Fantasy owners who are banking on their New York Giants players to save their season this week should be nervous because this matchup with the Chicago Bears is about as bad as they come.
The Bears own an elite defense with a superstar pass-rusher in Khalil Mack. Chicago’s defense is solid against the pass and even stronger against the run, while ranking among the league’s best at getting to the quarterback. Forget about this Giants offense producing, let’s just hope Big Blue quarterback Eli Manning makes it out alive after Week 13.
Now that we’ve sufficiently scared you, it’s time to see exactly what we can expect from the few Giants players who are viable fantasy starters, and the top options from the Bears’ offense.
With the Bears sporting arguably the best defense in the NFL, there aren’t many options for fantasy when it comes to Big Blue. Chicago has allowed the second-fewest points per game to opposing offenses this season (19.2), so there won’t be many scoring opportunities for the G-Men.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is a lineup lock per usual this week, but expectations must be tempered. Chicago is ranked 12th in yards allowed per game to receivers, which certainly makes Beckham viable. However, the Giants’ offensive line has to contend with an elite pass rusher in Mack and a Bears defense that is tied for sixth in sacks. Combine that with a Giants offense that is allowing the second-most total sacks this season and you have a recipe for disaster for Beckham.
With quarterback Eli Manning running for his life for the majority of the game, Beckham’s chances at making big plays are extremely limited, as is his upside in a game that could make or break your season. Again, you’re starting Beckham no matter what, but you shouldn’t feel good about it.
On the surface, things aren’t looking good for running back Saquon Barkley, either. The Bears are the No. 2 rushing defense and are allowing a league-best 3.6 yards per carry. That doesn’t bode well for Barkley, who has already struggled to find much space to run this season behind a lackluster Giants front.
Things aren’t all bad, though, as Barkley should be targeted early and often in the passing game with Manning looking at check downs while trying to survive the Bears’ deadly pass rush. Barkley may not find much room on the ground in this one, but he should more than make up for it in PPR with plenty of targets and yards via the short passing game.
As long as head coach Pat Shurmur doesn’t make the bizarre decision to allow Barkley to disappear in the second half again, the rookie running back is the safest best among Giants players in fantasy this week.