Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel has wasted little time making his presence felt both by fans of the team and fantasy football owners alike. In turn, Gabriel’s impressive recent stretch of games has left fantasy players with some tough calls to make on how to use him.
In many fantasy leagues, it can be tough to justify taking a bit of a risk on a player with upside like Gabriel over your typical starters. And heading into Week 6 of the NFL season, the Bears wideout finds himself again in an interesting spot. Chicago will square off with the Miami Dolphins, and we’re going to break down Gabriel’s situation further ahead of the game.
So, let’s dive in and offer some insight into the start-sit argument around the 27-year-old who’s coming off a two-touchdown performance prior to the team’s bye week.
Key Stats and Taylor Gabriel’s Fantasy Outlook
To start, we’ll look specifically at the matchup as well as recent production before breaking things down a bit further. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Miami Dolphins vs. wide receivers in 2018: 57 receptions, 858 yards, three touchdowns (No. 6 fewest fantasy points per game)
- Gabriel played 79 percent of Bears’ offensive snaps last game, per Football Outsiders
- Gabriel has received 24 targets (17 catches) over the past three games
As you can see, the matchup on paper isn’t ideal for Gabriel. And although he caught seven passes for an impressive 104 yards and two touchdowns last game, we can’t expect Mitchell Trubisky to toss six touchdowns consistently.
One other key piece of news to factor in is the return of wide receiver Anthony Miller, who missed last game due to a shoulder injury. It’s likely going to be Josh Bellamy who’ll lose snaps to Miller, but it’s just another player for Gabriel’s fantasy owners to worry about.
Should You Start or Sit Taylor Gabriel?
As appealing of an option as Gabriel may seem to be as a fantasy option in Week 6, it’s not an ideal spot. Not only is his matchup tough, but even with a solid number of catches prior to last game, he never managed to top 35 receiving yards. If playing in a point-per-reception league, then six catches for 34 yards isn’t terrible, but you could likely do better with other options.
I wouldn’t recommend starting the Bears receiver in anything other than 14-team leagues or larger. Even in a 12-team league as a potential flex play, you almost certainly have more consistent options with better matchups on the bench.
Source: Heavy Sports