Fantasy Football 2013: Cowboys at Bears Week 14 Preview
Dallas Cowboys (7-5) at Chicago Bears (6-6)
Monday, December 9, 8:40 PM ET
Capping off the NFL’s Week 14 festivities on “Monday Night Football” will be a pretty good-looking matchup between two perennial NFC contenders. The Cowboys will be heading to Soldier Field to take on the Bears, and on paper this one looks like it should be a close game. The Cowboys (7-5) are coming off a Thanksgiving win over the Raiders, while the Bears (6-6) are looking to get back on track after dropping one in overtime to the Vikings.
This game will decide many fantasy games out there, so with that in mind let’s take a closer look at some of the key names involved and see if we can get a feel for what to expect.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys: Romo had a relatively quiet game against the Raiders, but still managed to go 23-of-32 for 225 yards and a touchdown. It was revealed after the win that he’d been sick with what sounded like a stomach flu the night before, so that could explain his less-than-ideal fantasy line. Romo should have some bigger numbers against the Bears, but he’ll likely cede work to the running game, as that’s the major weak spot of the Chicago defense.
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Josh McCown, QB, Chicago Bears: With Jay Cutler sidelined, McCown has performed admirably. He’s thrown for 702 yards and four touchdowns in just his last two games, but hasn’t gotten enough defensive support to notch a win in that frame. We expect this to be a relatively high-scoring game, so McCown makes a nice fantasy option if you’re in the market.
The same applies for Cutler, if he does indeed show enough improvement to be able to retake his starting job.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Murray owners were elated on Thanksgiving, as the talented Cowboys RB dominated the Raiders game with 102 total yards and three rushing touchdowns. It was his third consecutive double-digit fantasy game, and he’s been as reliable as anyone during that time. Murray should be able to get a ton of work (and find a ton of running room) against the Bears, so he should end up as one of this week’s big performers.
Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: In Forte, the Bears have a reliable RB of their own, and he’s treated fantasy owners pretty well this season. Though he hasn’t been scoring much lately (two touchdowns in the last five games), his multi-dimensional talent has him racking up rushing and receiving yards at a pretty steady pace. Last week, Forte managed 151 total yards against Minnesota, but couldn’t find the end zone. He should get plenty of work this Monday.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Bryant is one of the most explosive playmakers in the league, and he’s been a real blast to watch when he’s on his game. He’s certainly been getting the looks recently: in the past two games, Bryant has 16 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. He got 25 targets in that span, so he’s obviously the favorite among the Cowboys receivers. With Peanut Tillman sidelined, Bryant shouldn’t have much trouble carving up the Bears secondary.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears: Marshall is the Bears’ marquis receiver, but he took a backseat to Alshon Jeffery against the Vikings. While Jeffery thrived, Marshall floundered to the tune of just 45 yards on four catches. Most of that was due to spry rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who dominated the matchup. That said, there’s no one on the Cowboys roster who can contain Marshall, so we expect him to have a bounce-back game here.
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