Shark Bites

Bears OLB Khalil Mack could see his snaps limited in his debut with the new team. NBC's Mike Tirico said Thursday night that Bears HC Matt Nagy said Mack will be "on a pitch count." That could mean a wide range of things to different coaches. If you have Mack with DL eligibility in an IDP league, we'd go ahead and use him. At LB, he's more of a question mark. However much he plays, though, Mack enhances the season-long upside of the Chicago D.

The Bears have placed TE Adam Shaheen (foot, ankle) on IR. GM Ryan Pace suggested that Shaheen could be designated-to-return and play later this season, but he's obviously not worth a roster spot in redraft leagues. TE Trey Burton looks set to be close to an every-down player and a big piece of Chicago's passing game.

ESPN reports that the Raiders and Bears have reached agreement on a trade for DE/OLB Khalil Mack. The star pass rusher has spent all of training camp and the preseason holding out for a new contract. He'll now line up opposite OLB Leonard Floyd in Chicago's 3-4 base and likely carry LB eligibility into 2018 for IDP owners. That hurts Mack's fantasy value, but it's a huge boost for an already intriguing Bears defense. Oakland, meanwhile, doesn't have much going for it on defense. We'll see about the details of the trade.

Bears rookie ILB Roquan Smith left practice Tuesday because of "tightness" in his left hamstring, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. HC Matt Nagy said they took Smith out as a precaution and that he might return Wednesday. That would keep alive the possibility of Smith playing in the 3rd preseason game. Smith, of course, didn't join the team until Aug. 14 because of a contract impasse. He reportedly said before Tuesday's practice that "being in football shape" is the biggest challenge for him right now. We'll see how quickly -- and well -- Smith bounces back from this setback. We have knocked the rookie down our LB rankings a bit.

Bears OLB Leonard Floyd had surgery Sunday on the right hand he fractured in Saturday's 2nd preseason game. HC Matt Nagy said it "went well," according to ESPN, and that they're "staying optimistic" that he'll be ready for the regular-season opener. We'll see. Floyd would likely have to play with some sort of club on the right hand, which could challenge his pass-rushing moves.

Raiders K Eddy Pineiro is sidelined with a groin injury, according to insider Scott Bair. Pineiro was thought to be ahead of Mike Nugent in the race for Oakland's starting job, but this injury could change that. Avoid the situation in fantasy drafts for now.

Bears TE Adam Shaheen has been diagnosed with a low-ankle sprain, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That's relatively good news considering the injury looked much worse when it happened in Saturday night's preseason game. Per Rapoport, Shaheen has a chance to be ready for Week 1. The 2nd-year TE was having an impressive preseason before going down. He's behind Trey Burton in the pecking order and isn't a great bet for consistent fantasy production this season. But Shaheen's return will be good news for QB Mitchell Trubisky.

Bears OLB Leonard Floyd left Saturday night's game against the Broncos with a left hand injury. According to the Chicago Tribune, Floyd was in a hard cast after the game and headed for further testing on Sunday. HC Matt Nagy, however, said "I don't think so" when asked whether Floyd (or TE Adam Shaheen) had suffered a fracture. We'll see where this goes. A healthy Floyd would be the team's lead pass-rusher.

Bears TE Adam Shaheen left the field on a cart Saturday night after hurting his right ankle against the Broncos. The fear is a potential fracture, though HC Matt Nagy said "I don't think so" when asked whether Shaheen had broken a bone. The 2nd-year TE is headed for more testing Sunday morning, according to the Chicago Tribune. Shaheen won't be much of a fantasy factor even if he emerges OK, but he could siphon some red-zone looks from TE Trey Burton in 2-TE alignments. We'll keep an eye on this situation.

Rookie LB Roquan Smith has agreed to terms with the Bears, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Smith is the last unsigned draft pick -- Chicago's selection at #8 overall. We'll see if Smith's back in time to appear in the Bears' 3rd preseason game this Saturday at Denver. But even if he misses that one, the rookie should still have time to claim the starting ILB job next to Danny Trevathan and carry huge IDP upside.

Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson has drawn raves from multiple beat writers early in training camp. Mass Live's Andrew Callahan wrote Thursday that it's been "The Cordarrelle Patterson Show" so far. "He's made contested catches at every level of the field and carried the ball with the first-team offense," Callahan adds. The Patriots' WR corps is wide open behind Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman, who's suspended for the first 4 games of the season. Patterson hasn't clicked as a WR through 5 NFL seasons but still has theoretical upside thanks to his supreme athleticism. We'll be keeping a close eye on him this preseason.

The Raiders on Friday placed DE Khalil Mack on the reserve/did not report list. Mack continues to hold out in search of a new contract after skipping the team's mandatory minicamp. He's on the option year of his rookie contract and currently headed toward unrestricted free agency in the spring. We'll see how this situation plays out.

Bears WR Taylor Gabriel has been lining up all over the formation early in training camp, including in the backfield. “How many ways can you use speed? You can use it in all type of different ways," Gabriel said. "So it’s just exciting and with [HC Matt] Nagy having Tyreek Hill, the things that he did with him, it’s very exciting." Hill just turned in a 9th-place PPR finish with Nagy in Kansas City, garnering 105 targets plus 17 carries. Conventional wisdom has had RB Tarik Cohen stepping into a Hill-esque role this year, but Gabriel could do some of it, too. He's certainly worth a late stab at his 19th-round ADP.

Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky has been "inconsistent" at the start of training camp, according to the Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell. "One throw will be late, off target or ill-advised, and the next throw will be perfectly placed and on time," Campbell writes. We're just a few days into what's been a rainy training camp for the Bears, so it's far too early to even think about worrying. But it's a good time to remember that Trubisky is a 2nd-year QB in a brand new offense with a bunch of new weapons. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him get off to a relatively slow start this season.

Bears HC Matt Nagy expects WR Allen Robinson (knee) to avoid the active/PUP list to begin training camp. Robinson was limited this spring but should be something close to a full-go now after last September's torn ACL. It's important for him to get reps in camp and preseason action in a new offense with a new QB. Robinson has every opportunity to emerge as the top dog in a much-improved Bears passing game. He's fairly valued at his WR18 ADP.

The Bears have rookie WR Anthony Miller "earmarked" to run from the slot this season, according to ESPN's Jeff Dickerson. That points to an immediate role for the 2nd-round rookie, but it also intimates WR Taylor Gabriel and WR Kevin White will compete for the starting outside spot opposite Allen Robinson. An intriguing Bears offense under new HC Matt Nagy and first-time OC Mark Helfrich makes all 3 wideouts worth considering near the end of best-ball drafts. We'll be watching to see how the fight for roles plays out.

The Bears selected Memphis WR Anthony Miller with the 51st overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Few WRs were more productive over the past 2 seasons. Miller racked up 95 catches for 1,434 yards and 14 TDs in 2016, finishing top 10 in the country in all 3 categories. Then he set new career highs across the board last year with 96 catches, 1,462 yards and a nation-high 18 TDs. And he was efficient, ranking 4th among all draft-eligible WRs in Pro Football Focus’ yards per route run. Miller wasn’t able to test at the Combine but earned an 87th percentile SPARQ score at his Pro Day. So you’re probably asking, “why wasn’t this dude a 1st-round pick?” Well, he’s smallish at 5’11 and 201 pounds. He’s already 23 years old. And he suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot in his final college game — an injury that has a tendency to cause long-term problems. That said, a healthy Miller looks capable of winning at all areas of the field and as an outside or slot receiver. He’s a long shot to assume #1 duties in Chicago with Allen Robinson in town. But Miller only needs to beat out Kevin White and Taylor Gabriel for the #2 role in an ascending offense. This is a nice landing spot.

The Bears grabbed Georgia LB Roquan Smith with the 8th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Smith should start right away inside the Bears' 3-4 defense and easily slide into a 3-down role. We'll see what that means for oft-injured LB Danny Trevathan. Smith should quickly become a big IDP factor with his blend of athleticism and play recognition.

New Bears HC Matt Nagy likes what he's seen from RB Tarik Cohen both on film and early in the offseason program. “He’s a run threat and then he can catch the ball in space in broken formations," Nagy said. “That’s an advantage for the play callers and the play designers to be able to do some different things. We can move him around and try to get an advantage. … He’s dynamic." Cohen is coming off a promising rookie season that saw him average 4.3 yards per carry on 87 attempts and tally 53 catches. Nagy said recently that Jordan Howard will remain the team's lead back, but there's certainly room for Cohen to tack on another 20 or 30 touches to last year's total. He's fairly valued at his current 7th-round ADP.

The Patriots on Sunday traded a 5th-round pick to the Raiders for WR Cordarrelle Patterson and a 6th-rounder. This looks like a special-teams move. New England already retained WR Kenny Britt as part of a crowded WR corps, and Patterson has achieved little as a wideout with the Vikings and Raiders. Don't expect him to become a fantasy factor in 2018.

 
 
 

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