Anthony Miller Remains a Top Add for Week 16
The Chicago Bears’ season may essentially be over with them getting knocked out of the playoffs last week but for those lucky enough to soldier through the injuries, booms, and busts of the fantasy season, we have one more week to play. In this final week of the fantasy season, one Bears wideout may help you hoist a trophy when all is said and done and that man is Anthony Miller.
We have mentioned Miller as a priority waiver wire add over the last few weeks, yet his ownership on Yahoo is still hovering merely in the 26% range. Despite a tough matchup against the Packers in Week 15, Miller continued his hot play by grabbing nine passes for 118 yards and one TD. This squarely puts him back onto the priority-add radar and makes him worthy of another deeper look into how he can help your fantasy team this week.
Anthony Miller was a second-round draft pick in 2018 after playing his college ball at Memphis. He lit up the NCAAF with incredibly consistent production in his last two seasons with receiving lines of 95-1,434-14 as a junior and 96-1,462-18 as a senior. He was a consensus All-American as a senior and his 18 TD receptions were the most in the nation while his 1,462 receiving yards ranked third-most. He holds Memphis’ all-time school records with 238 receptions, 3,590 receiving yards, and 37 TDs.
Miller came into the NFL Draft having not done many drills at the combine due to him recovering from a foot fracture at the time, but we still had plenty of evidence from his college play that he was expected to go in the second round. Our own Mike Tagliere actually covered him well as a prospect and you can see his scouting profile.
As a rookie in the NFL, Miller had quite a bit of hype as he was reportedly making plays left and right in OTAs, lighting up the practice field day in and day out. That hype carried over to fantasy hype as well, especially in dynasty leagues where Miller was viewed as a top WR prospect as well. That hype translated to success in the end zone last season as he led the team with seven TDs, but he finished just fifth on the team with 423 receiving yards. Outside of a big game last season where he put up 5-122-1 against Detroit, he was held under 50 receiving yards in every other contest. He was in on 59.4% of the team’s snaps last season seeing a healthy dose of those snaps (67%) in the slot.
State of the Offense
As mentioned in the intro, the Bears just got knocked out of playoff contention, so obviously the offense hasn’t been firing on all cylinders. Mitch Trubisky had looked like he was turning a corner towards the end of the season here with back-to-back games with three TDs against the Lions and the Cowboys. An intense rivalry game in frigid conditions at Lambeau Field ended that run as Trubisky was back to posting backward stat lines with one TD and two INTs in the game. He did, however, throw for over 300 yards and more importantly for our argument here, his TD went to Anthony Miller.
The Bears continue to sit in the bottom eight as both a passing offense and when looking at overall points for this season where they’re averaging just 18.3 PPG according to Team Rankings. Their rushing offense remains in the bottom five which doesn’t help open things up in the passing game much either. The last piece of the puzzle here that works against the Bears offensive production is the fact that their defense remains one of the toughest in the league, having allowed just 18.1 PPG — third-fewest in NFL. They’ve continually fallen flat even with the lines given to them by Vegas oddsmakers as their 4-10 ATS record is the worst in the league and the under has hit in nine of their 14 games this season.
As far as their receiving options go, Miller currently ranks second on the team with 649 receiving yards and ranks third on the team in both targets (82) and receptions (50). Any player who is going to push 100 targets in a season is generally a viable fantasy option as either a Flex or bench depth at the worst.
Miller has continued to shine in the absence of Taylor Gabriel and it is safe to say that he has locked in the WR2 role for the foreseeable future, and I mean beyond this season even. Miller has continued to push near a 90% snap rate over the last few weeks and has given us games over 100 yards in two of his last three and scored in back-to-back games as well. His performance against the Packers was nothing short of dominant and you can get a condensed look at every catch from that game here:
He was utilized all over the field in this game whether it was in the flat, slot, down the sideline, but where he really did his damage was in contested-catch situations over the middle of the field. He has clearly taken a step forward towards the end of this season.
Next up the Bears have another tough matchup against a Chiefs defense that has been hot and has ranked as one of the toughest defenses against WRs this season according to our matchup calendar. If you look back at recent performances against them though, there is some hope as Julian Edelman had 8-95-1 against them in Week 14 and Keenan Allen had 8-71-1 against them in Week 11.
With the way Anthony Miller has been playing, it’s not hard to perceive him continuing his hot TD streak and something along the lines of that 8-71-1 line is totally achievable. You’re talking borderline 20-point potential from a guy who is just sitting on your waiver wire for the final week. We know the game flow should support another pass-heavy effort from Trubisky with Mahomes slinging it on the other side. If you’ve lost depth at WR and are looking for someone to fill that void, empty your bankroll on Miller and at the very least make sure your opponent can’t use him against you.