Eagles at Bears (-6.5) 41
- All-Pro level safety
- Number don’t reflect his importance, as Bears defense has had easy opponents and been good in two games without him.
- Bears sack percentage jumps from 6.6 percent to 9.4 percent with him on the field.
- Bears YPC jumps from 3.57 to 4.85 when he is on the field.
- Trey Burton gets a two percent target share bump with him off the Field
- When Jones is off the field, the explosive pass rate jumps to 17.2 percent from 13 percent. Eagles give up 8.18 YPA with him off the field, 6.66 with him on the field
- Deep ball specialist, unlikely to play many snaps.
The biggest concern with Trubisky is since the shoulder injury he has yet to attempt over 30 passes in a game, he has been rushing less (no more than 23 yards), and his yards per attempt are down. However, it is now the fifth week since he has returned and his play has been getting better since. It’s the playoffs, so the time for protecting him is gone. He comes in at 6,200, so you don’t get a discount in price, but he will be under-owned on the slate. He makes for a nice GPP play off the chalk Luck and Watson in a matchup versus Philadelphia’s backup secondary. Outside of the Redskins (they don’t count), the Eagles have allowed every quarterback but one to throw for over 300 yards, and in that one game Eli went for 276 yards. Trubisky has rushing upside and a secondary that can be taken advantage of and is a good low owned GPP play.
The Bears defense is at home versus Nick Foles with a 17-point implied team total. The Bears give up the lowest yards per attempt of any team in the NFL and turn over quarterbacks more than any other team in the NFL. This is not a time to run out BDN.
Jordan Howard’s improved performance correlates directly with the return of Kyle Long. With Long on the field, the Bears are averaging 4.88 yards per carry compared to just 3.51 with him off the field. You can run on the Eagles and Howard should get his fair share of opportunity, though he is unlikely to be involved beyond the rare target in the passing game. While the Eagles give up 4.66 yards per carry, they have limited opposing backs to the fewest carries per game of any team in the NFL. The best, most consistent way to attack the Eagles is through the air with backs, as they give up 8.56 targets and 52.75 receiving yards per game. Howard comes in riding multiple double-digit point games and is shaping up to be a chalk play, he is fine in cash but in GPPs, give me his backfield mate as the stronger play at a similar price point.
As I mentioned above, the best way to attack the Eagles is with pass-catching backs, and there may not be a more difficult cover than Cohen. Last week, with seeding essentially decided, the Bears dialed back Cohen’s snaps to just 28 percent, I would expect them to ramp it back up to near 60 percent this week. His work in the receiving game sets a double-digit PPR floor and expected increased usage gives him an incredible ceiling. He will be popular but is priced at his cheapest since Week 11, and combining his cost and upside he is a lock button play for me.
Eagles Running Backs
No team gives up fewer fantasy points or rushing touchdowns to opposing backfield than the Bears. The Eagles are splitting carries three ways, with no player expected to see over 40 percent of the snaps. This is just a full fade situation for me. If I had to play one, it would be Darren Sproles, but again full fade for me.
This Eagles secondary is one we want to attack. Again, since Week 10, only one QB has thrown for less than 300 yards outside of the Redskins. I expect Trubisky to be able to find his rhythm and hit open receivers throughout this one. On average, the Eagles have allowed 23.64 DK points to opposing WRs, including over 108 yards per game. This team can’t stop top talent, and I am a believer in Allen Robinson’s talent. A big-play threat down the field, I expect Robinson to have his way with the Eagles. On the season, Robinson saw 22 percent of the targets and 29 percent of the air yards, both of which led the Bears. His current projected ownership of 11 percent, on a four-game slate, in this matchup makes me want to have heavy exposure to Robinson.
The Eagles can also struggle with No. 2 wide receivers but would be best described as mediocre, as they give up 57.62 yards per game and an 18 percent target share. Gabriel has four-or-less targets in three straight games and has only made tournament value at this price in two games this season. Despite his cold streak, Gabriel is his most expensive since Week 10. Ultimately, he has a lower floor and lower ceiling than Robinson at a higher projected ownership. Robinson costs more but finding the money to upgrade Gabriel is the optimal play.
Jeffery returns home to his old stomping grounds to matchup versus Kyle Fuller, the All-Pro cornerback. However, Fuller will not travel and the cornerback sensitive Jeffrey can face off against Prince Amukamara just as often. While Fuller has been elite this year, top receivers have still been able to perform against the Bears, averaging 18.07 DK points per game, 53rd percentile. He is priced up on FanDuel where I can’t pull the trigger, but he has GPP appeal on DraftKings.
Is likely to continue to lead Eagles receivers in snaps yet again versus the Bears. He is 6,400 on FanDuel but comes in at 3,800 on DraftKings, which is simply too cheap. In the last four weeks, he has seen 19 percent of the targets and is third on the team in target share at 13 percent. He has three touchdowns in the last two games on 13 targets and 156 yards. The slot corner for the Bears most of the season was Bryce Callahan, but he is currently on IR and Agholor has a chance to have the best matchup on the team. He is a strong punt play in GPPs.
He simply doesn’t play enough. This trade was a failed experiment and the Eagles are having Tate split time with Jordan Matthews. The talent is there, but the roll isn’t. Tate is a fade for me.
No team allows fewer targets to TE1s than the Eagles at just seven percent, and they have not allowed a single touchdown to a TE1 this entire season. While Burton should see around five targets in this one, the Eagles are far and away best at covering tight ends, and he isn’t worth the salary. You pay up a few hundred more for Ebron or punt the position.
With Nick Foles, Zach Ertz has seen 25.5 percent of the targets and 35.7 percent of the red zone targets. The Bears have been extremely successful at limiting tight ends this year, allowing just nine percent of the targets and 30.5 yards per game to opponents’ top options. I would rather play Ebron for a discount, but because Ertz has a tough matchup and is tough to fit, he makes for an intriguing GPP play for leverage on Ebron lineups.
As intriguing as any other GPP punt tight end, Goedert has seen his role expand recently, playing over 60 percent of the snaps. He has averaged just over three targets per game in the last four games and has caught all but one of them. The Bears give up only eight yards less per game to tight end twos than do to No. 1 tight end, and at sub-five percent ownership, he has a shot to be the top GPP punt play.
The Bears are the league’s best defense, averaging 11.7 fantasy points per game, scoring less than five points only one single time this entire season. They face off against arguably the worst quarterback on the slate, but they are the most expensive defense and are projected for more than double the next closest ownership. In tournaments, I always like to gain leverage on the field by fading the chalk defense, and with so many good defenses on the slate, I will look to do it again in the playoffs.
The Eagles ownership will be inflated due to the fact they are the cheapest defense on the slate and people hate spending money on defense. While the secondary is a disaster, the front seven is one of the league’s best at getting after the quarterback, with two-or-more sacks in six straight games. The Eagles are a fine cash game option as a salary saver, but I think there are better defenses in better spots at lower ownership this week.
Eliot Crist is the Sports Product Manager for The Quant Edge.He is a fantasy analyst with a background in scouting, analytics, and fantasy research. Formerly he has contributed at PFF, 4for4, Bleacher Report, Powerhour, and NDT Scouting. Eliot combines watching tape with analytics to try and take angles that other analysts aren’t to gain an edge for you.