USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Chicago Bears 2021 Fantasy Football Preview

Can we trust David Montgomery's 2020 production? Are the Bears smart enough to start Justin Fields Week 1? Here's a breakdown of the roster for fantasy this season.

It has been a long time since the Super Bowl, and remembering exactly how things left off last year can be a challenge. So, I’ll be writing up a fantasy preview for each NFL team to give us a quick refresher on what happened last year, and what changes took place in the offseason. All fantasy stats will be in ESPN scoring format unless otherwise noted. 

If I missed any change or left out any big notes, throw them down in the comments for me!

What Did They Do Last Year

It’s hard to believe both sides could manage to lose in the Khalil Mack trade, but the two once-storied franchises involved have found a way to make it happen. 

The Chicago Bears finished 8-8 and snuck in to the playoffs as the 7th seed where they were handily defeated by the New Orleans Saints. 

Quarterback
OVR
Rank
PlayerGCOMPATTYDSTDINTATTYDSTDFFPFFP/G
27Mitchell Trubisky101992972,055168331961151.815.2
36Nick Foles92023121,8521081611104.211.6
78Tyler Bray11518000000.70.7

Nick Foles was a bit more consistent but still wholeheartedly not an answer. That’s all I have to say about that.

It was another disappointing year for Bears fans as the team was stuck in second gear searching for an answer at quarterback. Trubisky teased with big games against the dregs of the league, handing in great performances against the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars, but he looked the part of a first-round pick who the team let walk for the rest of the year. Ole Mitch will be backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo this year. 

To solve the QB problem, the Bears signed Andy Dalton and boldly declared he was the unquestionable starting quarterback. I can understand picking up Dalton as a just in case, but what is the point in crying so loudly that he is definitely the starter this year? 

Then, the Bears drafted Justin Fields. Fields is exciting but he is also a huge question mark. While I agree he is a big upgrade over what the Bears had, the Bears didn’t have anything to write home about last year.

Related: 2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Dynasty Rankings

IF the Bears drop the charade and just start Fields Week 1, it should be an improvement over what they saw last year. There will certainly be some growing pains, as playing quarterback in the NFL is difficult. However, Fields is a step in the right direction for Chicago.

Wide Receivers
PPR
Rank
STD RankPlayerGTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
912Allen Robinson161511021,2506160.910.1262.916.43
4956Darnell Mooney169861631489.15.6150.19.38
6983Anthony Miller167649485259.73.7108.76.79
104102Cordarrelle Patterson152521132042.42.863.44.23
162159Javon Wims9126481111.2171.89
183187Riley Ridley2443903.927.93.95
188185Ted Ginn Jr.36340041.372.33
223223Dwayne Harris10000-2-2-2-2

The Bears actually have an exciting receiver corps with indentured servant Allen Robinson and youngins Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller.

Optimistically, we can look back at what Dalton did with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 and feel ok… ok like ordering-a-chicken-fried-steak-at-Chilis ok in that we know it won’t be good and we might not like ourselves afterwards but it isn’t the worst choice in the world… about Allen Robinson. 

You have to squint pretty hard to talk yourself in to taking a shot on the talented Mooney or Miller, even though they’ve both flashed some real ability.  The Bears signed Marquise Goodwin so that they would have another receiver like Mooney and Miller with no QB to get them the ball.

It… it doesn’t look great for the Bears passing game. 

Running Backs
PPR RankSTD RankPlayerGATTYDSTDTGTRECYDSTDSTD PTSSTD PTS/GPPR PTSPPR PTS/G
46David Montgomery152471,070868544382208.813.9262.817.52
107114Ryan Nall63009867112.72.120.73.45
111117Tarik Cohen3147409641011.53.817.55.83
129121Artavis Pierce3634100009.43.19.43.13
149157Lamar Miller100022600.60.62.62.6

Cordarrelle Patterson put in a little rushing work for the Bears in 2020: 64 rushes, 232 yards, and a touchdown. I mention this up top because he isn’t included in the ‘RB stats” table, and to begin this segment by throwing a little cold water on David Montgomery. 

Montgomery is a prime example of how cumulative scoring can be a bit misleading. He finished as the RB6, and that is a solid finish no matter how you slice it. What I have to point out is that Montgomery went on a hell of a tear the second half of the season when the Bears played the Green Bay Packers, Lions, Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Jaguars, and the Packers again. This begs the question did Montgomery break out or merely face an exceptionally weak schedule with a floundering QBs under center?

Yes. 

Damien Williams of Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl fame has joined the team on a one-year deal and muddied the fantasy outlook of the Bears backfield a-la Cordarrelle last year. While I would bet Montgomery retains the starter and majority of the work in the backfield, this team should be so bad any competition for touches could spell disaster for drafters investing a third-round pick in this already not very exciting backfield. Add to that, the last we saw of Williams play would make any coach want to get him on the field. 

If Montgomery somehow finds his way to the fourth round in re-draft, then I’d be comfortable taking a shot on him there. But, with his high overall finish last year, it seems unlikely he’ll fall that far. 

This is what happens when you let bad decision-makers continue to make bad decisions for your business.

2021 Draft

Justin Fields is THE story, but the Bears also picked up left tackle Teven Jenkins who has been projected as a stud. The Bears better hope those two picks pay off because they sure paid dearly for them. 

The Schedule

The Bears will face a top-heavy NFC North, one of the few divisions this team has a 50/50 shot at making out ok in thanks to an even more embarrassing Lions side and a middling Vikings squad. 

Unfortunately the Bears will also face off against the NFC West (San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams) and the AFC North (Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns) with games against the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Las Vegas Raiders thrown in the mix. 

It will not be an easy road for the Bears. 

Warren Sharp has the Bears at the 11th most difficult schedule. This is not great for a team with lots of question marks and a rookie QB. 

Additional Notes

The Bears mortgaged their future to draft Fields, and they may get bailed out by an exceptional QB talent falling in to their lap. We shall see. 

What Does It All Mean?!?! (AKA – Bold predictions)

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse… it gets worse. Deflated values for Allen Robinson and David Montgomery, but at a point every player has value in fantasy. Damien Williams might be worth a late-round flyer as we’ve seen some beautiful flashes from him in the past. 

Even with the addition of Fields, I don’t have high hopes for a Bears side likely to move on from their head coach and GM next year. 

Arrow down on the Bears. 

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Thanks to FFToday.com for hosting such great stats info!

Thanks to TheHuddle.com for their great Coaching Change Tracker