The Week 6 TNF Showdown features the Commanders at the Bears. I’ll be guiding you through the important aspects to watch in each Thursday night matchup. Without further ado, let’s see what Washington and Chicago have in store for us in what should be another slow and ugly Thursday night matchup.
Advanced stats and analytics will be utilized to identify favorable matchups and players to avoid. The purpose of this article is to paint a picture of how the teams play and matchup with one another in less than 1,000 words.
As the season continues, less emphasis will be put on last season and early season’s stats. Vegas trends will also be implemented to help predict the game flow. I’ll conclude the article with a Cliff Notes section and give the readers my prediction for the game.
- Washington is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington’s last 7 games.
- Washington is 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a road underdog.
- Chicago is 5-12 SU in their last 17 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Chicago’s last 10 games at home.
- Chicago is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite.
- Jahan Dotson (Hamstring, Out)
- Logan Thomas (Calf, Out)
- Sam Cosmi (Thumb, Out)
- Jaylon Johnson (Quad, Out)
The Washington Commanders
The Carson Wentz experiment is panning out as most suspected. He’s oddly productive, despite being horribly erratic and comically inaccurate. Behind a +9.4 (No. 6 of qualified quarterbacks) Production Premium, he is currently a top-10 quarterback in fantasy and has delivered a 25-point week twice thus far. Washington’s mediocre defense and run game keep Wentz in the position to throw from start to finish. Chicago’s stout front-7 leads the league in Hurry Rate by a large margin. They’ve pressured the quarterback at a 17.7-percent clip (per ProFootballReference). Wentz, who has a 28.8-percent (No. 30) Pressured Completion Percentage, is going to struggle.
After the debut of Brian Robinson, the Commanders’ backfield is borderline useless for fantasy points. Robinson led the backfield with 12 carries, while J.D. McKissic led the backfield with a 41-percent Snap Share and seven targets. Still, it was special teams captain Antonio Gibson who led the trio in total yards. The touch distribution is a nightmare to avoid until there’s more clarity, but as of now Robinson is the back to own.
The only thing that’s been scary about “Scary” Terry McLaurin has been his 2022 metrics. Totaling a 16.2-percent (No. 57) Target Share, McLaurin is getting out-targeted by Curtis Samuel every game. The past success and the profile don’t matter anymore. McLaurin is the number two in the passing game. He’s frequently looked at deep down field, seeing 11 (No. 3) Deep Targets. With the Bears missing Jaylon Johnson, McLaurin has a higher likelihood to cash in on a long play. Look for a top-24 finish from McLaurin in a bounce back week.
Take the OVER on Terry McLaurin’s 57.5 receiving yards prop.
The Commanders philosophy with Curtis Samuel has been, “Get him the ball in space and let him do the rest.” He uses his shiftiness to produce a 10.0-percent (No. 10) Juke Rate and has generated 140 (No. 10) Yards After the Catch. He is currently in the running for the biggest hidden gem of the 2022 season. He’s producing 15.0 (No. 19) Fantasy Points per Game while going undrafted in most leagues. Considering the likely game script, Samuel should be in starting lineups.
CeeDee Lamb is the only player with at least 8 targets in every game
Players with 7+ in every game:
— TJ Hernandez (@TJHernandez) October 11, 2022
Not many rookie receivers have a knack for finding the endzone, but Jahan Dotson has torn up the stage to start his NFL career. He’s racked up five touchdowns through four weeks. The bad news is Dotson missed Week 5 with a hamstring injury and will miss this week as well. Sophomore Dyami Brown filled in for the role phenomenally, cashing in on two spectacular touchdowns. While the performance was impressive, don’t rush to play Brown over other established options.
The Chicago Bears
The Justin Fields guy watch takes a pivotal turn tonight. Yet to take a significant step forward in his NFL career, a meltdown in Primetime against a withering Commanders squad would be a kill-shot to the confidence of the organization and the fans. Last week, he posted 208 passing yards on 9.9 yards per attempt, both season highs. The Bears do not trust Fields to open up the offense. They’ve only thrown the ball 17.6 times per game. He’s bad under pressure and faces a defense leading the league in quarterback knockdowns (per ProFootballReference). Even with his rushing upside, he’s given you no reason to deploy him in your starting lineups.
I sincerely hope Khalil Herbert enjoyed his time in the sun because David Montgomery is back as the lead back. MonTDgomery checked in with 80-percent of backfield opportunity in his return, found the endzone, and chalked up a 30-yard reception. Make fun of the meme all you want, he’s a do-it-all back. The Bears run 31.2 (No. 5) Team Run Plays per Game, and feed Montgomery a 15.4-percent Target Share. As emphasized in my guide to RB metrics, production is a matter of opportunity, and Montgomery is getting a heap of it. Roll out Montgomery as a high-end RB2 play.
— Jarad Evans (@Jarad_Evans) April 30, 2021
Free Darnell Mooney. A 24.7-percent (No. 23) Target Share and 40.5-percent (No. 5) Air Yards Share is normally desirable, but the result has been a disappointing 21 (No. 65) targets and 323 (No. 40) Air Yards. That level of opportunity cannot sustain production. Last season, Mooney burnt corners left and right with a 43.1-percent Win Rate vs Man Coverage. We know he’s talented. Fields, the few times he looks Mooney’s way, is inaccurate. If Mooney can’t recover against this defense, his season may be lost. I expect the usage to take a turn and for Mooney to score against a defense who’s allowed 11 (No. 2) passing touchdowns.
Take the OVER on Darnell Mooney’s 46.5 receiving yard prop .
Normally, I have a laundry list of players with enough fantasy relevancy to be worth a mention, but the Bears barely have three. Cole Kmet may have had a mini-resurgence last week. In Week 5, he corralled four receptions for 45 yards, but he’ll have to perform again to be considered as a streaming option going forward.
- Carson Wentz is a weekly starter in fantasy.
- Stay away from the Commanders backfield for now, bet on Brian Robinson in the long-term.
- Terry McLaurin bounce back game is in store with Jaylon Johnson out.
- Justin Fields needs to turn things around if he wants to be the starter in Chicago.
- David Montgomery is a weekly high-end RB2.
- Darnell Mooney bounce back game or we riot.
Chicago comes into tonight as a 1 point favorite. You can argue that this is a must-win game for both teams. This is especially true for the Commanders who are four games out of first place in their division. Washington has the better active roster and face the worst offense they’ve lined up against. The Bears are somehow worse than their box scores have looked. I expect the Commanders to march in and conquer Chicago, and I will be taking Washington to cover.
The total is set at an eye-popping 38 points. Even more absurdly, the public is siding with the under. The Commanders are going to air it out and find some success. This will force Chicago to pick up the pace to stay on their hips. I’m by no means telling you to prepare for a shootout, but I am telling you to prepare for the over to cash in tonight.
- Spread: 2-3
- Total: 3-2
- Props: 6-2
Prediction: WAS 23-20