For consistency purposes, all point values referred to will be PPR (points per reception) values and all rankings will be from PPR statistics.
Last season, none of the Chicago Bears players really stood out as “fantasy football studs” for managers. While there was only one significant roster change in terms of fantasy football, a few young talents look to break out this season or improve on last season’s campaign. WR Allen Robinson had the talent but didn’t put together a memorable season and is now in Los Angeles, which frees up more volume for these upcoming players.
Darnell Mooney, WR: Too Low
As the Bears’ clear top wide receiver now, Darnell Mooney plans to take the next step in becoming “elite”. Last year, he finished as the WR23 in terms of total fantasy points, placing him as a low-WR2 option to maybe even a high-end FLEX for a team. However, with the potential uptick in targets this year, Mooney has a chance to become a high-end WR2 this year, maybe even a low-end WR1. Despite this, ESPN has him ranked as WR26, a downgrade from his finishing position at WR23. With the departure of Robinson, Mooney is the top target for the Bears and can be trusted to be drafted, especially at his value right now.
David Montgomery, RB: On Par
The Bears’ offensive line certainly has valid concerns, but a few changes can certainly help them improve. Rookie OT Braxton Jones is already making waves, along with the addition of veteran OT Riley Reiff. These improvements put David Montgomery in line for another workhorse type year. Montgomery has heavy usage with just above average efficiency, finishing as the RB19 last year. He is entering his athletic prime and hasn’t shown any sign of regression, with a new and improved offensive line. The one concern is the backup RB, Khalil Herbert. Herbert has shown flashes over his rookie season, not enough to overtake Montgomery as the lead back, but certainly eat into some of the workload. Still, the Bears are thought to lean heavily on Montgomery while using Herbert as a change-of-pace back. Montgomery is ranked as the RB17 this upcoming season, which seems fair given his finish last year.
Cole Kmet, TE: On Par
With similar reasoning as David Montgomery, TE Cole Kmet is fairly valued for his situation. A tough runner, Kmet is also a great pass catcher that blocks well. Without much competition, Kmet is the Bears’ tight end for the future. He only finished as the TE20 last season, but that was due to inconsistent QB play and poor playcalls. ESPN ranks him as TE15 this year, which is a solid step up from his finishing place. This is very justifiable because of the increased volume Kmet will receive due Robinson leaving, along with development of the rest of the offense. A mid-end TE2 with potential to grow into a TE1 seems likely for Kmet.
Justin Fields, QB: Extreme Sleeper
This one seems disrespectful to me. ESPN has young QB Justin Fields ranked as QB18, just in front of Deshaun Watson (QB19) and Daniel Jones (QB20). No offense to Jones, he hasn’t developed to be a star yet, with no help from his offensive line or weapons either. As for Watson, he’s facing a lengthy suspension and Fields is only ranked one QB above him. When Fields started last year, he proved to be capable of being a fantasy starter, scoring a high of 25 points and clearing 18 points twice. He adds a fair amount of yards with his legs, which is extremely useful in fantasy, as rushing yards count for more than passing yards. Not only this, but last year, he struggled with Nagy’s inept playcalling and a weaker offensive line. Expect a big leap from Justin Fields this season.
Khalil Herbert, RB
As mentioned above, the backup running back has shown his ability last year, and could be a useful backup. While he won’t overtake Montgomery for the lead role, he could be a handcuff to grab.
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR
Without a clear second option to the offense behind Mooney, St. Brown is a solid flier to hold. He has established himself with the Green Bay Packers and has impressed his skills in practice/camp so far.