While little has gone right for the Chicago Bears offense in 2020, Jimmy Graham has managed three touchdowns in as many weeks, matching his total from all of last year. That production has made the veteran tight end one of the early surprises of the new season, but fantasy managers hoping to stream Graham must re-evaluate him following the team’s change under center.
Fantasy Football analysis: Bears TE Jimmy Graham
Despite taking a circuitous route to an inevitable quarterback change, the Bears finally bit the bullet last Sunday, benching former No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky for journeyman Nick Foles. Any transition under center invariably has an effect on those catching passes for the offense, even someone with a role as defined as Graham.
While the veteran tight end lacks any semblance of the speed that made him one of the game’s best during his heyday, he still possesses a massive 6-foot-7 frame that makes him a worthwhile target near the goal line. Through three games, Graham ranks far and away as the Bears’ No. 1 priority in the passing game as his four targets inside the 5-yard line attest; no other player on the team has more than one.
The move to Foles could affect Graham’s workload, but not necessarily in a negative way. Three of his four targets inside the 5 came during last week’s matchup with the Atlanta Falcons of which Foles delivered two. Touchdown-dependant tight ends can create nightmares for fantasy managers, but the Bears have given no reason to think Graham’s usage near the goal line will dip moving forward.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Graham remains a boom-or-bust play in all formats. With the Bears facing a sturdy Indianapolis Colts defense that has allowed just 32 yards and zero touchdowns to tight ends on the season, look for someone else to fill in at the position.