Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy made what seemed like an inevitable move on Sunday. After a surprising 2-0 start to the season, he felt that the Bears offense would be better with Nick Foles under center and benched Mitchell Trubisky. However, the Bears 32-26 improbable victory over an Atlanta Falcons team who simply cannot get out of their own way did not come without a cost. With the loss of Tarik Cohen for the remainder of the season, can the rest of the Bears depth chart carry the load? Will the change to Foles be enough and will he bring fantasy football relevance back to Chicago?
Bears RB Depth Chart: Who will make plays for the Bears offense?
David Montgomery – RB
Fantasy managers desire three-down running backs – those who handle the rushing attempts, catch the football, and earn the goal-line touches. With Cohen, one of the top pass-catching running backs in the NFL, David Montgomery was not getting many chances in the Bears offense. Cohen caught 150 passes the past two seasons, while Montgomery, a third-round pick in the 2019 Draft, waited for more volume.
Now, even after averaging just 3.2 yards per rush and totaling only 54 yards from scrimmage against the Falcons, Montgomery should get this chance. Montgomery totaled 127 yards in Week 2 against the New York Giants but matched up against one of the better defense currently in the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4. Knowing Montgomery will see 16-22 touches per game makes him an RB2 moving forward.
Cordarrelle Patterson – RB/WR
The Bears offense doesn’t have a genuine replacement for Cohen, but they do have a player who has a skill set two both handle carries and targets out of the backfield, and that’s Cordarrelle Patterson. While he carries a wide receiver designation, we’ve seen him lined up in the backfield numerous times throughout his career.
Patterson has 15 rushes for 58 yards through three games and has caught all three of his targets for 20 yards. While Patterson has not been fantasy relevant due to usage, he will see an increased role in this offense moving forward. If he starts to see around ten touches per game, he could slide himself into the RB4 category. But I would use a wait-and-see approach to see how the Bears depth chart shakes out before plugging them into your starting fantasy lineups.
Ryan Nall – RB
Ryan Nall is the clear third option in the backfield for the Bears offense. Through Week 3, he has rushed the ball only two times for eight yards and caught his only target for an additional two yards. Even with Cohen’s loss, Nall won’t be on anyone’s fantasy football radar without a further injury ahead of them. If that were to happen, I could see the Bears looking into free agency rather than giving Nall a large share of touches.
Can Foles bring life to Chicago’s WR group?
Allen Robinson – WR
If there is one player on this Bears depth chart that benefits from the Trubisky to Foles change, it’s Allen Robinson. After playing on teams led by Blake Bortles and Trubisky, Foles instantly becomes the best quarterback Robinson has ever played with.
Week 3 saw Robinson have his best game of the season. He caught 10 passes on 13 targets for 123 yards while scoring his first touchdown of the season. Robinson is arguably the most underrated elite wide receiver in the NFL and will be Foles’ primary target in the Bears offense moving forward. Even though his stats are slightly elevated due to what was essentially garbage time for a good part of the game on Sunday, Robinson will return to low-end WR1/high-end WR2 fantasy status moving forward.
Anthony Miller – WR
If you haven’t heard the story yet of the Bears’ final touchdown to take the lead, go on Twitter and give this a listen. During the two-minute warning TV break, Foles told Anthony Miller if it’s an all-out blitz, run to the L in the Atlanta Falcons end zone, and I’ll find you.
What happened next? The Falcons came with an all-out blitz, and Foles threw it to the “L” in Atlanta, where Miller was waiting. Curiously, he didn’t draw this play up for Robinson – he wanted this ball to go to Miller. If Foles is going to bring this style of backyard football improvisation to the Bears offense, Miller can be a very sneaky low-end WR3 or flex play in fantasy.
He was a player that several people touted for being under the radar and a substantial value on draft day. Miller almost had two touchdowns on the day, but the first was reversed after Miller failed to secure the catch. While his value will be volatile week-to-week, I won’t be surprised if Miller starts putting together more consistent performances and finding his way to start in fantasy lineups.
Darnell Mooney – WR
Rookie Darnell Mooney may have only had two receptions for 19 yards, but he was targeted five times and saw his snap count increase this week to 51 after only having 21 in Week 1 and 39 in Week 2. While not fantasy-relevant in standard leagues, he is worth a stash in dynasty leagues. Unless something happens ahead of him on the Bears depth chart, Mooney doesn’t carry weekly value at this point. It is worth noting that he saw the second-highest snap count amongst wide receivers for the Bears.
Bears TE and QB: Is Nick Foles the long-term answer?
Nick Foles – QB
When we saw the Bears announce that Trubisky would be the Week 1 starter, it seemed that it was only a matter of time until the switch to Nick Foles took place. However, I figured that point would come because the Bears were losing. The Bears had gone 2-0 with Trubisky, who played some decent football.
In his debut for the Bears, Foles went 16 of 29 for 188 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He could have thrown for five touchdowns, but two of them ended up getting called off. Foles brings a spark to this Bears offense that they desperately need, and I believe he is the better quarterback of the two.
After making a change like this, it’s going to be very difficult for Nagy to retract this decision and go back to Trubisky. I believe Foles will be the starter for the rest of the season but will be a low-end QB2. With upcoming matchups against the Colts and Tampa Bay, I would look elsewhere if you are streaming quarterbacks even though Foles is likely currently on your waivers.
Mitch Trubisky – QB
It would be unfair of me to say that Trubisky has played poorly this season. Currently QB14 in fantasy scoring, he completed 51 of those 86 attempts for 560 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions. It does seem that Trubisky had something to play for in Week 1 when he came out the gates hot by throwing three touchdowns with a 104 passer rating.
Since that point, he has thrown three touchdowns and three interceptions while averaging 12.4 fantasy points per game. Yes, the Bears did win with him as their quarterback, but it wasn’t enough for him to keep his job, especially knowing the team’s money wrapped up in Foles.
Unless Nick Foles massively struggles in the coming weeks, I don’t expect Trubisky to see the starting job for the rest of the season. He is safe to drop off your team at this point.
Jimmy Graham – TE
Jimmy Graham has had a very productive under the radar season so far for the Bears offense. His 17 targets and 10 catches are second-most on the team, and after Sunday’s two-touchdown performance, he leads the team with three touchdowns.
Talent has never been an issue for Graham going back to when he played on the New Orleans Saints. The problem for him has been staying on the field as injuries have plagued his career. Graham, who lines up in the slot on 50% of his routes, could see continued success with Foles under center.
Also, the loss of Cohen slightly boosts Graham’s projections. There is a stronger correlation between running back and tight end than running back and wide receiver in terms of targets. It will not surprise me to see Graham see an increased target share due to the loss of Cohen. Graham will continue to be a quiet TE2 with touchdown upside.
Cole Kmet – TE
Rookie tight end Cole Kmet has seen minimal action this season, targeted only two times, catching one for 12 yards. He is a dynasty stash for 2020, and unless an injury happens to Graham, won’t see redraft fantasy relevance this year.
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