Bears Fantasy News

Bears RB Matt Forte envisions more carries, fewer receptions

Thursday, July 30, 2015, 6:58pm

Chicago Tribune - [Full Article]

Coach John Fox has made it clear he wants the Bears’ offense to become a more run-centric attack and will guide new offensive coordinator Adam Gase accordingly. So that means Matt Forte should see a spike in his 16.3-carries per game average from last season. Forte also takes only so much pride in the 102 catches he had last season, a single-season NFL record for a running back, but also a milestone he understands he achieved because of how constipated the Bears offense was.

“Catching 100 balls,” Forte said, “is not my goal as a running back.”

Which is why Forte is happily taking Fox at his word that the Bears will dedicate themselves to the run as a way of adding balance to the offense and lessening the pressure on quarterback Jay Cutler.

Said Forte: “If you’re running the ball and you can run it effectively you get to control the clock and keep other offenses off the field. Which is what we want to do. If we can control the game, control the pace of the game, and grind out tough yards and score, then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Fantasy Impact:

We currently project Forte for 16.2 carries per game, or 260 for the season. We're not so sure that the Bears will have the luxury of running the ball as much as they'd like. We do expect Forte's receptions to drop -- we currently project him for around 56-57 catches, which is much closer to his career average of 53.4 (in offenses run by someone other than Marc Trestman). New OC Adam Gase utilized C.J. Anderson at a 60-catch pace over the final eight games of last season.

Fox: Kevin White's shin injury 'is not a long-term thing'

Thursday, July 30, 2015, 6:39pm

Brad Biggs, Twitter - [Full Article]

Bears HC John Fox on WR Kevin White: "He is day to day. It is not a long-term thing. It's a shin. Something that shouldn't be long-term."

Fantasy Impact:

It’s hard to envision Eddie Royal starting over White this year, but given John Fox’s history of being anti-rookie and White’s absence from spring workouts due to a shin injury, it’s not unfathomable. He’s a player to monitor in August.

Bears WR Kevin White (shin) starts camp on PUP list

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 5:53pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

No. 7 overall pick Kevin White spent the final few days of offseason practice off the field because of an undisclosed injury. He'll start his first training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Bears coach John Fox announced Wednesday that White will start camp on the physically unable to perform list with a shin injury. They also want to improve his "cardio" before letting him on the field.

Fantasy Impact:

It’s hard to envision Eddie Royal starting over White this year, but given John Fox’s history of being anti-rookie and White’s absence from spring workouts due to a shin injury, it’s not unfathomable. He’s a player to monitor in August.

Under John Fox, Matt Forte's workload may be reduced

Sunday, July 26, 2015, 4:44pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Bears RB Matt Forte, 29, played 90 percent of Chicago’s offensive snaps last year, when he broke the NFL single-season mark for receptions by a running back with 102.

Forte’s workload may decrease under head coach John Fox, who historically uses multiple backs on game day. But even if he’s given a slightly reduced role; Forte remains a dangerous all-purpose tailback, topping the NFL in yards from scrimmage since 2008. Forte will use his impending free agency as motivation. The veteran tailback wants a new contract, and the only way to achieve that goal is to have a productive and injury-free season.

The Bears raved about Jeremy Langford’s breakaway speed after drafting him in the fourth round. Langford is the future. He is expected to be active on game days and be part of Fox’s running back-by-committee approach.

Fantasy Impact:

Fox's history of using multiple RBs doesn't necessarily bode well for Forte owners, but we still rank him seventh in standard leagues and project him to be among the leaders in RBs with receptions, which will help owners in PPR leagues. As long as he stays healthy, Forte should at least get a majority of the work given his talent and experience. The way the author talked about Langford, though, it's possible he's going to have some kind of role that will utilize his speed.

Bears Beat: 'Don't be surprised' if Eddie Royal is 'more impactful' than Kevin White

Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 12:14pm

Chicago Tribune - [Full Article]

Although Bears WR Kevin White garners most of the attention because of his draft status, don't be surprised if Eddie Royal turns out to be the more impactful of the two offseason receiver acquisitions. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase can deploy Royal from a variety of alignments in order to maximize matchups. Royal, 29, can play outside and in the slot. Think of how Gase used Wes Welker with the Broncos the last two seasons — he was a quick, reliable outlet for quarterback Peyton Manning — but also factor in Royal's superior speed and ability to gain yards after the catch.

Fantasy Impact:

Royal has been a fantasy headache for years, and now he takes his act to Chicago. White needs to have a good camp to earn a starting job. Royal is likely to serve as the team's slot receiver, where he could siphon targets from the rookie.

Bears Beat: Team will 'expand' Matt Forte's receiving responsibilities

Monday, July 20, 2015, 12:24pm

Chicago Tribune - [Full Article]

Matt Forte averaged only 7.9 yards per reception last season because he was needed far too often as a check-down safety valve for quarterback Jay Cutler. New Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase likely will expand Forte's receiving responsibilities, using the running back's ability to spread out wide while also featuring his crisp route running and reliable hands.

On the ground, Forte will need more help from his offensive line to better the 3.9 yards-per-carry average he had in 2014. And while his desire for a contract extension has gone ungranted, Forte has handled that personal disappointment with perspective, not letting it diminish his focus or dedication. His professionalism and work ethic should remain terrific examples for the younger backs on the roster.

Fantasy Impact:

This won't lead to more receptions than the 102 balls he caught last season under departed OC Marc Trestman, but it should be noted that Gase isn't afraid to use his running backs in the passing game. Bronco running backs accounted for 160 receptions over the past two seasons, so a 60-catch season for Forte is certainly within reach.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco 'seemed to develop a real comfort' with TE Crockett Gillmore in OTAs

Friday, July 17, 2015, 2:44pm

Baltimore Ravens - [Full Article]

Ryan Mink of the Ravens' official website believes that TE Crockett Gillmore has a good chance to break out: Gillmore showed strong hands last year and they have only gotten better. He struggled with drops last training camp. So far this summer, he’s hardly let a ball touch the ground. He’s had another year in the offensive system, so he won’t be thinking as much on the field. Plus, Gillmore is massive. He was a big guy last year, but added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason. He’s still got the ability to stretch the field, which he showed by catching numerous jump balls in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp. Flacco seemed to develop a real comfort with Gillmore during the practices.

Fantasy Impact:

Gillmore is more of a blocker than a receiver but as the article notes, Gillmore has improved in that facet of the game. There is opportunity at the position with Dennis Pitta still sidelined and Owen Daniels in Denver, but the team drafted Maxx Williams as the long-term answer, so it's not clear how big of a receiving role Gillmore will have in 2015. Martellus Bennett shined under then-HC Marc Trestman in Chicago, so there is some upside for whoever wins the starting job in Baltimore. Fantasy-wise, rookie tight ends are notoriously disappointing, so this may be a muddled situation this season.

Jay Cutler throwing with Bears receivers at Vanderbilt

Thursday, July 9, 2015, 11:22am

PFT - [Full Article]

Via Blair Sheade of the Chicago Sun-Times, Jay Cutler gathered several teammates at his alma mater of Vanderbilt this week for extra pre-training camp workouts.

Attending the sessions were receiver Kevin White, receiver Eddie Royal, and tight end Martellus Bennett.

Bennett’s presence is significant because he stayed away from all non-mandatory offseason activities in search of a new contract. Most significant is the fact that Cutler managed to get his teammates to join him in Tennessee for non-mandatory workouts that fall beyond the boundaries of the offseason program.

Fantasy Impact:

It's a good sign that Cutler is working with his receivers, especially White, who missed some time during OTAs with an undisclosed injury. Cutler’s #15 finish was his highest in the last four seasons. Marc Trestman is gone, and now new OC Adam Gase is running the offense. He had success in Denver in the past two seasons, but Cutler is no Peyton Manning. As long as the season is going relatively well, Cutler should post solid numbers, but if the wheels start to come off, watch out.

Sunday, July 5, 2015, 10:30am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

In his first year as the head coach in Washington, Jay Gruden figured he could coach the quarterbacks himself. Gruden was a college and arena football quarterback, and he wanted to take a hands-on approach to the most important position.

But after franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III struggled last season, Gruden decided he needed an assistant who could spend all his time coaching the quarterbacks. So Gruden hired a full-time quarterbacks coach, Matt Cavanaugh. Gruden says he can already see that Griffin is benefiting from Cavanaugh’s presence.

“Now we have a set of eyes strictly on the quarterback, and I think that’s important,” Gruden said, via Richmond.com. “Every snap, every handoff, every dropback is being critiqued to make sure we do it the right way, and I think that’s been a big benefit for Robert.”

Fantasy Impact:

Cavanaugh spent 14 seasons as an NFL quarterback for the Patriots, 49ers, Eagles and Giants, and has spent 23 seasons as a quarterbacks coach, first at his alma mater the University of Pittsburgh, and then for the Cardinals, 49ers, Bears, Ravens and Jets. Griffin agrees that he’s benefiting from Cavanaugh’s knowledge, the story went on to say. Despite that, we have Griffin ranked 20th among our QBs and he isn't getting a lot of draft attention in ten team leagues. The potential is there, and if you're looking to grab a second QB late in your draft, Griffin should be there.

Bears have 'big plans' for WR Eddie Royal

Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 12:21am

Albert Breer, Twitter - [Full Article]

Per Albert Breer, the Bears have 'big plans' for Eddie Royal.

From PFT:

Royal got off to a fast start in his first year, catching 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns while Jay Cutler was throwing for a career-high 4,526 yards en route to the only Pro Bowl appearance of his career.

It was the only year that the two men worked together, but both remember it fondly and Royal says they’re putting in the same work now that they did then to build the same chemistry.

Fantasy Impact:

Royal could create headaches for Kevin White (and perhaps Alshon Jeffery) owners. He has a tendency to either explode or disappear, and that makes it difficult to predict the distribution of production in any passing offense in which he plays.

Bears Beat: John Fox 'seems impressed' by WR Marquess Wilson

Saturday, June 20, 2015, 11:01am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Bears WR Marquess Wilson is still in the mix, even though Chicago drafted Kevin White No. 7 overall. Because White missed the final week of practice, Wilson received increased reps with the first and second teams. HC John Fox seems impressed by Wilson, who suffered a broken collarbone in training camp last year that derailed his sophomore season.

Fantasy Impact:

When it's all said and done, we expect White to start opposite Alshon Jeffery, but he hasn't had a dominant offseason. Both Eddie Royal and Wilson could steal targets, especially given Fox's preference for playing veterans over rookies.

Bears Beat: WR Eddie Royal is 'a rare breed'

Saturday, June 20, 2015, 10:59am

Jeff Dickerson, ESPN - [Full Article]

Bears WR Eddie Royal is a rare breed. He is smart and talented enough to do the dirty work on the underneath routes, but fast enough to catch a slant and take it to the house. It’s hard to remember the last time Chicago had such a versatile receiver on the roster.

Fantasy Impact:

Royal should immediately fill the slot role for the Bears. He's always been a headache for fantasy owners, either offering inconsistent production and/or taking away targets from other players. Kevin White may be a victim of this in 2015.

Bears WR Kevin White (undisclosed) held out of minicamp, expected back for training camp

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 8:09pm

Chicago Tribune - [Full Article]

Rookie receiver Kevin White was held out of the entire minicamp this week with what John Fox indicated was an undisclosed medical issue. The Bears coach, however, said he fully expects White on the field for the first training camp practice July 30.

Fantasy Impact:

White is expected to start opposite Alshon Jeffery, but he's losing valuable practice reps. Jay Cutler recently said that White is currently the fourth receiver behind Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson.

Jay Cutler 'indicated' WR Kevin White is competing to be the Bears' WR4

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 1:03pm

Chicago Tribune - [Full Article]

After Tuesday's practice, quarterback Bears QB Jay Cutler indicated Kevin White is competing to be the fourth receiver behind Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson.

"Kevin is doing a good job for us, picking up the offense," Cutler said. "He has a bright future."

An undisclosed injury kept White out of the Bears' minicamp practice Tuesday, coach John Fox indicated.

Fantasy Impact:

This raises a few eyebrows at 4for4 headquarters, but we still expect White to start opposite Alshon Jeffery. It's a reminder that rookies carry extra risk since their roles are not defined, especially early in the summer.

Bears TE Martellus Bennett reports to minicamp

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 12:25pm

Chicago Tribune - [Full Article]

Pro Bowl tight end Martellus Bennett reported to Chicago Bears headquarters for the start of the club’s mandatory minicamp after skipping the previous eight weeks of the offseason program.

Although the sessions he missed were voluntary, his absence disappointed the Bears’ new regime, particularly because of the learning and team-building elements to coach John Fox’s first offseason in charge. Bennett is the only Bears player to miss the entire offseason program to this point.

After making his first Pro Bowl last season, Bennett made clear his desire for a new contract.

Fantasy Impact:

Bennett finished #5 in both PPR and standard formats last season, and although he’s playing for a new OC, Adam Gase, he should remain heavily involved in the offense. He’s not happy with his contract, which is a concern.

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