Andy Dalton Signs with Bears: 2021 Betting & Fantasy Football Outlook

Andy Dalton signs with Bears: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Chicago Bears have signed QB Andy Dalton to a one-year deal worth $10 million. The deal includes another $3 in incentives.



Andy Dalton Signs with Bears

Although the Bears were in the Russell Wilson and assumingly, in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, they swung, missed, and ended up with Andy Dalton. While Watson may still be feasible, we know that the Bears did, in fact, make a legitimate offer to the Seahawks for Wilson.

Per Dan Patrick on The Dan Patrick Show, the Bears offered Seattle three first-round picks, a third-round pick, and two starters, who remain unnamed. The Seahawks, perhaps irresponsibly, declined. But that is another story for another day.

What we know is that Dalton is the respected 2021 starting quarterback for your Chicago Bears. Admittedly, I am a Dalton guy. Admittedly, I take heat for being a Dalton guy. However, Dalton is a quarterback who gets a bad wrap and I don’t think it is quite fair considering he played nine of his first 10 seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. Not the current-day Bengals, who in each of the past two offseasons have spent-up in free agency to put quality pieces around QB Joe Burrow to attempt to ensure his success, but the old school Mike Brown Bengals who rarely spent anything to make the team better around Dalton.

Remember, at one time in Cincinnati, Dalton was throwing to a young A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Tyler Eifert. In the end, Green and Eifert couldn’t stay healthy while Jones and Sanu departed in free agency the first chance they got.

When Dalton was surrounded by competent weapons and a top-end Marvin Lewis defense, he made the Pro Bowl three times, the playoffs five times, and failed to record a losing season through his first five years as a pro. After a 9-7 start to his rookie campaign, Dalton led the Bengals to 10+ wins in the next four seasons. Albeit he never won a playoff game, he is 0-4 in four starts, he is a lot better than what he gets credit for.

The Bears are getting a quality starter who can win with the right supporting cast. And if you think a good quarterback shouldn’t need help to elevate a team, go ask Tom Brady why he left the Patriots and Aaron Rodgers why he has only one Super Bowl ring.

And no, people, I am not comparing Dalton to Brady and Rodgers. I am merely noting that everyone needs help. Football is a team sport, after all.

Note this. The Bears signed Dalton for free. The Rams paid two first-round picks and Jared Goff, a former No. 1 overall pick for Matthew Stafford. Why does this matter to me (even though this may not matter to you, especially if you don’t think quarterback wins is a real stat)? One has a record above .500, the other does not and I have as many playoff wins as the two of them.

The Bears moved on from Mitchell Trubisky, the butt of many jokes. However, in each of the past three seasons, he has a winning record in games started for the Bears (11-3, 8-7, 6-3), while the team overall has not finished below .500, including a 12-4 season with a playoff appearance back in 2018.

If Dalton is an upgrade over Trubisky, he arguably is, the Bears are in better shape than you think.

Sure, they will most likely retain Nick Foles and say that there is a quarterback competition, but make no mistake about it, Dalton is the Week 1 starter in Chicago.

We can assume that the Bears will put a quality defense on the field as long as they’re healthy and we don’t see a regression from Khalil Mack, who just turned 30. We also know that the team placed the franchise tag on WR Allen Robinson. The Bears also employ an upside pass-catching tight end in Cole Kmet as well as a versatile running back room that includes David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen. While they can surely use another weapon or one of Darnell Mooney or Anthony Miller to break out, there is enough in Chicago to help Dalton move the football.

While the Beas don’t have the greatest offensive line in the NFL, Dalton should be playing behind an improved unit compared to what he had to work with last year in Dallas. If you remember, the best embers of the Cowboys’ offensive line unit were injured for the majority of the year — Tyron Smith, La’El Collins, Zack Martin.

To put things into perspective, last season, Dalton was playing behind a Dallas offensive line that was the seventh-worst in pass-blocking efficiency while the Bears’ offensive front posted the 14th best.

Dalton to the Bears reunites the signal-caller with Bill Lazor, who is entering his second season as Chicago’s offensive coordinator. Lazor was Dalton’s quarterback coach and OC with the Bengals from 2016-2018. From 2016-2018, Dalton passed for 10,092 yards, 64 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions.


Bears 2021 NFL Betting Outlook

Bears to Win Super Bowl 56 (+4500)

(Odds courtesy of PointsBet)

For the Bears to win the Super Bowl, all-stars must align. Chicago’s defense must play as they did for Vic Fangio back in Chicago’s 12-4 2018 campaign, David Montgomery must play like he did in the second half of last season and Andy Dalton must play as he did in the first five years of his career. You can find better ways to spend your money.

Bears NFC South Winner (+500)

(Odds courtesy of PointsBet)

  • Packers (-228)
  • Vikings (+425)
  • Bears (+500)
  • Lions (+2500)

The NFC North is Green Bay’s division to lose. While the Vikings have the second-best odds to emerge as the winner, I wouldn’t count the Bears out. Still, my best bet is the packers, and if you are looking for a longshot, the Vikings. Now, if the Bears make the right moves for the rest of the offseason and these odds do not shift, then I would place a small wager on them to win the North. The Bears are a better team than they are given credit for. It is up to Andy Dalton to get the job done as this team has perennially been a quarterback away.

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Andy Dalton 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

Listen, if you are drafting Andy Dalton in fantasy football this year, you are likely playing in a league deeper than 12 teams or in a Superflex league. I am a Dalton guy saying this: Fantasy Football-wise, you can do better out the gate.

Dalton is best suited as QB2 in Superflex or a 1-quarterback-league streamer in favorable matchups. He should go undrafted in your single-QB leagues with fewer than 12 teams and I might be able to stretch that statement to 14 team leagues as well.

In 10 games with the Cowboys last season, Dalton finished as a QB1 twice but managed 17+ points in a given week four times. Take into consideration what I suggested in the first portion of this piece: While the Cowboys had elite weapons. their offensive line was defunct due to injuries to their studs. That did not help Dalton’s case.

Reuniting with Bill Lazor will certainly help Dalton, but he is what he is as a fantasy asset in 2021 at this juncture of his career. He is a better NFL quarterback than he is in fantasy.

Whether you think Andy Dalton can get the job done or not, Allen Robinson is no stranger to producing WR1 production with middling (or worse) quarterbacks. In his seven-year career, Robinson has been productive with signal-callers that include Blake Bortles, Nick Foles, and Mitchell Trubisky.

While he finished outside the top-50 in his 2014 rookie campaign, Robinson finished as the PPR WR6, WR24, INJ, WR40, WR8, WR9 consecutively since 2015. He’s been a top nine PPR wideout in three of his past six seasons, including two straight. Moreover, in 2017, Robinson missed the entire season due to injury. Robinson is one of those “if only” players. If only he had Deshaun Watson or Josh Allen. Regardless of who is under center, Robinson will be a productive fantasy receiver.

And let’s not forget that Andy Dalton himself produced quality fantasy assets at receiver that includes A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, and Tyler Boyd.


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