TB Bucs(-3.5) Vs. Chicago Bears (44.5)
Tom brady looked shaky, throwing a pick six, early in last weeks win against the LA Chargers before putting it into comeback mode. Brady would finish the week four contest with 369 yards and 5 touchdown passes. Brady must now travel with teammates to the windy city to take on a Bears team that has allowed the second fewest points (12.6) to the quarterback position. Brady will once again be without top wide out Chris Godwin as well as tight end OJ Howard, who was lost for the season due to a torn Achilles. In addition to these missing pieces both Mike Evans and Scotty Miller enter week five with injuries of their own. With all these factors we have to temper expectations with Brady who is a QB2 play this week.
On the other side of the ball we find Nick Foles set to make his second start as the Bears "Guy" under center. Foles didn't look good last week in his first start in the position, but it was against the leagues best defense. However, like Brady above, Foles finds another tough test in the form of a TB defense that is allowing just 17 fantasy points per game to opposing QB's, which is the 5th fewest. Yes, Rookie Justin Herbert gashed this defense last week, but most damage was done in the first half before this defense clamped down on the rookie. Don't expect Todd Bowles to allow his defense to do this this week. Foles will have to get it done with his arm as this TB defense will look to make the Bears run game a non-factor as they have done the last three weeks. This means Foles will need to improve on his 61.9% completion rate last week where he threw for a 249-1-1 stat line. Foles is not a play this week in normal single QB leagues.
David Montgomery saw 85% of the teams offensive snaps last week in the first game without Tarik Cohen, who is done for the year with a torn ACL. Despite playing the majority of the snaps last week Montgomery disappointed, as we warned he would, totaling just 10 carries and three targets. The only other "RB" to see work last week was Cordarrelle Patterson, who saw 3 carries and 2 targets, on 17% of the teams offensive snaps. So, by looking at those numbers we can safely assume that Montgomery will be seeing the most backfield opportunity tonight. However, this opportunity should be met with heavy resistance, as we mentioned above, he must face a TB defense who is allowing just 2.64 yards per carry. This defense has picked up right where it left off in 2019, as they are one of the most dominant units against the run. It will be tough sledding for Montgomery tonight so he can only be viewed as a backend RB2/Flex play.
Unlike the Bears backfield we feel the Tampa backfield has two guys who could be factors this week in fantasy matchups. The first, obviously, being Ronald Jones who saw 64% of the teams snaps last week. Jones took advantage of the Fournette absence carrying the ball 20 times. Jones looked explosive as a runner and provided that offense the juice needed to spark a comeback. Ronal Jones can be viewed as a RB2 this week and any week that Leonard is inactive. The area Jones struggled in last week, as he has in the past, was the passing game. This opened the door for rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn who saw 25% of the teams offensive snaps. Vaughn was able to carry the ball 3 times and also saw 3 targets.. Vaughn turned those 3 targets into a 2-22-1 stat line, showcasing his ability as a pass catcher, which had many drafting him this off season. With McCoy also out this week we assume that Vaughn will be in line for the passing down work, which with all the injuries to passing targets should provide ample opportunity to produce. We think Vaughn is sneaky tonight in DFS because TB is targeting backs out of the backfield at the second highest rate. The fact that Tom seems to like what he saw out of Vaughn, coupled with the need for pass catchers, Vaughn will be in most of our showdown lineups tonight.
Injuries have decimated this Tamp receiving corps this season. Godwin and Watson are out of tonight's game which mean that leaves a banged up Mike Evans and Scotty Miller to shoulder the load. Evans should be in line for another multiple target night, as he has averaged 6.5 targets a game through the first four weeks. Last week he saw 8 targets against the LA Chargers which he was able to turn into a 7-122-1 stat line. This production was against a Chargers defense that has allowed the 15th most fantasy points to the position. This week will be different as he will be going against a Bears defense that is allowing the third fewest fantasy points to the wide out position. With this in mind we are viewing Evans as only a WR2 this week, but his potential volume may push him into that WR1 territory.
Allen Robinson was shut down last week for the first 54 minutes of the Colts game. His day and his fantasy owners day was salvaged by a little GTP (Garbage Tome Production). This late game GTP saw Robinson amass over 20 fantasy points in PPR leagues. This week Robinson and his fellow wideouts face a TB defense that is allowing 34.5 fantasy points per game to the position. Over the past two weeks Robinson has seen double digit targets and it isn't out of the realm of possibility he sees the same volume tonight. Robinson is a backend WR1 this week. Behind Robinson don't sleep on rookie Darrnell Mooney who has been gaining steam over the last few weeks. Mooney has seen 14 targets over the past two weeks, which is actually 4 more then what teammate Anthony Miller has seen over that span. With the run game expected to be a non-factor tonight Mooney should see at least 5 more targets in this one, which with his speed could be trouble for a TB defense.
With the Bucs losing OJ Howard last week to a season ending injury we can expect an uptick in targets/production from Gronk coming. To this point in the season, Gronk has seen just 14 targets playing on an average of 81% of the teams offensive snaps per game. The one area the Bears defense is most vulnerable is at defending against opposing tight ends. The Bears are allowing 13.8 fantasy points per game to the position and is the reason we have Gronk as a top 10 option this week. We would put money down that Gronk finds the end zone tonight, and wouldn't be surprised if Cameron Brate also finds the end zone as well, as he did last week.
Through the first quarter of this season Jimmy Graham has looked more like 2014 Jim Graham than the version we've seen over the past three seasons. Graham will look to stay active and productive against a TB defense allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to the position, 10.2. Jimmy Graham will need to be active in this one, if the Bears have any chance of beating this TB team. With this in mind we expect Graham to see at least five targets, the number he saw last week, which he should be able to turn into borderline TE1 numbers. We have Jimmy sitting just outside the TE1's at 13 in our week five rankings.
Prediction: Bucs Win 24-17
How to Bet:
Bucs Money Line (L)
Bucs (-3.5) (L)
Under 44.5 (W)
N. Foles OVER 21.5 Comp. (W)
D. Mooney OVER 2.5 Rec. (L)
K. Vaughn OVER 18.5 Rec. Yards (L)
*Last Week Went (3-3 (50%) In Suggested Bets*
*TNF Season Best Bets Record: (14-10) (58%)*