Fantasy Football teams are taking shape ahead of opening day. Here is some advice for the Chicago Bears hosting the Buffalo Bills.
Bills Starts and Sits
Start – C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson or Bryce Brown
Buffalo has struggled at times on offense dating back to last season, but one thing they do very well is run the ball. A deep stable of running backs that include C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown run behind a big offensive line. It is what the Bills do best, as proven by their ranking 2nd in the league in 2013.
Sit – E.J. Manuel
At the same time, Buffalo has struggled mightily with their passing game. Quarterback E.J. Manuel hasn’t been on the same page with his wide receivers and frequently has to deal with pressure in his face. Going into his second year, he is coming off an injury that ended his rookie season so he still has learning to do but needs to get off to a good start. That might be difficult if forced to play from behind.
Bears Starts and Sits
Start – Matt Forte
Chicago wasn’t very effective in preseason running the football. Luckily that isn’t the only way Matt Forte can beat a defense. He’s also highly effective as a receiver and the Buffalo Bills aren’t the best equipped unit to stop that. Linebackers Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers play the run well enough but don’t have the ideal athleticism or speed to handle coverage duties. With so much action to deal with elsewhere on the Bears offense, Buffalo won’t be able to zero in on Forte, and he’ll make them pay for that.
Sit – Bears defense
The problem with the Chicago Bears defense is the inconsistency. One could make an argument they’ll have a great game against Buffalo. Their renewed pass rush of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Jeremiah Ratliff were active a lot in preseason. They face a Bill front that allowed 48 sacks last season. At the same time it’s also a unit that hasn’t played together much. There are a lot of new moving parts, especially at linebacker and safety. That could make them vulnerable against the Bills ground attack.
Chicago – Martellus Bennett
Another pass target for Jay Cutler who will match up frequently with those Bills linebackers and also a pair of safeties that no longer includes Pro Bowler Jairus Byrd.
Buffalo – Sammy Watkins
The Bears are the third oldest team in the league and a lot of that age is at the corner position with Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. They’ve struggled with speedy receivers at times in preseason, so a burner like Sammy Watkins may be worth a look despite the rib injury.
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