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Chicago Bears Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2023

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

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.

Steelers WR Chase Claypool injured his right shoulder in Friday's practice, HC Mike Tomlin said. No word yet on the severity. Missed time for Claypool would open up opportunity for rookie WR George Pickens, who's had a strong start to camp. We'll let you know when we hear more on Claypool's status.

The Packers unsurprisingly place TE Robert Tonyan on the training-camp PUP list Friday. Tonyan is working back from a mid-season ACL tear and is not a lock to be ready for Week 1. The team can activate him off the camp PUP at any point. Staying on the list into the regular season, however, would require Tonyan to miss at least 4 games. Tonyan missing camp time should give us a chance to see if there's anything behind the mild spring buzz for TE Tyler Davis.

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.

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.

Matt Schneidman of The Athletic writes that Packers TE Robert Tonyan “may not be ready to play Week 1.” Schneidman adds that he’d be surprised if Tonyan isn’t ready to play by Week 6. The veteran tore his ACL at the end of October, so he’ll be ~10.5 months removed from the injury come Week 1. Tonyan’s not a particularly desirable TE2, even if he’s ready for the opener.

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.

Panthers beat writer Ellis L. Williams believes new OC Ben McAdoo’s “up-tempo and quick-release concepts” should add YAC opportunities for WR DJ Moore. Williams envisions Moore thriving on quick-hitters and downfield routes, similar to how a young Odell Beckham excelled with McAdoo in New York. “It’s long and it’s treacherous, but it’s built for the NFL,” Moore said regarding McAdoo’s playbook. “The playbook is long, like some of the verbiage is long. You just got to be able to study and comprehended. But it worked when he was calling it in New York and all the places that he’d been.” Improved QB play will remain the key to unlocking Moore’s upside. Entering year 5, he’s never topped 4 TDs in a single season.

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.

Bears OC Luke Getsy spoke about his first impressions of TE Cole Kmet. “I’ve been very impressed with Cole,” Getsy said. “Again that mindset that we’re trying to set, he’s been a great example of that as well. And you go back to that thing we talked about before, just the ability, the flexibility as a player, I think he has all that stuff. So I’m excited to see him have a bunch of different roles in our offense. Some players that are out there they’re kind of like this is what they do well. But I think the more guys that you can get in a system that can do a bunch of different things, the more success you’re going to have and I think Cole is one of those guys.” Kmet played all 17 games last year, notching 60-612-0 on 93 targets. A favorable target outlook remains in year 3, and a TE1 finish is certainly within his range of outcomes.

New Bears OC Luke Getsy commented on the development of QB Justin Fields. ‘‘I’ve been super-impressed with him, I really have,’’ Getsy said. ‘‘There’s no one in this building that works harder than him. There’s no one that cares more than him. We’re off to a great start. He’s really accepted this challenge. We’re asking a lot of him, to learn a lot of new things. He’s been a pleasure to work with.’’ Formerly Green Bay’s QB coach/pass game coordinator, Getsy is expected to implement “a mix of outside-zone and read-option runs with a vertical passing attack,” per beat writer Pat Finley. Getsy’s almost certainly an upgrade over the old regime. But a lack of weapons around Fields for 2022 remains a serious concern.

Wes Hodkiewicz of writes that the team feels “fine” about their TE situation. He notes that Robert Tonyan is making “significant progress” with ACL rehab. (Tonyan tore his ACL last October.) Interestingly, GM Brian Gutekunst shouted out TE Tyler Davis, a 2020 UDFA who played 121 snaps last season. “I think we might have found something there,” Gutekunst remarked. Tonyan, 28, posted 5 games with 10 or fewer yards prior to the injury. Don’t count on a major rebound.

Adam Jahns of The Athletic believes WR Velus Jones “should have an immediate role on offense.” Frankly, it would be a major disappointment if he didn’t. The Bears feature a bunch of WR3/4 types behind Darnell Mooney, while Jones exits college as a 25-year-old. So yes, the opportunity outlook is nice. And Jones boasts rare, 4.31 speed. But his pedigree is uninspiring, with just 58-627-4 across 4 seasons before a 2021 breakout (62-807-7). He's not someone we're chasing in rookie drafts.

The Bears selected Tennessee WR Velus Jones in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Jones spent 6 years in college -- 4 at USC, 2 at Tennessee -- never topping 807 receiving yards. He turns 25 next month. Jones blazed a 4.31-second 40 time at 6'0, 204 pounds at the Combine, but there's not much else to like about his profile. He at least finds opportunity in a Chicago WR corps with little behind Darnell Mooney.

Penn State S Jaquan Brisker went to the Bears in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. Brisker averaged 6.3 tackles per game in 2020, and 5.3 per game last season. He didn’t offer much in the big-play categories. Brisker offers nice versatility, though, and tested well athletically. Chicago returns Eddie Jackson at safety but sports an opening at the other spot, which could mean quick IDP value for this Round 2 pick.

The Bears spent their 1st pick of the 2022 NFL Draft on CB Kyler Gordon in Round 2. The former Washington Husky tested just average speed wise but sports decent size at 6'0, 194 pounds and brings intriguing athleticism. Gordon didn't deliver much on the numbers front, with just 2 career INTs and 12 passes defensed.

The Packers re-signed TE Robert Tonyan to a 1-year deal. Tonyan is rehabbing a late-October ACL tear but should be ready for the start of the 2022 season. He came out of nowhere for a 52-586-11 line in 2020 but was sitting just 24th among TEs in PPR points through the first 7 weeks of last year. Tonyan has a shot to grab a larger target share this season with WR Davante Adams' departure.

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