Things have been extremely rough for the Chicago Bears through three games of the 2023 season. The team sits at 0-3. Their offense has been terrible, and they can’t stop anyone defensively. You aren’t going to win a lot of football games like that.
In 2022, the Bears led the league in rushing with 3,014 yards on the ground — nearly 300 yards more than the second-best team. In 2023, they are 17th on the ground. The team may have to get the rushing game going to get themselves back on track this year.
With a Denver Broncos team coming to town who just surrendered eight touchdowns to running backs last weekend, Week 4 is the place to start. But who should you trust in the Bears’ backfield on your fantasy football teams? Should you start Khalil Herbert, or should Roschon Johnson see the starting lineup?
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!
Khalil Herbert Fantasy Outlook This Week
Coming into the season, Herbert was set to be the Bears’ lead back. In 2022, Herbert was a complementary back to David Montgomery but still managed to rack up nearly 800 yards from scrimmage and score five touchdowns in just 13 games.
However, things have been slow in 2023. Herbert only has 93 rushing yards on the season in three games. He does, however, have 64 yards receiving on six catches.
The key to Herbert’s success in Week 4 will be his usage. If the Bears commit to the run game and Herbert is the lead back, he could have a solid game against a Denver defense that has given up the most points to running backs this season. The fact that Herbert also gets involved in the passing game only helps his chances for a good week.
But one of the downfalls for Herbert is his blocking. He is a below-average pass blocker. And with a bad offensive line in Chicago, the Bears need all the help they can get blocking.
Roschon Johnson Fantasy Outlook This Week
Rookie running back Roschon Johnson has slowly but surely worked his way into the offense more and more in the young 2023 season. His snap percentage has increased every game, from 39% to 42% to 45% in Week 3.
Much of this is due to Johnson’s hard-nosed running ability and the fact that he is a solid pass blocker. The Bears have relied on Johnson to be a sixth and sometimes seventh blocker for Justin Fields in their pass game. This gives him good opportunities to be on the field and to increase the odds for fantasy points.
When he has run, Johnson has also been more successful. He has 90 yards on 17 attempts this year (5.3 ypc average) and a touchdown. He also has 56 receiving yards on 10 catches.
MORE: Fantasy News Tracker
As Johnson is the better blocker and more efficient runner and starts to eat more and more into the snap share, the question really is when (not if) the breakout will happen.
Which of the Chicago Bears’ RBs Should You Start?
The Bears playing the Broncos on Sunday is begging fantasy managers to get one of these players into their Flex position. The question is who you actually want to trust with how split this backfield has been in Chicago.
If I had to guess, Herbert will continue to be the lead back on Sunday for the Bears. This coaching staff and team seem set on trying to make their offense work. In a game where they likely won’t have to be chasing large amounts of points like they have previously, I think Herbert will have the best chance at success.
The Bears use Herbert early in games and get him involved in the screen game as well. And for those who believe that Johnson is the goal-line guy, that hasn’t been the case thus far. Herbert and Johnson both have two carries on the year inside the red zone and inside the 10.
This is a small sample size, but with the split being so even, I am banking on the Bears going with the player with a bit more experience this weekend. Until that snap share flips to Johnson seeing more time on the field than Herbert, you have to go with the player getting more opportunity. Johnson is the future here, but I will stick with Herbert in Week 4.