Carolina Panthers vs Chicago Bears
Details of the Script
- TNF: 8:20 pm @Soldier Field
- Weather – Clear Night
- What Vegas is saying – Line (CHI -3.5) & Over/Under 38.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time that the Panthers and the Bears played each other was back in 2020. The Bears on the road would win 23-16 over the Panthers. The Bears are coming off a loss to the Saints on the road. The Colts would destroy the Panthers as the offense had nothing going. The Bears will likely use their backfield committee to beat down a poor Panthers run defense. Rookie Byrce Young, in the Panthers passing offense, will look to step up on a short week against a team that is bad against quarterbacks. In nine games, the average score for TNF this year has been 41.6 total points. Let’s see if these young teams can get some scoring.
Bryce Young is not having a great rookie season for fantasy football. Young has one game over 17 fantasy points. He has been under two passing touchdowns in six of seven games. He has never thrown for more than 250 passing yards on the season. The Bears allow the second most fantasy points per game quarterbacks. They have allowed six of their nine opposing quarterbacks to score two plus passing touchdowns. The Bears allowed four quarterbacks over 240 passing yards in the first five weeks. They have allowed just one quarterback over that yardage in the last four weeks. Young hasn’t proven to be overly trustworthy in fantasy this season. Young may get a few good moments in this game, but not enough to be good. He is a borderline QB2 who isn’t a confident starter in fantasy.
For the Bears, Justin Fields will miss week ten with his injury. He has been practicing, which is a good sign for week 11. Tyson Bagent is going to get another start under his belt. Bagent had a solid outing in week nine, finishing with 19 fantasy points. Surprisingly, he did so well, especially with four turnovers, but he threw for two touchdowns and had 70 rushing yards. The Panthers have been an up-and-down team against fantasy quarterbacks. In the last two weeks, they kept opposing quarterbacks under 150 passing yards and allowed just one passing touchdown. In the weeks before, they allowed over 230 passing yards and six passing touchdowns. They held fellow rookie CJ Stroud to a poor game in week eight. In a short week, Bagent may find more success as most quarterbacks seem decent on TNF, as fatigue does settle in on defensive players. Bagnet could beat Byrce Young in fantasy and have a better day. He’ll need to show off that rushing upside he had in week nine, but he is a low-end QB2.
In week ten, the Panthers backfield showed us that Chuba Hubbard is still the starting running back for this team. Hubbard had a slightly better game than back in week eight. He continued to see over 60% of the offensive snaps the last two weeks. Miles Sanders saw more work than last week and didn’t do badly with it, either. The matchup against the Bears isn’t bad, but it is not the best for running backs. The Bears are allowing the sixth-fewest rushing yards on the season. They also only allowed four rushing touchdowns. The Bears are in the bottom ten vs. fantasy running backs on paper because of the passing game. The Bears are in the bottom three in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns to pass-catching running backs.
Hubbard should continue to be the lead runner for this team, but his YPC has not been great the last two weeks. In a matchup where the run defense is solid, Hubbard must find work in the passing game. Hubbard is probably a borderline RB2 in week ten. We will have to see how much the Panthers use Sanders. He could see a few more touches in this offense in a short week. He is a high-end RB4 who will need to see passing value or a touchdown to be successful.
For the Bears backfield, we are getting that three-person committee we were so concerned about prior to the season. Khalil Herbert returns to action after being on IR for the last four weeks. D’Onta Foreman has been handling the backfield with 309 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in those four games. Of course, rookie Roschon Johnson has been a disappointment, and we can’t understand why he isn’t seeing more work. The matchup for this backfield is fantastic, as the Panthers allow the second most fantasy points per game to running backs. Since their bye week, the Panthers have been better by not allowing a rusher over 50 yards or allowing a rushing touchdown. They had allowed four 90-yard rushers in six games before their bye. In those first six games, they allowed 11 rushing touchdowns as well. While Houston’s run offense made sense in getting stopped, the Panthers were able to stop the Colt’s backfield.
Herbert and Foreman will likely split the early down, while Herbert and Johnson split the passing downs. It feels like a terrible committee. I’d say Roschon Johnson would be the worst out of the bunch strictly because he doesn’t see the workload to trust him in this offense. He would be a low-end RB4 needing a touchdown to have a day. I assume they bring in Herbert slowly, who is coming off an injury, but he will have a role. He would be a low-end RB3 in a favorable matchup, seeing between 10-12 touches. I think Foreman will lead for one more week on the ground and be able to finish as a high-end RB3. Foreman or Hebert would jump to a low-end RB2 and Johnson as a high-end RB4 if any of them were a last-minute inactive.
The pass catchers all had a pretty lousy week for fantasy football. They all finished under ten fantasy points in a supposedly solid matchup in week nine. The matchup against the Bears is a decent one for these receivers. They have allowed a receiving touchdown in six straight games. They haven’t allowed a receiver over 70 yards in that same span, either. The Bears have given up a ton of short-yardage plays that allow receivers to see higher receptions rather than big yards. Adam Thielen has been on fire this season, but he had his first bad week since week one. I trust that Thielen will return to nine-plus targets in this matchup. Thielen should end up as a high-end WR2, as I don’t know if the upside to see over 100 yards is there in this game.
For DJ Chark, he was able to catch a touchdown last week, but he has been rotating with Terrace Marshall. Both these players are outside the top 60 in week ten, and Chark will likely miss week ten. Jonathan Mingo needs more targets in fantasy, as four isn’t cutting it. He played 99% of the offensive snaps, but four targets is a joke. I hope they will find a way to get him the ball in this matchup. He is, at best, a WR5 in week ten. Hayden Hurst returned from the dead to have two catchers for 54 yards in week nine. The Bears have allowed a touchdown in back-to-back games. They have allowed six tight ends to produce over 40 yards this year. Hurst is playing behind Tommy Tremble, so his value has dropped. The fact that he hasn’t seen many targets makes it hard to consider Hurst. He is outside the top 24 tight ends. He is outside the top 24 tight ends.
For the Bears pass catchers, they have taken a hit without Fields. DJ Moore has cooled down with four straight games under ten fantasy points. Darnell Mooney is coming off his best game since week one but has been inconsistent. Cole Kmet has been the one in the last two weeks to get the best connection with Bagent, with over 134 yards and two touchdowns. For the receivers, the Panthers allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game. The Panthers have only allowed five receivers over 65 receiving yards. They had a stretch of their games where they gave up five receiving touchdowns in games. In the last two games, they have given up zero touchdowns.
DJ Moore has not clicked enough with Bagent to fully trust him in this match. Moore has been average as a past catcher, but it is a revenge game for him, so he may have a chip on his shoulder to do well. Moore is a mid-range WR2. Darnell Mooney is tough to judge since he is so up and down. He is still a WR5 for me in this matchup. For the tight end position, the Panthers have done well enough against tight ends. They have allowed three tight ends over 40 yards but none over 50. Cole Kmet has been on fire for the last two weeks. I’m going to ride the hot hand with Kmet. He is a solid low-end TE1 in week ten.