Sunday Night Football this week included a backup QB facing a projected franchise centerpiece and fantasy football royalty at the running back position against a patchwork backfield full of questions.
So, what fantasy takeaways are we looking at from the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers battle?
Fantasy Takeaways From Sunday Night Football
Darrynton Evans, RB, Chicago Bears
The third-round pick from 2020 took his first carry to the house, a nice 11-yard run that was the first rushing score of his career.
The Bears backfield is in flux, to say the least, with Khalil Herbert required to miss at least one more game while on IR. That said, Evans’ spurt was the 10th RB carry of the evening for Chicago, a sign that he is clearly not considered an every-down asset at the moment.
D’Onta Foreman (offseason acquisition) and Roschon Johnson (rookie) are well ahead of Evans in terms of hierarchy in this backfield. The touchdown was nice, but there is no path right now for Evans to earn enough work to matter in fantasy, and his role is more likely to decline than increase as Herbert nears his return.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
It took no time for the Chargers to feature their star running back (first half: 104 yards and a TD), putting to bed any concerns about an underwhelming Week 7 performance.
There isn’t a running back on Christian McCaffrey’s level right now, but you could argue that Ekeler is in a tier of his own after San Francisco’s workhorse when it comes to stacking up the RBs for the remainder of the season.
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Even better? Ekeler should thrive when your fantasy fate is on the line.
- Week 14 vs. DEN
- Week 15 at LV
- Week 16 vs. BUF
- Week 17 at DEN
If you have Ekeler on your team, you have a chance to win your league — it really is that simple.
Tyson Bagent, QB, Chicago Bears
Bagent is a good story, but he’s not a fantasy story. We were blown away by his first start (last week against the Raiders) — a game in which he averaged a mere 7.7 yards per completion and was fantasy’s 20th-highest-scoring quarterback in a week with only 26 teams in action.
The first half of Week 8 started with a bomb to Darnell Mooney (41 yards), but his next 14 passes netted just 80 yards. This offense lacks the talent needed to make an inexperienced QB anything close to viable in our game.
Bagent has shown enough to remain under center in Chicago as long as Justin Fields is sidelined — but that might not be much longer. If Fields can return next week, he’d have a chance to be a top-12 option at the position, given the injuries suffered this weekend and with four teams on a bye.
If Fields can prove his health, he could be a valuable piece down the stretch. The Bears host the Cardinals and Falcons in Weeks 16-17, matchups that could elevate Fields to the second tier of signal-caller when it matters most in our world.
Donald Parham, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
The 6’8″ red-zone target assumed a greater role in this game with Gerald Everett (hip) sidelined. While he saw a season high in targets, his fantasy relevance remains tied to his ability to find the end zone.
He has four touchdowns on his 2023 ledger and is clearly featured when the Bolts get in close, but projecting him for consistent value is optimistic given the lack of looks. If Everett misses more time, Parham is a viable streamer for those in need. When Everett is back, you can pass on Parham’s role on the low-usage end of a TE committee.
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