Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
Mitchell Trubisky (JAN ADP: 121.00, QB11)
Trubisky led the Chicago Bears to an 11-3 record, passing for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns. He finished the season with 309.25 fantasy points, an average of 22.08 per game. With six games of 20 or more fantasy points and five games with 15 or fewer, his volatility often left owners frustrated. One of the reasons for his up-and-down production was his passing volume. He ranked 19th in passing attempts and had six games with under 30 passing attempts. A shoulder injury prevented him from suiting up in weeks 12 and 13. The one thing that elevated his floor to QB2 status was his rushing yardage. With 423 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, Trubisky was able to make up for any lost production through the air with his feet.
Just two years into his career, Trubisky is still in the developmental stages. We are getting ready to embark year three and the rubber needs to hit the pavement soon if we want to be comfortable drafting him as your main squeeze. I’m a proponent of waiting on quarterbacks in startup drafts and with a 121.00 ADP, making him the QB11, I’m fine waiting a little longer before I select a quarterback. I don’t believe he’s as bad as Blake Bortles like some do. He’s young and still needs some time to develop. However, at his price point, we don’t have to pay to wait for a quarterback to develop when we can pay a little less and draft a more stable commodity like Matt Ryan or Dak Prescott.
Super-flex leagues are a different beast. You may want to pay QB11 price to see if he hits in the next couple of years. Quarterbacks come off the board quicker in super-flex leagues, so you have to make a quick decision on what you want to do at the position and this could lead to taking some gambles because you want to increase the value of your overall team in the near future. To mitigate risk, I recommend doubling or even tripling up at quarterback. This will give you an extra option to fall back on just in case the worst-case scenario happens. Also, if one of the quarterbacks on your roster hits, you can sell the extra assets for something else.
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Chase Daniel (JAN ADP: N/A)
Historically speaking, we already know a lot about Daniel. He was an intriguing prospect coming out of college in 2019, passing for 12,515 yards and 101 touchdowns during this four-year collegiate career at Missouri. Since then, he’s been a journeyman backup in the league, playing for New Orleans, Kansas City and Philadelphia before making his way to Chicago. For a player who started his career as an undrafted free agent, to still be playing in the NFL after ten years is an underrated achievement.
He’s a good veteran backup quarterback in real life, but for fantasy, he holds very little upside. Daniel might be a guy you want to stash in deep super-flex leagues, just in case he gets the opportunity to play during the season, but he’s not a player you want to invest in.
Jordan Howard (JAN ADP: 70.83, RB28)
In the most disappointing season of his career, Howard finished with 935 yards rushing and nine touchdowns while averaging 3.7 yards per carry. He only had two games with over 100 yards rushing and two multi-touchdown games.
His strength is yards after contact. From weeks 13 to 17, he averaged 3.11 yards per carry after contact which was fourth most in the league.
The discouraging part is that he only had three games where he received more than two targets. His lack of usage in the passing game decreases his floor and makes him a touchdown-dependent commodity. Everything is fine and dandy when the Bears can get a good push up front, creating open running lanes for Howard to run through. On the flipside, when the going gets tough, we can’t rely on the passing game to bail him out. For what he is and what he had to deal with this year, his price point is close to being spot on if not a little undervalued. He’s a player you could get at a decent discount in the off-season and see a good return in value if he returns to his old form in 2019.
Tarik Cohen (JAN ADP: 46.83, RB20)
Five years ago, if there was a running back catching 71 passes in a season, the fantasy football community would be all over him. With draft-season underway, it’s easy to forget about some of these amazing performances from last season. If you take a macro view of his game log, you will notice that 29.67 percent of his targets came from two games. This would be a concern for most running backs, but Cohen’s production is very consistent: he averaged 4.57 targets per game without the two blowup games. It’s very common for a player heavily used in the passing game to see spikes in production. He also saw six games where he saw three targets or less.
Cohen finished the season with 236.18 PPR fantasy points, making him RB11 on the season. From a week-to-week perspective, his production was very volatile. He had six weeks where he scored less than ten fantasy points and he had four weeks where he scored more than 20 PPR fantasy points.
Part of his inconsistency is based on his lack of rushing production. He averaged 27.75 rushing yards per game and if the game script called for the offense to slow things down and run out the clock; then Jordan Howard would see a lot of the carries out of the backfield. To be fair, this was also Matt Nagy’s first year as the team’s coach and getting used to manipulating your personnel on a new team takes some time. That was apparent at the beginning of the season when Cohen accumulated just 20.4 fantasy points in his first three games. In those three weeks, Howard saw 50 percent of his season total in receptions. Another note to make is that in week two, Cohen while playing the Seahawks, he left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. The reports said that he was fine, but we are not 100 percent sure how much that affected his workload the following week.
Without a doubt, he’s a good player to have on your roster, but he’s more than likely priced almost at his ceiling. I think his value can rise, but not enough to make a difference for you on the trade market. Unless something dramatic happens, he’s more than likely going to hover at the same value-mark. At RB20, I’m not against drafting him. I think it’s a decent price tag, but temper your expectations for future gains.
Taquan Mizzell (JAN ADP: N/A)
The Bears snatched Mizzell from the Ravens’ practice squad. He’s pretty much Cohen’s doppelganger. In college, at Virginia, he caught 195 passes during his four-year collegiate career. If he makes it through training camp and sticks with the team, he’s a player to stash or monitor in deeper leagues.
Benny Cunningham (JAN ADP: N/A)
Free agency will be calling his name this year. He has been a dependable backup for his entire career. In 2014, he caught 45 balls for the Rams. We’re looking at another journeyman backup who will need a drastic injury to a starting running back to become fantasy relevant. Not to mention he will be 29 years old when the season starts, which means his run in the league might be slowly coming to an end.
Allen Robinson (JAN ADP: 57.50, WR29)
In his first season with the Bears, Robinson produced one 100-yard game and a line of 55 catches for 754 yards and four touchdowns. Injuries prevented him from maximizing his potential. A groin injury in the middle of the season caused him to miss weeks eight and nine. The week-to-week volatility made him very unreliable. In six of the 13 games that he played in, he recorded less than ten fantasy points. He didn’t record many boom weeks, recording just one game with more than 20 fantasy points. That game came in week ten against the Detroit Lions where he posted 31.30 fantasy points. Outside of that game, he didn’t have any mega-productive games.
His ADP sank to the lowest point in his career in January. Going into the season, his ADP was at 26 in August compared to now where he’s listed at 57.5. Once we start figuring in some of the new rookie wide receivers and some of these younger players start receiving their off-season buzz, it wouldn’t be too off-the-wall to see his ADP get diluted to the 65-70 range. We have a talented wide receiver falling down the board and his price-tag is getting cheaper by the month. Even if you don’t like him, or you think he’s just a one-year-wonder, at some point he’s going to hit the right price. Robinson is the ultimate buy right now.
He has WR1 potential and we are getting him at WR3 or even at a WR4 price tag. Injuries are one of the variables that impacted his performance this year. Trubisky and a new offense is another variable we must take into account. Another year in the offense and an off-season building a rapport with his young quarterback could be enough for him to regain fantasy prominence again.
Anthony Miller (JAN ADP: 77.67, WR35)
The Bears drafted Miller in the second round of last year’s draft. For a rookie wide receiver, his season wasn’t too shabby, catching 33 passes for 423 yards and seven touchdowns. Even with Robinson hogging a large amount of the workload, he still managed to own an 11 percent share of the team’s passing targets. Trubisky was very up and down with his play and he also liked to spread the ball around to his receivers, making it very hard for a young pass catcher like Miller to breakout in his rookie season.
With two straight seasons with 95 catches or more at Memphis, Miller was a fascinating prospect coming out of college. At his pro day, he posted a 39-inch vertical and a 40-yard dash between 4.46 and 4.52 seconds. His production profile combined with his short area quickness made him a top ten receiver in last year’s draft class.
Miller is currently priced at WR35 and he’s falling to the mid-seventh round of startup drafts. That’s a fair price to invest in a young wide receiver who has the chance to develop into a solid WR2 in the league. On the trade market, he could be had for a second-round rookie pick or possibly less depending on how his owner views his long-term player value. He’s not an elite level talent, but he could experience a spike in value if he takes a step forward next season.
Taylor Gabriel (JAN ADP: 175.33, WR68)
This was Gabriel’s fifth and most productive year in the league. He caught a career-high 67 passes for 688 yards. He was also second on the team with 91 targets and 1,049 air yards which led to him seeing an 11.5 average depth of target. The Bears used him as a deep threat and in week four he was able to reel in four passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns. That game made up for 15.12 percent of his production. He received a high level of workload, but it didn’t convert to fantasy points. That made him a boom-bust play in fantasy with just five games with ten fantasy points or more.
Gabriel is a good guy to have at the end of your bench to fill in for a bye week. However, he’s not someone you want to have in your lineup on a weekly basis. He has five seasons billed to his career and hasn’t exceeded the 1,000-yard mark or been an impactful fantasy producer. Even though he did flash some potential this year, he didn’t make the most of his 93 targets. If anything, this could have been his breakout season, but it didn’t happen. The odds of him siphoning targets away from Anthony Miller in the future aren’t favorable. Also, if Allen Robinson is healthy next year, then there’s no way Gabriel sees the same target share again. Refrain from buying him, there are other targets with more upside that should be on your radar.
Kevin White (JAN ADP: N/A)
The Bears declined his $13.924-million fifth-year option to his rookie contract. He will hit free agency this year. He has been a bust his entire career, catching just 25 passes for 285 yards. White will need to go to the right team and he will need to exceed expectations during training camp in order for him to become a functional fantasy commodity. Walter White is worth more in dynasty right now.
Javon Wims (JAN ADP: N/A)
The Bears drafted him in the seventh round of last year’s draft. At 6’3’’ and 215-pounds, he has the prototypical size to compete at the NFL level. In preseason last year, he showed the ability to make plays downfield. With another training camp under his belt, he has the potential to rise up and become a key contributor to this team. Wims is definitely a stash in deep dynasty leagues.
Josh Bellamy (JAN ADP: N/A)
Bellamy has been in the league since 2012 and has yet to break out. He will be 30 years old to start the season. There’s a chance he’s not on an NFL roster come week one.
Trey Burton (JAN ADP: 110.67, TE10)
Burton finished his first season with the Bears, catching 54 passes for 569 yards and six touchdowns. He commanded a 15 percent target share and saw 604 air yards. His 148.60 fantasy points ranked eighth amongst tight ends last season. He only scored 28.65 more fantasy points more than Chris Herndon who was TE16. It’s hard to appropriately value the tight end position when the scoring variance is very tight. It’s best to either pay up for one of the top tight ends or just wait and grab a couple of late-round guys and play matchups. He’s not a bad player and his price tag isn’t bad, it’s just the tight end position, in general, makes it hard to invest in any of the mid-tier talents. If it were me, I would invest in some of the younger prospects with high upside like O.J. Howard or Evan Engram before I take a stab at Burton.
Adam Shaheen (JAN ADP: 220.50, TE28)
Shaheen will never see a large enough target share to be fantasy-relevant with Burton on the roster. Allen Robinson is a hard enough obstacle to work around let alone competing with one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the league for targets. He’s a stash in deep tight end premium leagues, but in most situations, he’s best left on the waiver wire.
Ben Braunecker (JAN ADP: N/A)
In his three years with the team, he has caught just seven passes for 83 yards. He will be a restricted free agent this off-season and the odds of him ever being a high-end fantasy producer are slim to none.
Daniel Brown (JAN ADP: N/A)
Brown is your run of the mill journeyman backup tight end. He will be a free agent this year and he will be lucky to be on an NFL roster let alone any dynasty rosters next season.
Zach Miller (JAN ADP: N/A)
Miller dislocated his knee in 2017. The Bears did the right thing by signing him to a one-year deal and placing him on IR. The injury was gruesome and he’s more than likely not going to be able to play again.
Dion Sims (JAN ADP: N/A)
Sims was unable to clear the concussion protocol and was placed on IR for the remainder of the season. He’s signed with the team through 2019 but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears let him loose this off-season. There was one time many moons ago where he was considered a stash in dynasty but that ship has sailed.