September 9, 2022, 7:57 pm
49ers (-295) @ Bears (+7); Total of 40.5
The 49ers may be without one of their best blockers and pass-catchers after George Kittle has been unable to practice so far this week due to a groin injury. Fortunately, they are matched up against a team that is projected to compete for the top overall draft pick in 2023. Another interesting storyline that will be worth monitoring all season is the dynamic between new starting QB Trey Lance and the man he replaced, Jimmy Garropolo, watching from the sidelines. Does Vegas have an over/under on how many times they mention/show Garropolo during the broadcast. My money is on the over, no matter the number.
Trey Lance was one of the hottest late-round QBs out there during draft season because of his rushing ability. Dual-threat QBs have changed the fantasy landscape because of the four-point scoring per passing touchdown vs. six points for a rushing TD. Lance gets a soft matchup to begin his second season and his performance will likely be one of the top talking points no matter whether he outperforms or underperforms compared to expectation. He’s a mid QB1 with potential to finish as the top-performing QB on the week (although beating Josh Allen will be a very tough task after his near-perfect performance on Thursday).
The Bears defense as a whole has only one above-average player at their respective position and they’ll be trotting out a rookie as one of their outside corners. It’s safe to say that Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are worth starting across all formats with the biggest hang-up being the possibility that Lance struggles with accuracy. Obviously, Deebo has the higher ceiling of the duo after his breakout performance in 2021 where he doubled as the team’s best rusher. The defensive matchups are very encouraging and could allow for either Aiyuk or Samuel to break the top off of their projected fantasy ceiling. Start them both with confidence.
If George Kittle ends up sitting out of this matchup, journeyman Tyler Kroft will be competing with Ross Dwelley for targets. While Kittle would be a must-start option across formats, neither of these replacement TEs move the needle and should be avoided across formats.
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