Bears 2021 NFL Preview: Chicago 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting
Here’s The Game Day’s Chicago Bears 2021 NFL Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, 2021 Betting Tips, and 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook. Be sure to check out more of our NFL preseason coverage here.
Bears 2021 Team Preview
Chicago Bears 2020 Recap
- Final record: 8-8 (3-5 Home / 5-3 Away)
- Division regular-season finish: 2nd in NFC North
- Result: Lost in Wild Card Round to New Orleans Saints
The 2020 Bears were much like the 2019 Bears; an 8-8 club that couldn’t get out of their own way on offense, primarily because of quarterback issues. Chicago started 5-1, only to promptly lose six in a row before recovering to win three of its last four and snag a Wild Card berth. The Bears’ offensive struggles returned in their lone playoff game, however, as they managed just nine points in a road loss to the Saints.
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Chicago Bears 2021 Offseason Changes
Bears 2021 Offseason Departures
- DeAndre Carter, WR, Football Team
- Rashaad Coward, OL, Steelers
- Kyle Fuller, CB, Broncos
- John Jenkins, DE, Dolphins
- Barkevious Mingo, LB, Falcons
- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Falcons
- Brent Urban, DE, Cowboys
- Roy Robertson-Harris, DE, Jaguars
- Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bills
- Anthony Miller, WR, Texans
- Chuck Pagano, DC, Retired
Bears 2021 Free-Agency/Offseason Additions
- Jeremiah Attaochu, LB
- Angelo Blackson, DL
- Andy Dalton, QB
- Marquise Goodwin, WR
- Christian Jones, LB
- Desmond Trufant, CB
- Elijah Wilkinson, OL
- Damien Williams, RB
- Jake Butt, TE
- Jesse James, TE
- Sean Desai, DC
Bears 2021 NFL Draft Picks
- Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 11 Overall)
- Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State (Round 2, Pick 39 Overall)
- Larry Borom, OT, Missouri (Round 5, Pick 151 Overall)
- Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech (Round 6, Pick 217 Overall)
- Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina (Round 6, Pick 221 Overall)
- Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon (Round 6, Pick 228 Overall)
- Khyiris Tonga, DL, BYU (Round 7, Pick 250 Overall)
Chicago Bears 2021 Outlook
Chicago’s biggest move of the offseason was moving on from Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback and trading up to get Justin Fields in the draft, giving the team a much-needed change at the position. Trubisky’s erratic play was a big reason why the Bears have been a .500 team the past two seasons, as they have too much talent elsewhere. Fields may have some initial growing pains as he adjusts to the NFL, but in the long run he improves the franchise’s outlook considerably.
Fields will have some decent weapons to work with as he begins his NFL career, including top receiver Allen Robinson. He’ll also have wideouts Anthony Miller and Darnell Mooney, both of whom are solid options, along with tight ends Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet. The backfield will once again be headed by David Montgomery, with Tarik Cohen and Damien Williams serving in complementary roles.
Chicago’s defense is in flux as well, especially after losing longtime CB Kyle Fuller. The Bears will also have a new defensive coordinator in the wake of Chuck Pagano’s retirement. He’ll be replaced by former safeties coach Sean Desai, who’s been with the organization since 2013.
Chicago Bears 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook
The Bears aren’t full of elite weaponry, and their skill players are harder to project this year with a rookie running the offense. That said, Justin Fields has plenty of upside and could prove to be a weekly starter for fantasy squads right off the bat. It will be worth monitoring which receivers he develops a strong rapport with, although Allen Robinson is clearly the top dog there and should be treated as a WR2 for fantasy purposes.
Robinson could be in line for some additional targets this year following the trade of Anthony Miller to the Houston Texans. With Miller out of the picture, Darnell Mooney will slot in as Chicago’s WR2 behind Robinson. Mooney has been one of fantasy Twitter’s darlings all offseason, so expect his fantasy stock to continue to rise in the wake of the Miller deal. With stability at quarterback, Mooney will be one of those late-round dart throws that pays dividends. especially since Miller’s departure opens up 98 targets from last year (23 of which were deep targets).
As for the running game, David Montgomery can be considered a solid RB2 again, with RB1 potential based on his strong finish last year. Tarik Cohen and Damien Williams will be on hand as well, but neither is a threat to steal significant carries from Montgomery. For what it’s worth, Cohen opened training camp on the PUP list with a knee injury and is expected to be eased back into action, so there’s a chance he may not be ready for the start of the season.
Cole Kmet is a popular breakout pick this year at tight end, especially if he emerges as a safety valve for Fields. Jimmy Graham‘s presence limits his upside a bit, but Kmet should at least have a decent floor.
Chicago’s defense has been a strong fantasy option the past several years, but it remains to be seen how the unit will be affected by the losses of Fuller and Pagano. The guess here is that the defense should be viewed as more of a streaming option rather than an automatic start.
Chicago Bears 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips
Bears Over 7.5 wins (+100)
Chicago Bears: Over 7.5 Regular Season Wins (2021 NFL Season)
Bet $20, Payout $40
The Bears have won at least eight games in each of the past three seasons despite spotty quarterback play, as their defense has carried them to respectable records. Even if their defense takes a step back, there’s a chance they could reach double-digit wins with Fields this year, especially with the extra game on the schedule.
Justin Fields to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year (+850)
Justin Fields To Win AP NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year Award (2021 NFL Season)
Bet $20, Payout $190
If the Bears start Fields and he plays up to his potential, there’s a strong chance that they’ll make a playoff run and win the NFC North. Fields will also benefit from the narrative of shifting the franchise out of neutral and get a ton of attention playing in Chicago, which will help his case as well. If you’re a believer, I would take this wager.
Allen Robinson Over 1,090.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Allen Robinson: Over 1,090.5 Receiving Yards (2021 NFL Season)
Bet $20, Payout $37
In each of the past two seasons in Chicago, Robinson posted at least 1,147 receiving yards despite having the likes of Trubisky and Nick Foles under center. While Dalton may not be much of an upgrade, he’s still an improvement over his predecessors. Fields remains a question mark as well, but Robinson has proven to be quarterback-proof throughout his career and should be able to hit the over here again this year, especially with an additional game on the schedule and Miller out of the picture.