NFL Grind Down Week 2: Bears vs. Broncos

Vegas Overview

CHI @ DEN Team Spread Total Implied Moneyline
DEN 2.5 40.5 19 116
CHI -2.5 40.5 21.5 -136

Betting Quick Take: Chicago is favored on the road in Week 2’s lowest totaled game. The game features two teams that looked offensively inept in Week 1 and a Bears defense that looked dominant against the Packers. Denver’s defense was surprisingly walked all over by the Raiders but this sets up as a favorable bounce-back spot in their home opener. I don’t have confidence in either offense but the Bears defense is truly elite and will likely be the deciding factor in this low-scoring affair.

Bears -2.5
Confidence Level 5/10

Under 40.5
Confidence Level 4/10

Injury Situations

Player Team Pos Status Part Impact
Trey Burton CHI TE Q Hernia 8

Injuries to Monitor: Trey Burton didn’t suit up in Week 1 and is looking iffy for this Sunday. Adam Shaheen played 33-of-71 snaps against the Packers and ran a route on 21-of-57 Trubisky dropbacks. He caught 1-of-2 targets for 6-yards. Ben Braunecker and Bradley Sowell played 9 and 7 snaps respectively.

Other News and Notes: Broncos RT Ja’Wuan James is out with a knee sprain. 2017 UDFA Elijah Wilkinson will start in James’ place and is a certain downgrade. Wilkinson allowed 2 pressures, 1 hurry, and 1 sack against the Raiders.

Matchup Factors, Team Identity Metrics, and Game Flow Expectations

Expected Game Pace and Tempo: Despite playing from behind for the vast majority of the game against Oakland, Denver still ranks 29th in situation neutral pace of play after one week. Chicago ranks 17th in situation neutral pace of play. Denver ranked 8th in situation neutral pace of play in 2018 and Chicago ranked 27th. Both teams are likely to average slower than normal pace of play throughout the season which will limit the number of offensive plays each team runs.

Denver Broncos Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Joe Flacco DEN 14.58 QB32 34.87 231.96 Rank 26 Rank 22 Rank 4 Rank 26
RB Team Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar% Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FD
Phillip Lindsay DEN 10.91 RB28 45% 10% Rank 35 Rank 23 Rank 21 Rank 17
Royce Freeman DEN 7.95 RB47 43% 5% Rank 50 Rank 33 Rank 6 Rank 27
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FD
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 11.98 WR37 21% 7.15 Rank 25 Rank 17 Rank 53 Rank 32
Courtland Sutton DEN 10.5 WR54 20% 6.97 Rank 57 Rank 21 Rank 54 Rank 26
DaeSean Hamilton DEN 7.49 WR81 15% 5.06 Rank 80 Rank 71 Rank 65 Rank 77
Noah Fant DEN 7.22 TE22 14% 4.88 Rank 22 Rank 14 Rank 7 Rank 14

CHI 18-19 Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 30/RB Rank 29/WR Rank 15/TE Rank 19

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note: Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello hinted towards an equal timeshare at RB all offseason and that’s what we saw in Week 1. Phillip Lindsay played 33-of-62 offensive snaps while Royce Freeman played 29-of-62. Lindsay carried the ball 11 times, Freeman 10. Lindsay was utilized more in the passing game catching 4-of-6 targets for 23-yards. Freeman caught his sole target for 5-yards.

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note: Chicago stifled the Packers on the ground allowing just 47-yards on 22 carries. They allowed 3 receptions for just 15-yards.

Neither Phillip Lindsay or Royce Freeman will be fantasy relevant as long as they continue to see an equal timeshare.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note: Denver saw a fairly even Pass/Run split despite playing from behind in Week 1, throwing the ball 31 times and rushing it 23 times. That doesn’t bode well for overall passing volume in neutral situations. Courtland Sutton led the team in targets (8), followed by Emmanuel Sanders (7), Phillip Lindsay (6), Noah Fant (4), DaeSean Hamilton (4), and Royce Freeman (1). Perhaps most notable was Fant’s playing time as he was on the field for 50-of-62 offensive snaps and ran a route on 30-of-39 Flacco dropbacks.

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note: Joe Flacco completed 67.7% of his Week 1 passing attempts and ranked 17th out of 34 players with 5+ passing attempts with 8.6 yards-per-attempt. Chicago held Aaron Rodgers to a 60% completion percentage and just 6.8 yards-per-attempt in Week 1.

In an ideal world, Joe Flacco is only going to throw the ball ~ 25 times. Even in a non-ideal world where Flacco is forced to drop back more frequently, like last week, Flacco’s volume will likely be limited. Our initial projections have Flacco with 34.87 passing attempts which seems generous. Simply put, there’s not enough passing volume in this offense for any of the options to be viable on a weekly basis, much less in a tough matchup.

Team Quick Summary: Nobody on Denver’s offense is a viable fantasy option in any full-slate format.

Chicago Bears Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Mitchell Trubisky CHI 17.45 QB19 35.65 257.75 Rank 6 Rank 10 Rank 1 Rank 5
RB Team Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar% Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Mike Davis CHI 7.02 RB54 36% 3% Rank 43 Rank 34 Rank 30 Rank 43
Tarik Cohen CHI 11.03 RB27 11% 17% Rank 37 Rank 17 Rank 22 Rank 9
David Montgomery CHI 8.19 RB46 33% 6% Rank 47 Rank 51 Rank 52 Rank 49
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FD
Allen Robinson CHI 14.15 WR21 25% 8.73 Rank 31 Rank 41 Rank 35 Rank 31
Taylor Gabriel CHI 6.75 WR91 11% 3.92 Rank 77 Rank 78 Rank 49 Rank 78
Anthony Miller CHI 7.77 WR79 15% 5.17 Rank 72 Rank 74 Rank 23 Rank 66
Trey Burton CHI 6.48 TE25 11% 3.92 Rank Rank Rank Rank
Adam Shaheen CHI 4.28 TE37 8% 2.67 Rank 28 Rank 34 Rank 29 Rank 35

DEN 18-19 Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 26/RB Rank 16/WR Rank 19/TE Rank 12

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note: The Chicago Bears saw an extremely pass-heavy attempt in Week 1, totaling just 15-carries on 71 offensive plays. David Montgomery led the rushing attack with 6-attempts and was only on the field for 27 snaps. Mike Davis carried the ball just 5 times but was on the field for 40-of-71 offensive snaps. Davis out-targeted Montgomery 7-to-1. I talk about Tarik Cohen ‘s unexpected usage as a receiver below.

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note: Neither Montgomery nor Davis did a whole lot with their carries, totaling just 18 and 19-yards respectively. Denver gave up a big fantasy game to Josh Jacobs in Week 1 but that was largely due to volume and not efficiency as they held Jacobs to 3.7 yards-per-carry.

Similar to Denver, no RB in the Bears backfield is fantasy relevant due to their current timeshare and lack of projected volume.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note: Volume wasn’t an issue for Mitchell Trubisky in Week 1- accuracy was. Trubisky tied Matthew Stafford for the fifth-most pass attempts of the week with 45. Allen Robinson (13) and Tarik Cohen (10) accounted for over 50% of Trubisky’s attempts. Mike Davis (7) and Taylor Gabriel (5) were next in line. Perhaps the most surprising development of Week 1 was Tarik Cohen usage and Anthony Miller lack of usage. Cohen replaced Miller as the Bears primary slot receiver lining up in the slot for 40 snaps combined to Miller’s 13.

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note: While, Trubisky threw the ball 45 times in the Bears 3-10 loss to the Packers he completed just 26 passes for a 57.8% completion percentage, good for the fifth-worst of the week. Trubisky averaged just 5.1 yards-per-attempt which was the third-lowest of the week. Trubisky’s low yards-per-attempt makes his egregious completion percentage even more troubling.

Allen Robinson, and potentially Tarik Cohen, should continue to see plenty of opportunities but efficiency is a major concern.

Team Quick Summary: Robinson is a strong weekly tournament option regardless of matchup simply due to expected volume. I have some hesitancy Cohen continues to see the expanded role he saw against the Packers but he’s a multi-entry tournament option until we get some indication that his workload will get scaled back.

DFS Recommendations

Optimal DFS Plays: None

Leverage Plays: Bears DST, Allen Robinson

Secondary Plays: Tarik Cohen

About the Author

  • Dan Gaspar (MrTuttle05)

  • Since his addition to the RotoGrinders community, MrTuttle has been continually climbing the Grinders leaderboards and is currently ranked in Top 150 overall. He has qualified for countless live finals as well and has proven himself to be one of the best high-stakes DFS players in the industry. You can find him on Twitter @MrTuttle05.


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