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NFL preseason report: Chicago Bears

See who’s trending up and who’s trending down throughout Bears training camp and preseason. 

NFL: Chicago Bears-Training Camp Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

This page will be regularly updated with news and analysis regarding the Bears’ skill position players throughout training camp and the preseason. ⬆︎ ⬇︎ Indicate which way a player’s fantasy value is trending and (R) denotes rookies.

The Bears come in at No. 17 on Warren Sharp’s Strength of Schedule Rankings, however, they will face the 5th easiest slate of pass defenses in 2018.

Quarterback

Mitchell Trubisky ⬆︎ -- In 2017 we saw Matt Nagy turn Alex Smith into a dynamic, downfield passer and I expect the same for Trubisky in 2018. Sharp notes in his 2018 Football Preview that Trubisky thrives throwing over the middle of the middle, running out of the shotgun. Nagy runs a high percentage of plays out of shotgun (including handoffs to the running backs) which will bode well for the sophomore passer. Look for Trubisky to be a QB1 this year.

*Update 9/4/18 ⬆︎ : Trubisky has had growing pains this preseason but you weren’t drafting him as anything other than a QB2 — something I’m more than happy to do. He’s coming off the board in the 14th round which is an acceptable cost for a player with such immense upside.

Running Back

Jordan Howard ⬆︎ -- Howard is being appropriately drafted at the 2.04 spot in standard leagues. Although the team has big plans for Tarik Cohen, I expect Howard to once again cross the 1,000 yard mark while posting double digit touchdowns. Going back to the 2018 Football Preview, Sharp points out that Howard averages 6.4 YPC running out of the shotgun. Howard might not hit the 290-touch mark that he’s averaged over his two professional seasons but I expect his statistics to improve, as his efficiency increases. This is no longer the archaic John Fox offense we grew accustomed to.

Tarik Cohen ⬆︎ -- Cohen once compared himself to Tyreek Hill and his new coach, Matt Nagy, backed him up. Although Cohen likely can’t handle more that 12 or so touches per game, given his 5’6”, 181 lbs stature, he will assuredly make those touches count. He’s a dynamic playmaker in a dynamic offense, run by a dynamic offensive game-planner. Need I say more?

Benny Cunningham ⬆︎ -- Unlike his time with the Rams, Benny Cunningham will be a useful utility man in Chicago. Boasting special teams ability both as a returner and on the coverage unit, Cunningham also possesses above average pass-catching chops. Should Tarik Cohen sustain an injury, Cunningham would immediately become fantasy relevant, with unique upside in leagues that count special teams production.

Wide Receiver

Allen Robinson ⬇/⬆︎ -- It’s been 2 years since we’ve seen Robinson’s game-breaking ability. In 2015, Robinson looked like one of the best receivers in football and was poised for greatness. He looked a step slower in 2016 and is coming off a torn ACL. If he’s able to fully recover and return to 2015 form, Robinson will be a league-winner at his 5.02 ADP. We’ll keep a close eye on him in the coming weeks.

*Update 9/4/18 ⬇/⬆︎ : Robinson has managed to stay healthy through the preseason. However, until he shows us that he’s regained his 2015 form, I will continue to keep him as the No. 3 receiving option in Chicago (behind Burton and Miller). Fade Robinson at his 5th round ADP.

Kevin White ⬇ -- White’s career has been one injury after another. He’s a talented wide receiver but with the revamped WR room, would it be a surprise if he starts the season as Chicago’s WR4?

Taylor Gabriel ⬆︎ -- Gabriel is an effective field-stretcher who will make life easier on everyone else. This was a great signing by the Bears and will pay immediate dividends to the offense as a whole. Look to use him on a week-to-week basis against teams that lack proficient deep-field coverage.

Josh Bellamy ⬇ -- Bellamy is nothing more than depth for Chicago’s WR corps.

Anthony Miller (R) ⬆︎ -- Evan Silva has been keen on Miller for months now. Miller will play out of the slot, and as we discussed earlier, the middle of the field will be Trubisky’s go-to zone. Miller will produce in a big way this year.

*Update 9/4/18 ⬆︎ : Miller has looked great all preseason and I haven’t left a draft without him. Continue to draft him in the 13th round.

Tight End

Trey Burton ⬆︎-- Trey Burton will be a Top 12 tight end in 2018. Book it. Lost behind Zach Ertz in Philadelphia, we only caught glimpses of him. However, the $32 million deal he landed with Chicago tells us what they think of him. In the times that Ertz was hurt, Burton looked phenomenal. Similar to Anthony Miller, Burton will be one of Trubisky’s darlings over the middle of the field.

*Update 9/4/18 ⬆︎ : Burton looks like a dynamic pass-catching tight end. He should safely operate as one of the top 2 receiving options in Chicago this year. If you aren’t onboard the hype train yet, let Dan Orlovsky get you there.

Dion Sims ⬇ -- Sims’ contributions will likely come in the form of run blocking and pass protection. He’s an okay receiver but the combination of Burton and Shaheen will likely absorb the majority of tight end targets.

Adam Shaheen ⬆︎ -- The 6’6” sophomore has flashed redzone ability in camp thus far. Burton will be the main man in the TE room but it’s possible Shaheen takes on a 1B to Burton’s 1A role, rather than being relegated strictly to No. 2 duties. Shaheen is currently going undrafted and is a worthwhile waiver wire target to consider.