NFL free agency started on March 18th, but technically does not end until the end of the season. However, after a firehose of news the first week, and another run the second week, things quiet down to a trickle. There are still big names out there, but it’s going to take some time to get them signed, sealed and delivered.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at where teams stand after the early rush of free agency and what it means for fantasy football. We’re going to take a look at the skill positions, breaking down what the starting lineup and reserves will look like to assess fantasy value heading into August drafts.
Today, we’re taking a look at the Chicago Bears. The Bears are looking to get back in the playoff picture after an underwhelming 2019 and have made some major moves they hope will help them achieve that goal. They created a quarterback competition by acquiring Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars via trade, signed defensive end Robert Quinn to a massive five-year deal, and brought in Jimmy Graham to become their new starter at tight end. Chicago lost some players as well, but retained linebacker Danny Trevathan.
Starter: Nick Foles
Backups: Mitchell Trubisky, Tyler Bray
Foles is the favorite (-159) to start for the Bears in Week 1 on DraftKings Sportsbook, but don’t expect the job to be handed to him. Trubisky still has a fighting chance to win the job after finishing as QB25 in standard leagues last season. He was QB15 in 2018 though and has the potential to be a middle-of-the-pack option with consistent playing time.
We don’t really have a baseline for Foles, who’s played in 19 regular season games over the last four years. He played in a career-high 13 games in 2013 with the Philadelphia Eagles and was just outside the top 10 for fantasy quarterbacks. He’ll have a quality top option out wide in Allen Robinson at his disposal, but look for him to finish in the middle of the starting quarterback ranks.
Starter: David Montgomery
Backups: Tarik Cohen, Ryan Nall
Montgomery ranked 13th in the NFL in carries (242) as a rookie in 2019 and ran for 899 yards and six scores, making Cohen an afterthought. Montgomery was RB22 in standard leagues and could be more productive in year two if Cohen can’t assert himself as aa valuable asset in 2020. Cohen was RB11 on DraftKings in 2018 thanks to his ability to catch the ball. He tallied eight total touchdowns and 1,169 total yards in his second season and could climb back into the top 20 with more touches.
Starters: Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Javon Wims
Backups: Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley Ridley, Reggie Davis
Robinson was just outside the top 10 wideouts in standard leagues and ninth on DraftKings last season after recording 98 receptions for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019. Foles isn’t head and shoulders above Trubisky as a passer and is not close to being as athletic, but he is more consistent once he gets going. If Foles clicks with the Bears’ receiving corp, Robinson should be a top 15 wideout in 2020.
Miller is a player who could make a big jump in 2020 after finishing as WR61 last season in standard leagues. He proved himself to be more valuable than Taylor Gabriel, who was released this offseason. I’ll set the bar at top 40 for now, but he could climb higher.
Starter: Jimmy Graham
Backups: Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker
The two-year, $16 million deal Graham signed with Chicago makes him the presumptive starter at tight end. This comes as a surprise considering the down year he had in 2019, but he was a top 15 fantasy tight end on DraftKings for three straight years before that. He should crack the top 20 if given the kind of attention his contract suggests he’ll get. If he takes a step back in the twilight of his career, Burton could still get a chance to match his potential.