Orton returned last week after missing a game with an ankle injury and struggled badly against the Packers, throwing for only 133 yards in the 37-3 defeat. He gets a much easier matchup this week against a Rams' pass defense that allows 233.7 yards a game. Even if Orton isn't completely healthy he won't need to be against this sorry unit. The only thing lowering his upside is the possibility the Bears elect to pound Matt Forte all game long. But if you need Orton, this matchup should produce solid numbers.
Forte continues to be the straw that's stirring the Bears' offense. He finished with 124 combined yards (including six receptions) against the Packers and gets a sweet matchup this week. The Rams give up 158.4 rushing yards a game and will prove no match for Forte and his all-purpose skills. He has top-10 RB potential this week so start him with confidence.
Not surprisingly, Hester had no success last week against the stout Green Bay secondary, catching only one pass. This is a much easier matchup for him this week so if you need an upside play at WR Hester isn't a bad place to turn. The Bears will take some shots to Hester downfield and there's an excellent chance he converts at least one. He's a fine upside play as a WR3 this week.
Davis had another quiet game in Week 11, catching only one pass for the second game in a row. With Brandon Lloyd back, there isn't enough juice in the Bears' passing game to give Davis much fantasy value at this time. Despite the great matchup, he isn't worth reaching for this week.
Lloyd returned from his knee injury last week and caught two passes for 17 yards against the Packers. Prior to his injury he was emerging as Chicago's top WR and the offense could use him back in that role. But until we see stronger signs of his involvement in the passing game, it's not wise to risk a starting spot on him in these critical fantasy weeks. He's worth picking up, but don't start him just yet.
Olsen had a solid outing last week against the Packers, catching four passes for 45 yards. Orton's return to the starting lineup is a big plus for Olsen and this matchup is a very promising one. Look for Olsen to catch at least four passes and score this week.
Clark continues to play second fiddle to Olsen as he caught only one pass last week against the Packers. He's talented enough to have a big game every few weeks but picking when is too risky from a fantasy perspective. Even in larger leagues he's not a good starting option given his inconsistent production.
Gould had another subpar game last week, scoring only three points in the loss to Green Bay. He has just five points in the last two weeks but will get back on track this week. The Rams give up 31.7 points per game and the Bears will have no trouble moving the ball and putting points on the board. Ignore the frustrations of the past two weeks and start Gould with confidence on Sunday.
The Bears' defense has had its problems of late. Kerry Collins lit them up in Week 10 and the Packers did whatever they wanted to them in Week 11. That's the bad news. The good news? They get the Rams this week. Marc Bulger gives up sacks like treats on Halloween and the Rams will again be without RB Steven Jackson, crippling their offense even further. The Bears have standout fantasy potential this week so start this unit with confidence.
Bulger's miserable season continued in Week 11. He did throw for 295 yards and a TD but he also threw two INTs and was sacked four times in a loss at San Francisco. The Rams considered benching him but decided to stick with him. That's hardly encouraging news, however, and makes him an even shakier fantasy option. He'll have to throw a lot this week but there's little reason to feel good about him so he's just a desperation start at this point.
Pittman got the start for the injured Steven Jackson again last week and did well, rushing for 95 yards and catching three passes against the 49ers. He'll start again this week but don't expect similar production against a Chicago run defense that gives up only 87.4 yards a game. He should be active in the passing game, though, so if you're desperate for a RB3 in PPR leagues he's not a terrible reach. Keep your expectations modest and he should do fine.
Darby will again back up Pittman this week but he has little fantasy value. He got seven carries last week and could get 5-10 again on Sunday. At best, he'll reach 40 yards with a few receptions. That shouldn't be enough to get him into your starting lineup.
Holt had a rare road productive game -- at least by his 2008 standards -- last week as he caught five passes for 60 yards. The fact that constitutes a productive game tells you all you need to know about the season Holt is having. He does produce much better at home and the Bears' pass defense is terrible (249.3 yards a game). So Holt isn't the worst reach in the world this week if you're really desperate. But I think Donnie Avery is the WR play here, so don't expect the world from Holt this week.
Avery was Mr. Garbage Time last week, catching several balls late in the blowout loss to the 49ers. But his fantasy owners couldn't care less; they were thrilled with his nine receptions for 93 yards. This should be another game that sees the Rams fall behind early and forced to throw for most of the second half. The Bears' secondary struggles against big plays in the passing game so Avery has an excellent chance to produce strong fantasy numbers again this week. He's looking real good as a WR3 with WR2 upside.
Brown is still the best thing the Rams have going for them offensively. He converted three of four FGs last week with a long of 48 yards. Despite this team's sorry state of affairs, Brown has been a rock-solid fantasy kicker. If you've been starting him, there's no reason to sit him this week.
The Rams' defense stinks. They rank 30th in total defense and give up 31.7 points per game. The Bears' offense has struggled the past two weeks but that was against top-flight opponents (Tennessee and Green Bay). They won't struggle this week and the Rams will again show little effort and lose easily.