The Chicago Bears are fresh off of two straight losses, and the Giants haven’t won a game since the 2012 season. Thursday Night Football has gotten a raw deal it seems with some poor matchups, including a Browns vs. Bills game last week where both starting QBs–a rookie and Brian Hoyer–were knocked out of the game completely.
This week, even though both the Giants and the Bears are struggling, I think the fans will get a good game, and I think fantasy football players are going to have a ball as well.
I could be way off here and this could be one of those terrible 23-20 games where both defenses come to play and both quarterbacks wait to do anything until the fourth quarter, but right now, the numbers are indicating a shootout.
The Bears, pretty uncharacteristically, are giving up 28 points per game and are scoring 29. The offense has really picked things up this year with the new, improved offensive line, and they’re putting points on the board. The Giants on the other hand are really struggling this season. They’re only averaging 16.4 points per game, and are giving up a whopping 36.4. With the Bears allowing four TDs per game and the Giants allowing five, this could be an excellent game for fantasy owners, and specifically if you own players who might be catching passes.
For the Giants, it will be the trio of Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Rueben Randle which has been a pretty good trio this year all things considered. On the season, Cruz has 31 catches for a team-leading 473 yards and four touchdowns. Nicks has caught 21 passes for 372 yards, but has yet to score a touchdown this season. Rueben Randle has shown some ability to make big plays as both a receiver and a return man, and has two TDs this year on 17 catches.
The Giants also like to get tight end Brandon Myers involved in the passing game, and he’s got 18 catches so far this year, third on the team.
For the Bears, you might be shocked to find out–like I was–that Alshon Jeffery is the team’s leading receiver. Of course, a 200 plus yard game will help quite a bit, but Jeffery has been solid this year, catching 28 passes for 429 yards and two touchdowns. Jeffery also has seven plays of 20 yards or more, and has been a legit big play threat for the Bears.
Of course, the Bears also have Brandon Marshall who has caught 31 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns. Marshall is always a strong #1 fantasy wide receiver, and in prime time, expect him to have a big game.
Jay Cutler has four key guys he likes to get the ball to, and aside from running back Matt Forte who is one of the best pass catching RBs in the NFL, Cutler also has Martellus Bennett at his disposal. In fact, aside from the four players that have already been mentioned for the Bears, only Earl Bennett has caught a pass for Chicago this season.
That’s pretty remarkable through five games that only five players have caught passes, but it’s ideal for fantasy players. You pretty much know what you’re getting from Chicago’s crew.
Tonight’s game might feature two struggling teams, but it could be a big night for fantasy football.