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AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

2024 Fantasy Football Preview: Chicago Bears

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Player Outlooks (2024)


QB Caleb Williams: Many others have pointed it out, but Williams is entering perhaps the best situation ever for a No. 1 overall pick, as Chicago has a receiving corps of DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, and top-ten pick Rome Odunze, a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end in Cole Kmet, a very capable receiving threat out of the backfield with D’Andre Swift, and a solid offensive line. Of course, talent is the most important thing, and Williams has a rare combination of arm talent, creativity, mobility, and feel for the game. He’s also capable of chunk gains as a runner, and the concern for his 2024 value would be taking some time to adjust to the NFL game; but everything is in place for him to push for a top-12 finish as a rookie.


RB D’Andre Swift: Swift is a more dynamic player and in a much better situation, but there is at least some concern about him being overvalued similar to Miles Sanders with a new team last year—and Chicago has solid options in Roschon Johnson and Khalil Herbert behind him on the depth chart. We’ll see how big Swift’s role looks like it could be in August, and the receiving ability should at him a solid floor for an offense that will be trying to make things easy on Caleb Williams in his first season.


RB Roschon Johnson: Splitting touches isn’t new to Johnson after playing behind Bijan Robinson at Texas, but Khalil Herbert was ahead of him for touches to close out 2023, and a full-blown committee could prevent his chances of a breakout as a possible 1B backfield option. Perhaps the talk of Johnson being better as the weather gets colder (something general manager Ryan Poles suggested after he was drafted last year) will come to fruition on what is expected to be an improved team.


RB Khalil Herbert: Herbert had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games late last season with Chicago committing to him as the lead runner, and he’s a definite trade candidate based on the talent shown through three seasons with the Bears installing D’Andre Swift as the lead back. If he were to remain with the team, Herbert could find it difficult to maintain standalone value because of the receiving work Swift should get combined with Chicago likely wanting Roschon Johnson to win the No. 2 job.


WR DJ Moore: Chicago is suddenly loaded at wide receiver, so the chemistry between Moore and Caleb Williams will be key for the wideout’s fantasy value after he and Justin Fields had an outstanding connection in 2023. The concern is Keenan Allen absorbing a bunch of targets and No. 9 overall pick Rome Odunze earning opportunities, so there is risk of Moore dropping back to pre-2023 fantasy value when he seemed to always be a low-end WR2 option rather than the WR1 he was catching passes from Fields last year,


WR Keenan Allen: Allen has continued to play at a high level coming off a season in which he averaged the third-most fantasy points per game among wide receivers (17.3), but he did it while seeing 11.5 targets per game to easily lead the NFL—and that kind of volume is highly unlikely to be matched in Chicago. Instead, Allen is expected to be a better real-life option for Caleb Williams to settle in as a fantasy WR3, as sharing targets with DJ Moore would have been fine, but the selection of Rome Odunze could result in week-to-week frustration from a fantasy perspective for all three pass-catchers.


WR Rome Odunze: Career expectations are high for Odunze as a wideout that some thought was the best of the bunch in a class with Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers—but his Year 1 value could be as a rare handcuff at the position with DJ Moore and Keenan Allen ahead of him for targets. Just last year, Jaxon Smith-Njigba was in a similar situation with his talent not fully shining behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, so Odunze has more value as a dynasty and/or keeper selection.


WR Tyler Scott: Scott generated plenty of summer buzz throughout the fantasy industry last summer, but he caught 17 passes in 17 games as a rookie, and the big-play ability wasn’t really there with 9.9 yards per reception (and 5.3 yards per target). Perhaps less pressure with Chicago having the starting spots locked in will allow Scott to shine in a rotational role, but his redraft value will be very limited to begin 2024.


WR Velus Jones Jr.: Jones was a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he’s already entering his age-27 season with just 11 career receptions. While the rushing production is at least notable with 17 carries for 154 yards (9.1 YPC) and a touchdown to begin his career, the Bears already have a lot of weapons that need touches, so a sudden breakout would be a surprise.


TE Cole Kmet: The addition of Keenan Allen is the one that might most impact Kmet’s fantasy value with the veteran wideout also at his best working the middle of the field, so the conventional role as a security blanket for a rookie quarterback could instead go to Allen despite strong play by Chicago’s tight end—who is just now having his four-year, $50-million extension kick in after signing it before the 2023 season. We believe in Kmet’s talent, but he could be somewhat of an afterthought with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s attack resulting in just 3.1 targets per game for Noah Fant in Seattle over the past two years.


TE Gerald Everett: Overall, it feels like the Bears might spread the ball too much for anyone on the offense to clearly surpass expectations, so Everett—averaging 404.7 receiving yards per season since entering the league—probably won’t see an uptick in production with his new squad. Look for him to get some manufactured touches that can result in real-life usefulness considering his tackle-breaking ability.


Other Notes


Best IDP value: S Kevin Byard III

Chicago playing defensively like they did at the end of 2023 would give them strong values at all three levels, but we’ll go with Byard coming off a down year with the Titans and Eagles. If the defensive front generates pressure, the former All-Pro can come up with takeaways on the backend for a defense that had a whopping 16 interceptions over their final seven games last year.


Stat to know (via draft guide)

In his lone season with the Eagles, D’Andre Swift averaged a career-low 4.7 yards per touch (compared to 5.5 yards per touch across three seasons with the Lions).