FBG says: Tough matchup. After a rocky start, Teddy Bridgewater has come into his own as the Saints' starting quarterback. Stepping in cold for Drew Brees in Week 2, Bridgewater spent his first three appearances doing little more than handing off and checking down. But over the last 2 weeks, he's upped his contributions to the Saints' success, throwing for 545 yards (7.8 per attempt) and 5 touchdowns. Bridgewater is playing the simplified game well, and he's working behind an elite front line that's kept him almost entirely clean. There are still warts, of course, and Bridgewater has mostly played like a clear-cut backup. The team is obviously asking less of his arm than of Drew Brees' - he's thrown deep (15+ yards downfield) on only 10% of his attempts thus far. And as long as the Saints are able to win with defense and ball control, that won't change much. He'll likely continue to keep feeding possession man Michael Thomas and his running backs relentlessly. Thomas has drawn 41 looks over Bridgewater's 4 starts, catching 33 of them and averaging 107 yards. He was the prime player in the team's Week 5 shootout win, showcasing his ceiling against the Buccaneers' shaky secondary. Alvin Kamara is the clear second option, though his availability for Sunday (ankle sprain) is unclear. He was limited last week and ceded some snaps and targets to Latavius Murray. It's also worth noting that tight end Jared Cook has actually looked alive with Bridgewater under center. After catching just 5 passes over the first 3 weeks, he's hauled in 10 (with a pair of touchdowns) over the last three.
The Chicago pass defense has taken a small step back from its dominant 2018 form, but remains a stout unit and a daunting fantasy matchup. Through 5 games, they've held 3 opposing passers under 235 yards, with the other two posting little more than hollow garbage-time numbers. This is a defense built to make swarming plays in the passing game, and few do it more often. The pass rush, led by Khalil Mack, is versatile and dynamic, though it took a blow this week with Akiem Hicks placed on injured reserve. Cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara are aggressive press guys capable of making plays on the ball, and they've been sticky enough to shut down Davante Adams (4 catches for 36 yards), Courtland Sutton (4 for 40), and Adam Thielen (2 for 6). Teddy Bridgewater faces a daunting task Sunday, and he'll likely stick to safe throws underneath when pressed to throw.