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Chicago Bears fantasy football team preview

Who to target and avoid in fantasy football from the Chicago Bears.      

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears’ 2020 hopes come down to their ability to keep pace with the high-flying offenses they’re set to face. If GM Ryan Pace’s ego gets in the way and non-QB-of-the-future Mitchell Trubisky keeps the QB1 job, their season is over before it’s begun. Trubisky’s scattershot accuracy has not progressed in the way that it needed to. To make matters worse, his rushing ability — the bright spot of his play 2018 — took a hit in 2019. Both his rushing attempts and rushing efficiency dropped off last year, even though it was 2018 that he played with an injured shoulder. The Bears’ backup option, Nick Foles, offers a much safer yet less flashy style of play. Recent reports indicate that Foles has barely outperformed Trubisky in camp thus far but really only by making fewer mistakes, not winning the job outright. Allen Robinson’s generational talent has become evident as the year’s go on. He’s the only reliable fantasy option on this team.

Sharp Football’s Strength of Schedule:

  • 6th softest overall schedule
  • 6th softest in terms of the opponent’s overall defensive efficiency
  • 7th softest blend of pass defenses
  • 9th softest in terms of the opponent’s pass defense efficiency
  • 11th toughest blend of rush defenses
  • 13th toughest in terms of the opponent’s rush defense efficiency
  • 8th toughest in terms of the opponent’s overall offensive efficiency
  • 6th toughest in terms of the opponent’s offensive pass efficiency
  • 13th toughest in terms of the opponent’s offensive rush efficiency

Quarterback

The disparity in Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles’ passing ability is stark. In 2017, Trubisky posted a near impossibly bad -5.6% Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE), 8th worst in the NFL. In 2018, Trubisky managed a respectable 1.7% CPOE but was handily bested by Foles who produced a CPOE of 5.9%, 2nd best in the league. Trubisky regressed back down to a -1% CPOE in 2019 while Foles took a back seat to breakout QB Gardner Minshew in Jacksonville. With Trubisky unable to reliably pass and reticent to run, the 4th-year QB offers zero fantasy draftability. Foles could be a matchup-based spot start in 2QB leagues should he get the job. As of now, he could be considered the slight favorite. Both QBs are justifiably going undrafted in .5PPR leagues.

Wide Receiver

Allen Robinson has managed to produce throughout his career despite playing with two of the NFL’s least accurate passers in Blake Bortles and Mitchell Trubisky. At just 27 years old, Robinson is in the prime of his career. Last season, Robinson finished 8th in PPR and 11th in .5PPR scoring. Given the QB play he had to work with, Robinson was able to profit via target/catch volume (3rd in the NFL in targets). The hope here is that Nick Foles wins the job and the duo exploits the Bears’ passing schedule as projected by Sharp Football. In 2020, the Chicago defense is set to face a brutal slate of passing offenses, likely pushing the Bears into a higher-than-intended passing volume in order to keep pace with the opposition. Wonderfully, the Bears offense is projected to face a slew of swiss cheese-style pass defenses so the possibility is there for Robinson to push for a Top 5 WR finish across all formats. His .5PPR 3.05, WR10 ADP is an extreme value. His full-point PPR 3.08, WR11 ADP is an even more extreme value.

Third year receiver Anthony Miller has shown serious potential from time to time, posting big numbers in Weeks 10-14 last season and registering a 7-TD rookie year despite playing much of it with a shoulder harness. Assuming his ascension continues, Miller is an intriguing pick at his current .5PPR 12.08, WR55 ADP. Should Foles win the QB job, Miller would solidify his status as a solid weekly flex option.

Ted Ginn Jr. will occupy the downfield role but will be a DFS matchup-based option only. Javon Wims, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Riley Ridley are inconsequential role players.

Tight End

The Bears’ team site currently shows 6 tight ends on the roster, down from their unholy total of 10 in April, per Mike Clay. The tight end hoarding is indicative of both Chicago’s blocking woes and an attempt to compensate for Trubisky’s errant throws.

For fantasy purposes, consider the Bears tight ends irrelevant. Jimmy Graham and his burned out legs will occupy the No. 1 receiving tight end role, but there is hardly enough passing volume to go around. Rookie Cole Kmet could one day develop into a proficient pass-catcher, but at this point the washed vet and the (likely) to be slow-developing rookie will cannibalize each other’s box score opportunities.

Running Back

David Montgomery turned in a wholly disappointing 2019 rookie season. His lack of breakaway speed plagued him when he managed to get into the second level — a not so common occurrence. Montgomery operated largely as a rusher while inefficient receiving back Tarik Cohen gobbled up the team’s second highest target total (104). Cohen will continue to operate as a production-blocker for Montgomery while really only bringing value to himself in PPR leagues. Montgomery saw just 35 targets but gained 1.6 more yards per reception than Cohen. Montgomery’s .5PPR 6.05, RB26 ADP is a bit steep given his stunted ceiling. Cohen’s .5PPR 9.03, RB40 ADP is completely off-limits.

Monitoring David Montgomery’s injury status is now imperative. The running back was forced to leave the practice field today (Wednesday, August 26th) after suffering a groin strain.

Were Montgomery to miss time, PFF’s Jarad Evans (via an Evan Silva retweet) has speculated that UDFA back Artavis Pierce could seize the job. Pierce was an explosive, physical rusher in college.

Kicker

Avoid the Bears kicker in 2020. For starters, we don’t like kickers attached to bad offenses. The Bears have yet to even decide who their kicker is though, fielding a camp battle between Eddie Pineiro and Cario Santos.

Defense/Special Teams

The Bears D/ST is unlikely to see much sustained opportunity for fantasy production as the offense will struggle to produce high scores. It’s an extremely talented group but a .5PPR ADP of 12.09 is far too early.