Jimmy Graham is signing with the Bears this week, and that will impact the skill position players — but for good or ill? We’ll take a look at the Bears fantasy players for the 2020 season.
Last season Graham was consistently bad, rating 85th in Pro Football Focus’ tight end receiving grading. As far as actual production, Graham caught 38-of-58 targets for 447 yards and three touchdowns and played on about half of the Packers snaps.
Graham has looked labored as a runner since being traded to Seattle and last season it was hard to watch him without feeling some sadness for his decline. Even Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t bring him back to his glory days and now at the end of his career, he’ll have Nick Foles throwing him the ball.
The contract the Bears gave him doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Graham got a $9 million signing bonus and will be the seventh highest paid tight end in the league while Trey Burton is right up there with him in the Top-10 highest paid. I’m not sure Ryan Pace cares anymore.
Foles has shown an ability to perform when needed most, but hasn’t shown any consistency since his strong 2013 under Chip Kelly. Since that season, Foles has thrown a touchdown on 3.4 percent of his passes and an interception on 2.5 percent, giving him 38 scores to 28 picks to go along with a 6.6 yards per attempt average.
With the right coaching and team, he can win games, as we saw in Philadelphia, but his default position is to be average and not elevate his teammates. Jimmy Graham’s addition to the fold isn’t one that is going to elevate Foles either. Graham’s inability to separate will only push Foles to throw into coverage and keep his interception numbers high.
Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller
Robinson had a good season last year with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback and that is saying something. Foles will likely focus targets his way, much like Trubisky did and there’s no reason to think Foles will be a downgrade from Trubisky. Graham’s presence could help Robinson and Miller, but teams aren’t going to waste too many defensive resources trying to stop Graham at this point in his career.
David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen
Graham isn’t asked to block that often and when he does, he hasn’t been that good at the job. Last season he ranked 66th in run blocking grade for tight ends on his 160 run blocking attempts, which ranks 51st amongst tight ends.
His presence could hurt Tarik Cohen’s targets somewhat, as the Bears targeted six tight ends a total of 67 times on the season. If Graham stays healthy, he should see that number or more and the team total will rise for sure.