Bears

Fantasy Football: Four guys whose stock is falling after NFL Draft

julius-thomas-fantasy-football-stock-down-slide.png

Fantasy Football: Four guys whose stock is falling after NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is one of the most exciting times of the year for Fantasy Football owners, as they see what team and situation the top rookies will end up in. But there's also the other edge to that sword - how will the influx of rookies impact other guys around the league?

As usual, there were plenty of surprises during Draft Week, including the St. Louis Rams snatching Todd Gurley with the No. 10 pick. Add in free agency, and there are plenty of top fantasy options from 2014 that don't look so appealing heading into the 2015 season.

[RELATED - Fantasy Football: 4 guys whose stocks are rising after NFL Draft]

Trust us, we're just as upset as you. Krinch is the vice president of Joique Bell's fan club and Tre Mason is a favorite of the CSN Fantasy crew.



Joique Bell (RB), Detroit Lions

This one pains me. I've been a huge advocate of Joique Bell the last few years, but now I'm officially resigning as President of his fan club. Bell was given the opportunity to be the lead back in Detroit and fell flat on his face in 2014. He rushed for a career-high 860 yards, but was only able to muster up a pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry. After catching 50-plus passes in 2012 and 2013, Bell only hauled in 34 receptions and wasn't much of a factor in the team's passing game, losing out on targets to rookie running back Theo Riddick. Bell also finished the season with a -2.0 rating (33rd among NFL RBs), according to ProFootballFocus.com. After jettisoning Reggie Bush earlier this offseason, the Lions used a second-round selection on Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah which spells bad news for Bell. It won't be surprising to see Abdullah eventually take over as the starter for the Lions, possibly as early as Week 1. While Bell was a sleeper in fantasy drafts last season, he has way too many negative factors going against him to be a relevant fantasy player in 2015. (Scott Krinch)

[FOLLOW @CSNFantasy on Twitter]

Julius Thomas (TE), Jacksonville Jaguars

There's always one big free-agent signing that doesn't turn out the way the player's new contract says it would. That guy this year is Thomas. He leaves Peyton Manning for Blake Bortles and is suddenly no longer surrounded by not only a quality quarterback, but other impact receivers. Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee don't exactly strike fear in any defense. Bortles' stats at the end of the year were painful. Over the last six games, Bortles did not throw for over 225 yards once and only threw three touchdowns over that span. Thomas doesn't have that "Gronk" type impact where he can manhandle a double-team. Let him slide in your drafts late this summer because he's not going to put up the same numbers he did in Denver. (John "The Professor" Paschall)

[ROTOWORLD: Veteran winners from the NFL Draft]

Tre Mason (RB), St. Louis Rams

You could argue that nobody's stock fell further than Mason's after the NFL Draft. A week ago, the 21-year-old was entering his second pro season as the presumed No. 1 back on a rising Rams team after showing some solid potential in his rookie year with 4.3 yards per carry and 5 TDs. But the Rams spent their first pick on Todd Gurley and just like that, Mason is a backup again. Gurley is a beast and while he's not exactly a fixture of health, he will get the heavy majority of carries in St. Louis when he is healthy, meaning Mason is nothing more than a handcuff in Fantasy. Sighhhhh. (Tony Andracki)

Philip Rivers (QB), San Diego Chargers

Rivers finished 12th among quarterbacks in standard fantasy leagues a year ago, bordering on QB1 status thanks to a hot start. But I didn't like how Rivers ended the year (11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his last eight games compared to 20 touchdowns and five picks in his first eight games) and now not only does he lose Eddie Royal to free agency (Chicago), but he gets himself what should be a featured RB1 in Melvin Gordon, who the Chargers traded up to grab in last month's NFL Draft. I love the situation Gordon finds himself in (and plan on targeting him in most of my leagues), but he only caught 22 passes in his four years (45 games) at Wisconsin. Granted, four of those receptions went for scores because he's really good at football (and probably life), but it doesn't give me lots of faith in him helping Rivers all that much. Yes, Rivers is in a contract year and will look to earn himself more money on a new deal this year, but don't overpay for him because of it. I'll take a guy like Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan before I think about Rivers. (Mark Strotman)

Trubisky on NFC North QBs: 'Bring 'em on'

10-14mitchelltrubisky.jpg
USA Today

Trubisky on NFC North QBs: 'Bring 'em on'

The NFC North was recently dubbed the most talented quarterback division in the NFL largely because of Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford.

Bears starter Mitch Trubisky may eventually be viewed as an elite quarterback someday, but his average rookie season has created some doubt among analysts about whether he'll ever be that guy.

In a recent sit-down with Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne, Trubisky said he isn't concerned with outside opinion, nor is he intimidated by the resumes of his NFC North counterparts.

"I've realized that these people you look up to—watching Aaron Rodgers, watching Tom Brady—they're humans just like I am," Trubisky told Dunne. "They can make mistakes. They're just people. We've all been through similar things to get to where we are now. ... As a competitor, you want the biggest, tallest challenge you can possibly ask for.

"So, yeah, give me the division with Aaron Rodgers, Stafford and Kirk Cousins. Bring 'em on."

Trubisky's confidence has been evident this offseason. There's no doubt who the Bears' leader in the locker room is. Just ask Kyle Long.

Still, he's not without his critics, something he said he doesn't consume himself with.

"Why would I be worried about what anybody has to say on the outside?" he said. "You're sitting in a chair talking into a microphone. I'm in the war. I'm in the middle of the hurricane."

Trubisky's name is consistently mentioned after DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes whenever the 2017 quarterback class is discussed and few -- if any -- experts expect him to be the best of the three.

But none of that matters. All Trubisky has to be is a winner in Chicago, and he certainly has the confidence needed to get there.

"So get ready," he said. "I'm going to be prepared. I'm going to give you everything I've got. Hopefully, I make people eat their words with what they say about me."

15 Most Important Bears of 2018: No. 6 - Kyle Fuller

15 Most Important Bears of 2018: No. 6 - Kyle Fuller

Last year this time, Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller was about to start the most important training camp of his pro football career. The former first-round pick was coming off a season where he didn't play a single game because of a mysterious knee injury and was viewed as a potential training camp casualty.

The Bears didn't pick up his fifth-year option and as a result, the 2017 season represented a prove-it year for Fuller. And boy did he ever.

Fuller enjoyed the best season of his career from both a health and production standpoint. He registered 60 tackles and two interceptions en route to becoming the kind of shutdown corner the Bears envisioned when he was selected 14th overall in the 2014 NFL draft. He got paid for his efforts, too.

Ryan Pace rewarded Fuller with a four-year $56 million contract, making him one of the team's biggest cap hits over the next three seasons. To be fair, Fuller's contract was actually offered by the rival Packers and Pace exercised his option to match under the transition tag. Still, it's a contract that Fuller must now continue to earn. One great season is a far cry from a great career.

There's no reason to expect a regression from Fuller, assuming he can stay healthy. The entire starting secondary is returning and should be even better than last year with more comfort and confidence in each other. Fuller can trust safeties Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos to have his back if he takes a chance at an interception. It's not unreasonable to expect Fuller to have an even better year considering he's beginning 2018 with that trust in his teammates already developed.

The Bears need Fuller to take hold of elite status this year. He's just as important to the defense's success as the pass rush is. He has to make Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford think twice about throwing in his direction. He needs to shrink the field.

Fuller isn't that guy yet, but if he blossoms into one of the league's top cover guys, Chicago's defense will challenge for an even better status than the top-10 finish they enjoyed a year ago. Much of his success will rely on the aforementioned pass rush, and one could argue that the Bears haven't exactly set up Fuller for a sensational breakout. But the point remains: For Chicago to soar among the league's top defenses, Fuller has to become one of the NFL's best pure defenders.

He's close.