What We Saw: Bears at Rams

Defense may win championships, but punting wins Monday Night Football games.

Bears @ Rams

 

Chicago’s offense came out flat on Monday night and they weren’t able to get anything going after that, either. Los Angeles cruised to an easy 24-10 victory – with Chicago’s only TD coming on a defensive scoop-and-score. The defenses were the story of the game – neither team produced any super noteworthy fantasy performances, but it was an entertaining game to watch either way. Rams’ Punter Johnny Hekker had an absolutely masterful performance by downing 5 punts at Chicago’s 10-yard line or better – setting the stage for the Rams’ defensive dominance. Your fantasy players in this game probably left you wanting more, but let’s dive into what we saw:

 

Chicago Bears

 

Quarterback

 

Nick Foles: 28/40, 261 yards, 2 INTs, 4 sacks 

 

As mentioned above, it was a tough night for Chicago’s offense and their QB Nick Foles. Foles turned in his worst performance since taking over the Bears’ starting job for QB Mitchell Trubisky back in Week 4. It was Foles’s first game this season throwing for multiple INTs and also his first game without a TD pass. Los Angeles’ pass rush got to him early and often, and with the Bears unable to get the running game going, the Rams teed off on him all night. Foles is hardly worth fantasy consideration at this point in the season, except perhaps in deeper 2 QB leagues. That being said, he should be in line for a better night next Sunday against New Orleans’ softer secondary.

  

Running Backs

 

David Montgomery: 14 carries, 48 yards, | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 21 yards

 

It wasn’t a great performance for Chicago RB David Montgomery on Monday night against the Rams, but it wasn’t his worst effort either. Montgomery saw 80% or more of the backfield snaps for the 4th straight week, but he wasn’t able to do much with the ball in his hands. Montgomery averaged a mediocre 3.4 YPC on the night, which surprisingly was good enough for his third-highest average of the season. Montgomery still has only 2 total TDs on the year, as he’s been held out of the end zone in 5 of Chicago’s 7 contests. Montgomery won’t be a league-winner by any means, but his low-end RB2/Flex production is at least fairly consistent. He will hope to get back into the end-zone next Sunday at home against the Saints.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Allen Robinson: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 70 yards

Darnell Mooney: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 40 yards

Cordarrelle Patterson: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 11 yards | 3 carries, 1 yard

Anthony Miller: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 20 yards

Jimmy Graham: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 31 yards

Cole Kmet: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 45 yards

 

As Nick Foles and Chicago’s O-Line struggled, so did the Bears’ pass-catching group. None of the Bears’ offensive players found the end-zone, and WR Allen Robinson‘s 70 yards from scrimmage were the most of any skill player for Chicago. WR Darnell Mooney had several deep targets, but Foles’ inaccuracy and solid coverage from the Rams’ secondary didn’t allow for much success. WR Anthony Miller had a spectacular one-handed catch that was more eye-popping than meaningful to the game’s outcome:

 

 

While the Bears failed to move the ball through the air against the Rams, they should have a slightly easier time next week against the Saints’ defense.

 

Los Angeles Rams

 

Quarterback

 

Jared Goff: 23/33, 219 yards, 2 TDs, 1 sack | 4 carries, 1 yard

 

Rams’ QB Jared Goff and the passing offense took a backseat to the Rams’ running game for the most part, but Goff still put up respectable QB2 numbers against the Bears on Monday night. Goff started with several inaccurate throws, sailing the ball over several receivers’ heads in the Rams’ first 2 series. Goff did go on to throw a couple of TD passes on the night – the first to WR Josh Reynolds on a crafty hurry-up play with Reynolds lined up in the backfield. His second was to TE Gerald Everett, who took advantage of a badly missed tackle in the red-zone:

 

 

Goff didn’t have a turnover, and it was his 5th game of the season with at least 2 passing TDs. Goff should remain a mid-low QB2 for the rest of the season, considering the Rams’ ability and willingness to run the ball at a high level has somewhat capped his ceiling thus far.

 

Running Backs

 

Darrell Henderson: 15 carries, 64 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards

Malcolm Brown: 10 carries, 57 yards, 1 TD, | 1 target, 0 receptions

Cam Akers: 0 carries | 0 targets 

 

We are starting to see a clearer picture of what to expect from the Rams’ backfield this season – at least for now. RB Darrell Henderson appears to be holding onto the lead back role, with Malcolm Brown sprinkling in some – and rookie Cam Akers, somewhat surprisingly, not at all. Henderson failed to find the end-zone for the second straight week, but he started the game and commanded more than 50% of the backfield snaps for the second consecutive week. Henderson is seeing enough volume to maintain RB2/Flex value, while his TD weeks can put him into RB1 territory when they occur. Brown provided his second-highest fantasy output of the season and his highest since his Week 1 explosion against Dallas. Brown was also the only Rams’ back to find paydirt on Monday night. Akers failed to see even a single touch for the second straight week and seemingly provides nearly zero fantasy value – save for some handcuff value if Henderson or Brown were to miss time. There was a point in the game where Henderson scampered downfield and went down out of bounds, then asked for help getting up and it appeared he was shaken up a bit. He missed the next series but ended up returning to the game, so that may be worth keeping an eye on. Henderson and the rest of the Rams’ backfield will have a chance to boost their production next week against the Dolphins.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Robert Woods: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards, 1 fumble | 4 carries, 23 yards

Cooper Kupp: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 43 yards | 1 carry, 16 yards

Van Jefferson: 1 target, 1 reception, 14 yards

Josh Reynolds: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 52 yards, 1 TD

Johnny Mundt: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 47 yards

Gerald Everett: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 28 yards, 1 TD

 

Rams’ WR Josh Reynolds led the Los Angeles pass-catchers in targets and receiving yards on Monday night, and he also found the end-zone for a second consecutive game. Reynolds ran a nice route out of the backfield, and the offense hurrying up to the line took advantage of the Bears’ defense – catching them off-guard:

 

 

At this point, however, it seems as though Reynolds is mostly taking fantasy output away from WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp – rather than providing much of his own. Woods and Kupp have both had quiet seasons thus far – and have both failed to perform up to their ADPs. TE Gerald Everett scored his second TD of the year, but it will be worth monitoring if fellow TE Tyler Higbee returns next week from a hand injury and takes snaps back from Everett.

 

Photo courtesy of Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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