If you’re a longtime fan of the Chicago Bears, I send you my condolences. I can’t imagine what it’s like being a fan of the proud franchise, seeing inept offensive performance after inept offensive performance. At this point as a Bears fan, you’re probably hate watching the team like Randy Quaid’s character did with the Cleveland Indians in Major League 2.
The 2017 NFL Draft changed the course of history for the team. Chicago originally had the third overall pick but traded up ONE spot to get the second pick from San Francisco. They then took Mitchell Trubisky — a guy who started one entire season at the University of North Carolina, albeit he did put up great numbers in that one season.
At pick 10, the Kansas City Chiefs took Patrick Mahomes, who was viewed as a project by many since he came out of the quarterback-friendly Texas Tech offense. Here is one sample that was actually in USA Today on a draft grade for Mahomes after the draft (in which they gave a C- for the pick):
Calling Mahomes a project is a major understatement. He’s nowhere near ready to play in the NFL. And, honestly, he may never be. Between his inconsistent accuracy due to poor mechanics, his tendency to bail from clean pockets and his lack of field vision, he’s going to leave as many big plays on the field as he creates. This was a risky pick.
Folks, this is why we play the games and I’m always fascinated looking back at drafts and seeing what panned out and what didn’t — as well as predictions from other media outlets. That “risky” pick is now the face of the NFL.
To make matters worse for Chicago, taken at number 12 that year by Houston was Clemson QB Deshaun Watson — a guy that did nothing but win. He was in two National Title games and one of those was a win.
At the time, I thought Watson was the clear #1 but there were concerns of his mechanics, hence why he fell down to #12 overall.
I understand Mahomes at #2 for the Bears was likely never on their radar because, again, Mahomes was viewed by most as a project. But Watson was likely on their radar with his championship pedigree. It just makes it even more frustrating for a Bears fan knowing you’ve got two elite QBs now that you had a shot at — one more realistically than the other — and yet here you are with the Nick Foles/Mitchell Trubisky ineptitude at QB when your problems would’ve and should’ve been solved for a decade at minimum.
And sure, you could “what if” yourself on nearly every single scenario draft-wise and at every position. But for me, this is one of the biggest “what ifs” that you’ll come across.
After having a few good weeks of picks, I only went 3-7 this week and fell to 38-50-2 on the year. It’s yet another reminder that I can’t have nice things here. Oh well ...
Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots. Ok, the former NFL MVP isn’t here because of his arm — he’s only thrown three TDs all season. But he should have the opportunity to get a touchdown or two with his legs and be fantasy relevant against a hapless Houston Texans team on Sunday.
Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Detroit Lions. After struggling at the beginning of the season and after many fantasy owners cut ties with him, Jones has put up four weeks in a row of double-digit fantasy points — including four TDs in that span. Look for that to continue against Carolina, especially with fellow wideout Kenny Golladay questionable Sunday.
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets. It’s not a great matchup for Crowder against the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday, not to mention Joe Flacco will be the QB as Sam Darnold is out. But when healthy, Crowder has been a target machine. I expect double-digit targets and likely double-digit points out of him as he’ll probably be the only real viable Jet in fantasy this week.
Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots. As I mentioned Newton will help take down Houston earlier, Harris will be part of the 1-2 combo here. He’s been extremely efficient when healthy and Houston has given up the second most RB fantasy points all year. His only downside is they typically remove him within the red zone in favor of Rex Burkhead and/or James White.
Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers. I sound like a broken record here, but Ebron gets targets — and targets translate into receptions and fantasy points. I’ll go on a limb and say Ebron gets some red zone looks and hauls in a TD this week against Jacksonville.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons. Ryan is QB13 on the season and has likely been a serviceable starter for you for the majority of the year. However, I think he’ll struggle this week against a sneaky good New Orleans defense.
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams. Woods has 33 or fewer yards in two out of his last three games. Look for that trend to continue against Tampa Bay as I think you’ll see other Rams get involved with the offense instead.
DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars. Chark was a breakout WR last season, but he’s only eclipsed the century mark in yardage once this season. That won’t get any easier this week against Pittsburgh unless he pads the stats in garbage time.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs. The matchup here is good against the Raiders, but Le’Veon Bell’s signing has muddled this backfield. Also a problem is that coach Andy Reid seems to almost forget he’s got RBs from time to time — CEH has eight or fewer carries his last three games. That’s not what you need from the guy you likely took in the first round of your draft.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans. In the last five weeks, do you know the maximum receptions that Smith hauled in over this time? It’s two. That’s not great for your likely starting TE and they take on the Ravens this week.