Bears

Fantasy Football: 11 waiver wire targets for Week 2

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Fantasy Football: 11 waiver wire targets for Week 2

The year of the tight end is upon us, you guys.

Tight ends exploded onto the scene in Week 1, with 22 total touchdowns as a position group.

It was so ridiculous that John "The Professor" Paschall (a lover of tight ends since the dawn of time) doesn't even want to talk about them anymore because TEs are "too mainstream."

Of the Top 20 fantasy scorers in Week 1, five (FIVE!!) were tight ends, including: Rob Gronkowski (No. 3), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (5), Tyler Eifert (13), Travis Kelce (14) and Jason Witten (20).

Thirteen different tight ends posted double-digit fantasy outputs and that total jumps to 18 if you look at PPR leagues.

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Heath Miller went for eight catches and 84 yards while Jordan Cameron posted four receptions for 73 yards and yet neither guy were in the Top 12 of TEs. If you told us before each week that our tight end would put up that kind of production, we'd be stoked.

As such, tight ends are dominating our Week 1 waiver pick ups.

Let's let Kelce take it away from here:

1. James Jones, WR, GB

Well that didn't take long, did it? One of Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets returned to Green Bay less than a week before the season opener. Six days later he had caught two touchdown passes to go with 51 receiving yards. I don't think Jones' lightning-quick emergence dims the outlook on Randall Cobb (5/38/1) or Davante Adams (4/59/0) but it's apparent Jones is for real. Remember, he led the NFL in TD receptions (14) in 2012. He and Rodgers have chemistry, and the opportunity is clearly there. He should be this week's top waiver claim if you didn't grab him in the final rounds of your draft. - Mark Strotman

2. Terrance Williams, WR, DAL 

Jason Witten can't catch all of Tony Romo's passes. Williams flew under the radar during draft season but now he's in the spotlight with Dez Bryant's injury (which could be more severe than everyone initially believed). Williams will be a big time target machine with Tony Romo and should see a major increase in production. (John "The Professor" Paschall)

3. Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN

How is this guy only owned in 43 percent of leagues?? That's insane. We've been talking up Eifert all preseason and he's ready for his breakout. Talent has never been the question with the former Notre Dame star - it's always been about health and opportunity. Neither of those are an issue this season, as a monster Week 1 proves. He has the potential to be a Top 5 TE in 2015. (Tony Andracki)

4. Carson Palmer, QB, ARI

The Cardinals were so lost without Palmer last year when he went down with a knee injury. It was even worse for fantasy owners with Cardinals wide receivers because guys like Drew Stanton weren't able to take advantage of the talent Arizona had at skill positions. But now with Palmer back and healthy, those receivers should see a bump in production and more importantly so should Palmer. His great game against the Saints in Week 1 was no fluke. He's a solid veteran quarterback with a lot of good weapons around him and a head coach that loves big plays. Get him on your roster as your QB2 now. (Paschall)

5. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, TB

ASJ found his name on several "breakout" lists last season, but it looks like everybody was just year early on this raw, but uber-talented tight end. He was dominant against the Titans in Week 1, serving as really the only Bucs player worth a damn in fantasy. Just check out what he can do. A tight end is a rookie QB's best friend and it certainly looks like ASJ is here to stay. Get him on your rosters and in your lineups. He can easily finish as a Top 10-12 tight end this season. (Andracki)

6. Dion Lewis, RB, NE

It's hard to predict how Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will align his backfield each week, but if Week 1 was any indication then Lewis needs to be on your roster. Lewis gained 69 yards on 15 carries to go along with four receptions for 51 yards. He out-snapped every New England back by a large margin, which plays well into his favor with LeGarrette Blount returning from his one-game suspension in Week 2. Lewis won't get the volume of carries that Blount will receive going forward this season, but all signs point to him playing a similar passing down role that Shane Vereen excelled at during his time with the Patriots. (Scott Krinch)

7. Donte Moncrief, WR, IND

What a nice debut for the Colts' No. 3 wide receiver, who went for 6/46/1 on 11 targets in Indianapolis' loss to the Bills. With TY Hilton banged up Moncrief is in an excellent spot to post start-able numbers against the Jets next week. And even if Hilton weren't injured, Moncrief's Week 1 performance was another sign that first-rounder Phillip Dorsett won't be stealing many snaps from him going forward. He's a nice add, especially if Hilton misses any time the next few weeks. (Strotman)

8. Stevie Johnson, WR, SD

After three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons from 2010-2012, Johnson sort of fell off the map the last two years. Looking to revive his career, Johnson signed with a pass-happy offense in San Diego this past offseason, and his addition is paying off immediate dividends for the Chargers. Johnson caught six passes (six targets) for 82 yards and a touchdown in San Diego's Week 1 victory. Firmly entrenched as the No. 2 wideout on an offense led by a Top 10 quarterback in Philip Rivers, Johnson is a must-add in all leagues this week. (Krinch)

9. Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA

Lockett displayed a knack for finding the end zone with three touchdowns during the preseason, and proved that he's no fluke by returning a punt 57 yards for a touchdown in Seattle's season opener. And it's not just the return game that Lockett provides value. He also hauled in all four passes thrown his way for 34 yards against the Rams. Lockett is already the No. 3 wideout on the Seahawks as he played in 70 percent of the team's offensive snaps against St. Louis, and with mediocre players like Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse in front of him, it won't be too long before the rookie speedster becomes Russell Wilson's go-to-receiver in Seattle. (Krinch)

10. Jordan Reed, TE, WSH

Targets, targets and more targets. Reed was getting a lot of looks from Kirk Cousins already and now he'll only get more with DeSean Jackson out. He's not a traditional tight end in that he's smaller but has some speed. Somebody has to catch passes from Kirk Cousins and Reed will be that guy. Go get him on the waiver wire. (Paschall)

11. Chris Johnson, RB, ARI

What a country we live in. Left for dead last year and this offseason, Chris Johnson signed with the Cardinals and less than a month later is the lead back. With Andre Ellington sidelined and David Johnson not ready to take on full-time responsibilities, Bruce Arians is ready to go with CJ2K as the lead back in Week 2 against the Bears and a defense still trying to find its identity under Vic Fangio. The Packers offense didn't post gaudy numbers in Chicago, but that was more a product of the Bears controlling time of possession than anything. Johnson will have a chance to run free in what should be another high-scoring game. Feel confident in using him as a flex with RB2 upside. (Strotman)

Roquan Smith helps shear a sheep at Bears community event

Roquan Smith helps shear a sheep at Bears community event

Roquan Smith has more sheared sheep than tackles on his stat sheet as a pro football player.

Smith and several other Bears rookies participated in a hands-on community event at Lambs Farm in Libertyville, Illinois on Monday where he assisted farm staff with the sheep's grooming. Smith said it was a first for him despite growing up around animals. 

"It's like on the norm for me though, playing linebacker you're in the trenches," Smith said of the experience.

"Shaving a sheep, I never really envisioned myself doing something like that," Smith said via ChicagoBears.com. "I was around animals [growing up], but it was more so cows and goats here and there and dogs and cats. I've petted a sheep before, but never actually flipped one and shaved one."

Bears rookies got up close and personal with more than just sheep.

Smith was selected with the eighth overall pick in April's draft and will assume a starting role opposite Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker this season. Here's to hoping he can wrangle opposing ball-carriers like a sheep waiting to be sheared.

The Bears' defense is ahead of its offense, but Matt Nagy doesn't see that as a problem

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The Bears' defense is ahead of its offense, but Matt Nagy doesn't see that as a problem

Asking players about how the defense is “ahead” of the offense is a yearly right of passage during OTAs, sort of like how every baseball team has about half its players saying they’re in the best shape of their life during spring training. So that Vic Fangio’s defense is ahead of Matt Nagy’s offense right now isn’t surprising, and it's certainly not concerning. 

But Nagy is also working to install his offense right now during OTAs to build a foundation for training camp. So does the defense — the core of which is returning with plenty of experience in Fangio’s system — being ahead of the offense hurt those efforts?

“It’s actually good for us because we’re getting an experienced defense,” Nagy said. “My message to the team on the offensive side is just be patient and don’t get frustrated. They understand that they’re going to play a little bit faster than us right now. We’ll have some growing pains, but we’ll get back to square one in training camp.”

We’ll have a chance to hear from the Bears’ offensive players following Wednesday’s practice, but for now, the guys on Fangio’s defense have come away impressed with that Nagy’s offense can be. 

“The offense is a lot … just very tough,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “They’re moving well. They’re faster. They’re throwing a lot of different looks at us and that’s just Nagy’s offense. If I was a receiver I would love to play in this offense, just because you get to do so many different things and you get so many different plays. It just looks fun over there.”

“They’re moving together, and I like to see that,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “We’re not a bad defense. They’re practicing against us, so they’re getting better every day, and vice versa. It’s a daily grind. It’s going to be tough, but those guys, they got the right pieces. I like what I see out there. When somebody makes a play, they’re gone. Everybody can run over there. It’s the right fit for Mitch, it’s the right fit for the receivers, the running backs.”

Still, for all the praise above, the defense is “winning” more, at least as much as it can without the pads on. But the offense is still having some flashes, even as it collectively learns the terminology, concepts and formations used by Nagy. 

And that leads to a competitive atmosphere at Halas Hall, led by the Bears’ new head coach. 

“He’s an offensive coach and last year coach (John) Fox, I couldn’t really talk stuff to (him) because he’s a defensive coach and it’s like Nagy’s offense so if I get a pick or something, I mean, I like to talk stuff to him,” Amukamara said. “He’ll say something like ‘we’re coming at you 2-0.’ Stuff like that. That just brings out the competition and you always want that in your head coach.”