Kickoff: Sunday, October 31st at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Betting Odds: +3.5 CHI, 39.5 total via Oddsshark
San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo (Sit)
With five straight games of 20 or fewer fantasy points, including two straight under 10, managers are beyond frustrated with Jimmy Garoppolo, and it is hard to imagine that the 49ers aren’t also. Jimmy G has failed to unlock this offense, and more and more it becomes evident that he is not a player that can play out of the structure. Last week the 9ers got off to a fast start, but after the first few series, the offense reverted back to its anemic ways. Perhaps Garoppolo will be replaced soon but until then he belongs on fantasy waiver wires.
Elijah Mitchell (Start, RB2)
Managers lucky enough to spend their FAAB u=budget on an early Elijah Mitchell claim are starting to see the benefits. Mitchell exploded for a 57-yard touchdown run on the first series of Week 7 and continued his high yards per carry average throughout the night, finishing with 18 carries for 107 yards. Mitchell is a classic two-down back, ceding long down and distance and passing work to other backs, but he is a solid RB2 starter in an offense that is built around the run game.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Deebo Samuel (Start, WR1), Brandon Aiyuk (Sit), George Kittle (Out)
Deebo Samuel continued his dominance in Week 7, with his third 100-yard, touchdown game of the season. The overall WR8 and the clear preferred target in the San Francisco passing attack, he is showing no signs of slowing down. Deebo is commanding nearly 33% of the target share these past three weeks and seems to be the only option for Jimmy G. Deebo saw 11 targets, his sixth straight game with nine or more. With George Kittle out for at least one more game, and Brandon Aiyuk being almost invisible, Samuel is an easy WR1 this week against the Falcons. Aiyuk is clearly a talented receiver, but his issues are more related to becoming a pro that can be trusted, and not so much with his talent. Until things change, he should not even be rostered in redraft.
Justin Fields (Sit)
I will readily admit that I was high on Justin Fields as a franchise quarterback heading into the season, however, the last few weeks have been highly disappointing. While Fields has been pretty excellent in his ball placement in a clean pocket, the reality is Fields is seeing most of his attempts under pressure, where he has been categorically awful. The Bears have struggled to protect Fields, but he also has shown little pocket presence and seemed to exacerbate the issues. Watching Fields tape, you can see where he struggles to “feel” pressure and takes sacks where other QBs would navigate the pocket and deliver. Last week, under heavy pressure, Fields threw three interceptions and fumbled three times. This current Bears offense will be unable to protect Fields all year, capping his upside and making him a clear waiver player until things change.
Khalil Herbert (Start, RB2), Damien Williams (Sit)
Since David Montgomery exited Week 4 with an injury, sixth-round rookie Khalil Herbert stepped in and looked fantastic. Herbert has managed to earn nearly all of the work as a rusher and receiver, in a league where bell cows are hard to come by. Herbert added five catches to 18 carries and managed 100 yards rushing against a Tampa Bay defense that hasn’t surrendered that many yards to a back all season. Herbert is dominating the backfield and has almost completely pushed Damien Williams out of the lineup. Keep riding him until Montgomery returns.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Darnell Mooney (Start, Flex), Allen Robinson (Start, Flex), Cole Kmet (Sit)
The Bears passing attack has been a mess. To complicate matters, there is no clear lead receiver between Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson. Both players are running similar routes, seeing a similar amount of targets, and are limited in production. Robinson has struggled through the worst season of his career, and the way his offensive line is playing there may be no hope to salvage his season. Mooney is seeing a higher aDot but still isn’t an option managers can trust until later in the season.
Cole Kmet has been fairly productive, catching five balls for 53 yards last week, but he has yet to score a touchdown this season. He is a hold or acquisition in dynasty but with this limited passing offense, his 2021 season will be nothing but building a resume for next year.
-Marc Salazar (@oldsnake77)