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Week 3 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis


Well, it's back to the dregs of Monday Night Football games. It's gotten to the point where this game is nearly as bad as the Thursday night game, and something needs to be done about the scheduling. But until that happens, we are stuck with bad games each and every week, and this one is no exception.

The Bears come into this game with an elite defense - but as good as their defense is, the offense is equally as bad. The same can be said for the Washington offense. Chicago wants to prove to be a top team in the NFC. They aren’t. They had the privilege last season to be playing a schedule based on a last-place finish the season before. This season the tables have turned in the other direction and they have to prove who they really can be. The Redskins, on the other hand, are again snake-bitten by injury. They really need to look into new team doctors. And a new owner. Sure, they looked good in the first half against the Eagles and the first quarter against Dallas. But this does not complete a whole game. The team is bad and with Derrius Guice out yet again, they are just getting worse.

This is a bad matchup with not much goodness to be had on either side of the ball. Anyone you want to play is on the Chicago side of the ball and even they could be tricky in this one. I just hope you are not looking for a miracle to win your matchup on Monday night. If you are, you could be on the wrong end of the miracle.

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Chicago Bears @ Washington Redskins

Game time: Monday, September 23, 2019 @ 8:15 pm EST
Game line: Chicago -4.5 O/U 42.5
Records:
Chicago Bears 1-1
Washington Redskins 0-2

 

Must-Starts

Allen Robinson - WR, Chicago Bears

11 receptions for 143 yards in not something to be excited about. But this is a low-powered offense in Chicago and his 20 targets in the first two games does show he is the main guy there. If Mitchell Trubisky can do anything in the pass game, it will start with Robinson. This game against Washington is a good place to get that pass game started.

Washington has a high-priced underachieving secondary. This starts and ends with Josh Norman who is, possibly, the most overpaid person on this entire roster. Maybe in the league. The Panthers reneged their franchise tag and let him walk. This shows, at least at one time, Dave Gettleman knew something.

The Bears offensive line is solid. This means Trubisky will have time to get the ball out to his favorite receiver. This means, not only could this game be a breakout for Trubisky, but also for the receiver from Penn State.

David Montgomery - RB, Chicago Bears

We were all concerned after Week 1 of minimal work. This changed in Week 2 as David Montgomery got the lion’s share of the rush work with 18 carries.

Tarik Cohen is playing more and more in the slot as Anthony Miller struggles early in the season. This means the backfield belongs to Monty and Mike Davis. Montgomery is by far the better player and based on last week; it looks like Matt Nagy has finally figured this out for himself.

The Chicago defense is going to smother the Redskins offense. There will be a lot of three and outs and this means a lot of drives for the Bears on offense. We have already seen the Redskins give up a 100-yard rusher at home in Ezekiel Elliott last week. Of course, Montgomery is not Elliott. But even with the 100 yards gained by Elliott, Prescott still had a monster game as well. This means that even if Robinson has a solid game, so can David Montgomery. And he should. Look for him to be the second 100-yard rusher against Washington this season. He should also garner four or five receptions to go along with it. So, start him up.

 

Consider Sitting

Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)

Until he proves to be something other than a bad quarterback it is impossible to label Trubisky as anything other than a sit. The quarterback has seemingly regressed since last season and we can only use the excuse of his limited college play for so long.

A matchup against Washington means a matchup against a decent but not great defense. He has had this same type of matchup in the first two weeks of the season in Green Bay and Denver and could still only procure seven and 13 points respectively. This game will be low-scoring, and this does not bode well for the quarterbacks leading the charge on either side of the ball.

Allen Robinson and David Montgomery are still starting because they are talented enough to get the job done despite the limitations of Trubisky. But this does not mean a start for Trubisky. If you have him, this is a week you should be looking to stream the position. Go get Matthew Stafford for this week. You will be much happier.

Anthony Miller (WR, CHI)

If you still have Anthony Miller on your roster, why? He has been nothing short of dreadful this season so far. This game should be no different as the low-scoring nature will not lead to fantasy goodness.

Coming into the season, Miller was a darling among analysts. So far, this is a major loss for all of them. It happens. We saw in college at Memphis the talent he possesses. But talent in college is not the same as talent in the NFL. Time after time we have seen seemingly talented players not work out in the NFL. Of course, it is to early to call Miller a bust. But so far at least this season, he is. So, don’t expect it to change this week. Or until Mitchell Trubisky performs at a professional level.

Case Keenum (QB, WAS)

382 yards against the Eagles was nice. But we have seen how bad the Philadelphia secondary is and thus the feat is not so impressive. The Bears Defense is not the Eagles. It is far better right now and this means bad things for all of the starters on Washington. Starting with the man calling the signals behind center.

Case Keenum has been playing better than many expected him to. As long as he is ahead of Dwayne Haskins on the depth chart he needs to be talked about. But it doesn’t always have to be in the best light.

Terry McLaurin has had a good start to his rookie season. But with no help from other teammates he cannot do it alone. Adrian Peterson is a hall of famer, but his best days are behind him. Not having the supporting cast to get it done means Keenum will also not get it done.

Better days will come for Keenum. But this is not one of them so, like the other quarterback in this game, sit him down and give him a rest.

Adrian Peterson (RB, WAS)

Peterson will get work. He might be the only player who can move the ball against Chicago on this offense. But this does not mean it will be many yards. We just saw on Thursday how stats can lie about a player’s value.

Leonard Fournette had 66 yards on 15 carries. Not bad. A little over 4.0 yards per carry. Almost double his career average. But the numbers lie. He reverted back to the start of his rookie season. This means he had one big run and not much else. In fact, Fournette had a nice 69-yard run and on his other 14 rushes he compiled minus three yards. Not so stellar when you look at it

This is the same thing which could happen with AP in this one. Except the likelihood of a big run is lower. There will be a theme to these sits as all of the redskins will be on here. For the running backs it will start and end with Peterson. And it should start and end on the bench of your fantasy team.

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

Two games, two 100-yard receiving games. Not a bad start to a career. As they say all streaks are meant to be broken. This one included. If Case Keenum is unable to get the ball out against a stifling defense, it is hard to recommend playing any of his weapons. This includes Scary Terry.

With few exceptions, ugly low-scoring games are not a place to want to start a wide receiver. Those exceptions are special players. McLaurin may turn out this way in the future, but not now.

Washington is a mess from the ownership down. Until it gets blown up, and it won’t, it will be hard to figure this team out. Against an elite defense like Chicago? It is better to follow the smart plan and sit everyone. If someone surprises with a decent game? Well, chalk it up to a fluke. You still made the right call.

Jordan Reed / Vernon Davis (TE, WAS)

They are lumped together because we don’t know yet if Reed will be active or not. For his sake, he should retire and save himself. But I digress.

Whether Reed starts or the grizzled veteran Vernon Davis plays again, make sure they are on your bench. Not only are they bad plays, but I am sure you do not have both of them on your roster. This means if you are holding one to start and the other one ends up playing? Well, you just took a zero at a position. Sure, it is not the most important position, but a zero anywhere kills your chances of a win.

There are 20 or more better options than either of these two players. Many of them can be found on waivers. So, start one of them over these two. In fact, if you want to drop these two players entirely, this is also a great decision.

 

Potential Sleepers

Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI)

Cohen has seemingly taken over the slot receiver role from Anthony Miller. If this is truly the case, his value should go up as he and David Montgomery could be on the field together.

Matt Nagy already stated Cohen was not going to get as much work in the run game. After only having 99 carries a season ago, this was not encouraging. But if he is going to have the pass work which goes to a slot receiver in a dink and dunk offense, we should all be happy.

In this matchup, the main men for the Bears are going to be Mr. Robinson and David Montgomery. But if you want a sleeper who might have an ok game, you can do worse than Cohen. His ceiling will be low as will all players in this game. But his floor should also be high as he will have five to six receptions. Especially in a PPR format, he is at least a flex worthy sleeper this week against Washington.

Chris Thompson (RB, WAS)

Keenum is going to be running for his life. Or at least trying to get rid of the ball so he doesn’t have to run. The Redskins are also going to be in a lot of negative game script and third-down situations. This leads to work for the pass-catching back Chris Thompson.

If you absolutely need to start a Redskin, Thompson is probably your only option for any relevance. It may not be pretty, but it can be done. Just make sure if you do it, you plug your nose to cover the smell of having to. I would say cover your eyes, but I am sure none of you have voice over on your phones and so couldn’t figure out how to do it.

If Adrian Peterson gets 30 carries this week, and he might, the rest of the offense may come from Thompson who could reach double-digit targets and receptions in this one. He is not an RB one or even two for sure. But as a flex option, he could be, let’s say, ok.

Washington Redskins Defense, DST

This article has been basically a hatefest for the Redskins and deservedly so. But let’s look at a part of their team which could be a decent play on Monday - the defense.

Sure, the Bears should win this game comfortably. Even if Trubisky finds big games for Allen Robinson and David Montgomery like expected, he is still Mitchell Trubisky. This means there should be a couple of turnovers and ugly throws. It means he will likely find himself sacked a few times as well. The Washington front seven is the strongest part of their defense and if they can find a way to fluster the young quarterback into mistakes, they could find themselves scoring a defensive touchdown here.

Of course, there are better and safer options out there on defense. Even on the waiver wire, you can find Tampa Bay or San Francisco. But if you miss out on them, or if they are taken, Washington is not a bad fallback plan.

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