NFL Week 5 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Bears-Commanders Thursday Night Football

2T0BWYX Chicago Bears wide receiver DJ Moore (2) smiles after stepping out of bounds during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

D.J. Moore dominates the Washington Commanders: Moore set a career-highs in receiving yards and touchdowns.

The Chicago Bears were hurting at running back: All three of the Bears’ active halfbacks suffered injuries that kept them from finishing the game.

The Commanders abandoned the run: The Commanders found themselves down 17-0 early in the second quarter, so they didn't call a designed run play over the last 39 minutes of the game. They called 55 consecutive pass plays from early in the second quarter until the end of the game, the longest passing streak in the PFF era.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Chicago Bears @ Washington Commanders

Monitor the health of Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson: Johnson suffered a concussion early in the second quarter and didn’t return. Herbert injured his ankle in the third quarter.

  • Johnson once seemed likely to take over as the Bears’ lead running back, but that momentum stopped last week when Herbert rushed for 103 yards on 18 carries, and Johnson gained 13 yards on five carries.
  • At the start of the 2022 season, Chicago established a rotation where they would use their lead running back on the first two drives and their backup on the third. 
  • Herbert has played 100% of snaps on the first two drives over the last four games, including tonight. Johnson has played 100% of the snaps on the third drives over the last four games, including tonight.
  • Johnson went to the locker room after that third drive, so we never got a real sense of how much Herbert’s playing time might have been up after his strong game last week.
  • Herbert remained the primary running back for most of the next two quarters, but he suffered an ankle injury making an awkward uncontested catch. He tried to return for a few plays on the following drive but ultimately left the game.
  • Both Herbert and Johnson looked good when given the opportunity, with both backs averaging over 6.0 yards per carry.
  • Third-string running back Travis Homer suffered a hamstring injury on a special teams play, and D’Onta Foreman was inactive, so fullback Khari Blasingame took over at running back while Herbert was out.
  • Blasingame had three career carries coming into this game, which more than doubled tonight. 
  • If Herbert or Johnson misses time, expect Foreman to play a significant role in the offense. If both miss next week, expect Foreman to be a top waiver wire option as the Bears' lead back.

Cole Kmet leads all tight ends in fantasy points: Kmet came into the game in third place but has moved up to first, at least for the next few days. He caught five passes for 42 yards and one touchdown.

  • His playing time remains low compared to last season, as Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis are mixing in.
  • That hasn’t mattered for fantasy purposes, as his target rate has increased significantly compared to last year.
  • His target rate has been above 20% in three of five games this season. That only happened in four games over all of last season.
  • Kmet will still be a little dependent on his touchdowns, but his floor should be higher.

Monitor the health of Equanimeous St. Brown: The Bears' third wide receiver suffered a hamstring injury early in the third quarter and didn’t return.

  • St. Brown was inactive for the first three games but took over as the Bears' third wide receiver for the last two.
  • He took over with Chase Claypool inactive for his second straight game. Claypool has likely played his last down with the Bears, so St. Brown would be the third wide receiver over the rest of the season if he’s healthy.
  • Fourth-round rookie Tyler Scott took over as the third wide receiver over the rest of the game, although they didn’t need to use much 11 personnel while they were protecting their lead.
  • The Bears had only one wide receiver with a reception in this game, so the third wide receiver spot can likely be ignored for fantasy football purposes over the rest of the season. If St. Brown misses next week, we can expect more targets for D.J. Moore and Cole Kmet.

Add Logan Thomas: The Commanders’ veteran tight end put together his best statistical game since 2020.

  • The 32-year-old had some reason for optimism coming into the season with Eric Bienemy as his offensive coordinator, as he has a long history of featuring a veteran tight end in his offense.
  • Thomas had a strong Week 1, seeing eight targets, but he caught only four passes for 43 yards. He caught a touchdown in Week 2 but suffered a concussion that kept him out of Week 3.
  • He went right back to playing nearly 80% of offensive snaps in Week 4, so it was already clear his playing time would be more than it had been the last two years when healthy.
  • The Commanders have favorable matchups these next two weeks, according to our strength of schedule tool.
  • Thomas could be especially helpful for any fantasy manager with Pat Freiermuth, Luke Musgrave, Jake Ferguson or Dalton Schultz as their starting fantasy tight end, as they all have a bye week in Week 6 or 7.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Velus Jones Jr. has spent the entire season as a backup to D.J. Moore. Jones has only been on the field for plays where Moore is off the field, which continued in this game.
  • Commanders’ Antonio Gibson was held without a carry for the first time in his career among games in which he played at least one snap.
  • Terry McLaurin hasn’t been on the injury report the last three weeks after dealing with a toe injury to start the season, but his playing time has remained notably lower this season compared to most of last season.

Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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