Preseason Week 1 Fantasy Football Game Recap: Chicago Bears vs. Tennessee Titans

2M9YYTC Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Khalil Herbert is the clear favorite in the Bears’ backfield: Herbert played every snap with the starters and scored a touchdown.

Tyjae Spears outshines Hassan Haskins: Spears saw significant time with the primary backups and was a more impressive runner, with his runs coming against Bears starters.

D.J. Moore is already making a difference: Moore scored on the Bears’ third offensive play, a 62-yard touchdown, and got the rest of the day off before the remaining Chicago starters.

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Khalil Herbert is the clear early favorite for the Bears’ RB job: Herbert played 100% of snaps while Justin Fields was also playing.

  • Free agent addition D’Onta Foreman only began playing on the third drive with the backups.
  • When a team in the preseason doesn’t have any kind of rotation, it typically means one player is ahead of the other on the depth chart.
  • Chicago consistently used David Montgomery on the first two drives and Khalil Herbert on the third drive last season, so in this particular case, it could mean Herbert will be the one playing on the first two drives this season.
  • Herbert graded very well as a runner but not as well as a receiver last season.
  • His 56-yard touchdown catch could lead the Bears to trust him more as a receiver.
  • Herbert’s ADP might be one of the biggest risers over the next week, given his playing time and highlight play, and it deserves to rise.
  • Trestan Ebner was the third halfback to see playing time late in the second quarter. 
  • Roschon Johnson also played late into the second quarter, but only after Ebner was helped off the field. This suggests he’s currently fourth on the depth chart.
  • There is plenty of time for Johnson to work his way up the depth chart, but he might not factor in much in September.

Tyjae Spears makes a statement in the Titans’ backup competition: Hassan Haskins started the game, but Spears made his mark on the first drive.

  • Spears outsnapped Haskins on the first two drives and ran six times for 32 yards, compared to two carries for five yards by Haskins.
  • Haskins eventually scored a touchdown, but it took him two goal-line tries. His efficiency remained low relative to Spears.
  • Typically, rookie running backs are decently far down the depth chart the first week of the preseason — for example, De’Von Achane with the Miami Dolphins — so the fact that Spears is already seeing significant time with the second team is a good sign.
  • It’s unlikely Spears has standalone value to start the season, but he’s trending toward being the handcuff for Derrick Henry.
  • Henry is also 29 years old and on a below-average team. If the Titans are off to a bad start this season, it’s possible Henry will get traded at the deadline, which could turn Spears into a fantasy starter.

The Titans' third wide receiver battle: DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks both had the day off. Multiple other Titans wide receivers are fighting for playing time this season.

  • Chris Moore and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine started the game for Tennessee. Moore was a free agent from the Houston Texans, while Westbrook-Ikhine was a starter last season.
  • Moore caught a 30-yard pass on the team’s first scoring drive, and his day was done afterward, whereas Westbrook-Ikhine kept playing. This suggests Moore is ahead of Westbrook-Ikhine on the depth chart.
  • Kyle Phillips started last season as the Titans’ slot receiver but didn’t play much with how much 12 and 21 personnel the offense used.
  • He was still playing on the second drive but was done playing on offense after that point. This suggests the Titans also value him more than other players who played on the third drive and beyond.
  • It seems like Phillips is still the favorite to play in 11 personnel, but Moore should also see significant playing time when either Hopkins or Burks needs a play off. Moore is also the favorite to be a starter if Hopkins or Burks suffers an injury this season.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Titans tight ends Chigoziem Okonkwo and Trevon Wesco were among the veterans who had the day off. Rookie Josh Whyle was expected to be a receiving tight end primarily, but he was used often in two-tight end sets in rushing situations, as well. He’s clearly third on the depth chart right now and will factor in this season.
  • Malik Willis started for the Titans, but he and Will Levis rotated by drive. Willis had the advantage of playing behind the starting offensive line on the first drive. Tennessee switched to backup offensive linemen for the second drive.
  • D.J. Moore played every snap on the first drive, scored a 62-yard touchdown and called it a day before the rest of the Bears’ starters.
  • Chase Claypool didn’t play in this game due to a tweaked hamstring in practice Wednesday. It’s expected to be a minor issue, and he should be the Bears’ third wide receiver.
  • Robert Tonyan played in two-tight end sets with the starters and stopped playing when the starters were done. He should see significant playing time in the regular season, but there was no indication from this game that his playing time will be a threat to Cole Kmet’s snaps.

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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