Week 12 in the NFL and fantasy football has been interesting; I think that is the best way to put it. As we head into the Sunday Night Football game, we see a familiar face in Mitch Trubisky under center once again for the Bears offense. How will the change to Trubisky impact players like David Montgomery and Allen Robinson as they head to Lambeau Field and renew their NFC North rivalry with the Green Bay Packers?
Mitch Trubisky will start at QB for the Bears’ offense instead of Nick Foles
Fourth-year Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will return to the starting lineup when Chicago (5-5) faces the Green Bay Packers (7-3) on Sunday night, head coach Matt Nagy announced Friday.
“Right now, we’re excited. Mitch is ready,” Nagy said. “This is an opportunity for him.”
Veteran Nick Foles, who took over for Trubisky in Week 3, was unable to practice all week because of a hip injury he suffered near the end of Chicago’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings on November 16. Foles is officially listed as doubtful for Sunday.
It’s also worth noting that it isn’t as if Mitch Trubisky is the picture of health coming into the game. He spent several weeks nursing a right shoulder injury that occurred on a designed quarterback keeper against the New Orleans Saints. Interestingly, this happened on the only snap Trubiksy had seen since his original benching earlier in the season. However, Nagy is confident in where Trubisky is when compared to Foles and his health.
“We’re still kind of evaluating where [Foles] is at, and I think that’s the only fair thing,” Nagy said, according to Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Mitch is obviously doing well health-wise. I feel good with where he’s at physically, with the way he’s throwing and all that stuff.”
At the time of the original quarterback change, Trubisky had thrown for 560 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions while leading the Bears to an undefeated 3-0 record.
The change from Mitch Trubisky to Nick Foles did nothing to make the Bears’ offense any more efficient
The Chicago Bears are a bad football team, and the switch from Mitch Trubisky to Nick Foles has done nothing to change that.
The Bears, losers of four straight, enter Week 12 ranked 31st in yards per game (300.9), points per game (19.1), yards per play (4.7), first downs (188), third-down conversions (42), red-zone touchdowns (13), and yards per drive (26.6). The only team they are better than in all of those categories are the New York Jets, who are 0-11.
Only 31% of the Bears’ drives end in points (30th in the NFL). Their average time per drive is under 2:40 per drive, which isn’t good if you aren’t an explosive team. They have the third-fewest red-zone scoring attempts (27). The Bears are dead last in rushing touchdowns (2), attempts (217), rushing yards per game (78.2), and yards per attempt (3.6).
In expected points scored by the offense, they are the second-worst in the NFL with an astonishing -32.55 points scored, yet despite all of this they are 5-5 on the season.
On the year, Foles has passed for 1,852 yards, 10 touchdowns, and eight interceptions for a quarterback rating of 81.0. Nagy, however, declined to name Trubisky the starter beyond the weekend.
How does the change impact the rushing game and David Montgomery?
David Montgomery has been his inefficient self even with Tarik Cohen out of the lineup. He has yet to rush for 90 or more yards in a game, and we know the upside is limited, but finding someone who is getting at least 17 opportunities at the RB position every single week in fantasy can not be ignored.
Running backs are averaging a robust 31.29 PPR points against the Packers, which is the second-highest number in the league. The Packers allow 74.3 PPR points per game to skill-position players, and a league-leading 42.1 percent of that goes to running backs. They’re 21st in yards per carry (4.4) and 13th in yards per game (113.7).
The downside of the Bears offense being led by Mitch Trubisky is that he brings a mobile aspect to the position that was missing with Nick Foles. In his four years in the NFL, Trubisky has rushed 166 times for 952 yards (5.7 avg) and has seven rushing touchdowns. Even in his last game as a starter in Week 3, Trubisky was tied with David Montgomery as the team’s leading rusher with 45 yards. Inside the red zone is where this concerns me the most as we already are dealing with a limited amount of scoring opportunities, so anytime David Montgomery is losing high-leverage touches is a big loss.
He will remain a low-end RB2 with Mitch Trubisky based on volume, but the floor is even lower if he loses critical scoring chances.
Can Allen Robinson maintain his elite status with Mitch Trubisky?
I make no secret about the fact I think Allen Robinson is underrated in the general public.
Robinson is the WR17 in PPR formats and has the sixth-most targets (95) in the NFL. He had not had a drop on a pass beyond 20 yards in almost two seasons, and he has the highest contested catch rate in the NFL. Even with how bad the Bears have been, Allen Robinson is still on pace to eclipse 1,200 yards and 100 receptions.
He is not the issue on this team, and for him to succeed, Mitch Trubisky can’t be afraid to make a play instead of waiting for him to get open.
In their three games together, Robinson led the team in targets (31), catching 18 for 230 yards and a touchdown. In Week 3, he blew up catching 10 of 13 targets for 123 yards, his best game of the season, although some of that came with Foles under center.
Allen Robinson has played with Blake Bortles, Mitch Trubisky, and Nick Foles in his career. He is about as QB proof as it gets so long as they throw it his way. In Week 12, the Packers matchup is interesting. Of the fantasy points the Packers have allowed to skill-position players, wide receivers have accounted for just 45.6 percent of it, tied for the third-lowest total in football.
Only twice has a wide receiver finished as a WR18 or better. However, we have a track record of Allen Robinson being able to win against Packers CB Jaire Alexander. In their two games last year, Robinson caught 14 passes for 227 yards on 27 targets. He is a high-end WR2, and if the Bears offense had more scoring chances, he would be a weekly top-six option in fantasy football.
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