This week's Fantasy Index Weekly is available now.
Posted Sep. 19 at 11:45 AM
CHICAGO (vs Rams)
The Bears were pummeled in Green Bay, but they should get things back on track this week, scoring in the high-20s (at least) at home against one of the worst defenses in the league. Start with Michael Bush, who is merely functional but will play essentially full-time with Matt Forte out with an ankle injury. Bush will work against one of the worst run defenses in the league, and a unit that’s short-handed at defensive tackle. The Rams allowed Detroit (a team that doesn’t run very well) to run for 2 TDs on opening day. On Sunday against Washington, they gave up 176 rushing yards and 2 TDs. With the kind of workload Bush will carry, this looks like a game where he could run for close to 100 yards and punch in a couple of touchdowns. He’s also a decent receiver, so he should catch 3-4 passes. We like Bush. ... We also expect a bounce-back game from Jay Cutler and his receivers. They were overwhelmed by Green Bay’s pass rush (and Cutler hung onto the ball too long at times) but they’ll get that fixed.
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These are good receivers, and Cutler is plenty good enough when he’s comfortable. On opening day, he passed for 333 yards and 2 TDs against Indianapolis. That defense is far more in line with what he’ll see on Sunday. Cutler should be fine in this game. Ditto for Brandon Marshall. He was shut down at Lambeau, but he should rebound nicely in this game. The only negative we see with him is that Cortland Finnegan may cover him for much of the game, and Finnegan seems to match up pretty well against him. When the Dolphins played Tennessee two years ago, they passed the ball well (304 yards) but Marshall caught only 3 passes for 34 yards, largely because of Finnegan’s nice coverage. But whatever; that was two years ago. This is a different offense and a different quarterback, and we’re not even sure how often Finnegan will cover him. ... Among the other receivers, we like Alshon Jeffery the most. He’s played more than Earl Bennett and Devin Hester the first two weeks, and his large frame makes him a more appealing target. If the Rams have any success taking away Marshall, Jeffery could have a huge game. Jeffery has a lot more big-play potential than those guys, and his size makes him an asset in the red zone. ... It looks like an average matchup for the Bears Defense. For sacks, it looks good. The Rams have a terrible offensive line, and Sam Bradford has been sacked 42 times in his last 12 games – that’s over 3 per game. Chicago had only 33 sacks last season, but they’ve gotten 8 in their first two games, so this looks like a game where they’ll get 3-4. They look certain to be a top-10 team in sacks this week. But Bradford doesn’t tend to put many balls up for grabs. In those same 12 games, he’s thrown only 7 interceptions.
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