The 49ers and Bears kick off in Chicago at 10 am PT. Niners Nation is here to break down the fantasy implications of the matchup, with sit/start advice, statistical projections from NFL.com, and last minute wavier wire targets at every position.
Matt Barkley is projected to be the 7th highest scoring QB this week, which seems unrealistic given his lack of game experience and abysmal production during limited opportunities. The 49ers are a very appealing matchup, allowing the 4th most points to QB’s, and the most over the last four weeks, but Barkley has displayed no signs of being a productive NFL starter at this point in his career. Ignore the projections and sit Matt Barkley.
Colin Kaepernick has emerged in recent weeks as an elite fantasy option. Over the last four games, Aaron Rodgers is the only player in the NFL at any position to score more fantasy points than Kaepernick. Two games during that stretch were against defenses that rank among the least favorable fantasy matchups for QB’s. Start Colin Kaepernick.
Need a QB? Kaepernick is still available in 83% of fantasy leagues. Otherwise, Alex Smith has a matchup with a Falcons defense allowing the most fantasy points in the NFL to QB’s. Smith is a Free Agent in 78% of fantasy leagues.
Matt Barkley: 242 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 15 rush yards, 1 TD - 19.2 points (7th best QB)
Colin Kaepernick: 229 pass yards, 1 TD, 33 rush yards - 16.5 points (9th QB)
The 49ers have consistently given up major points to RB’s, making any back starting against them a must start. Start Jordan Howard and expect big things. Jeremy Langford may also contribute, making him a low-end flex option.
The Bears stout run defense has collapsed in recent weeks, allowing the 8th most points over the last four games. Hyde is a lock to start every week, but he should put up a great stat line in this game. Start Hyde.
Need a RB? At this point in the season a hole at RB is incredibly difficult to fill, even with a one week filler to cover a bye or short term injury. James Starks and Kenneth Dixon are the best widely available options, but they’re nothing to write home about. Dion Lewis remains a candidate to break out down the stretch, but has yet to put up viable fantasy points.
Jordan Howard: 73 rush yards, 1 TD, 22 receiving yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble lost - 19.5 points (3rd RB)
Carlos Hyde: 65 rush yards, 1 TD, 12 receiving yards - 13.7 points (10th RB)
Jeremy Langford: 21 rush yards, 1 TD, 13 receiving yards - 9.4 points (20th RB)
No team has allowed more fantasy points to the receiver position this season than the 49ers, boosting projections for the Bears trio of pass catchers. The big question will be whether Matt Barkley can be effective enough to get them the ball. Past track record says “no.” Ignore the projections, start Cameron Meredith, sit Marquess Wilson and Daniel Brown.
The 49ers passing game seems to be getting on track, and the Bears are a favorable matchup for wide receivers. Unfortunately, no 49ers receiver has emerged as a trustworthy fantasy performer. Until someone in the group starts producing consistent stat lines, sit all 49ers receivers.
Need a WR? The Chiefs Tyreek Hill is still a Free Agent in 58% of leagues, and should put up good numbers in a track meet with Atlanta. The same game will feature Taylor Gabriel, who has averaged 15.5 points per game over his last four games. The Chiefs have given up the 2nd most points to WR’s, making Gabriel a steal in the 83% of leagues that he’s still available.
Cameron Meredith: 47 yards, 1 TD - 10.7 points (25th WR)
Marquess Wilson: 47 yards, 1 TD - 10.7 points (26th WR)
Daniel Brown: 30 yards, 1 TD - 9 points (49th WR)
Jeremy Kerley: 45 yards - 4.5 points (74th WR)
Rod Streater: 37 yards - 3.7 points (82nd WR)
Torrey Smith: 31 yards - 3.1 points (93rd WR)
Over the last four weeks only two tight ends have scored more fantasy points than Vance McDonald. Over the last four weeks, only two teams have allowed more points to TE’s than the Bears. It feels strange to say, but start Vance McDonald.
With Zack Miller now on IR, the remaining Bears depth chart at TE has accounted for a combined 2.3 fantasy points this season. No Bears TE is a viable fantasy option, this week or at any point in the future.
Need a TE? McDonald is likely the best widely available TE option this week. Yup, fantasy football has gotten weird.
Vance McDonald: 36 yards - 3.6 points (24th TE)
Garrett Celek: 18 yards - 1.8 points (32nd TE)
Ben Braunecker: 6 yards - 6 points (53rd TE)
Connor Barth and Phil Dawson have both been fantasy disappointments this season. Dawson, however, seems to be on the upswing, and is the 4th highest scoring player at his position over the past four weeks. The Bears are the 3rd most desirable matchup for kickers this season. Start Dawson, sit Barth.
Need a K? Phil Dawson is a Free Agent in 97% of fantasy leagues. Might as well go for broke with 49ers.
Connor Barth: 11 points (6th K)
Phil Dawson: 8 points (10th K)
Both the 49ers and Bears are projected to be Top 5 defensive units this week, which seems highly unrealistic given that neither ranks in the Top 20 on the season. The Bears are a choice matchup, allowing the 3rd most points to opposing defenses over he last four weeks, but the 49ers are not a defensive unit you can trust to capitalize. Sit both DEF’s.
Need a DEF? No defense has put up more fantasy points over the last four weeks than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They’ve got a favorable matchup with the Chargers, who allow the 7th most points to defenses, and they’re available in 89% of fantasy leagues.
49ers DEF: 6 points (4th DEF)
Bears DEF: 6 points (5th DEF)