2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 6: Game Analysis: Bears 23, Panthers 16
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I have to move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
The Panthers went toe-to-toe with the Bears here. Both teams are not overflowing with talent, but they play hard and with energy. This game could’ve gone either way, and I would say Carolina felt like the better team, but it was close…but in the end Chicago got 3-to-1 turnovers, got 4 sacks to Carolina’s none, and Chicago converted 50% of their 3rd-downs – and that’s a winning number most weeks. Chicago earned their win, for sure. I just felt like Carolina with a little less bad luck on the turnovers (like a tipped pass turned diving miracle catch INT type things) might have won this game. The Panthers were knocking on the door of TDs early and settling for field goals and it caught up to them in the end.
Two ‘good’ teams, not great teams…not Super Bowl threats, maybe not ever making the playoffs – but you don’t want to play either of these teams.
Carolina is now (3-3), and in the playoff hunt…but their schedule ahead is a gauntlet. NO, KC, TB, GB loom ahead through Week 15. IF Carolina can beat the Saints at New Orleans Week 7…it would be a statement game and a moment where we might start taking the Panthers as a wild card seriously. As it stands, it’s a tall order for a young team with a rookie head coach. We project them 7-8 wins at best.
The Bears keep rolling along, now (5-1)…lucky not to be (1-5), but luck is a good thing. It may not be luck if they keep pulling these tight games out/holding on to wins. The Bears could really make a statement with a win at L.A. versus the Rams Week 7. The schedule ahead gets tough for a few weeks then eases up to the finish. We project them to 9-10 wins, but more bias towards the 8-9 win range. If they beat the Rams this week, then the Bears are all but assured of getting a wild card in the end and are then squarely in the NFC North title discussion because they are built to beat the Packers…and the Bears have Nick Foles, so anything is possible.
Fantasy Player Notes…
Not much fresh to talk about here. No amazing revelations. I will hit on some topics of interest though…
-- Robby Anderson (4-77-0/5) really looks good in this offense working with Teddy. Robby had an OK enough game but credit the Bears for their defense against him. D.J. Moore (5-93-0/11) having more targets/a bigger game…it’s more a function of focus, by a good defense, on Robby.
But to a greater FF point…anytime Moore outdoes Robby, there is a wing of fantasy people who are clutching to a D.J. Moore dream that thinks it means DJM is the NOW the #1 WR for Carolina, or more that he always has been. You want to buy Robby Anderson off them if they fear that…or you want to sell them D.J. Moore for a lot.
Nothing wrong with Moore, but he’s a 2nd-fiddle here, a good 2nd-fiddle…it’s Robby that will lead the way for FF with them this year, as he has been.
-- Darnell Mooney (3-36-0/5) is a really good-looking, young WR prospect. I don’t know if he’ll become a superstar but he could be a Diontae Johnson-lite or a Calvin Ridley-like thin/wiry, athletic, great feet, great hands (Mooney has better hands than most WRs in the 2020 NFL Draft)…he runs a 4.38. He’s got a lot going for him. He’s already starting in the NFL. He’s good.
What’s not great for him is this Bears/Matt Nagy passing game that’s just as stiff/dull as it was under Mitch Trubisky, but Foles is a better ‘money’ QB. Foles is smart…he’s going to work Allen Robinson (5-53-0/9) because he should. Mooney is a 2nd-fiddle, but one of these games coming up Mooney is going to hit a homerun ball and get himself on the map – but don’t let the 4.38 speed be the story when he has his catch and run big play – he’s an all-around WR, not just a one-note WR.
-- Cole Kmet (2-20-1/2) scored a TD. Nothing to see here. A rookie playing 30%+ of the snaps in games behind Jimmy Graham (5-34-0/8), nothing more…nothing less. He’s a very average TE talent. In a few years in a progressive offense, he might be something…but in Chicago with Nagy he’ll be a solid-ish but forgettable TE.
-- Mike Davis (18-52-1, 2-3-0/3) is going to play this week. No fears of injury keeping him out. I’m sure he’s banged up so it’s for the best they rest Davis as much as they can between games. If Curtis Samuel (DNP) was healthy you’d see him play a lot more snaps to help relieve Davis some. Samuel is iffy for this week. Davis should be fine/heavy workload.
Trenton Cannon (3-12-0, 2-15-0/2) is nothing interesting. I’m surprised he’s still in the NFL.
Note: Carolina signed UDFA rookie Mike Warren from the Eagles…he’d be a name down the road if CMC can’t come back and if Davis and Samuel are banged up. Rodney Smith is a UDFA practice squad RB the Panthers keep inviting back as well.
CMC should be back in the Week 9-10 range, so you got a few more weeks with Davis. I get a lot of emails/questions about FF-selling off Davis (if they don’t own CMC) before CMC comes back in, and I get that.
I’m open to any deal but if you can’t make a good deal, just use Mike D. for what he was a worth, a temporary savior. Be glad for the good times. Don’t be so into being crafty at selling at just the right time…that you sell him off short and regret it because you were trying to be too slick. Sometimes you get a free ride, you take it, and then it ends…and you’re blessed that it happened. Don’t be afraid to trade him but don’t make the desire for a slick timing/trade be the driver of your emotions. Get a great value if you can, but sometimes you just sop up the remaining gravy on the plate with your biscuit and be left with an empty plate when CMC returns, but having had a satisfying meal for several weeks.
Who knows when CMC is coming back, or if he’s more hurt than any of us knows…or if CMC returns and reaggravates and here we go again?
-- CAR DE Brian Burns (3 tackles, 3 QB hits) is getting to the QB more and more…but little sacks to show for it. These trends tend to foretell sacks to come. Six QB hits his past three games but just 1.0 sacks. He may start to rack them up soon at the pressure pace he’s going at lately.
-- The Bears-DST is looking good, but this is nowhere near the 2018 dominating Bears-DST. It’s just very good but susceptible to good offenses…and they haven’t really played any killer offenses. They scuffled with Atlanta and Detroit and handled Tampa Bay OK. The schedule for the next several weeks is filled with tougher offenses/better QBs.
I want to see how they handle the Rams (or not) to then think about whether to keep them for the NO-TEN-MIN-BYE-GB stretch Weeks 8-12. I don’t think there’s a lot of FF points there.
Snap Counts of Interest:
58 = ARob
44 = Mooney
44 = A Miller
13 = Wims
45 = J Graham
23 = Kmet