2020 Preview: Chicago Bears


Chicago Bears WR Allen Robinson is best thing by far about wayward ...

The 2020 NFL Season is nearly upon us, and in anticipation of the new season we’ll be previewing the action team-by-team, using the draft order from last season. The previews will kick off with the Bengals and run right through the reigning champion Chiefs. Come back each day to check out your favorite team. All ADP and Rankings reflect PPR scoring. 2020 Projections are based on a 12-team league (i.e. WR1 (Top 12), WR2 (13-24), WR3 (25-36)).

            The Bears were a surprise contender in 2018, going 12-4 in the first season with Head Coach Matt Nagy. The team saw its season end in disappointing fashion after a missed field goal, but they entered 2019 looking to build on the playoff season. And quarterback Mitch Trubisky looked to build on what seemed like a successful 2018 season as well. But it didn’t quite happen.

            The Bears lost to the Packers in an ugly opening game for the NFL season and seemingly never bounced back. They finished 8-8, a distant third place in the NFC North and out of the playoffs. Worse yet the offense in general—and Trubisky in particular—seemed to take a step backward in 2019. The question is can Nagy right the ship in 2020, and will it be Trubisky under center.

Off-Season Changes

            To spice up the offense, the Bears brought in new Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor. And to add a little fire to the quarterback position, the team brought in Nick Foles to compete with Trubisky. Foles hasn’t started more than 10 games since 2015 in St. Louis with the Rams, but he was a key contributor for the Eagles in 2017, where he served as Super Bowl MVP for the Eagles, and 2018, when he got the Eagles back into the playoffs and beat the Bears at home. In 2019, he signed a lucrative free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars to be the starter, but he was injured in the opening game. He started four games for the Jaguars last year, going 0-4 and amassing just 736 yards, three TDs and two INTs. The Jaguars parted ways with him in the off-season and now he’ll be pushing Trubisky for the starting position in Chicago.

            The Bears bid farewell to veteran receiver Taylor Gabriel and veteran tight end Trey Burton, but brought in receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., and tight end Jimmy Graham to help fill the void. In the draft, the Bears used their first pick—a Second Round selection—to snag Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet, who is likely their tight end of the future.

Fantasy Impact

            Trubisky or Foles, who do you trust more? We likely won’t get pre-season to sort it out, meaning it will come down to how they look in Training Camp. I think both end up starting at some point in 2020, but I don’t think either is worth the gamble for fantasy. At best the primary starter will be a QB3.

            The backfield competition is similarly fascinating. Tarik Cohen is PPR gold and got more than 100 targets in 2019. David Montgomery was a third-round pick and figured to carry the rushing load in 2019, but he didn’t put up the top end numbers some expected. Montgomery ran for 889 yards and six TDs, while Cohen caught 79 passes for 456 yards and three TDs. Both will be part of the attack in 2020. I like Montgomery to be a bit better than his 3.7 yards per carry in 2019, moving into low-end RB2 territory. Cohen, meanwhile, is an RB3 thanks to his stout role in the passing game.

            Among receivers, it’s all about Allen Robinson. Despite a woeful offense at times, Robinson was a star in 2019. He had 98 receptions for 1,147 yards and seven TDs and finished as WR8 on the season. He’s a WR1 in 2020 no matter who the quarterback is and should easily finish in the Top 10 again. Behind him is Anthony Miller, who had some flashes in 2019. With Gabriel gone he should be the clear No. 2, and I like his talent. I don’t trust the volume of the pass offense enough and think he’s likely a WR5. Ginn is little more than a dart throw. At tight end, I think Graham could get enough work to be a low-end TE2.

Prediction

            The Bears have some questions. They came out of nowhere to make the playoffs in 2018 then fell back to earth just as quickly in 2019. No matter whether its Foles or Trubisky I think the Bears will struggle again, and I don’t seem them making the playoffs in a crowded NFC North field.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.

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