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NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 4

Though Fields struggles, Bears can spread blame for loss

Mon Oct 3 8:59pm ET
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Justin Fields dropped back on the first play of Chicago's second possession and unleashed a perfect throw downfield that a lunging Darnell Mooney hauled in for a 56-yard gain.

At that moment, it looked like the Bears just might kick their passing game into gear. It didn't happen.

Fields had another difficult game. The defense couldn't stop the run. Rookie Velus Jones Jr. muffed a punt in the closing minutes of his debut.

There was plenty of blame to go around for Chicago in a 20-12 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. The Bears (2-2) will try to regroup when they visit Minnesota this week.

Chicago figures to be without an important player on its offensive line for a while. Left tackle Cody Whitehair injured his right knee against the Giants.

Coach Matt Eberflus said Monday he didn't have a timetable for Whitehair's return, adding that he would have more information on Wednesday. Asked if he expected Whitehair to play again this season, Eberflus said, ''Yeah, oh yeah.''

The 30-year-old Whitehair has been a fixture on the Bears' line at center and guard since they drafted him in the second round in 2016. He has started 99 games.

The Bears at least look like they will be getting kicker Cairo Santos back this week. Eberflus said Santos was at the team's practice facility after missing after missing Sunday's game for a personal reason. Michael Badgley made all four field goals against New York after signing during the week.

WHAT'S WORKING

The run game. The Bears managed to leapfrog the Carolina Panthers and no longer rank last in the NFL in total offense. Of course, their passing game has been the problem. The Bears - third in the NFL in rushing through Sunday - had 149 yards on the ground against New York. Khalil Herbert led the way with 77 yards on 19 carries.

WHAT'S NOT

The run defense. The Bears ranked last in the NFL against the run after giving up a season-high 262 yards. It's one thing to get carved up by Saquon Barkley for 146 yards. But they bit on fakes and bootlegs and gave up 98 rushing yards to quarterbacks. Daniel Jones ran for 68 yards and the game's only two touchdowns, and Tyrod Taylor added 30 yards in a short stint.

STOCK UP

Mooney looked more like the 1,000-yard receiver he was last season than the nonfactor he was through the first three games. He caught four passes for 94 yards, including that big grab early in the game. Considering he had just four catches for 27 yards coming in, the Bears will take it. He had 81 receptions for 1,055 yards last year, his second season.

STOCK DOWN

Though Fields had some promising moments like that long pass to Mooney, the second-year pro had another rough game. He was 11 of 22 for 174 yards and got sacked six times by a defense that came in with three sacks in its first three games. Fields was also quick to run rather than stay in the pocket and took more hits as a result. And he missed out on a potential big play late in the first half.

The Bears had third-and-10 at the New York 35 when Mooney broke open down the middle. Fields ran for 12 yards instead of throwing for a potential touchdown, and the Bears settled for a field goal that cut the Giants' lead to 14-9.

Mooney said the play called for him to bend more to the right. But he had what looked like a clear path to the end zone.

''It's like a four-vertical play,'' he said. ''I think it was moreso my miss, just thinking-wise. That's where it becomes like a hassle of just like trying to learn the playbook so much.''

INJURIES

RB David Montgomery (ankle) missed the game after exiting early the previous week against Houston.

KEY NUMBER

0 - The number of touchdowns the Bears had on three trips inside the 20.

NEXT STEPS

The Bears visit the NFC North-leading Vikings.

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Latavius Murray Oct 3 9:10pm ET
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The Denver Broncos signed running back Latavius Murray off of the New Orleans Saints' practice squad on Monday. Murray logged 11 rushes for 57 yards and a touchdown for the Saints against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 but he will now head to Denver to help fill out the running back room following the season-ending injury to Javonte Williams. Murray will join Melvin Gordon III and Mike Boone with the Broncos. It remains to be seen if Murray will have a role, or even suit up, against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5's Thursday night game after he just played in London on Sunday. Murray will be worth monitoring in fantasy in case he carves out a significant role with the Broncos.

From RotoBaller

Treylon Burks Oct 3 8:13pm ET
Treylon Burks

Dynasty | Treylon Burks has been diagnosed with turf toe after being carted off the field in Sunday's game. Dynasty Analysis: The injury looked to be much worse than turf toe, but this is going to keep Burks off the field for a while. This is one of the most difficult injuries to return from during a season, so we'll keep an eye on his rehab starting this week. This is just the latest setback for Burks, who has struggled to stay on the field during his rookie season, let alone produce at a high level. He's in danger of falling out of the top ten rookies should others continue to step up while he's out of the lineup. Dynasty managers have no choice but to hold on to him for the moment.

From Dynasty League Fantasy

Tua Tagovailoa Oct 3 8:13pm ET
Tua Tagovailoa

Dynasty | Tua Tagovailoa will not play for the Dolphins this week against the Jets. Dynasty Analysis: It seems the Dolphins may have received the memo from the rest of America wondering why he was ever on the field last week in the first place. Tua is dealing with a significant concussion and while his date to return to the field is unknown, there is little to no chance we see him until he's more than 100% ready to play. Miami has come under fire for how they've handled his injuries this season and are clearly under the microscope. As for Tua, his ranking of QB16 is secure, but we'll need to see him back on the field before moving him up.

From Dynasty League Fantasy

Brian Robinson Jr. Oct 3 8:13pm ET
Brian Robinson Jr.

Dynasty | With Brian Robinson set to return from IR, Antonio Gibson's grasp on the starting running back job is tenuous at best. Dynasty Analysis: Robinson was clearly in the lead for the job this summer and Gibson hasn't really done anything to likely convince the Washington coaches he should be the answer. While Robinson may be eased into the job, it seems unlikely Gibson will hold him off for long. Gibson has posted just 173 yards this year, averaging averaging a pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry in the process. At this point, savvy owners are likely looking to peddle him before his ranking of RB21 starts to tank.

From Dynasty League Fantasy

Randy Gregory Oct 3 8:00pm ET
Randy Gregory

Denver Broncos defensive end Randy Gregory (knee) is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on how he recovers, according to a source. The good news for Gregory is that his ACL is still intact, so he'll be able to return after a few weeks of rest and recovery. The 29-year-old pass-rusher has been a big force on Denver's defensive line through the first four weeks, compiling two sacks, nine tackles (six solo), seven QB hits and two forced fumbles, so his absence is surely bad news for a Broncos defense that got dominated by the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders in their Week 4 loss. The Broncos defense/special teams unit won't be anything more than a low-upside streaming option in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts.

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Chase Young Oct 3 8:00pm ET
Chase Young

Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young (knee) will not be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list this week, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Young will miss at least one more game and probably more as he continues to recover from ACL and MCL tears in his right knee last November. The 23-year-old former first-rounder made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season in 2020 when he had 7.5 sacks and 44 tackles (32 solo), but he played in only nine games in 2021 and finished with just 1.5 sacks and 26 tackles (15 solo). At full health, he will be a big boost to the Commanders' pass rush and he should be worth a look in IDP formats down the stretch as well.

From RotoBaller

Russell Wilson Oct 3 7:50pm ET
Russell Wilson

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said quarterback Russell Wilson (shoulder) would have been limited on Monday if the team had a real practice. Hackett said Wilson "got dinged up a little bit" in the Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. It's something to keep an eye on, but Wilson doesn't appear to be in any danger of missing the Week 5 contest against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. The 33-year-old QB accounted for three touchdowns on Sunday (two passing, one rushing), but he threw for only 237 yards on a season-low 25 attempts. Against a Colts defense that's allowing 16.2 fantasy points per game to signal-callers through four weeks, Wilson will be in play as a low-end QB1 in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Brian Robinson Jr. Oct 3 7:50pm ET
Brian Robinson Jr.

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said that rookie running back Brian Robinson (knee) will come off the Non-Football Injury list and the team will start his 21-day clock to return on Wednesday. Robinson was cleared by doctors to practice, and Rivera said it looks "very promising" that the 23-year-old could make his NFL debut in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans. It wouldn't be surprising if the Commanders take it slow with Robinson, but once he is ready to contribute, it will be bad news for both Antonio Gibson and pass-catching back J.D. McKissic. Before being shot in an attempted robbery in D.C. just before the start of the regular season, Robinson was trending towards leading Washington's backfield. If he remains available on your league's waiver wire, scoop him up now and stash him.

From RotoBaller

Rashod Bateman Oct 3 7:40pm ET
Rashod Bateman

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) was dealing with a foot injury in the second half of the Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills, which is why he was not on the field in the fourth quarter. The Ravens are listing Bateman as day-to-day for now, so fantasy managers will need to keep an eye on his practice status throughout the week leading up to a Week 5 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Unless the 22-year-old suffers a setback this week, he should be on track to suit up this week. He played a season-low 44 percent of the snaps on Sunday and caught just three of six targets for 17 yards. With better health in Week 5, fantasy managers will be hoping he can bounce back after scoring touchdowns in each of the first two weeks.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Oct 3 7:40pm ET
Melvin Gordon

With Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (knee) out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Broncos will have to rely more on Melvin Gordon III, who has fumbled five times in his last 44 carries over five games. Sunday's Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders marked the third time a Gordon fumble has been returned for a touchdown in the Broncos' last 12 games. The 29-year-old was listed as limited on Monday's practice estimate with a neck injury, but he should be fine ahead of Thursday night's Week 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts, where he should lead Denver's backfield despite his fumbling issues. Mike Boone might be involved as well the rest of the way, but Gordon should be Denver's primary back, giving him RB2 upside moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Danny Gray Oct 3 7:30pm ET
Danny Gray

San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Danny Gray (hip) and defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (knee) are both officially inactive on Monday night against the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. The Niners also placed linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (knee) on Injured Reserve. Tight end Ross Dwelley (rib) and defensive tackle Arik Armstead (foot), who were questionable, are officially active. Gray wasn't able to practice all week and came into this one doubtful to play. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk will continue to work as the team's top pass-catchers, as well as tight end George Kittle. Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud will battle for scraps against a tough Rams defense Monday night.

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Tevin Coleman Oct 3 7:30pm ET
Tevin Coleman

The San Francisco 49ers promoted wide receivers Willie Snead IV and Malik Turner and running back Tevin Coleman from the practice squad to the active roster for Monday night's game against the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. Snead and Turner will be battling for a depth role among the likes of Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud behind Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk on Monday night. Meanwhile, Coleman will provide depth to a banged-up Niners backfield with Elijah Mitchell (knee) on Injured Reserve and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price (ankle) out for another week. Jeff Wilson Jr. will remain the team's primary back against the Rams, with rookie Jordan Mason and Marlon Mack behind him.

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Malcolm Brown Oct 3 7:30pm ET
Malcolm Brown

The Los Angeles Rams elevated running back Malcolm Brown and offensive tackle Chandler Brewer from the practice squad to the active roster for Monday night's contest against the division-rival San Francisco 49ers. The 29-year-oLD Brown won't have much of a role at all on Monday behind Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr. and Jake Funk. Browns spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Rams before playing in seven games (three starts) for the Miami Dolphins last year, when he had just 33 carries for 125 yards and one touchdown while adding three catches for 10 yards. Unless LA's backfield is decimated by injuries on Monday night, it's highly unlikely that we'll see Brown on the field.

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Kenny Pickett Oct 3 7:20pm ET
Kenny Pickett

The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to move forward with rookie first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett, according to sources, after Pickett took over for the benched Mitch Trubisky in the Week 4 loss to the New York Jets. Pickett took over at halftime and head coach Mike Tomlin said, "we needed a spark." Pickett went 10-for-13 passing for 120 yards with three interceptions, but he also added two rushing scores and will see plenty of opportunities moving forward, beginning in Week 5 in a very tough matchup against the Buffalo Bills on the road. It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the Steelers are sticking with Pickett over the ineffective Trubisky. The 24-year-old rookie will have his growing pains, but he proves the Steelers and fantasy managers with more upside, especially with his legs. He'll be a low-end QB2 option in superflex leagues in his first career start this week.

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Brian Robinson Jr. Oct 3 7:13pm ET
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From Dynasty League Fantasy

Jamison Crowder Oct 3 7:13pm ET
Jamison Crowder

Dynasty | Jamison Crowder suffered a broken ankle in week four against Baltimore. Dynasty Analysis: He's likely headed to injured reserve, but nothing is official. It's been a rough go for the slot dynamo who seemingly lost his job to Isaiah McKenzie in the off-season. With just six catches for 60 yards, this was turning into a lost season prior to the injury anyway. Now 29, Crowder will look to rehab and hopefully land in a better situation next season should he fail to come back and make an impact with Buffalo this year. Our WR97, Crowder is a tough hold in a dynasty leagues and is more of a roster clogger than anything else at this point.

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Jonathan Taylor Oct 3 7:10pm ET
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Tests on Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (ankle) came back negative on Monday and he has a chance to play on Thursday night in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos, according to a source. The team initially feared that Taylor had suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Week 4 loss to the Tennessee Titans, but it's now looking like he may have avoided a long-term injury. He was listed as DNP on the team's estimated practice report on Monday, and fantasy managers will have to keep a close eye on his status over the next couple of days. Even if Taylor is active, he could see fewer snaps, which would make him an extremely risky RB1. If Taylor is inactive this week, Nyheim Hines and Deon Jackson would share backfield duties, with Phillip Lindsay likely being added to the active roster as additional depth.

From RotoBaller

Nyheim Hines Oct 3 7:10pm ET
Nyheim Hines

If Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (ankle) is unable to play on Thursday night in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos, pass-catching back Nyheim Hines would likely have an increased role out of the backfield. He has 17 catches through four games but has only eight carries for 11 yards on the ground. The Colts could also turn to Phillip Lindsay, who has spent the first four weeks on the practice squad. Deon Jackson would also see an elevated role behind Hines, but Indy's ground game has been abysmal to start the year, ranking just 27th despite the presence of Taylor, who ranks sixth in the league in rushing with 328 yards. If Taylor is inactive this week, Hines would be the most attractive Colts RB in fantasy, mostly in PPR formats.

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Kenny Golladay Oct 3 5:13pm ET
Kenny Golladay

Dynasty | Kenny Golladay has a knee injury and is likely out for week five. Dynasty Analysis: Golladay's season can only be described as a nightmare thus far. With a new coaching staff failing to have any semblance of belief in his abilities, he's been used sparingly all season, posting just two catches for 22 yards. This injury will likely keep him off the field for a bit, but it honestly doesn't matter at this point. Golladay badly needs a change of scenery, but his contract is next to impossible to move. It simply looks like a lost year for Kenny G, who has fallen off the map as our WR93. He's droppable.

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Mike Boone Oct 3 3:49pm ET
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