The NFL Grind Down: Thursday Night Football - Commanders vs. Bears


In this article, we will take a look at the top DraftKings and FanDuel picks for the Commanders vs. Bears, go over potential sleepers, and even take a look at some player props that we can target on fantasy pick’em sites like Sleeper Fantasy ahead of this Thursday Night Football matchup.

NFL DFS Showdown DraftKings Picks and Sleepers — Commanders vs. Bears

Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome to Week 5!

We kick off the week with a matchup between… (checks notes), the Commanders and Bears. Really, NFL?

These teams put on one of the worst primetime game performances of the season last year, and the NFL decided to run the matchup back. While I wish we had some better teams on the field on Thursday, I will still be tuning into the game. That’s the power of the NFL. The Commanders are 2-2 despite a -31 point differential, while the Bears are 0-4 after blowing a big second-half lead against the Broncos in Week 4. This game features a 6-point spread and a 44.5-point total.

Key Injuries

Chase Claypool – Out

Washington Commanders Preview

Outside of the game against Buffalo, Sam Howell has been a productive quarterback in DFS this season. He’s had multiple touchdowns in two of the four games, he rushed for 40 yards last week, and he has topped 17 DK points in three of his four starts. We should like his chances to keep that going against the Bears, who are ranked 31st in both pass DVOA and pass EPA this season. Washington’s offensive line has struggled mightily, but they might get a reprieve in this spot, as the Bears are ranked dead last in sacks per game. Howell is not only viable, but deserves consideration at MVP and Captain.

We were expecting a timeshare at running back for the Commanders to start the season, but Brian Robinson has been the clear RB1 in the first four games. He has 61 rushing attempts and seven targets compared to 13 rush attempts and eight targets for Antonio Gibson. Given the line and the matchup, this seems like a great spot for Washington to lean on Robinson. He’s already exceeded 20 touches two times this season and he might make it a third against the Bears, who have been a bottom 10 run defense this season. Robinson pairs nicely with Washington’s D/ST, as we know the Bears like to take sacks and commit turnovers.

While Terry McLaurin leads Washington’s wideouts in most receiving categories, he hasn’t been able to separate from Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel in terms of targets. All three have target shares between 14% and 19%. Chicago already has a bad pass defense and will now be without their best cornerback and their best safety. I like the idea of pairing one of these receivers with Howell and the most obvious choice is McLaurin, but that will be a common build. Don’t be afraid to get exposure to Dotson, Samuel, and even Byron Pringle (on DK). The Commanders have plenty of tight ends, but Logan Thomas is the best target earner when healthy.

Chicago Bears Preview

Dare I say it… Justin Fields looked very good in Week 4. Granted, it was against the Broncos, but even those that grind the tape had good things to say about Fields in the passing game. He completed 28-of-35 passes for 335 yards and four touchdowns. We are still waiting on a breakout game from him on the ground, yet he’s still racked up 134 rushing yards this season. The Commanders are one of the best at getting pressure on the quarterback, which should lead to a number of sacks and plenty of scrambles. It sounds strange, but I like Washington’s defense in DFS, and I like the rushing prop for Justin Fields (which we’ll get to later).

There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for the usage in Chicago’s backfield. Khalil Herbert was the clear lead back last week against the Broncos, but that hasn’t been the case all season. Perhaps Herbert is the preferred back when the Bears are playing with a lead, while there’s a better path for Roschon Johnson in games where the Bears are trailing. I’m not particularly enthralled with the idea of rostering either back, as Washington is ranked ninth in DVOA against the run. In our projections, these two grade out as two of the worst point-per-dollar options of the slate.

DJ Moore and Cole Kmet are the top two targets for Chicago, each racking up a target share of 19% on the season. They are naturally tied to their quarterback, who is going to have a few good games and a lot of bad games this season. While Washington has a very good defensive line, they are quite beatable in the secondary. They have allowed the 11th most fantasy points to wide receivers through the first four games. Fields is a must in my eyes and I plan to have some builds with a Washington onslaught (only using Fields) and some builds with Fields and one of his wideouts. I’m not actively targeting the other wideouts in this offense, but Tyler Scott is only $200 on DraftKings.

Roster Construction Ideas

Even though I don’t love these teams on most main slates, this is actually a very intriguing slate for showdown. Justin Fields is more than capable of putting up 20+ fantasy points, even against a team that can get pressure on the quarterback. He has more rushing upside than any quarterback in the league, so we don’t necessarily have to pair him with his receivers. Personally, I could see a game script where the Commanders get out to an early lead and then lean heavily on both their running game and their defense. My favorite build is to use Fields solo (or paired with one receiver) and then stack the Commanders side of the ball (most notably with Washington’s D/ST and Brian Robinson).

Commanders-Bears DFS Salaries & Projections

Player Team Pos Proj DK Sal CPT Sal DK/$ FD Sal FD/$
Justin Fields CHI QB 18.73 $11,000 $16,500 1.70 $17,000 1.10
Sam Howell WAS QB 17.40 $9,400 $14,100 1.85 $15,500 1.12
Brian Robinson WAS RB 14.55 $9,200 $13,800 1.58 $14,000 1.04
Terry McLaurin WAS WR 13.31 $10,200 $15,300 1.30 $12,000 1.11
Khalil Herbert CHI RB 12.26 $8,600 $12,900 1.43 $11,000 1.11
Jahan Dotson WAS WR 11.88 $7,000 $10,500 1.70 $9,000 1.32
D.J. Moore CHI WR 11.81 $10,000 $15,000 1.18 $12,500 0.94
Joey Slye WAS K 9.32 $4,200 $6,300 2.22 $9,000 1.04
Cole Kmet CHI TE 9.20 $6,400 $9,600 1.44 $10,000 0.92
Darnell Mooney CHI WR 8.79 $5,000 $7,500 1.76 $8,500 1.03
Curtis Samuel WAS WR 8.39 $5,600 $8,400 1.50 $10,500 0.80
Antonio Gibson WAS RB 8.20 $3,200 $4,800 2.56 $7,500 1.09
Cairo Santos CHI K 8.09 $4,600 $6,900 1.76 $8,500 0.95
Logan Thomas WAS TE 7.85 $5,200 $7,800 1.51 $7,000 1.12
Commanders WAS DST 7.57 $5,400 $8,100 1.40 $9,500 0.80
Bears CHI DST 6.48 $4,000 $6,000 1.62 $8,000 0.81
Roschon Johnson CHI RB 5.12 $4,800 $7,200 1.07 $7,500 0.68
Tyler Scott CHI WR 3.90 $200 $300 19.50 $6,500 0.60
Dyami Brown WAS WR 2.96 $2,800 $4,200 1.06 $6,500 0.46
Cole Turner WAS TE 2.95 $800 $1,200 3.69 $5,500 0.54
John Bates WAS TE 1.51 $400 $600 3.78 $6,000 0.25
Equanimeous St. Brown CHI WR 1.48 $1,800 $2,700 0.82 $6,000 0.25
Robert Tonyan CHI TE 1.15 $600 $900 1.92 $6,000 0.19
Byron Pringle WAS WR 0.67 $200 $300 3.35 $5,500 0.12

Fantasy Sleepers

Logan Thomas – $5,200 DK / $7,800 FD

The track record for this section, in particular, has not been good. I’m not sure what it is, but the fantasy sleeper in these showdown articles has struggled mightily in each game. We’ll see if we can end the streak with Logan Thomas. There’s always a bit of sticker shock when it comes to tight ends in showdown slates. Most of them are priced in the $3,000 range on main slates and then are bumped up above $5,000 for showdown. This leads to low ownership. Thomas runs routes, he has a decent target share, and the Bears have allowed the ninth most fantasy points to the position this season.

Commanders vs. Bears Player Props

Justin Fields over 47.5 rushing yards (1.78x) – Sleeper

I also like the over for Brian Robinson and his rushing yards, but Fields is my favorite prop on the board. We’ve seen him rush for over 100 yards a number of times in his career, and he already has 28 rushing attempts on the season. Chicago’s offensive line does not pass-protect well and Washington has one of the best pass rushes in the NFL. Whether he wants to or not, Fields is going to be on the move often in this game. Additionally, there’s a good chance the Bears are playing with a deficit, which could lead to more passing plays and more scramble opportunities.

Image Credit: Getty Images

About the Author

Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

Derek Farnsworth (aka Notorious) is a lead RotoGrinders Expert and one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Master’s Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the DFS industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in several sports and multiple Live Final appearances. Noto provides expert NBA, NFL, MLB, and PGA analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards. Follow Noto on Twitter – @RG_Notorious