Week 2 Fantasy Preview: Bears @ Buccaneers

  • Chicago Bears (0-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) Best Lines Available

    Bears (+128) @ Bucs (-142): O/U 41/40.5
    Bears +2.5 (+100), Bucs -2.5 (-118)

    Writer’s Record:
    Bet: 3-0 +3.6u
    Lean: 3-0 +3.15u

    Oh what a lovely matchup, right? This one could get ugly with Justin Fields, the Bears coaching staff, and the Bears wide receiver room not at all on the same page, and… Baker Mayfield… on the other side. The Bears looked entirely unprepared in Week 1 and the Bucs pulled off an upset over the Vikings, but neither of these teams projects to make much noise in the final standings. Still, a building is built one brick at a time, and these teams will see if they can place the right brick where it’s needed in this game. The Bears will look to see if they can show their offensive upside against a lackluster defense, and the Bucs will look to see if they can do the same.

    Main Storylines to Watch

    Do the Bears trust Justin Fields? Fields opened the season with just two passes over 20 yards and no passes of 30 yards or more. That puts him comfortably in the bottom half of both statistics, and speaks to the opposite of what the Bears said all offseason. They were going to unleash Fields’ throwing potential and force him to make plays downfield. The problem is that whenever he had the opportunity, he couldn’t read the defense to make the right throw. I had him throwing an interception last week, and the moment it happened was almost too predictable as he sailed one right over the center of the field to the Packers in a play where he truly had no one open. There is a bad vibe in Chicago, but it starts with this distrust in the QB to either play his game (with his legs) or throw the ball downfield and develop that skill for the future.

    Are we SURE Khalil Herbert is RB1? In my last Bears writeup, I wrote “I think we still need to see this committee in action before making any final judgments.” My skepticism about Herbert was showing and Week 1 did nothing to quell those fears. He did lead all backs with nine carries, but D’onta Foreman and Roschon Johnson each saw five carries as well, and Johnson was the one that looked the best of the three by far. Of course, if you’re just watching box scores, it’s easy to feel nervous, but the truth is that the Bears’ offensive line did the run game no favors and the general dysfunction of the offense surely played a role in Herberts’ meager 27 rush yards. He saw five targets in the pass game for 37 yards and he can continue to be viewed as a low-end RB2 or flex option until Johnson really presses him for carries. The game was out of hand by the time Johnson came in. Don’t worry too much, but again, as I said last week, make sure you’re shopping Herbert if he goes big in this game.

    Is Mike Evans in “prove it” mode? After a very public dispute with the team in his attempts to secure a new contract, Mike Evans came out and did what he does best in Week 1 finishing with six catches, 66 yards, and a touchdown. Those aren’t super impressive numbers, but the veteran wide receivers really were the story in securing a Week 1 win for Baker Mayfield. Look for Evans to continue to earn his new contract and be a menace when the Bucs reach the end zone.

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