Our weekly look at the Redskins' matchup from a fantasy football perspective.
Pierre Garcon - The Bears defense is stingy. The Bears secondary is talented. The Bears have given up production to opposing No.1 wide outs this season. Week 1, A.J. Green had nine receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Week 3, Antonio Brown (9-196-2) went off. Calvin Johnson scored a touchdown against Chicago the following game.
Leonard Hankerson - Overall, the Bears rank middle of the pack against fantasy receivers, though corner Charles Tillman (knee) remains questionable after sitting out Week 6. Outside of Garcon, Hankerson (two receptions for 36 yards last week) remains the best bet for production, but in a hope-and-pray kind of way. If the injured Tillman sits or is limited, the Bears may choose to put additional resources into covering Garcon. That could open up opportunities for Hankerson, Santana Moss or Josh Morgan. Fantasy owners shouldn't take the bait. They also shouldn't own any of three outside of Hankerson as a flyer.
Jordan Reed - The rookie tacked on another solid performance with a career-high 58 yards on four receptions against Dallas. Expect the trend to continue against a Bears defense allowing 6.2 receptions to tight ends. Consider Reed a top-15 fantasy option this week.
Alfred Morris - Any fear about the Redskins ground game versus the Bears front-7 ended in Week 6 when Brandon Jacobs powered his way to over 100 yards and two touchdowns against Chicago. Injuries have plagued the Bears defensive line and linebacker units, which is nothing but good news for Morris, who is averaging a stellar 5.5 yards per carry. Once the Redskins start picking up wins or at least staying closer late in games, Morris will receive more touches and the overall stats will pickup. Good bet that starts this week and continues.
Roy Helu - That's two straight games with at least 75 total yards for Helu, who had six carries for 42 yards and four receptions for 35 against Dallas. For those digging deep, Helu isn't a bad fill-in option, especially for those thinking Washington will throw lots in the second half against Chicago. Ultimately, he remains more lottery ticket than weekly option.
Robert Griffin III - Since we're talking fantasy football and not reality of the Redskins 1-4 record, thumbs up for RGIII's performance against the Cowboys. Griffin's legs made him a dominant fantasy player last season. That aspect of his game returned against Dallas. More than the 77 yards, RGIII confidently took off with the ball in his hands, showing hints of previous spectacular flash. That element isn't something Chicago has faced this season as the Bears have essentially played against drop back passers, including Drew Brees and Eli Manning the last two weeks. The Bears have allowed two touchdown passes in the odd-numbered weeks, one in the evens. Based on that trend, Griffin is a lock for two TDP this week, though Chicago has allowed just one 300-yard passing game this season. In a must-win game for the Redskins, expect solid QB1 numbers for RGIII.
The defense and kicker
Good news: Washington's defense turned in its best real world effort of the season against Dallas. Bad news: The effort also netted minimal fantasy production with one sack and one interception. Opposing defenses have generated minimal fantasy production in four of six games against the Bears this season. Even though Jay Cutler is always a threat to implode, he hasn't lately so avoid using the Redskins this week unless your gut call says otherwise. The combination of the Redskins' red zone woes and the Bears allowing the fourth most points to fantasy kickers this season makes Kai Forbath a strong starting option this week.
On the other side...
Boy is it hard to trust Jay Cutler. Every fantasy owner has at some point lined up behind the brash bomber only to be burned because of picks or the production not living up to Cutler's strong-armed hype. Playing behind an improved offensive line and with more overall passing game weapons, Cutler is once again reeling folks in, but with good reason. Including last Thursday's win over the Giants, he's thrown two touchdown passes in three straight games and at least two in five of six contests this season. The historically reckless Cutler hasn't tossed an interception in three of his last four games. Up next, a Redskins defense allowing the sixth most points to fantasy quarterbacks, though Washington performed better last week against Dallas. Cutler could revert to old habits if the Bears fall behind, but that's not a position most Redskins opponents have dealt with this season. Based on the matchup and his newfound consistency, Cutler is a top-10 fantasy option this week. Owners thinking big picture should target Cutler in trades. Look at the Bears remaining schedule to see why.
In addition to CSNwashington duties covering the Wizards, Hoyas and the college basketball scene, Ben writes about and ranks fantasy football players for FFToolbox.com, rated the most accurate site for the 2012 season.