By Sean Weymouth
I love when two traditional NFC rivals take the field on Prime Time. It just always makes me feel like something big is about to happen – like a big fight feel. But there is something about tonight that has me feeling the opposite.
On the One Hand you have the Cowboys who are barely holding onto their first place status in the NFC East. On the other hand you have The Bears who even if they win their next 4 games still have an under 70% chance to make the playoffs per The NY Times.
Dallas is favored by 3 per Vegas and in truth this is a Must Win game for the Cowboys if they are to stay ahead of their division. It’s also a must win for coach Jason Garrett. Then again each of the Cowboys next games will be must wins.
In truth it’s a Must Win for the Bears too because they would have to have miraculous 4 and 0 record over the next 4 weeks to even have a 70% chance to get into the Playoffs (thank you again NY Times). So let’s see where this takes us.
I am going to come out and say this – I don’t expect the Bears to win this game. I do however expect them to keep it close – and so does Vegas by the way as the Cowboys are only favored by 3. The Bears success really lies on the feet and on the arm of one Mitchell Trubisky ($8,800). 2019 Mitch has left a lot to be desired and a lot of points on the floor and the Bears will really need yo rely on Mitch to get the offense into high gear. So how will Mitch do this. First you have Allen Robinson ($9,600) who is currently on a back to back Touchdown Streak. While I do feel like Robinson is a good play tonight, I am wary of the Cowboy’s Secondary and their ability to limit #1 receivers. With Taylor Gabriel sidelined, I actually really like the chances of slot man Anthony Miller ($7,000). Last week Miller really found his connection with Trubisky corralling 140 yards and now he gets to play against a Cowboys team that just allowed Cole Beasley to go for 110 and a score from the slot and the week before allow Julian Edleman 12 catches too. Miller is my Bears’ Captain Slot. But I do think he will be popular. A stack with both Miller and Robinson and Trubisky may be a contrarian way to approach – but keep in mind, bad Mitchell can also put your Robinson Miller points in the ditch-el. I’d also mention Tarik Cohen ($6,600) and Javon Wims ($3,200) each who have been receiving more targets from Trubisky. Cohen our of the backfield is a dual threat, especially in the Red Zone when the Bears can get there.
You can’t talk Bears without talking Matt Nagy’s star Pupil David Montgomery ($7,600) who has really underwhelmed in his rookie campaign. While the opportunity is there for Montgomery to own the backfield touches tonight he is playing a Cowboys defense allowing an average 3.9 yards per carry to Running Backs. With the Bears already a 3 point underdog already I could also see a scenario where Nagy leans more on Cohen and his pass catching with the Bears playing catch up. Additionally we have all seen by now how inefficient the Bears have been running the ball within the 5 yard line too. I’ll never say totally avoid a player getting 70% or more of the touches for his position, but I’d be ok being a little light on the exposure to him. I’d rather spend down for Anthony Miller or Wims for example.
My favorite Bear outside of Anthony Miller tonight is 3rd String Tight End Jesper Horstead ($2,000) who is next man up with every other TE the Bears have started now injured and out. Horstead made a beautiful grab for a Touchdown last time on the field and with the Cowboys ranked 27th against Tight Ends, it is very possible Trubisky will be looking Horstead’s way when he needs an outlet – or a miracle if you saw the TD last week.
I do want to mention the Bears Defense ($4,000) who I think are priced this high due to name value alone. This is not the same lights out defense from a year ago folks. Yes they are good – better than most – but I think Dak figures out a way to get around the wicked pass rush – and he has plenty of weapons at his disposal now too. We did see the Patriots give Dak fits with the pass rush and man coverage so it isn’t impossible that the Bears put on a Defensive show for the ages – but I am not sure I can bank on that as an anchor (and not even a cheap one) for my lineups.
After the loss to the Patriots I heard analyst and former coach Tony Dungee say about the Cowboys “…they look great against bad teams and they look bad against good teams”. Now understand here that I’m paraphrasing something from the post game – but the sentiment behind that statement has proved to be valid. There’s no secret that as of late the correct answer to the famous “How ’bout dem Cowboys?!” has been “…uh, nuttin’ much”.
However, if we are to believe what Coach Dungee said – then Kazzah Kazzah tonight could be the Cowboy’s night! The Bears, I think we can all agree, are a lot closer to one of those “bad teams” than what the Cowboys have seen over the last two weeks. And I need to stress again – Vegas has them Favored. So how do they get there …
Establish the run with Big Zeke Elliot ($11,200) and to a lesser extent Jamize Olawale ($200). (Author’s note – Tony Pollard has been ruled out tonight). I just feel like this is going to be Zeke’s game tonight. First off if there is a way to attack the Bears Defense it’s on the ground. On the season the Bears are allowing 97.5 yards per game. I mean just a week ago backup rookie Bo Scarborough went for 83 on them with a backup QB under center! Now you have Zeke coming through the line and I think he will eat…and the eat again. He is the most expensive player on the slate for good reason and he is my favorite Cowboy for a Captains chair.
Zeke getting his game going will only benefit Dak Prescott ($10,800) the king of the RPO (run pass option). Specifically with play action passing and with his own rushing ability, there is a way for Dak to carve up the Bears tonight. In four of Dak’s last five games he’s thrown for over 250 yards and has 11 Touchdowns. Quietly Dak has put together a nice season with his receivers and if the Cowboys can establish the run and the Bears switch gears to try to stuff the box, Dak could have a very nice game.
I think the Bear’s recognize that with three talented receivers in Amari Cooper ($9,400), Michael Gallup ($8,200) and the second coming of Randall Cobb ($6,400) they will have their hands full trying to play each man to man. I think the Bears’ plan of attack will be to keep everything in front of them with two deep safeties and heavy zone coverage underneath which is why my favorite play of the three wide receivers tonight is Cobb. Cobb has proven to be an outlet for Dak out of the slot and he has simply looked explosive lately to boot. I think Cobb has a good shot at a big game tonight assuming when Dak drops back the Bears pass rush will more often have him looking Cobb’s way. It’s not to say I don’t like Cooper or Gallup either though. I think it is a smart move if you are playing Dak either in a flex spot or as a Captain, stacking him with two of his three receivers is a smart play with one being Cobb. I could see Cobb being popular tonight with his price tag so much lower than the other two so it may be a contrarian move to leave him off – but I am going to eat that chalk, I like Cobb.
Jason Witten ($5,600) and Blake Jarwin ($2,200) could also play pivotal roles tonight in the Cowboy’s success. It would be surprising to see Dallas utilize the two tight end set often tonight to help both in run blocking and pass protection, so it would be smart to include either one in your stack with Dak. While Witten is a sure fire security blanket, I prefer Jarwin. His price is nice and can allow you to plug in some higher priced studs around him, plus we have seen recently his ability to break tackles and create yards after the catch. Additionally the Bears are ranked 26th against opposing tight ends so don’t forget either Jarwin or Witten in your Cowboys lineups.
And if I’m playing a defense tonight, I’m playing the Cowboys ($4,400) for two reasons. 1. Mitchell 2. Trubisky. Nuff Ced.
Lastly let me close out by mentioning the Kickers. They being Eddie Pineiro ($3,600) of the Bears and Brett Maher ($3,800) of the Cowboys. There is a real chance that with both of these defenses on the field, the kickers tonight will be very busy. So while I think both are in play and priced nicely, I prefer Maher. Mostly because the Cowboys are favored by 3 (aka a Field Goal) but also because of two words 1. Mitchell 2. Trubisky ￼
Good Luck in your Contests!