Last updated: November 21st at 10:45pm ET
Team Totals: Bears 23, Giants 17
Fresh off their Week 11 bye, the Giants visit Soldier Field to face an eminently beatable Bears team that isn’t giving up fantasy-acceptable passing-game production despite its persistent overall struggles. Just 1-of-10 quarterbacks to face Chicago has tallied top-12 results, including shutdowns of Aaron Rodgers (QB23), Kirk Cousins (QB25), Philip Rivers (QB24), Carson Wentz (QB18), and Jared Goff (QB27). The Bears’ D/ST sets up as a better Week 12 fantasy bet than Daniel Jones, who’s committed 16 turnovers in eight starts while averaging 5.5 sacks taken over his last four. … Saquon Barkley’s health should have improved during New York’s Week 11 bye, while his Week 12 matchup is favorable against a soft Bears run defense enemy backs clocked for an average of 101.8 rushing yards and nine total rushing TDs over its last six games. Dearly missing space-eater DT Akiem Hicks (elbow, I.R.) and team-leader ILB Danny Trevathan (elbow), Chicago has also permitted the NFL’s third-most running back catches (66) this year. Barkley’s post-bye legs should feel fresh, and he’s drawn five-plus targets in every game this season.
The Giants appear likely to be without Evan Engram (knee) and Rhett Ellison (concussion), while Sterling Shepard (concussions) is tentatively due back to round out New York’s three-receiver sets with Golden Tate and Darius Slayton. Averaging 8.8 targets and 80.8 yards with three TDs over his last five games, Tate is the G-Men’s top Week 12 pass-catcher play against burnable Bears slot CB Buster Skrine. Tate’s stat lines in Engram’s previous two missed games were 6/102/1 and 4/95/2. … Assuming Shepard does get the green light, he’ll be WR3 playable in PPR leagues after drawing nine targets in each of his last three games and racking up five-plus catches in 4-of-4 appearances. Shepard’s upside is fair to question, however, facing a Bears defense that’s allowed the NFL’s second-fewest fantasy points to wideouts. … Shepard’s return renders Slayton a boom-bust play with 50 yards or fewer in 5-of-8 games. Slayton is now the Giants’ No. 4 pass option behind Tate, Barkley, and Shepard. … Engram and Ellison’s absences would reduce New York’s tight end depth chart to journeyman Scott Simonson and sixth-round rookie Kaden Smith, who the Giants claimed off waivers from the 49ers after Week 2. Smith, who ran a molasses-slow 4.92 forty coming out of Stanford, drew just one target on 57% of the Giants’ pre-bye Week 10 snaps. As Simonson and Smith would likely form a rotation, this is a fantasy situation to avoid.
Even after last week’s unorthodox late-game benching for Chase Daniel – chalked up to a phantom hip pointer – the Bears plan to start Mitchell Trubisky once again despite his sustained ineffectiveness and utter lack of on-field command. Sunday’s matchup does have an outside shot to be a confidence builder since 8-of-10 quarterbacks to face Giants DC James Bettcher’s unit have tallied top-ten fantasy results, including six in a row entering Week 12. Trubisky hasn’t turned in a top-12 fantasy score all year, but I’d be willing to play him in two-quarterback leagues against the Giants. … At home for a winnable game in a favorable run-defense draw, Week 12 should theoretically set up positively for David Montgomery. Yet Montgomery’s snap rates have declined in four straight games (74% > 73% > 61% > 46%), and the Bears’ run blocking remains nonexistent. Making matters worse, Montgomery has cleared 20 receiving yards once since Week 1. He’s a dicey RB2/flex option even in what should be an optimal on-paper draw. … A colossal Weeks 1-10 flop, Tarik Cohen finally made box-score noise in last Sunday night’s loss to the Rams with 74 yards and a touchdown on a season-high 14 touches. While last week’s usage and production provide some going-forward hope, ultimately Cohen is a Week 12 coin-flip flex play due to coach Matt Nagy’s come-and-go commitment to utilizing him and Cohen’s own lack of effectiveness.
Trubisky’s 2019 target distribution: Allen Robinson 70; Cohen 49; Taylor Gabriel 44; Anthony Miller 30; Montgomery 21; Adam Shaheen and Cordarrelle Patterson 11; Ben Braunecker 7; Javon Wims 6. … Not only is Robinson popping in Week 12’s Buy Low Air Yards Model, his matchup is enticing against a Giants secondary permitting the NFL’s second-most fantasy points to wide receivers. The G-Men got creamed by fellow outside WRs Kenny Golladay (6/123/2), Demaryius Thomas (6/84/0), Amari Cooper (4/80/1), and Michael Gallup (2/33/1) in their last three games, and A-Rob will tack on high-percentage catches in the slot. … Especially after Gabriel spoiled 14 targets for 57 scoreless yards in last Sunday night’s loss to the Rams, his playing time should come into question going forward. The Bears are in obvious late-year roster-assessment mode, and none of their pass catchers’ roles should be secure behind Robinson. Some Chicago media have called for Wims to begin playing more at Gabriel and/or Miller’s expense.
Score Prediction: Giants 21, Bears 17