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Random thoughts from a week in which Chicago's pro football franchise supposedly found enough spare parts to field a team.
Does new Bears starting QB Matt Barkley have fantasy value?
I'm going to call him Barkley the Bear because I'm not entirely convinced he wasn't mascot understudy to Staley when this season began.
Barley looked pretty bad at times and pretty lucky at times in his first start, but the funny thing is that he produced a pretty good fantasy line - 316 yards passing, three TDs, two INTs - that was very close to being more like 350/4/2 if his fellow spare parts in the receiving corp hadn't dropped easy passes.
Of course, Barkley might have had about six TDs if he hadn't stepped on his own foot by throwing two red zone INTs.
So, can Barkley be trusted to start this week, let's say, if you're a Marcus Mariota owner looking for a bye week replacement?
I would say I like Barkley's chances against a terrible 49ers defense this week better than I like rookie Jared Goff's chances leading the LA Rams into New England.
But, if you really need Barkley, you must be in a league in which several teams are rostering three QBs.
Colin Kaepernick doesn't vote or stand for the national anthem, but he does have fantasy value: After a few weeks of increasing fantasy returns since earning the starting QB job in San Francisco, Kap went wild in Week 12, with 296 yards passing, 113 yards rushing and three TDs. He would have had the most fantasy points among QBs if Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins hadn't also exploded last week.
Kap essentially is becoming what many thought he could be when coach Chip Kelly came to town - the dream QB of Kelly's unique offense.
Kap was still less than 50% owned in Yahoo! leagues coming into Thursday, and we have to believe his bold/awkward/hypocritical/entirely welcome political stance has something to do with that. All I want from fantasy is stats, and Kap has the match-up of the week and his biggest opportunity this season against our own lowly Bears in Week 13.
TEN RB Derrick Henry just might be the fantasy playoff hero: The rookie hadn't done much overall this season, as the Titans have leaned on DeMarco Murray, who is having a great season, but Henry matched his season-high rushing yardage against the Bears in Week 12 with 60 yards, which isn't much to crow about, but he also scored a TD for the second time in three weeks, and his carries have been ticking upward in recent weeks.
Plus, coach Mike Mularkey has said he would like to use the beefy Henry more in short-yardage situations, which presumably means more goal-line chances.
TEN is on bye this week, but as fantasy playoffs begin next week, Henry could be a sneaky good roster addition. And potential flex sport starter. He's still available in more than 50% of Yahoo! leagues.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.