– Thursday Night Football Preview –
Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears
Spread: Cowboys -3 | Over/Under 43
The NFL season is entering Week 14 and that means it’s time for another showdown on Thursday night football. The Cowboys are coming off a disappointing loss on Thanksgiving versus the Bills to head on the road to take on the Chicago Bears coming off a big win. This NFC matchup is between two teams that have failed to meet expectations this season. The Cowboys are favorited by 3 points and the total for the game is 43.
Let’s take a closer look at Week 12’s Thursday Night’s Game.
Dak Prescott leads the NFL in passing yards, third in passing touchdowns, and ranks third in fantasy points scored. Considering how well David Blough played against the Bears on Thanksgiving (18.30 fantasy points), Prescott is still a low-end QB1 start on Thursday night. This season Prescott has just two games where he has scored less than 18 fantasy points. Meanwhile the other quarterback Mitchell Trubisky literally only plays well when he faces the Detriot Lions or any other bottom-ten pass defense. Over the past four weeks, the Cowboys have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position. You could do worse than streaming Trubisky this week who has scored 19 fantasy points in three of his last four games.
Even though the Bears’ defense is perceived as a super difficult matchup, that is not the case in reality. This season the Bears have allowed the fifth-most rushing touchdowns to running backs, tenth-most attempts, and fifth most receptions/targets. Still, fire up Ezekiel Elliott has a surefire RB1 in Week 14, who actually averages more fantasy points per game on the road.
David Montgomery is still seeing double-digit touches, but he has been extremely matchup and touchdown-dependent. His “big” games have come all against the Chargers and Lions who rank in the bottom-eight in fantasy points allowed to running backs. The Cowboys are more middle of the pack, but over the past four weeks, they have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to the position with no Leighton Vander Esch to plug up the middle of the field. Both Montgomery and Tarik Cohen have upside in the passing game, so that could be seen in this matchup as well. The Cowboys have allowed the sixth-most receptions to the position this season.
If I own Amari Cooper, I am not starting him in this game. His home/road splits are absolutely so bad with him scoring 27.5 points per game at home and just 8.4 points per game on the road. The Bears have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to receivers this season and at home, only Stefon Diggs and Michael Thomas have gone over 100 yards versus them. From a consistency standpoint, I would almost prefer Michael Gallup, who has a safer floor of the two Dallas receivers. Randall Cobb came back to Earth last week with just three catches for 53 yards and historically has struggled versus the Bears in Chicago. No touchdowns in his last three games there and Cobb is reported to be dealing with an illness.
For the Bears, wide receivers, Allen Robinson is the best start of all players on both teams. He just has such a high target share in the offense even with the emergence of Anthony Miller and has scored twice over the past two weeks. Byron Jones has not been the same cornerback as he was last year, so he is not a defensive coverage guy that needs to be avoided. The Cowboys have allowed the sixth-most red-zone targets to wide receivers this season. That brings up Miller as well, who is a nice spot start if Taylor Gabriel is ruled out again. Miller had a breakout game versus the Cowboys on Thanksgiving with no Gabriel going for 140 yards on nine of thirteen targets. Dallas got ripped up last week by Bills’ slot receiver Cole Beasley so I like Miller for Week 14.
So the Bears tight end position has been completely irrelevant all season, up until last week until Jesper Horstead found the end zone on Thanksgiving on his only target. He is nothing more than DFS dart-throw punt play on a Thursday night slate. Jason Witten is the only tight end that is worth considering with the Bears allowing the seventh-most fantasy points the position. Witten averages 9.1 fantasy points per game in PPR formats and is the TE10 overall on the season. Last week the Bears allowed 11 targets to T.J. Hockenson.
The Dallas kicker Brett Maher averages 2.7 field goal attempts per game on the road which is sixth-highest. The Bears defense also may be slightly overrated at home where they rank third to last in turnovers created. Dallas ranks third-best in turnover giveaways on the road. The Cowboys defense versus Trubisky is the better play than the Bears defense versus the Cowboys.
This game will most likely not hit the over and projects to be more conservative than anything else. It features a dome team traveling on the road in what looks to be colder conditions in Chicago on Thursday night. Still, I am going to go with a clear more talented team that cannot afford to lose another game versus an inferior opponent.
Final score prediction: Dallas 24-17 over Chicago.
Thanks for reading!
Andrew is a Roger Williams University graduate where he majored in Marketing. While there he interned at a sports marketing agency where he had the opportunity to work with many professional athletes like Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.
After college, Andrew started to write his own fantasy blogs via WordPress.com to show his friends why he calls himself the Fantasy Football Master. He calls himself this because back in ’07 in his first ever fantasy football league he drafted the Bears defense in the 1st round. He then proceeded to win the entire league. #DefenseWinsChampionships