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Chicago Bears 2020 Fantasy Outlook

The Chicago Bears will look to reach the playoffs in 2020 after regressing in 2019. The team returned a generally stout defense last season, but the offense struggled very much. Things are bound to get more interesting in the QB room with the addition of former Jaguar and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

The Bears, if they can get their act together, can be strong contenders to win the NFC North considering the Packers haven’t improved their offense much, the Vikings lost Stefon Diggs and most of their secondary from last year, and the Lions are... the Lions.

With more offensive output and a bit of luck, Da Bears can ascend all the way to the division crown. But first, they must get their team in sync. In addition, could any of these Windy City players be of value to your fantasy team? Let’s find out.

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2017 first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky is in a critical year for 2020 as the team did not pick up his fifth-year option. The 25-year-old has had a polarizing three-year career thus far in which fans have seen him struggle, then lead the team to the playoffs, and then struggle again.

Not helping Trubisky’s case as a long-term starter is the trade for QB Nick Foles. The general manager of the team, Ryan Pace, said back in April there will be a friendly competition for the starting QB role. This doesn’t bode well for the fantasy outlook of both Trubisky and Foles heading into drafts this summer.

Nevertheless, neither should be drafted anyways. Foles suffered a clavicle injury last year in his first game with the Jags and only ended up playing four games. In those games, the Eagles hero gained 736 yards, 189.8 yards per game, three touchdowns, and two picks. Foles has had a streaky career, so owners likely won’t know which version they will get until he shows it on the field.

As for Trubisky, he didn’t have the best season last year either. He finished 26th among fantasy QBs last year. In terms of his stats, he compiled 3,138 pass yards, 17 touchdowns, 10 picks, 6.1 yards per attempt, 209.2 pass yards per game, an 83-quarterback rating, 193 rush yards, and two touchdowns. He also had an 18.4 percent poor throws per pass attempt rate.

Overall, Trubisky regressed in pass yards, passing touchdowns, yards per attempt, passing yards per game, quarterback rating, rush yards, and rush touchdowns from 2018 to 2019. So pretty much everything. He finished 14th in rush yards among NFL QBs. The North Carolina product remains risky and rather unproven to be a fantasy starter.

The biggest question with both these QBs is their playing time during the season. Can either manage to play all 16 games? If both don’t, which is suspected to be the case, then neither should merit any fantasy value because they won’t provide consistent stats. Even if one were to get on the field for all 16 games, they simply don’t inspire much confidence as a fantasy starter.


Running Back

The Bears have two backs, the workhorse in David Montgomery and the pass-catcher in 5’6” Tarik Cohen. Both offer different values on this team. In terms of rushing, the now second-year Montgomery paced the team last season. He had 889 rush yards, 3.7 rush yards per attempt, six rush touchdowns, 55.6 rush yards per game, 25 receptions, 185 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown. He also had 393 rush yards after contact.

Montgomery finished 22nd among fantasy RBs last season. Now in the swing of things in regards to NFL play and with hope coach Matt Nagy keeps giving Montgomery more rush attempts (242 last season, T-13th among NFL RBs), the Iowa State product remains fantasy-relevant. This holds true especially since the QB situation is up in the air and the running game may be called upon more. The RB offers huge red-zone upside as he had 87.5 percent of the team’s rushes inside the 5-yard line, which resulted in five touchdowns. The 23-year-old is an RB2 for redraft.

Meanwhile, the speedy Tarik Cohen could be of modest fantasy value. He provides more value in the passing game though. He finished second in rushing and third in receiving on the team. The 24-year-old compiled 64 rush attempts, 213 rush yards, 13.3 rush yards per game, 104/580 targets (17.9%), 79 receptions, 456 receiving yards, three receiving touchdowns, and 28.5 receiving yards per game.

It remains clear that Cohen does not get many rush attempts, but instead is a strong pass-catcher. Because of the lopsided usage, the North Carolina A&T product should only be considered a flex/bench piece in redraft leagues.


Wide Receiver

For now, the Bears have three potentially fantasy-relevant receivers: Allen Robinson II, Anthony Miller, and Ted Ginn Jr., who came over from New Orleans. Robinson is the clear-cut WR1 on the team and is the best fantasy player to draft from this offense overall.

Last season, he paced the receiving corp with 98 receptions (7th among NFL WRs), 154/580 targets (26.6%, 3rd among WRs), 1,147 yards (14th among WRs), 11.7 yards per catch, seven receiving touchdowns, and 71.7 yards per game. Per Next Gen Stats, the 26-year-old also had a 39.2 percent share of the team’s air yards, which was fourth-highest among NFL WRs.

The Penn State product finished 12th among fantasy WRs last season. No matter the QB, Robinson will get his targets and production because of his integral role in this offense. He is a great WR1 in large redraft leagues of 12-14 teams and an overall solid starting WR to have on fantasy teams.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Bears WR corps is a question mark. Anthony Miller returns as the WR2. He finished 61st among fantasy receivers last season. His stats were as follows: 52 receptions, 85/580 targets (14.7%), 656 yards, 12.6 yards per catch, two touchdowns, and 41 yards per game. Though overall modest numbers, the 25-year-old improved on his receptions, targets, and receiving yards between 2018 and 2019, his rookie to sophomore season. The Memphis product should be considered nothing more than a flex/depth piece heading into drafts unless he proves otherwise during the season.

Finally, 35-year-old veteran Ted Ginn Jr. has come to the Windy City, adding a great veteran presence and proven weapon to this offense. Last season with NOLA, the Air Force product gained 30 receptions, 56 targets, 421 yards, 14 yards per catch, and two touchdowns in 16 games played (it was his 13th NFL season). Ginn has never been a WR1 in the NFL, but he has been a solid complementary piece.

That’s what he should be considered on the Bears, a solid presence alongside Robinson and Miller. Because of this, his fantasy value should remain nothing more than a bench piece/depth in large redraft leagues because it remains unclear how he will be used and he is the WR3 on the team.


Tight End

The Bears have taken the honor of having nine tight ends on their team. Yes, nine tight ends. Yet, only two could show fantasy relevance (if at all) this season and that is former Packer Jimmy Graham, who was brought in during free agency, and rookie Cole Kmet, who was drafted in April.

Graham should be considered the TE1 for now, but Kmet has a chance to overtake him THIS season depending on how things shape out. The 33-year-old veteran is coming off a down year in Green Bay in which he got 38 receptions, 60 targets, 447 yards, three receiving touchdowns, and 27.9 yards per game.

The receptions, targets, and receiving yards were the lowest since Graham’s rookie year in 2010. Now being on the wrong side of 30, the Miami product’s fantasy value is not as high as it once was. Be cautious in drafting Graham, as he’s not a fantasy starter anymore and is best viewed as a backup tight end in large redraft leagues (14-16 teams).

Meanwhile, Notre Dame product Cole Kmet enters the mix and could take the TE1 role at some, point, maybe even this year depending on how his rapport with the Bears’ QB is. The 21-year-old played three college seasons and his best was his last one in 2019. Overall, he compiled 60 receptions, 691 yards, 11.5 yards per catch, and six touchdowns in 23 college games played.

The Bears drafted him for a reason. Graham is aging and should serve as a bridge that eventually leads to Kmet taking the lead TE duties. Heading into drafts, however, consider the rookie nothing more than a backup tight end in large redraft leagues as well.

It’s best to measure how the target share and playing time ends up being for Graham and Kmet during the season before assessing which is more fantasy-relevant.

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