The Chicago Bears decided to take the team in a drastically different direction for 2017. They’ve cleaned out the quarterback room entirely, they did not re-sign Alshon Jeffery, and they’ve already made efforts to rebuild their offense. What do their moves mean for fantasy football in 2017?
The new signal caller for the Bears, Mike Glennon, has started 18 games in his short career. In that time, he is an astonishingly pedestrian quarterback. Glennon’s touchdown rate in his career is near Nick Foles and Connor Cook. His interception rate is similar to Jason Campbell. His passing yards per game sit at just below 200, between Blaine Gabbert and Austin Davis. He is sandwiched between Terrelle Pryor and Johnny Manziel at yards per pass—two men who no longer play quarterback in the NFL. He’s not great, and he isn’t inheriting a positive situation. He’s not good, and he might be actively bad. Mike Glennon is arguably worse than Chicago’s backup QB from last year (Brian Hoyer). Glennon is unlikely to be relevant in most fantasy football leagues, and he will be a quarterback you settle on in 2QB leagues.
The biggest ramification in Chicago with Glennon is that he should help Cameron Meredith’s prospects. In his one season as a starter in Tampa Bay, he destroyed Vincent Jackson with targets. Jackson averaged ten a game (160 total), while nobody else had more than 76. Watching Glennon, you can tell he locks onto one target. In this case, that should be Meredith. He gets a tick upward if they do not get another WR. Jordan Howard’s value at running back remains unchanged.
Markus Wheaton flashed talent in his time in Pittsburgh but just couldn’t put it together. Some of this is injury, some of it is talent, and some of it is the depth chart. In four seasons, Wheaton had just 187 targets, but the bulk of those came in 2014 and 2015. In those two seasons, he had 7 scores and just under 1400 yards. He is a small speedster like his former teammate Antonio Brown. Unlike Antonio Brown, Wheaton doesn’t make the best of all his opportunities. In Chicago, he will be the #2 at best (to Cameron Meredith), which makes him a fantasy WR4 or WR5. Since he’s a speed demon, he can, and will, have a couple of deep plays when he gets behind the defense.
The Bears added Dion Sims to the mix, as well. While Sims had some relevance down the stretch last year, he is primarily a blocking tight end. It is highly unlikely that he does anything of fantasy football value. He should, however, help Jordan Howard flourish in his sophomore campaign.