games this season and is second in the league in rushing touchdowns. Conner does lack the yardage upside you get from other elite running backs but you cant not start someone who is as close to guaranteed to score a touchdown. On top of his touchdown production, Conner is also getting the passing game work. He had 6 targets in week 11. Coming out of a bye coach Kliff Kingberry has had time to game plan around CBS’s 19th ranked defense in giving up points to the running back. With all the other injuries on the team and players being questionable they will rely on Conner and the run game to put this game away and possibly clinch a playoff berth. Eno Benjamin is the man to own as a Conner handcuff but doesn’t have much value unless Conner were to go down. He has only received 6 carries in each of the past two games but is only playing on 25% of the team’s snaps.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
DeAndre Hopkins (IN, WR3), A.J. Green (Start, WR2), Rondale Moore (Start, Flex), Zach Ertz (Start), Christian Kirk (Sit)
DeAndre Hopkins (OUT), A.J. Green (Start, WR2), Rondale Moore (Start, WR2 ), Zach Ertz (Start), Christian Kirk (Sit, Flex)
There are questions surrounding DeAndre Hopkins and if he can play. He has missed the past 3 games and then the bye. He is suffering from a hamstring injury. I think if he plays I would put him as a WR3. Its worth monitoring the practice reports on Thursday and Friday. A.J. Green was the presumed beneficiary to Hopkins being out but that hasn’t really come true. Over the past 2 games, Green is 4th on the team in targets. Rondale Moore is tied for the team lead in targets over the past 2 games. Moore has shown flashes of greatness this season and coming out of a bye week he could be game planned in more. Zach Ertz is the other player tied for target lead over the past 2 games. He has been good since coming to the desert from Philly. He has 3 touchdowns since becoming a Cardinal in week 7. Christian Kirk has had 13 targets over two games. which puts him 2 behind Moore and Ertz and one more than Green. The issue with the Card’s passing game is that it’s hard to predict who will have the big game. I believe that Ertz is a must-start in the fantasy-tightened landscape. I think Moore has seen the most opportunities lately. I do think that if Hopkins plays it will limit Moore more than anyone
– Dustin Ludke (Dunit13dl on Reddit)