THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
The Chicago Bears playing on a Thursday means we have a heightened sense of awareness regarding our fantasy football teams entering Week 4. And if you’re a Bears fan, odds are you have Jordan Howard or Tarik Cohen on your roster (Michael: I sure do!).
You can usually count on one tandem of backs being worthy of starting roles on your fantasy team, and 2017 looks to be no different with Howard and Cohen being the two most productive members of the Bears offense. But it doesn’t stop there because the matchup against the Packers offers up a prime opportunity for both players to score in double figures.
In each of the last two weeks, Green Bay’s defense has allowed double-figure scoring games to two running backs, according to the PPR scoring system from Yahoo! Sports. Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard combined to score 24 points last Sunday, while Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman teamed up to post 36 points. Fantasy running backs are averaging 13 points per game against the Packers this season, which is a healthy number.
To add a little bit of reality to our fantasy mix, Dan Durkin of The Athletic notes the Packers have lined up in their dime set on 90 percent of their defensive snaps. Unless Green Bay makes an adjustment away from its “Nitro” package to go with a heavier set of personnel, the Bears’ offensive line should be prepared to block downhill for its tandem runners. Chicago can counter with a heavy package of its own, which could make Adam Shaheen an important piece to the puzzle.
If you’ll recall, Shaheen made a key block to spring Howard’s walk-off touchdown run and grades out as the Bears’ best run-blocking tight end according to Pro Football Focus. And if quarterback Mike Glennon can parlay the team’s success running the ball into a successful play action passing attack, then watch out.
Of course, we won’t get ahead of ourselves or hold our breaths waiting for Glennon to attempt a too far beyond the line of scrimmage.
So if you have Howard or Cohen, make sure you insert them into the starting lineup as soon as you get a chance to adjust your fantasy rosters. If you have both, you’re probably still basking in the glory of last week’s fantasy victory. But that’s no excuse not to be ready to start both (again) in Week 4.