Chicago Bears (4-10, 5-9 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (5-9, 7-7), 4:05 p.m.
Brolley’s Bears Stats and Trends
The Bears have dropped five straight games ATS and they’re 1-8 outright over their last nine games.
Chicago is 9-4 toward unders in its last 13 games.
David Montgomery has 15+ touches and he’s seen 70% of the snaps or more in six straight games since returning to the lineup, but he’s produced just one performance with 15+ FP in that span playing in Chicago’s mostly anemic offense. He has just one TD in that span but at least he’s posted 5+ catches in three straight games to keep himself afloat. The Seahawks are giving up the second-most FPG (29.5) and the most catches per game (7.2) to RBs this season.
Justin Fields has strung together consecutive games with 200+ passing yards for the first time in his career, but he’s reached multiple passing TDs just once so far. He’s run for just one TD in his 10 starts too, but he’s added 35+ rushing yards in six of his last seven contests. However, he won’t be able to start this week because of an ankle injury and Andy Dalton will also sit with a groin injury, which means Nick Foles will get his first start of the season. He averaged 5.9 YPA and 237.7 passing yards per game with seven TDs and seven INTs in seven starts for the Bears last season. The Seahawks are giving up the 10th-fewest FPG (17.8) to QBs, but they are allowing the most passing yards per game (286.7).
Darnell Mooney just missed having a big game in Week 15 as he nearly brought in an acrobatic catch in the end zone. He had to settle for 5/63 receiving on seven targets for 11.6 FP, which is his the fifth time he’s reached 11+ FP in seven tries. Mooney has run 51% of his routes from the slot since their Week 10 bye, which is notable since the Seahawks have been ripped by slot WRs Cooper Kupp (9/136/2 receiving) and Brandin Cooks (8/101) the last two weeks.
Cole Kmet has yet to score a touchdown this season, but he’s coming off a 6/71 receiving performance on nine targets. Over his last six games, he has three games with 6+ catches and three games with three or fewer catches. The Seahawks have given up five TDs in their five games to give Kmet some hope he can finally hit paydirt.
Brolley’s Seahawks Stats and Trends
The Seahawks are 4-1 toward unders in their last five home games.
Seattle is 2-4 ATS since Russell Wilson returned to the lineup.
Russell Wilson is coming off a season-low 5.2 FP playing without Tyler Lockett against the Rams’ stingy defense. He completed just 54.8% of his passes and he averaged 5.0 YPA in the loss, and he didn’t account for a touchdown for the third time in six games since returning to the lineup. Kirk Cousins could only muster 87/2 passing against the Bears last week, but they previously gave up 29+ FP to Aaron Rodgers and Kyler Murray in Weeks 13-14.
Tyler Lockett will look to rejoin the team this week after missing Week 15 with COVID, and he’s clearly emerged as the go-to receiver in Seattle’s offense since Wilson returned. Lockett is coming off his fourth game with 26+ FP after hanging 5/142/1 receiving on nine targets against the Texans in Week 14, which gives him 12+ FP in four straight contests. He’s now averaging 4.2/88.8 receiving and 7.0 targets per game with two TDs in five games since Week 10. Lockett and Wilson are connecting at 70.4% clip over the last four weeks for 22.2 YPR. The Bears are giving up a generous 13.5 YPR to WRs this season.
D.K. Metcalf’s connection with Russ has been nowhere near as strong as Lockett’s connection. It was never more evident than in Week 15 when Metcalf had Jalen Ramsey dusted for the potential game-tying score in the fourth quarter and Russ woefully underthrew him. He finished with 6/52 receiving on 12 targets, which means Metcalf has fallen below 12 FP in six straight since Russ returned. Justin Jefferson (4/47/1 receiving) and Davante Adams (10/121/2) have each gone off in this matchup the last two weeks, but Metcalf isn’t on the same page with his QB right now.
Gerald Everett stepped up as the #2 option with Lockett out of the lineup last week, posting 4/60 receiving against the Rams. He’s now posted double-digit FP in 4-of-6 games since Russ returned to the lineup. The Bears held Tyler Conklin to a seven-yard catch last week, and they’re giving up the sixth-fewest FPG (9.0) to TEs this season.
Rashaad Penny led Seattle’s backfield with 13 touches, which he turned into 44 yards, but he took a backseat to DeeJay Dallas in snap share (58% to 42%), routes (19 to 9), and in effectiveness with Dallas posting 11/52/1 scrimmage. Penny also left the game for a stretch to get his back checked out so he continues to be a risky proposition. Seattle’s backfield is a messy situation for fantasy, and the Bears just suffocated Dalvin Cook, limiting him to 28/89 rushing (3.2 YPC).
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 27.5 (10th)
Plays per game: 64.3 (15th)
Pass: 60.0% (16th) | Run: 40.0% (17th)
Pace: 26.8 (5th)
Plays per game: 54.7 (32nd)
Pass: 63.8% (8th) | Run: 36.2% (25th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
While the Seahawks are playing faster and getting to the line quicker in between plays, it hasn’t led to more volume offensively. Over the last eight weeks, Seattle is dead last in plays per game and 31st in time of possession per drive (2:21). Because HC Pete Carroll constantly emphasizes the wrong things, Seattle can’t have nice things. We saw their play volume spike to 68 plays against the 49ers three weeks ago but it fell back down to just 57 plays against the Texans and they ran a pitiful 53 plays against the Rams on Tuesday night.
Justin Fields has been set up to fail by this outgoing Bears staff, but the numbers under the hood don’t exactly paint a pretty picture for the rookie QB either. The Bears are averaging a putrid -0.14 EPA per play with Fields under center – which would rank 31st over the full season. The Texans (-0.18 EPA) are 32nd. Fields has been scattershot with his accuracy and is dead-last in on-target throws when given a clean pocket (70.3%). Will Chicago be able to take advantage of a bad Seattle pass defense? I’m skeptical.
Overall, this game is mediocre to say the least between these two fairly dormant offenses.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
It’s so difficult to trust that individuals being activated off the COVID list will enter their games at 100% health. Especially when they were forced to miss a game the previous week. But I am willing to take the chance on Tyler Lockett this week due to the lovely matchup he’ll face. The first order of business is establishing the fact that Chicago has permitted 0.44 FP/CS (fourth-most) and a 125.4 TPR (fourth-highest) when defending play action this season. The Rockett has generated 37% of his FPG total this season (6.05 FPG – eighth-most) on play action routes.
In addition, Lockett will work across from a CB that was just activated off the COVID list after also missing Week 15, Artie Burns. Since Burns has only been active during the three games prior to Week 15, his metrics do not qualify to be ranked. But 1.84 YPCS, 0.40 FP/CS, 0.87 AY/CS, and a 117.6 TPR should be more than enough to draw your attention. Chicago is delivering the ninth-most FPG to WRs (36.5) that has been fueled by allowing the most TDs/game (1.36).
Dolan’s Vantage Points
The Bears’ offense has at least shown somes signs of life the last couple of weeks, and while the Seahawks don’t give up a ton of fantasy production to opposing QBs, they have allowed the most passing yardage to the position. The big wrench here is that Justin Fields missed multiple practices this week with an ankle injury, and coach Matt Nagy officially announced on Friday that Nick Foles will start.
Head coach Matt Nagy said that Justin Fields did not practice on Friday and will be questionable with an ankle injury, he announced that Andy Dalton would be OUT for Sunday's game with a groin injury, and he announced that Nick Foles is getting the start in Seattle. pic.twitter.com/dXh2d86r6V
— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) December 24, 2021
Since Nick Foles and Russell Wilson are starting against each other this weekend... https://t.co/L1r8E5AKXw— Joe Dolan (@FG_Dolan) December 24, 2021
“Over his last 3 games, David Montgomery has averaged 21.7 touches per game, 6.3 targets per game, 19.7 XFP per game, but just 11.9 FPG. He’s been massively inefficient (-7.8 PAR), but he is the bell cow in Chicago, seeing at least 70% of snaps in each of those contests.
So how do we approach Montgomery in Week 16?
Well, I really think we need to pick our spots for Monty. The volume is obviously great, but the tremendous lack of efficiency is obviously an achilles heel with this play, so, at least to me, Montgomery should only be considered a value whenever he draws strong matchups, which should at least help compensate for the brutal efficiency.
Thankfully, Seattle is giving up the 2nd-most schedule-adjusted FPG (+7.9) and 15.8 receiving FPG (most) to opposing RBs this season. Given Montgomery has seen 6.3 targets per game over the last three weeks, this matchup could easily be the cure for his recent underperformance.”
Rashaad Penny has earned 12 or more touches in just 4 career games.— Jake Tribbey (@JakeTribbey) December 13, 2021
His per-game averages in those games:
Hear me out...
Maybe he's really good?
“Kmet has led Chicago’s receivers in XFP in 4 of his last 6 games. Over this span, and among all TEs, Kmet ranks 7th in targets per game (7.2), 9th in XFP/G (11.8), but just 15th in FPG (9.4). But we like him this week as a mid-range TE1, given the soft matchup. Seattle is giving up the 3rd-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing TEs (+4.6) and the most over the last 5 weeks (+9.0).”
“Quarterback is pretty thin this week and once you get past the top-10 or so, things start to not feel so great. Naturally, starting Russell Wilson during semifinals week also doesn’t feel so great at this point – especially after the Seahawks offense fell apart on national TV on Tuesday. Wilson was awful by any measure and scored a season-low 4.2 FP. However, I’m leaving the light on for Wilson to re-discover his ceiling here, especially if Tyler Lockett is back off of the COVID list. The Bears secondary has collapsed recently and are allowing the fourth-highest completion rate (70.3%), second-highest TD rate (6.7%), and second-highest passer rating (113.4) over the last eight weeks. We have Wilson ranked right on the QB1 borderline for Week 16.”
Obviously, things would be better for Wilson given WR Tyler Lockett cleared COVID protocol, as expected. Wes showed above why he likes Lockett this week. But even without Lockett, Wilson and DK Metcalf struggled to get on the same page.
Pete Carroll on @710ESPNSeattle: about Russell Wilson not seeming to have the same “chemistry” with DK Metcalf as with Tyler Lockett: “They are working at it. We went to them a bunch of times last night. Tyler has this remarkable sense of space and awareness that rarely happens.”— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) December 22, 2021
Yeah, that’s coach Pete Carroll basically admitting that Lockett is Wilson’s #1 WR. While Metcalf is still a viable WR2/3 in this matchup, it’s looking highly unlikely he’ll return value on the high price you paid for him in your fantasy playoffs.