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Chicago Bears Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

WR Equanimeous St. Brown is listed with the 1st-team offense on the Bears' initial depth chart. These early-August depth charts are notoriously unreliable, so we're not reading much into this. But it at least looks like St. Brown has a shot to claim a significant role in a WR corps that's wide open behind Darnell Mooney. Byron Pringle and rookie Velus Jones are listed as the 2nd-team WRs.

Bears LB Roquan Smith announced Tuesday morning that he has requested a trade. The former 1st-round pick is in the final year of his rookie contract and has been unsatisfied with the team's extension offers. "The new front office regime doesn't value me here," Smith wrote. "They've refused to negotiate in good faith. Every step of this journey has been 'take it or leave it.' The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself and for the entire LB market if I signed it." This sure doesn't sound like an impasse that can be worked out, with Smith saying he has been trying since April to get a "fair" deal. We'll see whether a trade market materializes. Otherwise, we might see the 25-year-old hold out into the regular season.

Insider Peter King came away from Bears camp believing the team has "big intentions" for WR Velus Jones this year. That's not a surprise considering he was the 71st overall pick of this spring's draft -- and considering the state of Chicago's WR corps. "He will play," King said. "And he has hit the ground running." Jones didn't check many analytical boxes as a prospect and still isn't someone we're betting on long term. But his opportunity alone makes him worth a look at the end of fantasy drafts.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Bears WR N’Keal Harry sustained an ankle injury in Saturday’s practice that “appears severe.” Recently acquired from New England, Harry had landed in a fine spot to rehab his NFL value. We’ll hope for the best here, but Harry’s certainly off the redraft radar at the moment. Chicago remains paper thin at WR behind Darnell Mooney.

UPDATE: Harry suffered a high-ankle sprain and is expected to miss about 6 weeks, per Ian Rapoport.

Bryan Perez of Bears Talk writes that "no Chicago Bears player is having a better start to training camp" than TE Cole Kmet. OC Luke Getsy says they're moving the 3rd-year TE around the formation and that he's doing everything well, including running some routes from out wide. "I think he's on the brink right now of taking his game to another level," Getsy says. "So I am hopeful that by the time we get through this camp, he is ready to be a rock star for us, because we're going to need him to be." That need is key, as Kmet looks like the favorite to follow WR Darnell Mooney as top targets. Kmet has been a value pick outside the top 12 TEs in PPR drafts all year.

Bears WR Byron Pringle has a quad injury and no timetable for return, HC Matt Eberflus said Saturday. Pringle is in the running for the wide-open #2 WR job in Chicago but can't afford to miss much time if he wants to win it. We'll see when he's able to get back on the field.

Bears RB David Montgomery has been taking reps with the special teams in training camp. “Wherever they need me, I’m going to be ready to be there,” he said. “I’ve never played special teams before. But I’m always down and excited to learn so I can be better.” Per The Athletic, "Montgomery said it was as simple as seeing his name on the depth chart and going to the special teams drills." We're not sure what to make of this. It could be the Bears just toying around with different options early in training camp. Or it could mean that Montgomery's role on offense will be scaled back this season. We'll see if we learn anything on that front in preseason action. RB Khalil Herbert notably beat Montgomery in both Pro Football Focus rushing grade and Elusive Rating last year.

Bears WR Equanimeous St. Brown has been working in with the 1st team. The Athletic reports that he was a "reliable target" for Justin Fields in Friday's practice -- including a couple of TD catches. This specific day doesn't mean a whole lot, but it's a reminder of the open competition in the lackluster Chicago WR corps.

According to Kevin Fishbain and Adam Jahns of The Athletic, S Jaquan Brisker and CB Kyler Gordon have "been two of the Bears' best playmakers since their draft selections." The Bears took both in the 1st half of Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Each rookie appears headed for a starting gig. We'd bet on Brisker having the stronger chance at IDP relevance this season.

Bears LB Roquan Smith has reported to training camp, despite a report that he planned to hold out. The team has placed him on the physically unable to perform list, however, and we have yet to see a specified injury. Smith is in the final year of his rookie contract and seeking an extension, but it doesn't sound like the 2 sides have been close. We'll see where this apparent "hold in" goes.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Bears LB Roquan Smith plans to hold out at the start of training camp. Smith is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and reportedly "has not yet received an offer he would remotely consider" on an extension. We're not adjusting our IDP projections on this but will certainly be watching Smith's status during camp.

Conditioning has been an offseason “point of emphasis” for Bears WR Darnell Mooney, per Dan Pompei of The Athletic. Mooney ranked 6th among WRs in snaps in 2021. “Last year, I think I struggled with just being there at all times when my number was called,” Mooney said. “I knew I was fatigued a little bit, but my mindset was not coming out of the game.” Mooney also gained about 10 pounds this offseason after playing the past 2 years in the low 170s. “Even though he’s a smaller guy, he’s not that guy that runs out of bounds like a lot of smaller receivers,” WR coach Tyke Tolbert said. “He’ll try to stick his foot in the ground, get upfield and make plays with the ball in his hand, try to break tackles. He’s not trying to save his body. He’s trying to get extra yardage.” With massive target potential, Mooney could inch up the WR2 ranks in 2022.

The Patriots have traded WR N'Keal Harry to the Bears for a conditional 7th-round pick in 2024. This is clearly a signal of New England giving up on the WR rather than Chicago going to get him. Harry gets a fresh start in a WR-needy situation. We still wouldn't bet on fantasy relevance going forward, though.

Bears WR David Moore was arrested on July 4 in Texas on drug and weapons charges. We'll see where this goes and whether Moore draws a suspension from the league, but this obviously won't help his chances of making Chicago's roster.

Adam Jahns of The Athletic writes that RB Khalil Herbert “looks poised for a larger role” in year 2. The former 6th round pick wasn’t drafted by new GM Ryan Poles. And he’s learning a different offense under new HC Matt Eberflus and OC Luke Getsy. Still, one look at the Bears’ depth chart says Herbert’s close to a lock for the #2 job behind David Montgomery. At a minimum, it’s encouraging that he handled 18, 19, 18 and 23 carries early in his rookie year with Montgomery sidelined. Ultimately, we don’t anticipate Herbert seeing enough work to gain standalone fantasy value. But one Montgomery injury would likely place the 2nd-year back firmly in RB2+ territory.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler says he's "told" the Bears like the way QB Justin Fields has developed this offseason. Specifically, the 2nd-year QB has reportedly quickened his release when passing and improved at throwing on the move. "The Bears are excited for offensive coordinator Luke Getsy's system, which should give Fields more space to operate," Fowler writes. Even if you're not ready to fully buy in on Fields, he's going 15th among QBs in FFPC ADP and 16th on Underdog. There's plenty of fantasy upside from that range even if Fields struggles from a real-life perspective.

Speaking at minicamp, Bears HC Matt Eberflus gave his assessment of 6th-round rookie RB Trestan Ebner. “Just an explosive athlete who can run the whole route tree as you saw today on that great catch he made,” Eberflus said. “He’s been really learning a lot. He’s a mature young man and we like where he is in terms of learning the offense and what kind of man he is.” Ebner’s speed and pass-catching ability make him a name to watch in dynasty leagues. Across 5 years at Baylor, the 206-pounder racked up 127 catches. He’ll battle for the #3 job behind David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert.

Bears HC Matt Eberflus talked up Justin Fields’ deep ball ability at OTAs. “I would say, ‘Man, he throws a good deep ball,’ ” Eberflus said. “I’m excited about that. And you could see it in the seven-on-seven and 11-on-11s, and we’re gonna take our shots down the field and, man, he does a nice job doing that. And that’s what stands out to me.” Fields wasn’t afraid to go deep last year, posting the league's 2nd highest intended air yards per attempt (33 qualifiers). A lack of weapons is troubling, but the arrival of Round 3 pick Velus Jones at least supplies another deep threat alongside Darnell Mooney.

The Bears added WR Dante Pettis on a 1-year deal. The former 2nd-round pick of the 49ers has been a total bust, mustering only 52 catches across his first 4 NFL seasons. Pettis is still just 26 and lands on a Bears team desperate for WR help. But we'll need to see something positive from him this summer before considering him in fantasy drafts.

The Bears signed WR Tajae Sharpe to a 1-year deal. Sharpe has yet to top 41 catches or 522 yards across 5 NFL seasons. Even in a barren Chicago WR corps, he's not worth a look in early best-ball drafts.

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