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Over the past two seasons the Bears have essentially had one Fantasy starter, Jordan Howard. Yes, they had Alshon Jeffery and Cameron Meredith in 2016, but Jeffery topped 100 yards once all year, scored two touchdowns, and missed four games due to suspension. Meredith had a pair of monster games, disappeared for almost two months, and then finished strong. Neither are on the team any longer. That's because the Bears have almost completely rebuilt this offense from the top down.
Andy Reid-disciple Matt Nagy is the new coach, and his offensive coordinator is former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich; They signed Allen Robinson and Trey Burton to bolster the passing attack.; They spent a second round pick on Anthony Miller. The Bears have a whole new look and there's reason for optimism. The only thing that looks the same is Howard and the running game. The question is, who joins Howard as a Fantasy contributor.
Robinson figures to see enough targets that should be a No. 2 receiver as long as he stays healthy. If Nagy's experience means anything, you have to figure Burton is a big part of the plan as well. And if those two are both good in Fantasy we have to start thinking about what that means for Mitchell Trubisky.
Trubisky's 12-game sample from his rookie year doesn't offer a lot of reason for optimism other than he was in an uninspiring system with no weapons and he didn't look like a disaster. As Jared Goff and Carson Wentz have shown us, we shouldn't make too much out of those rookie numbers. I didn't like Trubisky as much as Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson coming out of college, and I don't like him as much now. But it's easy to see a path to Fantasy relevance.
First, Trubisky must master a new system as a second-year quarter back. Many before him have been tripped up by that first hurdle. But if he does, he has a good set of weapons and a lot of offensive brainpower on the sideline. He's a candidate to make that Goff/Wentz leap, you just shouldn't count on it.
*Rankings expressed below are in terms of expected Fantasy points. This is a part of our actual Fantasy Football rankings but not a direct correlation to my rankings. Things like injury risk, upside, etc. factor into rankings but they're not being talked about here. This is simply an expectation as the team is currently constructed.
EXPECTED PPR FP
Breaking down the touches
The Bears hired a head coach who has one year of experience as an offensive coordinator. Then they hired an offensive coordinator best known as a college head coach. It sounds like a projection nightmare, but we're going to simplify it: Nagy was Andy Reid's offensive coordinator last year and his quarterback coach for the four years before. I wouldn't expect the Bears offense to mirror the Chiefs', but it's the closest approximation we can reasonably make.
That's great news for Burton, who should be familiar with the system and heavily targeted in an offense that values tight ends as much as any in the NFL. It's really interesting for Tarik Cohen, but I'm not sure if that's in a good way or a bad way. The Chiefs have been a one-back team, or at least leaned that way more than most teams in the NFL. But they also turned Tyreek Hill into a star, and both .
- I'll be watching closely to see where Anthony Miller is going to be lining up. He can play both inside and outside. Knowing the types of routes he's running will make it much easier to set expectations.
- Cohen certainly has upside beyond what's being projected here, especially in leagues where you get credit for kickoff and punt returns. He was top 10 in both kickoff and punt return yardage last year.
- Over the past two seasons in Atlanta, Gabriel saw 101 targets and turned them into 68-957-7. With Kevin White's injury history and Miller's inexperience there's certainly a chance for Gabriel to earn a larger chunk of the targets, which could make him a solid No. 3 wide receiver.Kevin White's injury history and Miller's inexperience there's certainly a chance for Gabriel to earn a larger chunk of the targets, which could make him a solid No. 3 wide receiver.
In the short period of time where Nagy was the Bears coach and Burton was still a free agent, a lot of us fell in love with Adam Shaheen. Shaheen caught 12 of his 14 targets last season and scored three touchdowns despite an extremely limited role. He has the pedigree (second-round pick) and looks the part of a red-zone monster. With the addition of Burton, his stock rightly took a major hit but you should hold on to him in Dynasty leagues and you should keep an eye on him in deeper leagues. A Burton injury would vault Shaheen back into my top 12 tight ends.
Kevin White has played five games in the three years since he was drafted. He's one of the most likely players to be replaced. But the Bears don't sound like they're giving up on him yet. But they did draft a second receiver in the last round, Javon Wims. Wims, like White, looks the part of an NFL receiver but he had trouble winning at the college level. Either of these guys could turn into a red zone option for Trubisky, maybe even more.