In the never-ending quest to build a championship-caliber fantasy roster, I found myself searching the waiver wire for talent with upside for my FLEX spot this week. In what might be the most competitive league I’m in, the best available player for that position is Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb – who scored 20 of his 29 fantasy points this year in Week 1 against the Bears. Uggggggh.
- One of the players who stood out to me during our first preseason doing Bleacher Nation Bears was Roy Robertson-Harris, a converted outside linebacker who bulked up to play on the defensive line in a 3-4 defense. So, yeah, I marked out when I saw he was mic’d up. Check it out:
- Robertson-Harris has quietly accumulated the third most snaps among Bears interior defenders, out-snapping Jonathan Bullard, who beat him out for the starting job after a competitive training camp and preseason. That’s a nice reminder of how starting a game can be overrated and that it’s who finishes that matters most. Robertson-Harris has Pro Football Focus’ 33rd best grade among 109 qualifying interior defenders, which suggests the Bears’ front office deserves some kudos for unearthing a diamond in the rough, the coaching staff deserves a pat on the back for coaching him up, and the player deserves a tip of the cap for transforming himself into what he is today. Good stuff all around, guys.
- You knew PFF’s Week 9 Team of the Week was going to feature some Bears studs, we just didn’t know how many. Safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Kyle Fuller represent the Bears on the squad for their efforts against the Bills. Jackson’s 93.4 grade was the best among safeties. And while his forced fumble, scoop, and score provided a highlight, that he limited opposing pass-catchers to just four yards on three receptions when he was targeted is impressive. Kyle Fuller’s 92.6 grade was the best among cornerbacks, shutting down a passing game with two pass breakups, an interception, and allowing one catch for no gain in a contest in which he was targeted eight times. Here’s hoping the Bears’ secondary keeps that same energy in Week 10.
- PFF’s Austin Gayle highlights the contributions of another top-flight performance from a Bears defender. Cornerback Prince Amukamara is limiting opposing quarterbacks to a 60.8 passer rating when targeting him while throwing from a clean pocket. By the way, that number means Amukamara is the best in that category among the 89 cornerbacks who have been targeted at least 20 times in these situations. In other words, Amukamara is doing a stellar job in coverage even when the pass-rush isn’t getting home.
- The most important thing the Bears’ defense is doing is not giving up the soul-crushing chunk plays that tend to ruin our Sunday afternoons:
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) November 6, 2018
- Doesn’t it feel like all those big plays came in the span of three games?
- Great defense + above average offense = big wins in the point differential department:
Wins by 14+ points…
Matt Nagy: 3 (8 games)
John Fox: 5 (48 games)
Marc Trestman: 3 (32 games)
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) November 7, 2018
- One aspect of these big point-differential games is that the Bears have put up some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. The Bears have two 40-point games under their belts this season after having none in three years while John Fox was coaching. Chicago hadn’t put up multiple 40-point games in a season since 2013, when Marc Trestman was orchestrating things.
- Speaking of Trestman, he was recently relieved of his duties as the head coach of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts – one year after winning the Grey Cup. Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons opines the team lacked class in how they approached Trestman’s firing. But if you think about how Trestman handled the Aaron Kromer-Jay Cutler situation, the Jimmy Claussen starting experience, and essentially every other controversial issue with the Bears, it’s tough for me to feel bad about it.
- An interesting statistical nugget on rookie receiver Anthony Miller and something we should keep an eye on as he continues his development this season at the pro level:
Rookie slot WR Anthony Miller leads #Bears in targets (20) & Air Yards (266) over last 3 weeks. Possible his usage takes a hit if Allen Robinson returns vs #Lions. But Robinson wasn't exactly ball hogging with 6 – 4 – 5 targets in last 3 games played.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) November 7, 2018
- #Confirmed: Taylor Gabriel’s hands are strong:
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 6, 2018
- If there was going to be a silver lining in Allen Robinson missing two games to nurse a nagging groin injury, it was that we were going to see if Mitch Trubisky can build a bond with other wideouts. That certainly looks like it’s the case, which is good news for the bigger picture of the Bears’ offense. In the last two weeks, Trubisky has a 106.5 passer rating when throwing to Anthony Miller, 88.9 when throwing to Trey Burton, and 91.9 when targeting Gabriel. Those were the three players we figured needed to step up in Robinson’s absence and they’ve done just that. Soon, Robinson will be back in the fold making the Bears’ receiving corps that more deeper and dangerous.
- While receivers are on our mind, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller shares an updated mock draft. No, the Bears don’t have a first-round pick. HOWEVER, Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown is mocked to go to the Raiders with the 2019 first-round selection sent to Oakland for Khalil Mack. One of my friends who takes in a whole bunch of SEC football was raving about Brown earlier in the season, so the Raiders might be getting a good one here. I’d still rather have Mack.
- The Bears’ annual coat drive is under way, so I’d like to take a moment to suggest doing something nice for someone less fortunate than you if at all possible:
Our 30th annual Chicago Bears @jewelosco coat drive kicked off today!
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 6, 2018