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I know that main reason you’re interested in this recap is to sort through the Cameron Meredith ACL bombshell. I’m going to unpack all that in the final segment. I do just want to note that – yes, many of our key FFM guys from the midsection of already-taken-place-drafts have gone down. Dynasty GMs – these are guys you traded cheaply for and were counting on to have a huge ROI. Now we have zero ROI on Cameron Meredith, Spencer Ware, and Quincy Enunwa for 2017. More than a few of you have grabbed this trio whether for dynasty or just taking them in the MFL, and may redrafters had 1-2 of them. 10–15% of some people’s rosters gone up in smoke. This is not the way any of us hoped this season would start. The only silver lining is these injuries hit early enough for us to try to adjust before the season starts – before you really have to start fighting everyone for similar waiver wire lusts.
None of these particular individual losses have jolted me, but just sitting back in writing out the names and seeing them on the screen together – it’s freaking devastating. Maybe not devastating, it just really pisses me off. We will just have to do what we always do – out-scout everyone else to patch up the leaks. Just another day at the office. This is why I make the little bucks.
First a note about this game, then notes on all the other non-Bears’ wide receiver stuff, and then we will end with a birds and the bees discussion of Kevin White and the entire cast of Bears WR characters.
As far as this game went, considering this was the first team Titans versus the first team Bears for a spell – give it up to the Bears. They moved the ball well on the Titans, and their defense was energetic as ever and I thought they gave Marcus Mariota fits. The better team here among the mostly first teams – the Chicago Bears. For whatever that’s worth.
Fantasy player notes…
— I just want you to be aware of something very bizarre, kinda, that happened in this game with a player we like –and it is something that could slide right under the radar – Taywan Taylor started, and that alone is getting to be a running theme, and saw some targets but he took three carries in his limited time – 1-48-0/3 targets and 3 carries for 12 yards. All jet sweeps coming in motion.
He’s working like a weird Tyreek Hill attempt by the Titans. He’s not my favorite profile to push into that role, but it’s not crazy either – and it is interesting. Taywan Taylor may be entering the WR3 conversation for Week 1.
— Well, my 50-50 odds that Mike Glennon (11-18 for 134 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) would not make it to Week 1 as the starter is fading. He’s going to start Week 1. He looks fine but he still not Mitchell Trubisky (10-15 for 128 yards, 1 TD/0 INT). And whatever hope you had in Glennon goes down another notch minus Cameron Meredith.
In fact, I’ll go on record saying the Cameron Meredith‘s absence is going to make Glennon appear worse…facilitating a faster replacement by Trubisky. Trubisky is not bound to Meredith confinements because he’s better than needing receivers to make plays for him. It would be a lot better if Meredith was there, but Trubisky deals miracles to anyone.
— Demarco Murray (6-16-0) got in his first extended preseason work and he looked just fine. Every time I watch Murray work and then see Derrick Henry (9-24-0) working relief – there’s no comparison. Henry’s definitely solid, but he’s no Murray. This team is built on the Demarco Murray as the workhorse.
— Jordan Howard (12-45-0) got extended work in this game, and he looked like typical Jordan Howard. No problems. Actually, one problem – Tarik Cohen (1-5-0) still exists. When that guy comes into the game — everything changes. He only took one carry, and I wasn’t really paying attention that he was in the backfield when it happened… But as soon as he had the ball and took off I was like wow that can’t be Jordan Howard. It wasn’t. He plays at a different speed than most RBs.
What effect will Meredith injury have on Tarik Cohen, if any? See some of my extended thoughts on College Football Metrics.com in our next dynasty rookie draft rankings update.
— Zach Miller (1-9-0/2) started for the Bears and got an early target, but didn’t play a whole lot it seemed. I still think he’s being showcased for a trade. The Bears simply have too many tight ends and now have to keep more receivers. However, if Miller is retained by the Bears opening day – he may work right back into TE1 land with Meredith out. He could be their best receiver on the opening play of the opening game.
Speaking of Bears tight ends, MyCole Pruitt (2-22-0/2) played in that time of the game (very late) reserved for guys who are going to be cut in the next few days. All I’ll say is this – damn that guy looks good. If he isn’t Jordan Reed I don’t know who the hell is. I don’t know what his deal is off the field…that nobody wants him bad enough, but on the field there something there.
— A quick IDP note on rookie linebacker Jayon Brown (5 tackles, 1 TFL) – another game, and another confirmation that he’s a legit middle linebacker for the NFL. I don’t know how much playing time he’ll get to start the year, but down the road — he’s going to be a starting linebacker. Bank on it.
— OK, the Bears WRs…
Cameron Meredith is gone. Just a note about the future – I don’t know that I’d move heaven and earth to keep him either. As long as it is painless. The Bears will draft 1-2 WRs next year, for sure. They will probably be in the market for a splash free agent to work with Trubisky. They have to replace a pretty garbage WR depth chart, and no one has ever cared about Meredith. He had this chance to prove he was a #1 WR in the NFL…and he just blew it. The consensus that ignores him takes over and goes onto ignore him and get Bears fans whipped up on needing WRs.
What’s the aftermath for FF 2017?
Kevin White (2-20-0/4) is the obvious name everyone returns to. It’s logical. Here’s the problem(s)…White has never proven he belongs in the NFL to date – and now you’re asking him to be a #1 WR for an NFL team? Nearly impossible. White really isn’t a #1 WR type guy…he’s a bubble screen and deep ball guy. He’s not a stud. People aren’t sure if he is even a ‘contributor. Desmond Trufant Week 1. Brent Grimes possibly Week 2. Ross Cockrell Week 3. Xavier Rhodes in Week 5. I would be shocked if White just slid in and ‘bam’. This isn’t like with RBs musical chairs for fantasy. I don’t think Whites up to the task. He’ll see touches, but he’s not Meredith…not even close.
Kendall Wright (3-35-0/5) saw more ‘QB’s best friend’ targeting in this game than Meredith. Wright is a potential de facto winner for increased targets. He might have WR3 dreams. He’s not a #1 WR but has played that role more than White has in the NFL.
Victor Cruz (1-8-0/2) has been a ghost all preseason. He hasn’t even been a factor all preseason, really. When Meredith went down, I don’t recall Cruz shot into the game.
Markus Wheaton (NDP) is not an NFL #1 WR, but might slide into the three-WR rotation Week 1 if healthy.
Rookie UDFA Tanner Gentry (1-45-0/1) potentially solidified making the team now, but he’s not ready or built for #1 WR duties.
The dark horse in this race, not that he’s a #1 WR…but may start Week 1 and shock – Deonte Thompson (1-40-0/3). Don’t forget, last year – he had moments when injuries hit the Bears last season. In Week 15 he had 8 catches on 10 targets for 110 yards. Week 12, 5 catches for 44 yards and a score. Had a TD in Week 16. In spurts, with other guys out, Thompson looked like the best, most explosive WR the Bears had last year. He dropped a game winning TD pass late in the season, and he’s had that hanging over his head – but other than that Thompson has really shown something. He’s a college CB converted to WR in the NFL – 6’0″/198, 4.31 40-time, 6.96 three-cone, 20 bench reps.
I’m not saying bet ahead or big on Thompson…just someone to take note of, and maybe a pickup in those deep-deep roster leagues.
Everything I typed about Bears’ WRs will be rendered useless as they trade for some WR and change the game. The WRs who may end up there…
Allen Hurns or Marqise Lee, Jacksonville
Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati
Jeff Janis, Green Bay
Kasen Williams, Seattle
*Austin Carr will be here in a split second if the Patriots release him…the ‘Northwestern’ star.