2020 Fantasy Previews Part 6: Chicago Bears

Last season was considered a major disappointment for the Chicago Bears. They looked dominant in the 2018 season and Bears fans thought they would build off of that season for the upcoming 2019 season. The Bears looked very promising after starting the season 3-1. Then, they lost their next 4 games to drop to 3-5. One of those losses was due to a missed field goal and another loss was to a team that was worse than them, the Oakland Raiders. The Bears then went 4-1 in their next 5 games. They were 7-6 and to comfortably secure a wild card spot in the playoffs, the Bears would probably have to win at least 2 of their last three games. In typical Bears fashion, they lost consecutive games against the Packers and Chiefs, only scoring 16 points in the process. The Bears finished the season 8-8, with a lot of people calling for Matt Nagy to be fired. Nagy has not gotten fired yet and it doesn't look like he will be fired for the upcoming season. Nagy will be expected to figure out the offense if the Bears want to make a playoff run. This season we should be seeing a lot of 1 running back, 2 receiver, and 2 tight end formations because the Bears don't have the depth at receiver to have 3 in the game at 1 time. If the Bears can figure out their offense, combined with an improved defense, look for the Bears to make a run at the playoffs this year.

Projected depth chart:

Quarterback: 1. Nick Foles 2. Mitchell Trubisky

Running back: 1. David Montgomery 2. Tarik Cohen

Wide receiver 1. Allen Robinson 2. Ted Ginn 3. Javon Wims 4. Cordarrelle Patterson

Slot receiver: 1. Anthony Miller 2. Riley Ridley

Tight end: 1. Jimmy Graham 2. Cole Kmet

Quarterbacks - In 2018, it looked like Mitchell Trubisky would develop into a solid NFL starting quarterback. He passed for 3223 yards and 24 touchdowns with a 66.6% completion percentage. On the ground, Trubisky ran for 423 yards and 3 touchdowns. Trubisky had his best game of the season in week 4 against the Buccaneers where he passed for 6 touchdowns.

In 2019, everyone thought Trubisky would improve his numbers and lead the Bears deep into the playoffs. That was the exact opposite of what happened. Trubisky got worse in almost every statistical category, despite having 82 more passing attempts and finished as the QB25 for fantasy. This was a case of Trubisky being expected to do a lot that he could not do. This led to the Bears trading a 4th round draft pick for Nick Foles.

Trubisky and Foles will compete for the starting job this year. The presumed favorite is Nick Foles, who led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory a couple of years ago. Whoever gets the starting job should benefit from an improved run game that will open up opportunities to pass. Trubisky and Foles are usually going undrafted in most of the mock drafts that I've done. Do not draft a quarterback that is in a quarterback battle. There are better options out there.

Running backs - When Jordan Howard got traded after the 2018 season, it was assumed that whoever they drafted would take over that role. The Bears drafted David Montgomery in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Montgomery isn't a running back who will beat you with speed, but with lateral agility. Going into the 2019 season, it looked like Montgomery would be an every down back with Tarik Cohen coming in for some pass catching downs.

The Bears' rushing attack for the 2019 season was terrible. Matt Nagy would completely abandon it for some games. In short yardage situations, Nagy would put Tarik Cohen in and run up the middle. Montgomery finished as the RB23 and showed real flashes of what he could become even though he got inconsistent carries. Montgomery finished with 242 attempts for 889 yards and 6 touchdowns. The problem was Tarik Cohen. He ran the ball only 64 times but had 104 targets. He also had 7 dropped passes.

Going into the 2020 season, Matt Nagy is coaching for his job. If he wants to keep it he is going to have to feed Montgomery the football. David Montgomery is going around the 5th-6th round in fantasy football drafts and he is a great RB3 or 4. He will have a breakout season this year as the workhorse running back for the Chicago Bears. Tarik Cohen is going to be phased out of the offense because he is a pass catching running back who can't catch. Montgomery is a steal in the 5th-6th round and will have a great season.

Wide Receivers - A lot of Bears fans, including myself were very excited when they got Allen Robinson in 2018. He didn't have the greatest first season. This was due to the fact that he only got 94 targets. He still had a good season, as he caught 55 passes for 754 yards and 4 touchdowns. Although he may have had a good season in real life, he was not very good for fantasy.

Allen Robinson had a very underrated 2019 season. He finished third in the NFL in targets with 154. He was only able to catch 98 of these passes but finished with1147 yards and 7 touchdowns. Robinson was the WR7 last year. He was relatively consistent as he only had under 10 points in 3 games. He had over 16 points in 8 games. The WR2 on the Bears, Anthony Miller, was not as good. He finished as the WR56, catching 56 passes for 656 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Going into the 2020 season, the only Bears wide receiver I am looking to target is Allen Robinson. With improved quarterback play, Robinson can still get over 150 targets and should catch more of those. Robinson is being taken at the beginning of the 3rd round in most drafts and is a great WR1 if you decide to take 2 running backs with your first 2 picks. Anthony Miller and Ted Ginn are currently going undrafted and are not on my radar.

Tight Ends - The Bears were a mess at tight end last season. The supposed #1 tight end, Trey Burton only played in 8 games and scored 22.4 fantasy points. The struggles at the quarterback position hindered the tight ends the most on the roster. Only 69 targets went to tight ends on the Bears last year. This number was surprisingly low as Matt Nagy knows how to get his tight ends the ball.

Nagy was the Offensive Coordinator for 2 years on the Kansas City Chiefs and wasn't shy about giving Travis Kelce the ball. Kelce had 117 and 122 targets in his 2 years on the Chiefs. The Bears keep trying to find their own version of Travis Kelce but have failed to do this repeatedly. They had 6 tight ends get a target last year and none of them could emerge as the TE1.

For the upcoming season the Bears gained 2 tight ends to try and solve their tight end woes. They signed Jimmy Graham from the Packers and drafted Cole Kmet out of Notre Dame. Scouts are saying that Kmet has a lot of qualities that are very Travis Kelce like. I am not drafting Jimmy Graham this year and neither are that many people as he is only owned in 7.7% of ESPN leagues. I consider Cole Kmet a deep sleeper this year because he can take over the #1 tight end spot on the Bears. You can get him for almost nothing on any fantasy website. I am keeping Kmet on my watch lists.

Fantasy Analysis:

High floor: Allen Robinson

Breakout: David Montgomery

Deep sleeper: Cole Kmet

I'm not touching: Anthony Miller, Ted Ginn, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Jimmy Graham

I hope you enjoyed 2020 Fantasy Previews Part 6: Chicago Bears. The next on eta come out will be 2020 Fantasy Previews Part 7: Cincinnati Bengals. Comment anything you would change for the upcoming article and your thoughts on this one.

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