2021 Franchise Focus: Chicago Bears


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2021 Franchise Focus: Chicago Bears

Bears fans were probably not happy to see coach Matt Nagy and especially GM Ryan Pace get another shot to lead the Bears back to the playoffs in 2021, even more so since the Bears failed to trade for Russell Wilson and instead brought Andy Dalton into the fold to be the team’s starting QB, replacing the failed Mitchell Trubisky/Nick Foles combo (the latter of whom is still on the roster).

But despair turned to legitimate excitement when Pace dealt his final ace in the hole during April’s NFL Draft in an effort to set the Bears up for the future and save his job — he traded up to #11 overall to select gifted Ohio State passer Justin Fields, who will initially back up Dalton … but we’d wager not for long.

Fields joins an offense that has a solid run game buoyed by 2020 second-half star David Montgomery, an elite WR in Allen Robinson, and several other interesting players. It’s the most excited Bears fans have been in years, and given the Aaron Rodgers limbo in Green Bay and the Lions’ out-and-out tank job, Chicago does have a shot to make some noise in this division.

Chicago Bears Franchise Focus Companion Podcast

The Basics

Team FuturesOdds
Season Win Total (O/U)7.5 (+100/-125)
NFC North+350
Playoffs (Y/N)+180/-225
NFC Championship+2200
Super Bowl+5000

Season Prop Movement

  • Win Total: 7 (-121) in late March to 7.5 (+100)

  • Super Bowl: +5000 in early February to +5000

Premium 2021 Betting Preview from Tom Brolley found here.

Key Offseason Moves

Andy Dalton (QB)Justin Fields (QB)Kyle Fuller (CB, DEN)
Damien Williams (RB)Teven Jenkins (OT)Charles Leno (LT, Was)
Damiere Byrd (WR)Khalil Herbert (RB)Mitchell Trubisky (QB, Buf)
Desmond Trufant (CB)Dazz Newsome (WR)Cordarrelle Patterson (KR/PR)
Elijah Wilkinson (OT)Larry Borom (OT)Roy Robertson-Harris (DT, Jax)
Jeremiah Attaochu (LB)Brent Urban (DT, Dal)
Marquise Goodwin (WR)Barkevious Mingo (LB, Atl)
Angelo Blackson (DE)Buster Skrine (CB)
Christian Jones (LB)John Jenkins (DT, Mia)

Scott Barrett’s Fantasy Strength of Schedule

Quarterback: 12th-toughest (-0.20)

Running Back: 10th-easiest (+0.68)

Wide Receivers: 12th-easiest (+0.16)

Tight Ends: 2nd-toughest (-0.71)

Pace and Tendencies

Pace (seconds in between plays): 28.0 (T-20th)

Plays per game: 63.1 (22nd)

When the game is within a score — Pass: 57.1% (20th) | Run: 42.9% (13th)

When the team is ahead — Pass: 50.3% (13th) | Run: 49.7% (20th)

When the team is behind — Pass: 70.1% (6th) | Run: 29.9% (27th)

The Bears and HC Matt Nagy’s 2020 tendencies are why it’s so important to look deeper into pass/run ratios than just a surface level. Because, from a 1,000-foot view, you would think Chicago was very pass-heavy last season. Volume-wise, you’d be right! The Bears were tied for seventh in pass attempts per game (38.4). But, that was largely because the team trailed a ton last year. Team’s throw more when they are behind on the scoreboard in an attempt to catch up faster and the Bears were at the forefront of that as they found themselves down on 55% of their offensive snaps. That was the 11th-highest rate in the NFL. By and large, the 2020 Bears were a very balanced attack when you adjust for gamescript. Coaches’ true tendencies are the plays that they call when the game is close and the Bears were actually the 13th-most run-heavy team when the score was within 8 points. There is no doubt Chicago will lean even more run-heavy with Justin Fields at the helm.

Key Statistics

  • In Weeks 1-3 when Tarik Cohen was healthy, David Montgomery played on just 52% of the Bears' offensive snaps (25th among RBs).

  • Without Cohen from Week 4 on, Montgomery’s snap rate was 80% (led all RBs).

  • Montgomery’s schedule down the stretch might have been the easiest in fantasy history. From Weeks 12-16, Montgomery faced the following opponents: Packers (sixth-most rushing EPA allowed), Lions (fifth-most), Texans (most), Vikings (third-most), and the Jaguars (ninth-most).

  • In this five-game stretch in Weeks 12-16, Montgomery put up 25.2 fantasy points per game. Across his 10 other games, he averaged 14.1 FPG.

  • Over the last two seasons, Allen Robinson has finished as a WR2 or better (top-24) in 53% of his games. For reference, D.K. Metcalf finished top-24 or higher in 50% of his games last year.

  • Since the start of 2019, A-Rob is fifth among all players in targets per game (9.5) behind Keenan Allen (9.9), DeAndre Hopkins (10.0), Michael Thomas (10.4), and Davante Adams (10.6).

  • Just 41% of Darnell Mooney’s targets of 15+ yards downfield were on-target last year, per SIS. That ranked 39th out of 40 qualifying WRs.

  • Over the final eight weeks of last season, Cole Kmet ran more routes (177 to 103) and saw more targets (34 to 20) than Jimmy Graham.

  • Justin Fields averaged 35.1 rushing yards per game on scrambles alone last year, which ranked 7th-most among all qualified college QBs per SIS.

  • Fields averaged 8.0 yards per carry on his designed rushes, which was 5th-best.

Huber’s Scheme Notes


Learning the ropes under names such as Dan Reeves, Joe Gibbs, and Mike Holmgren, OC Bill Lazor will hope his rather bland offense can recapture a stretch of play from Week’s 13 through 16 that saw the Bears score a total of 140 points. Let’s just not forget those games were played against Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, and Jacksonville. Week 10 stands as an important date for Lazor since HC Matt Nagy relinquished control to the play calling for the November 16 match vs. the Vikings. As anemic as Chicago’s offense had been with Nagy calling the plays, it’s not as though the Bears reinvented the wheel under Lazor’s play calling. In fact, a reasonable statement can be made that his offensive scheme actually regressed Chicago toward one more resembling those of his obsolescent predecessors.

The Nagy regime is still living on borrowed time from its 12-4 season in the Windy City from 2018. But Nagy handing over play calling duties should not be sneezed at. He refused to do so during his first two seasons in Chicago when former OC Mark Helfrich actually installed components of the Air Raid. On the one hand, Lazor’s Pro Style offense may actually allow for a subtle transition to the NFL for Justin Fields. On the other hand, should Andy Dalton hang onto the role longer than expected, Fields may not even have an opportunity to play under Lazor before GM Ryan Pace and/or President Ted Phillips clean house.

One thing we do know for sure is that the era of David Montgomery is upon us. No offense came close to the number of zone blocking concepts as the Bears last season. But this offense is itching to be opened up. They have a multidimensional talent at QB from Fields, in the mold of Deshaun Watson. Athletes with the game-breaking speed to take true advantage of Fields’ arm include Tarik Cohen, Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, and even Damiere Byrd. But Lazor could write his own ticket out of town with displaced faith in Dalton’s limited skillset. We already know his offense lacks the Air Raid components that will ever allow these weapons to be on the field alongside true No. 1 Allen Robinson II. Time will only tell if this “old” dog can incorporate new tricks.


He may be the new DC in Chicago, but Sean Desai is no stranger to Halas Hall. Desai has been on the Bears’ defensive staff since 2013, most recently acting as its safeties coach. Desai will need to deal with the loss of “only” one impact player on defense, but that one player happened to be the team’s top cover CB: Kyle Fuller. Without Fuller, the Bears will hope that the horrendous play last season from free agent signee Desmond Trufant stands as the outlier among seven quality seasons with the Falcons. However, if Chicago does pencil in Trufant as a starter, they’ll be asking him to do so inside a vastly different scheme than those he played within for Atlanta (2013-2019) and last season with Detroit.

Only the Rams played more Cover 6 snaps than the Bears last season. They blend their Cover 6 six snaps as a masterful way to mask their 11th-highest rate of Cover 4. What truly sets the difficulty bar for offenses facing the Bears’ defense is their Cover 3 with matchup zone principles. The seams that end up being exploited in the Cover 4 and Cover 6 are taken away within the 3-Seam scheme. With the proper pieces in place, this schematic combination can present offenses with total fits. For Chicago, this elephant in the room will be the offense. But finding a way to replace Fuller, a top-10 CB, will be easier said than done.

Projected Fantasy Contributors

Justin Fields (Proj: QB20 | ADP: 148 | Pos ADP: QB20)

The Bears moved from No. 20 to No. 11 to draft a falling Fields, and they’re hoping this trade-up for a QB works out better after they whiffed on a one-spot move up to land Mitchell Trubisky in 2017. Fields was this year’s most scrutinized quarterback prospect, but he comes into the league with a promising resume after playing the toughest competition among this year’s quarterback class. After a one-year stay at Georgia, he averaged 244.2 passing yards per game and 9.3 YPA with 63 TDs and 9 INTs in 22 games at Ohio State over the last two seasons. His rushing ability is what is most intriguing about him for fantasy as he enters the league after he averaged 39.4 rushing yards per game with 15 rushing TDs the last two seasons. Fields has the size (6’3”, 227 pounds), athleticism (4.44 40-time), and arm talent to be one of the league’s better quarterbacks, but he needs to refine the nuances of the position to become a higher-level passer. HC Matt Nagy and the organization have insisted Andy Dalton will open the season as the starter. We’ll see if their tune changes by the end of training camp but Fields should be in the starting lineup before long. Fields doesn’t have the best cast of receivers around him outside of Allen Robinson, and he’s going to need Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet to make second-year leaps. Fields’ fantasy production this season will be contingent on his legs and, hopefully, Nagy learned his lesson after he tried to force Trubisky to be a pocket passer instead of consistently catering to Trubisky’s strengths. Fields should be considered as a mid-QB2 because of his potentially elite rushing ability even if it looks like Dalton might start a couple of games to open the season.

Andy Dalton (Proj: QB40 | ADP: 327 | Pos ADP: QB48)

Dalton’s run as Chicago’s “QB1” lasted 37 exhilarating days. The veteran starting quarterback became Chicago’s QB2 after the Bears traded up nine spots to land Justin Fields with the No. 11 pick in the draft HC Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace continue to say Dalton will be the Week 1 starter but it shouldn’t take long for Fields to crack the starting lineup since they’re both squarely on the chopping block if they don’t improve upon their 8-8 record from 2020. Dalton doesn’t inspire much confidence after he averaged 6.5 YPA with 14 TDs and eight INTs in 11 appearances (nine starts) following Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury. Dalton’s career has been heading south since he hit his 30s. He’s failed to average more than 7.0 YPA in each of his last four seasons after averaging 7.5 YPA from 2013-16. The Red Rifle may start a few games to give Fields more time to get comfortable with the offense, but it would be a mild upset if Fields isn’t starting by the time the calendar flips to October. Dalton can be forgotten about except in the deepest formats since Fields likely to get the vast majority of starts in Chicago this season.

David Montgomery (Proj: RB19 | ADP: 35 | Pos ADP: RB18)

Montgomery went from being a frustrating low-end RB2 through the first 11 weeks of last season to being the overall RB2 in the final six weeks of the season behind only Jonathan Taylor. Montgomery took full advantage of a bigger workload and an easier schedule in the final six weeks, averaging 19.3/99.7/1.2 rushing and 4.0/37.7/.2 receiving per game for 25.7 FPG. Even with Tarik Cohen bowing out for the season in Week 3, Montgomery managed just 14.6/52.4/.1 rushing and 3.3/23.6/.1 receiving per game for 12.4 FPG through his first nine games in action. Overall, Montgomery finished with 247/1070/8 rushing (4.5 YPC) and 54/438/2 receiving (9.2 YPR) on 68 targets to finish as the RB5 with 17.7 FPG in 15 games. Montgomery played well down the stretch with the Bears inserting the mobile Mitchell Trubisky back into the lineup and rookie Justin Fields could open things up for Chicago’s rushing attack. They also added road-grader Teven Jenkins in the second round, who will help Montgomery as a Day One starter at left tackle. In years past, Montgomery may have been drafted in the first or second round following his performance at the end of last season but fantasy players are much sharper now. He’s being priced as a late third-round pick this season because Cohen will return to his duties as the team’s passing back following last season’s ACL tear. The Bears also added a capable backup runner in Damien Williams so Montgomery has a much tougher path to averaging 21 touches per game like he did last season. Montgomery is going to regress from his spectacular performances in the final six weeks of last season, but he showed bell-cow traits and the two backs behind him essentially didn’t play in 2020. He’s got some upside as a low-end RB2 if HC Matt Nagy decides to keep riding him or if Cohen and/or Williams have lost a step during their time off.

Tarik Cohen (Proj: RB49 | ADP: 153 | Pos ADP: RB52)

Cohen is looking to quickly return to form this season after he tore his ACL in Week 3 in 2020, which ended his season and it opened the door for a breakout campaign for David Montgomery. Cohen will look to return to his role as the team’s passing back and change-of-pace option, but he’s going to have more competition for playing time than he’s ever had before. Montgomery excelled as a bell-cow back last season and he could steal a few more snaps as a receiver than he has in the past with a healthy Cohen. The Bears also signed Damien Williams this off-season, who is a more than capable option as a receiver and runner. Cohen was limited or held out of off-season workouts and the Bears are likely to ease him back into the flow of things this season with other capable options in this backfield. Cohen racked up 70+ receptions in each of his last two full seasons in 2018-19, but expectations need to be curtailed in his fifth season, which is noticeable in his significantly lower ADP than in years past. Cohen offers almost no upside since he won’t be used as an early-down back — he’s never reached 100+ carries in a season — but he should provide a decent floor as a flex option in PPR leagues.

Damien Williams (Proj: RB68 | ADP: 179 | Pos ADP: RB58)

Williams nearly won the Super Bowl MVP the last time the world saw him on a football field in February 2020. He became the first player to run for more than 100 yards with a rushing and receiving TD in Super Bowl history. He opted out of the 2020 season for COVID concerns, given his mother had just been diagnosed with cancer, and then the Chiefs cut him following the 2021 season. Williams should have fresh legs in Chicago and he should be somewhat familiar with Chicago’s offense since Matt Nagy worked under Andy Reid before taking the Bears’ job. Williams will serve as the backup to David Montgomery as a runner and as an insurance plan behind Tarik Cohen, who is coming back from an ACL injury. Williams is going to need an injury in front of him to have fantasy relevance, but he isn’t a bad late-round dart throw in best ball formats since he’s proven he can succeed in a bigger role.

Allen Robinson (Proj: WR8 | ADP: 34 | Pos ADP: WR13)

A-Rob has been hamstrung by terrible quarterback play throughout his pro and college careers, but there could be some hope this season after the Bears traded up to select Justin Fields. Robinson enters the year frustrated with his current contract situation — a one-year, $17.9 million franchise tag — but he could look to work a deal out with the Bears if he quickly hits it off with Fields. He’s been hanging around as a low-end WR1 the last two seasons even with Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles throwing him the rock, finishing as the WR13 last season with 16.4 FPG and as the WR10 in 2019 with 15.9 FPG. A-Rob’s aDOT has fallen every year in Chicago (12.0>11.1>9.6) and it bottomed out below 10 yards last year, but the addition of Fields should open up more downfield throws and more big plays. Robinson averaged 12.4 YPR with 17 scores in his first three seasons with the Bears after averaging 14.9 YPR with 20 TDs in his last two full seasons playing with Blake Bortles in Jacksonville. Robinson is one of the league’s biggest target hogs with 150+ targets in each of his four full seasons in the NFL — he’s averaging 9.5 targets per game in those campaigns. He once again has little competition for targets and he’s a rock-solid investment in the early to mid-third round as a low-end WR1. He also has a touch more upside than he’s had in recent campaigns if Fields can make an instant impact.

Darnell Mooney (Proj: WR44 | ADP: 121 | Pos ADP: WR50)

Our guy Adam Caplan turned us onto Mooney well before he even took the field as a rookie last season, and the speedy fifth-round pick out of Tulane didn’t disappoint as an early contributor. Mooney quickly established himself as the #2 receiver behind Allen Robinson, and he finished with the fifth-most receptions (61), the seventh-most receiving yards (631), and the sixth-most targets (94) among rookies. He played well above his low expectations even with the likes of Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles throwing him the rock, and his poor QB play strongly contributed to his shaky YPR (10.3) and YPT (6.4) averages. He could see a significant uptick in efficiency this season after the team drafted Justin Fields at No. 11, and the two were already striking up a strong downfield connection during minicamp. Fields has the potential to unlock Mooney’s potential this season and the Bears didn’t make a major at receiver to take away targets from the second-year receiver. Mooney is worth a look once the draft reaches the double-digit rounds as a WR4/5 since he’s not exactly facing a ton of competition to be the #2 option in this passing attack behind A-Rob.

Dazz Newsome (Proj: WR100 | ADP: 279 | Pos ADP: WR99)

The Bears drafted Newsome in the sixth round to potentially be the team’s slot receiver going forward with all signs pointing toward Anthony Miller being on the outs in Chicago. Unfortunately, he could lose some valuable reps in training camp after he broke his collarbone in early June during off-season workouts. The injury will likely sideline for 6-8 weeks so he could lose some training camp and preseason reps, which is going to hurt his chances of getting on the field early as a rookie. Newsome finished his North Carolina career with 188/2435/18 receiving as a two-year starter and four-year contributor. Newsome reminded our Greg Cosell of K.J. Hamler coming out of Penn State in 2019 because of his vertical speed out of the slot and his separation quickness on short to intermediate routes. Newsome is worth a pick in rookie dynasty drafts starting in the fourth round, and he’s a player to monitor this season just in case he can crack the starting lineup as a slot WR in 11 personnel.

Anthony Miller (Proj: WR112 | ADP: 441 | Pos ADP: WR149)

The Bears haven’t been pleased with Miller in recent seasons — our Adam Caplan has been telling us about it since last year — and Chicago could move on from him at any point unless he shapes up. They made him available at the beginning of the NFL League Year in March but they didn’t receive an offer to their liking. He’s coming off his worst season after posting 49/485/2 receiving (9.9 YPA) on 76 targets as a third-year player The Bears’ #3 WR spot is wide open entering training camp so Miller could theoretically still win a pretty sizable role in this offense, but the writing has been on the wall about his future with the franchise for some time now. Miller would be best served to be traded or released before the season starts to get a fresh start with a new organization.

Cole Kmet (Proj: TE25 | ADP: 160 | Pos ADP: TE19)

Kmet headlined a relatively weak rookie TE class in 2020 — the Bears made him the highest-drafted TE in the class at No. 43 — and he started to show signs of promise after they gave him a chance to play in the back half of last season. Kmet posted just 8/94/1 receiving on 14 targets in his first 11 games last season before hanging 20/149/1 receiving on 30 targets in his final five games. He also played on 70% of the snaps or more in the final seven games after never topping 50% of the snaps in his first nine games so it’s clear the Bears went out of their way to get him more involved. Kmet needs rookie QB Justin Fields to help his meager 8.7 YPC average from last season, and he needs Jimmy Graham’s role to be reduced after he caught 6-of-10 end-zone targets in the final seven weeks of last season when Kmet’s role increased. The Bears are high on Kmet but he’s unlikely to be a volume receiver with Allen Robinson dominating targets in this passing attack. Graham is also going to vulture goal-line targets from him, which makes him more of a low-end TE2 entering the season. Kmet has some breakout potential in a thin receiving corps, but he’s going to need Graham’s role to be reduced even more than what it was at the end of last season to do it.

Jimmy Graham (Proj: TE35 | ADP: 458 | Pos ADP: TE67)

Graham enters the final year of his two-year, $16 million contract with the Bears as the team’s second tight end after Cole Kmet passed Graham at the end of his rookie season. The Bears made a commitment to play Kmet in the second half of last season and Graham went from averaging 3.9/33.6/.6 receiving on 6.1 targets per game in the first nine contests to averaging just 2.1/22.0/.4 receiving on 3.0 targets per game in the final seven contests. Graham’s main role this season will be as a goal-line target for Justin Fields and Andy Dalton after he returned to his prolific scoring ways in 2020. He scored eight touchdowns in his first season with the Bears by converting seven of his 11 end-zone targets playing with Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky. It’s a bit mind-boggling since he scored just five touchdowns by converting just two of his 15 end-zone targets playing with Aaron Rodgers in 2018-19. Graham’s time as a fantasy asset is likely past him at 34 years old, and he has the potential to be a fantasy pest for the relevant options in this offense if he vultures too many touchdowns this season.

Hansen’s Final Points

As long as his ADP remains 120 or higher, Justin Fields is damn near a lock to return a solid ROI as a 10th-or-later round pick. And due to his running and high-level physical traits, he could be a league-winner, so he’s one of my favorite QB targets this year. The Bears seem sincere to ease Fields into the job, but I’d still be shocked if a Fields investment wasn’t returning nicely by midseason. If he flops, it shouldn’t hurt you much at all, so he’s almost all upside. We’ll see if they get him some reps with the ones in training camp or if they stupidly give most of them to Andy Dalton. But at his low ADP, the only downside to Fields is that he might not be usable for the first 3-4 weeks of the season. If there ends up being a lot of hype on Fields this summer, I’ll likely be in on that hype, so I’ll likely continue to endorse him at his cost.

He’s going to get respect from the team because Andy Dalton was brought in to be their starter and was told as such, but then they got a crack at Justin Fields, so we know where it’s heading. We’ll see if they give Fields reps with the ones in training camp, but he’s obviously going to play at some point, perhaps at any given point, including Week 1. Even if Fields needs some time, it’s still safer to count Dalton’s likely time as the starter in weeks, not months.

David Montgomery is a tough call this year in that he’s a versatile 2020 league-winning fantasy RB with a clear path to 275+ opportunities, and he’s relatively inexpensive with an ADP of 35. His splits with and without Tarik Cohen are worrisome, but first we have to see how Cohen’s recovery from a torn ACL is going. A bigger threat to absorb some of Montgomery’s touches may be veteran Damien Williams, who has been great for them since signing. Given the possibility that Chicago may regularly use Williams and also Cohen if healthy, I personally can’t endorse Montgomery unless he’s a fourth round pick in a 12-team league.

It may seem reasonable for Tarik Cohen to be going off the board around 150 overall and as the RB50, but that may be a stretch, since he has a lot to prove this summer in terms of the health of his knee. Even if Cohen is in tiptop shape, Damien Williams should be a factor, and all three of the team’s top RBs can catch the rock, so Cohen is really hard to back since 100+ touches may not be in play for him in 2021, and counting on even 40+ catches may be too much to ask due to his health concerns heading into this season.

We all know Allen Robinson has been hurt by poor QB play, but most don’t seem to be reacting enough to the QB upgrades in Chicago, so A-Rob once again looks like a nice value. Not only is Andy Dalton a better veteran option compared to Nick Foles, rookie Justin Fields will likely be as good or better than Mitchell Trubisky right out of the gate, and should give A-Rob a little more upside and big-play potential. Robinson’s going to be used a little differently this year and should get better matchups, so with better QB play, he’s in line to haul in another 100+ balls if healthy. Robinson may play angrily in the final year of his contract, as well. He’s a great player to target in the 35-40 range as your WR1 or WR2. If you get him as your WR2 in the fourth round, that’s borderline stealing.

The Bears absolutely love Darnell Mooney, but most fantasy players don't realize how good he was last year because they didn’t have a QB who could get him the ball downfield. Justin Fields happens to have outstanding ball location on downfield throws, and the duo is already off to a good start by showing a strong downfield connection during minicamp. The Bears receiving corps is still quite thin, so while this won’t be a high-volume spot for Mooney, it’s still a great environment for him to operate as the #2 alongside an alpha dog #1 wideout in A-Rob. Mooney is going to be available in double-digit rounds as a WR4/5, yet he could easily produce strong WR3 numbers. He’s a very good depth WR to target.

The Bears drafted Dazz Newsome with designs on him competing with Anthony Miller for the team’s #3 WR/slot role. Newsome then broke his collarbone in June and could miss some valuable time in training camp, so there’s not much going on here for now in terms of redraft. However, with Miller likely on the outs and Newsome possessing nice route quickness and some vertical speed from the slot, Newsome could be a nice Waiver Wire add during the season.

The Bears will likely move on from Anthony Miller sometime soon, so unless his situation changes, he’s not draftable. It’s possible that they end up being stuck with him and forced to play him, giving him some value. But it appears his best chance to return to fantasy relevancy is to move on to another team. He’s a wait-and-see guy right now, at best.

Cole Kmet had a pretty typical rookie season for a TE destined for a starting lineup, and they do like him quite a bit, which explains why he ran more routes (177 to 103) and saw more targets (34 to 20) than Jimmy Graham over the final eight weeks of his rookie season last year. But his upside is minimal because he’ll be blocking more than we’d like (Jimmy’s not a blocker), which really hurts his projection. Graham’s only useful role at this point is as a red zone threat, so we gave Graham 4 TDs on the season, same as Kmet, which does screw up Kmet’s upside in terms of our projections. But he is a young, ascending guy who will be a fixture here at least the next three years, so he is still a good TE2 target if you wait 150+ picks into a draft to get your second TE.

Our guy Adam Caplan told us last summer that the Bears actually felt good about Jimmy Graham heading into 2020, and it turned out he did still have some gas left in the tank. Given the move to Kmet as their primary target at TE, there’s not much to get excited about when it comes to Graham. He’ll be incredibly TD-dependent.