Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears TNF Fantasy Football Options Include Chuba Hubbard, D’Onta Foreman, DJ Moore, and Adam Thielen

    Let's examine the fantasy football targets for TNF between the Panthers and Bears, including Chuba Hubbard, Khalil Herbert, DJ Moore, and Adam Thielen.

    Not all Thursday Night Football start/sit questions are created equal. This week, fantasy football managers are dealing with injuries, inconsistent usage, and slumps.

    This Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears game is a tough way to start Week 10, but you need to nail your decisions if you want to have a chance over the week. Here is how I see tonight’s game going!

    TNF Start’ Em, Sit’ Em: Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears

    • Spread: Bears -3.5
    • Total: 39
    • Panthers implied points: 17.5
    • Bears implied points: 21.5

    Bryce Young, QB, Carolina Panthers

    The rookie has had his moments this season, but even in a plus matchup during a tough week at the position, he doesn’t need to be on your radar. Young hasn’t thrown for 250 yards in a game this season and has three times as many multi-INT games as he does multi-TD games.

    Dynasty managers can find comfort in the Panthers letting him learn with live reps and thus speeding up his development process, but his days as a reliable fantasy asset aren’t coming in the short term.

    Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears

    He was injured during Chicago’s Week 6 loss against the Vikings and has missed the three games since. The Tyson Bagent story was a good one, but Fields is the QB for this team when healthy enough to take the field, and fantasy managers hurting at the position certainly hope that is Thursday night against the Panthers.

    MORE: Justin Fields Injury Update

    Carolina has held four of their past five opponents under 240 passing yards (three of them failed to clear 140 passing yards), but that’s in large part due to them ranking 25th in yards per carry with half of the touchdowns they’ve allowed coming on the ground (fifth most). The strong passing numbers don’t really worry me because that’s not where Fields separates himself in our game.

    I’ve got Fields as an easy top-10 option should he return this week, with the thought being that his career-best 7.4 yards per attempt can make him efficient enough through the air (against a bottom-five defense in QB hurry rate) to produce. Of course, the high floor that his athletic ability provides should show up, too.

    Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers

    For a second consecutive week, Hubbard was the unquestioned leader in Thomas Brown’s backfield over Miles Sanders — a 46-18 edge in snaps played and a 30-11 edge in routes run.

    The concern with Hubbard isn’t the role but rather what he is doing with it. In those two games under Brown, he is averaging 2.8 yards per carry, a number that drops another half-yard if you remove his longest carry over that stretch. That’s not an ideal trend to take into a matchup with a defense that is allowing a league-low 3.3 yards per carry and is largely beaten in the passing game.

    Hubbard fits very nicely into the tier of “volume drives my value, even if it’s just me falling forward 14-18 times a game for a below-average offense” running back. Yes, in my rankings, that’s how I have it highlighted. If you’re curious, he is joined by the following world beaters in this range of mediocrity:

    • Rhamondre Stevenson
    • Alexander Mattison
    • Brian Robinson Jr.
    • Dameon Pierce

    He’s a Flex play for me this week with significant risk built into his profile. His one redeeming quality in Week 10 — I’m not as concerned about the game script as I would normally be.

    Miles Sanders, RB, Carolina Panthers

    “He’s just not that into you.”

    Is that a rom-com from almost 15 years ago? Yes. Does it offer insight? Also, yes.

    “Sometimes we are so focused on finding our happy ending that we don’t learn how to read the signs.”

    Our happy ending for drafting Sanders as a late-fourth/early-fifth-round pick would be Brown succumbing to the $25.4 million contract that Sanders signed this summer and featuring him enough for us to justify playing him. We want to believe that Sanders’ five targets on 11 routes last week was a glimmer of hope.

    Read the signs, people. They aren’t hidden. Reading into that usage in the passing game is just like Ginnifer Goodwin taking everything her dates say the wrong way in that 2009 classic. You’re seeing what you want to see, hearing what you want to hear, and ignoring something obvious for those a step or two removed from the situation.

    Thomas Brown just isn’t that into Sanders. Offenses in Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Seattle are consistently getting multiple backs involved. They have a plan for a committee, and while that’s frustrating, some usage is better than no usage this time of year as we navigate injuries and byes.

    MORE: Should You Start Sanders or Hubbard in Week 10?

    Sanders doesn’t have that. Don’t misread this relationship. Learn from the movie and move on. It’s never a bad time to do the right thing.

    Sanders is my RB42 this week and even lower in my rest-of-season rankings, as I’d rather have a handcuff back for Christian McCaffrey or Travis Etienne than a secondary piece in an offense I don’t trust.

    Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears

    It feels like forever ago since Herbert ran for 179 yards on 28 carries across two games early in October, but that was the last time we saw him. He is eligible to finally return from an ankle injury that landed him on IR, but he is unlikely to play this week.

    As encouraging as those two games were, they were much the result of the game script (a win in Washington and a close loss to Denver). When Chicago was struggling to remain competitive through September, Herbert was averaging under 10 touches per game – without a touchdown.

    D’Onta Foreman, RB, Chicago Bears

    He worked well ahead of Roschon Johnson, handling the entire first drive and finishing with a 39-20 snap edge over the rookie. The usage on the ground was encouraging (20 carries), but without a target to show for his efforts, his role figures to be in danger if/when Herbert returns to full health.

    Foreman’s usage is that of a two-down back and is, thus, the player I’d handcuff Herbert with if you’re going in that direction. That role, however, is the one that dries up the fastest when Herbert returns (potentially next week).

    As for this week, Foreman jumps up and essentially fills Herbert’s spot in my ranks with the news that Herbert is likely to sit. That lands him as a low-end RB2, so feel free to squeeze one more week of usage out of him!

    Roschon Johnson, RB, Chicago Bears

    Despite a significant snap disparity, he ran more routes (13-11) than Foreman in the loss in New Orleans and is angling toward being a specialist down the stretch.

    MORE: Which Bears RB Should You Start in Week 10?

    For the season, he has caught 15 of 17 targets, but without a 10-yard catch this season and no path to volume, Johnson isn’t a must-roster player. He’s basically Samaje Perine – is Perine rostered in your league?

    Adam Thielen, WR, Carolina Panthers

    Is water starting to find its level a bit here? After a month-long stretch where Thielen’s average weekly ranking was WR9, he has not been a top-30 performer at the position in consecutive weeks (16.6 fantasy points on his 13 catches).

    The volume and efficiency should continue to be viewed as strengths and land him easily inside of my “must start” tier at WR. Any offense led by a rookie is going to struggle with consistency, but Thielen’s role is rock solid and deserves your trust.

    DJ Moore, WR, Chicago Bears

    We can write off some of Moore’s recent struggles due to the Fields injury, but the fact that he has failed to clear 55 receiving yards in six of nine games this season is concerning.

    • Weeks 4-5: 361 receiving yards with four TDs
    • All other games: 374 receiving yards with one TD

    The upside is no secret when Fields is right, and this matchup doesn’t scare me, but the floor has me ranking him behind receivers like Christian Kirk and Diontae Johnson, who check in as “safer” plays for me. With Fields active, I have Moore ranked as a low-end WR2.

    Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears

    Week 9 saw him set season-highs in catches (five), targets (six), and receiving yards (82) – good to see, but nothing you need to act on. He scored Chicago’s first TD of the season and hasn’t found pay dirt since, a major flaw in the profile for a player who has yet to establish himself as a consistent target earner.

    MORE: Fantasy News Tracker

    I’m out on Mooney long term, but if you’re stuck, I understand rolling the dice on Mooney (35+ yard grabs in three of his past four games) if Fields is back under center. The Panthers blitz at a below-average rate, a defensive philosophy that gives Mooney time to run downfield.

    How lucky do you feel? He’s my WR44 this week.

    Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears

    With a score or 10 targets in four of his past five games, Kmet has thrust himself toward the top of the TE blob (the seemingly endless supply of similar tight ends).

    As is the case with all blobbers (yep, the official term for those who reside in that gross tier), the floor is terrifying. Kmet has five games this season with under 45 receiving yards, giving fantasy managers little hope if the scoring dries up.

    I have Kmet as my TE12 (right about in line with where he lands in Kyle Yates’ Rest Of Season TE Rankings) this week and give you the green light to stream him – as long as you understand that it’s unlikely that Kmet is a long-term fantasy solution.

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