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The Script for Fantasy Success: Week 5- TNF

Week Five kicks off with the Commanders and the Bears. Can these two teams light up TNF and give us great fantasy finishes!?

Chicago Bears vs. Washington Commanders

Details of the Script

  • TNF – 8:15 pm @ FedEx Field
  • Weather – Clear Night
  • What Vegas is saying – Line (WAS -6.0) & Over/Under 44.5

Identifying the Game Script

The last time these two teams squared off was last season. The Commanders would win a close one, 12-7, over the Bears. The Commanders are coming into this game losing two straight but played a much more competitive game vs. the Eagles.

The Bears offense finally got going in week four but would lose a close one to the Broncos 31 to 28. Thursday Night Football has been a high-scoring affair this season, as the average total of all four games has been 49.75 points.

I expect a high-scoring game for both sides of the ball, and these games will hit the over. The Commanders’ defense has given up three straight games over 30 points. The Bears’ lowest opponent has scored 25 points this year. Neither team has been able to stop the passing game, so expect plenty of pass attempts in this game. You’ll want to start players on both sides of the ball.


Courtesy of Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire

Sam Howell rebounded nicely in week four after a terrible week three performance. Howell’s passing numbers have been average this season, but finding success on the air should continue for him. In week four, Howell had six carries for 40 yards. We could be seeing Howell’s best game yet in week five. The Bears’ defense has been shredded by quarterbacks this season. They have allowed the second most fantasy points per game to fantasy quarterbacks and the second most passing touchdowns with ten. In three of four games, the Bears have allowed a three-touchdown passer and at least 225 yards in every game. Howell has shown in flashes that he can thrive against poor defense and should be able to perform here out. Howell should be considered a high-end QB2 in this matchup. He is excellent in superflex and is a sleeper in 1 QB leagues. 

Justin Fields showed up big time for us in fantasy for week four, but it wasn’t enough to help the Bears win. Fields had a perfect offensive game with over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Interestingly, he didn’t use his legs to produce fantasy points. Fields is getting a favorable matchup in week five. The Commanders are ranked in the bottom ten vs. fantasy quarterbacks this season, especially mobile quarterbacks. They allow the third most rushing to quarterbacks this season. The Commanders have given up a QB1 for three straight weeks, and it should be four straight after Fields plays them. Fields comes with risk, but the matchup is too good to pass on him. He is a QB1 in week five. 

Running Backs

Brian Robinson still leads the Commanders’ backfield. He is continuing his solid season with another double-digit fantasy performance with 51 yards and a touchdown. This backfield partner, Antonio Gibson, saw fewer snaps but touched the ball more than in the previous few games. He still only managed to produce 26 total yards. The Bears are a fantastic matchup for this week as they allow the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs on the year. The opposing running backs are doing damage in the receiving game, as the Bears have allowed a league-high 234 receiving yards to running backs. 

Robinson should continue to see double-digit carries in a favorable matchup. I’d expect the Commanders to be ahead, leading to Robinson pounding the ball on the ground late in this game. He should be a borderline RB1 in this matchup. Gibson seems favorable in matchups that the Commanders are losing, which this one should not be the case. He is still a RB4 in week five.

Courtesy of Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

For the Bears backfield, Khalil Herbert seems to have reclaimed his position. Herbert was not seeing much usage outside of the early downs in the offense. He exploded for 18 carries for 103 yards in week four. He also took over much of the passing down work that we assumed would go toward Roschon Johnson.

The Commanders are a solid matchup for the Bears backfield. They haven’t allowed a rusher over 50 rushing yards in three of four games this season. This backfield may be confusing all season, but Herbert seems like the safe bet in the backfield. He should be able to get over ten carries again and have a role in the passing game. Herbert is a low-end RB2 you can start this week. Johnson saw his snap count drop in half in week four. He seems to have lost his passing role in the offense. He had his lowest output of the season in a matchup that appears amazing for his fantasy value; Johnson should be a mid-range RB3 with some upside. The Commanders may elect to use Johnson more on a short week instead of overworking Herbert. 

Pass Catchers

The Commander’s pass catchers played their best game of the season in week four. This matchup for the pass catchers is favorable as the Bears are in the league’s bottom half vs. wide receivers and tight ends. While the Bears don’t allow big yardage since only Mike Evans, in week two, has produced over 60 receiving yards. The Bears can’t seem to stop receivers from scoring touchdowns, which will be great for these pass catchers. Terry McLaurin can beat out the Bears’ number-one cornerback in this matchup. We’ve seen bigger receivers be able to win their matchups for touchdowns. McLaurin should be a low-end WR2 in week five.

Jahan Dotson feels like a bust, even with his decent week four with over ten fantasy points. He has the second-most targets but isn’t on the same page with Howell. Even in a better matchup, he is a high-end WR4. Curtis Samuel, I will have ranked over Dotson in week five. Samuel has 50 yards in three of the first four games. He saw a career-high eight targets and continues to see a rushing carry here and there. He should be a WR5 in this matchup. As mentioned, the Bears give up yardage to fantasy tight ends this season. They went three straight games to start the year with 40-plus yards to a tight end. Logan Thomas has been solid this year when healthy. He has sleeper appeal and should be a high-end TE2 this week five. 

The Bears pass catchers seem to be finding their stride, but they are still a risk. They do have another elite matchup, as the Commanders allow the fifth most fantasy points per game to receivers. They have allowed three straight 100-yard receivers and five touchdowns to receivers in that span. DJ Moore has been seeing WR1 targets over the last three weeks. Moore should continue to see six-plus targets as the Commander’s secondary is not one to fear. He should be a low-end WR2 with some upside in that matchup. 

Darnell Mooney has been a headache this season with two solid games with 50 yards and two zero games. In this favorable matchup, I expect to see a high passing volume. Mooney has a chance to be good. He is still slightly risky to start as a flex option but still in that high-end WR5 range. Cole Kmet had a blow-up game in week four with his two touchdowns. He did manage 85 receiving yards as well. The Commanders are the best team in the league vs. fantasy tight end. They have allowed 84 yards and zero touchdowns to the position this season. The Commanders have locked down the Bills duo and Dallas Goedert this year. Kmet is a solid tight end but may not be one to overcome a tough matchup. He is a borderline TE1 in week five who has major bust appeal. 

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