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Fantasy Monsters of the Midway: A Bears Player to Reach for, and One to Wait for

Training camp is underway, preseason is fast approaching, and we’re here to get you ready for playing fantasy football as a Bears fan.

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Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

It can be frustrating playing fantasy sports as a diehard fan of one team. When you draft your real team’s top offensive weapon onto your fantasy team, you see him as a breakout candidate every week, only being held back by poor quarterback play and double-teams by the opposing defense. When your cousin snags him in the draft before you and the matchup comes, you’re torn: every touchdown he scores is hurting your fantasy team while helping your beloved Chicago Bears.

The draft alone is maddening.

Round 3 and most of the All-Pros are off the board. The top options left on the board based on scoring the year prior are Adam Thielen and Aaron Jones. We don’t want either of those guys to do well this year, so do we reach for a more risky boom-or-bust candidate?

As Bears fans, we need to keep each other honest and be ready to face the hard truths about the guys who wear “GSH” on their arms. Let’s take a look at one Bears player to reach for, and one Bears player to leave on the board.

Formatting: This will be based on a standard PPR format with Team Defense. If you play non-PPR formats, kudos to you. Let us know your scoring rules in the comments!

New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Bears Player to Reach For: Allen Robinson II

Depending on how many “teams” (players) are in your fantasy league, you could be looking at Allen Robinson II after a few serpentines or in larger leagues, the late first round. With former 2nd-round pick Anthony Miller shipped off to Houston, and the Bears depth chart very flexible behind Darnell Mooney, it would seem Robinson should be an easy lock for another 100-reception season.

In ESPN mock formulas, Robinson is listed #31 of all players. In a 10-team league, this likely puts him on your radar in the third round, with a few options around him. We ran three 10-team mock drafts to get a feel for Robinson’s general clout, and he went as follows:

Round 4 pick 1: Allen Robinson II

Round 3 pick 7: Allen Robinson II

Round 4 pick 1: Allen Robinson II

The other wide receivers in Robinson’s tier? Round 3 typically saw DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Justin Jefferson, Terry McLaurin, and Keenan Allen go off the board before or after Robinson. While these are all talented WR1s on their respective teams, only Keenan Allen has a contract worth his value, with the others on their respective rookie deals building up to their contract year.

Robinson is playing this year on the franchise tag, and will likely earn a long-term deal after this season, from the Bears or another WR-needy team. For fantasy football he’s worth scrolling for as early as the late teens, be that the second round of your 10-team league or a late first rounder in larger leagues. Reach and don’t apologize.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Bears Player to Wait For: Tarik Cohen

Those who have toyed around in mock drafts to see Allen Robinson know exactly who else in on the board around him in PPR format: David Montgomery, #28 in ESPN PPR mocks. The Bears desperately need an RB1, and offensive line issues aside, Montgomery took a step forward last year. Meanwhile, Cohen underwent surgery for a torn ACL and spent nearly the entire year on IR because of it.

While a change-of-pace running back is a luxury not every team has, there’s no substitute for a bell-cow running back and the Bears should look for Montgomery to transform into one, or else they should be looking at trade candidates to fill the role.

Cohen has started this training camp on the PUP list, and it’s worth concern that his knee injury may stretch into early Autumn. If the Bears ease him back into action, he’ll be sitting for your fantasy team anyway until Nagy (probably never) declares him 100% ready.

Cohen is listed at #148 in ESPN player projections at PPR format, and his outlook isn’t promising:

During his first three seasons in the NFL, Cohen ranked fourth among backs in both targets (261) and receptions (203). The 26-year-old’s efficiency was poor in 2019 (3.3 YPC, 4.4 YPT), he didn’t impress pre-injury in 2020 (115 yards on 20 touches) and, following David Montgomery’s breakout, he’ll remain very limited as a rusher and at the goal line. Cohen has some PPR flex value in deep leagues, but his ceiling is low.

In a 10-team league, he’s likely off your radar until deep in the bench-candidate territory. In larger leagues, however, he may look like a promising flex candidate. With his PPR capability as a receiver (average of 68 receptions between each of his first 3 years) he’ll be sitting there for the taking while the likes of Nelson Agholor, Giovanni Bernard, and Latavious Murray are begrugingly taken.

Newly-acquired running back Damien Williams will need a few carries and targets as well, so Cohen may see his best action as a punt returner, where he was first-team All-Pro in 2018. Let Cohen sit on the board to get drafted by another. Meanwhile, pick up another bench candidate such as Randall Cobb or Sony Michel to possibly trade for Cohen once he sees more than 10 carries or 5 receptions in a game.

We’ll continue this series next week with a look at the best Bears player available at each standard Fantasy Football position. Each week of the season, we’ll give you a Start/Sit guide for Bears players on your fantasy team before the week kicks off. Let us know in the comments which Bears player you would reach and wait for!

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