With NFL Week 10 kicking off tonight on Thursday Night Football, we kick off a new campaign here at Fantasy Alarm with our friends over at Sleeper. Welcome to Sleeper Picks where you pick through a variety of player stat lines and pick whether or not you think the player will have more or less than the given stat line. It’s simple. We’ve done this before! And now we get to check in with a variety of multipliers and build our picks list to where we can make some decent money, even on some of the smallest wagers. And what better way to start for the 2023 NFL season than a match-up between the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears? These two teams pulled off a blockbuster trade that allowed the Panthers to draft their franchise quarterback Bryce Young and the Bears to land a highly-coveted No. 1 receiver in DJ Moore. There’s a rivalry brewing here and we’re going to have some fun with it using our Sleeper picks.
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NFL Sleeper Top Picks & Plays for Thursday Night Football
While usual Bears starting quarterback Justin Fields remains out with a thumb injury, rookie Tyson Bagent has had strong enough performances that we’re willing to back Moore in a revenge-game against his former team. We’re not saying there’s ill-will, but given how competitive professional athletes are, we know Moore is looking to show up his former employers. While we know you always run against the Panthers, we’ll look to the Bears ground game as a set-up to the pass and Bagent is going to want to keep Moore as involved as possible. While he’s only had seven receptions over his last two games, Moore still has five of nine games where he’s caught at least five passes. With the Panthers not having CJ Henderson and both safeties banged-up, we expect a solid attack through the air for Bagent and the Bears and a strong night for Moore:
Pick: DJ Moore more than 4.5 receptions (1.82x)
The best part about the Bears defense is it’s pass-rush and at the trade deadline, they added Montez Sweat who makes it even stronger. There are two ways to negate that. The first is to run it right up the middle. The Panthers could do that, but given the strength of the Bears run defense, we are skeptical. The other way is to dump off screen passes to the running back once the pass-rush over-pursues the quarterback. This is the way for Carolina. The Bears rank 31st in DVOA against running back pass-plays and are allowing an average of 60.4 receiving yards per game to them. Even if Hubbard shares some of the passing work with Miles Sanders, his number here is low enough to give us confidence that he’ll surpass the total given.
Pick: Chuba Hubbard more than 14.5 receiving yards (1.81x)
When Bryce Young needs a catch, where does he turn? That’s right – Thielen is his guy. Always has been and always will be. He’s averaging nearly 10 targets per game, has three 100-yard efforts and has racked up four touchdown catches this season. He’s a major threat inside the red zone, as evidenced by a team-high 11 red-zone targets and we expect to see more in tonight’s game. The Bears have allowed a league-high 20 touchdowns through the air this season and if the Panthers are going to find a way to add to that total, it’s going to happen through Thielen.
Pick: Adam Thielen Anytime TD (2.54x)
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