Not all games are loaded with fantasy football difference-makers, but every single decision you make has the potential to swing a matchup. The Chicago Bears’ fantasy analysis starts with your confidence in a DJ Moore bounce-back, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fantasy evaluation comes down to your confidence in Baker Mayfield. Is someone from this game set to break the Week 2 NFL slate?
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and Start/Sit Optimizer to help you make the right decision!
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Spread: Buccaneers -2.5
- Total: 41 points
- Bears implied points: 19.25
- Buccaneers implied points: 21.75
Justin Fields: Maybe the Packers’ defense is better than I gave it credit for entering this season, but I was still underwhelmed with Fields’ production as a passer — and I didn’t set the bar all that high.
After completing just 60.4% of his passes and averaging 7.1 yards per attempt last season, all Fields had to do was show incremental signs of growth for me to push all the chips in on a repeat elite season.
Poor coverage led to the 23-yard Darnell Mooney touchdown. Without that, we’re talking under 5.4 yards per pass. Simply put, Fields has to be better if he’s going to pay off the capital you spent to acquire him this summer.
The nine carries for 59 yards is status quo at this point (the equivalent of a 48-yard TD pass), elevating his fantasy floor to that of a top-12 QB. I have Fields flirting with the top five this week against a Bucs defense that allowed Kirk Cousins to complete 33 of 44 passes for 344 yards. Show me something, Fields. I want to believe in your growth!
Baker Mayfield: Mayfield had 35 passing yards before hitting Mike Evans down the middle for a 28-yard touchdown on his last pass of the first half. He looked fine after the slow start (173 yards and two touchdowns), but the fact that he was shut out for an entire half by a pitiful Vikings defense is concerning.
I don’t doubt that Mayfield is eventually going to have a big week, and hopefully, you identify it in DFS spots.
That said, he’s not worth the risk in anything besides 2QB formats, not even against a Bears defense that gave up 245 yards and three scores on 15 Jordan Love completions.
Khalil Herbert: The ground game was largely scripted out of Chicago’s Week 1 loss to the Packers (no Bears player had 10 carries), and thus, Herbert let fantasy managers down. That’s going to happen a fair share of times this season, but it’s unlikely to be an issue against this woeful Bucs team.
On the plus side, the previously one-dimensional Herbert was responsible for 55.9% of Chicago’s first-quarter receiving yards. Now that’s interesting! If that role is his, Herbert profiles as a nice buy-low option. Understanding that Roschon Johnson led this backfield with 29 snaps, followed by Herbert’s 27, and D’Onta Foreman’s 21 (all ran 13-18 routes).
Herbert is my favorite back in Chicago, but against a stingy Tampa Bay run defense, no one in this backfield needs to be considered.
Roschon Johnson: The rookie got the meaningless touchdown with under three minutes left of the blowout Week 1 loss, and I don’t care. It was good to see him on the field, but he wasn’t used at all when this game was competitive, making me think that he’s still a ways away from threatening Herbert’s spot atop this depth chart.
D’Onta Foreman: Herbert is my favorite in this backfield, while Johnson has role upside, which leaves Foreman with — nothing. Foreman doesn’t need to be rostered in any format.
Rachaad White: White is a great example of the divide between fantasy and reality. Football purists hate White’s inability to get even what is blocked, citing his lack of explosion and vision as fatal flaws. On the other side, fantasy idiots like me get sucked in by the sheer volume that comes with the role that he currently holds (19 opportunities and 65.4% of RB carries).
MORE: PFN Consensus Rankings
White held a 54-10 snap edge over Sean Tucker, the rookie out of Syracuse that the football guys want to replace White. Could that happen with time? Sure, but this is a Week 2 column, and for right now, White’s role against an iffy Bears defense makes him a low-end RB2. The floor is appealing, even if it comes without access to much of a ceiling.
DJ Moore: Two targets?!? We were told all offseason that the Bears brought in Moore to give Fields an alpha pass catcher to help him develop, and all he could do was earn two targets against a below-average Packers secondary?
Jaire Alexander is on that Packers’ defense and played a role in limiting Moore, but still. Two targets? As disappointing as last week was, I think you can go back to the well and label Moore as a top-25 player at the position.
The Bucs showed no ability to detour Kirk Cousins from throwing to his early reads — Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson combined for a 47.7% target share — and I still trust Moore to be that for Fields.
Darnell Mooney: We talked up Mooney as a viable punt play on the DFS podcast (every Thursday afternoon) last week against a Green Bay defense that is vulnerable downfield, and it worked out!
But do you know how many of his 13.3 fantasy points from that game count this week?
#Bears Target share leaders Week 1
Cole Kmet 19.4%🔥
Darnell Mooney 19.4%🤔
Roschon Johnson 19.4%👀
– – – – – – – –
D.J. Moore 5.6% 🥴
— LaQuan Jones (@RealDealFantasy) September 11, 2023
Mooney has yet to prove himself as a consistent target earner at the professional level, and one week with a 19.4% share isn’t nearly enough to force me to believe otherwise. He was a top-20 receiver last week, but he’s not a top-50 option for me this week, even against a bad Bucs pass defense.
Chris Godwin: Godwin caught 83.3% of his Week 1 targets (teammates: 61.5%) and appears ready to hold a nice high-floor role. While the ceiling isn’t too high, Mayfield’s skill set trends in the favor of Mike Evans if one of these receivers is going to have a slate-breaking performance.
Godwin is a fine WR2 against a Bears defense that struggled to stop the YAC attack of the Pack in Week 1.
Mike Evans: Evans’ 28-yard touchdown during the two-minute drill last week saved your skin. Without that play, his nine targets turned into just 38 yards.
Could this be an explosion week? It’s certainly possible, but Godwin will be the higher-ranked of the two for me every week due to the safety in his role. Having said that, Evans’ upside in this specific matchup makes him a strong Flex play and my preferred GPP play of the two.
Cole Kmet: Kmet was one of three Bears to see seven targets last week, and he turned in a viable TE line of five catches and 44 yards. This plus-matchup has Kmet on my radar in deep leagues, but I’m chasing volume at this position. And with limited attempts always being the projection in Chicago, Kmet is nothing more than a dart throw that carries a low floor.
Cade Otton: He earned just three targets against the Vikes in Week 1, and that’s about what we can assume moving forward. Neither the quality nor the quantity of targets is nearly high enough in this Mayfield-led offense to justify plugging in Otton.
Who Should You Start in Week 2?
Should You Start DJ Moore or Michael Pittman Jr.?
I give the slight edge to Moore in this spot. Neither offense projects as a high-volume one in terms of pass attempts, so give me the offense that I think generates more scoring opportunities. This is close, and both are low-end WR2 options for Week 2, but if deciding between the two, I’ll take Moore by the slimmest of margins.
Should You Start Cole Kmet or Dalton Kincaid?
Do you want a Caesar salad or chicken fingers? Neither carries much upside, but both are fine. They are acceptable. I lean toward Kincaid due to his role as a route runner on an elite offense set to bounce back, but neither is inside my top 12 at the position.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.