The Buffalo Bills will host the Chicago Bears for the first time since November 7, 2010, a game the Bills lost 22-19 in what was a lost season. The game was Buffalo’s eighth-straight loss to begin that campaign, although it did represent a turning point—after playing a tough Chicago team well, the Bills finished the year 4-4 over the last 8 games, giving the team some hope for the 2011 season.
This year, Buffalo and Chicago enter in similar situations to that November matchup 8 years ago. The Bills are 2-6, coming off 3 consecutive losses to conference foes, and the Bears are 4-3, exactly what their record was when the two teams met in 2010. It would appear that the scale are tipped heavily in Chicago’s favor, but as any team entering New Era Field as an opponent knows, Buffalo’s rabid fanbase can make even the most seasoned veterans feel uncomfortable.
While there are plenty of fantasy football matchups in Chicago’s favor this week, we have singled out a few that we think are the best bets for the game.
RB Tarik Cohen
Over the last month, Cohen has averaged 20.6 fantasy points per game, an absolutely elite total. After beginning the year with lofty expectations and falling well short of them, Cohen has bounced back to solidify himself as one of the best fantasy running backs in the NFL. His skill-set is one that makes him a difficult mark for any team, and the Bills have struggled with his type this year—he is a dangerous receiver out of the backfield who is lethal with the ball in space. Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds will have their hands full between him and the next player on our list.
TE Trey Burton
In an up-and-down year for the athletic tight end, Burton has been solid, if unspectacular, in his first season in the Windy City. Burton has 27 catches on the year, totaling 343 yards and 4 touchdowns. If Buffalo’s defense has a weakness, it’s that the middle players are young and can sometimes be manipulated by creative play-action, run-pass option, and read-option looks. If the Bears can do what the Indianapolis Colts were able to do a few weeks ago, then the Bills’ defense could be in for a long afternoon.
The Bills might be starting Nathan Peterman against a unit that has 11 interceptions, 8 fumble recoveries, and 20 sacks on the year. That’s a recipe for a high-scoring output for any fantasy defense. Even if Derek Anderson clears concussion protocol and starts for the Bills, it’s not as if he has been good at protecting the football in his two starts this year. Play the Bears’ defense confidently this week.