2017 Outlook: Howard opened his rookie season third on Chicago's depth chart, but it didn't take the intriguing fifth-round pick long to work his way into workhorse duties. The big man ranked 11th in the league in carries, but his terrific effectiveness (5.2 YPC, 2.2 YAC) allowed him the second-most rushing yards. Howard's hands (position-high eight drops) are a concern, but he still managed 48 targets and averaged a healthy 10.3 yards per reception. Touchdowns may elude Howard in Chicago's underwhelming offense, but the 22-year-old emerging star will push for 20 touches every week. Upgrade him slightly in non-PPR.
2017 Outlook: Meredith went undrafted in 2015, but joined Chicago as an intriguing 6-foot-3, 215-pound converted quarterback. He played sparingly as a rookie and was a nonfactor during the first four weeks of 2016. Promoted into an every-down role in Week 5, he was targeted 12 times and led the NFL with 27 targets during Weeks 5-6. Meredith averaged a healthy 7.3 targets per game (21 percent share) during the 12 games in which he played at least 40 percent of the pass play snaps; only 17 receivers scored more fantasy points after Week 4. Alshon Jeffery is gone, leaving Kevin White, Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton as Meredith's competition for snaps. He's positioned well for flex production.
2017 Outlook: White was the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft, but he's now appeared in only four of a possible 32 games because of injury over the past two years. After missing his entire rookie campaign, White showed progressive improvement as a sophomore this past season. He was targeted 35 times (8.75 per game), although a whopping 34 percent were off target. White will turn 25 this summer, which will be pretty late for a breakout, but he has a shot for a big role with Alshon Jeffery now in Philadelphia. White is 6-foot-3 and ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the combine. His fantasy upside is enormous.
2017 Outlook: The Bears signed Glennon to a three-year, $45 million contract and hope that he'll provide a competent bridge to Mitch Trubisky, whom they selected second overall in April's draft. Glennon was busy during his first two seasons in the league, but has played just 14 snaps (all last season) since the Bucs selected Jameis Winston in the 2015 draft. Glennon has a solid 29-to-15 TD/INT mark in his career and his poor 6.5 yards per attempt can be traced to his teammates averaging a league-low 3.5 yards after the catch in both 2013 and 2014. Even if Glennon is a capable starter, his most likely outcome is that of a game manager in a run-first, low-volume offense.
2017 Outlook: The Bears traded up to select Trubisky with the second overall pick in April's draft. He figures to spend a significant chunk of his rookie season learning the ropes behind Mike Glennon. Trubisky completed 304 of 446 attempts (68 percent) for 3,748 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions during his final season at North Carolina. He was charted as off target on 7.3 percent of his throws, which was best among quarterbacks who attended the Combine. Pro Football Focus' No. 2-graded FBS quarterback last season has a big, accurate arm and is a good athlete who will add yardage with his legs (93 carries, 308 yards, five touchdowns last season). The 6-foot-2, 222-pound pocket passer has the tools needed to thrive at the pro level, but is unlikely to play much in 2017.
2017 Outlook: Injuries and suspensions along the front seven and a weak secondary helped Chicago's D/ST to its fourth straight year as a bottom-seven unit last season. Chicago managed only eight interceptions (fourth fewest) for the second year in a row. The Bears allowed 399 points (24th), and recovered just three fumbles (30th). They still have the talent to field one of the best linebacker units in football (Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman, Willie Young, Leonard Floyd, Pernell McPhee), but Trevathan may start 2017 on the PUP list. Cornerback remains a problem area, but the team added Prince Amukamara and a lot of competition at the position during the offseason. This unit is a very deep sleeper, but is safe to avoid on draft day considering their Week 1 meeting with Atlanta.
2017 Outlook: Following three years out of the league, Miller did the improbable and returned to relevance during the 2015 season. He built on that in 2016 by landing a promotion to the top of the depth chart and then ranking sixth among tight ends in fantasy points prior to a season-ending foot injury. Miller caught a position-best 79 percent of his targets in 2015 and ranked fourth at 75 percent last season. He has two career drops -- and they came in 2009. Miller turns 33 this year, but he'll be one of Mike Glennon's top targets, which puts him in the TE2 mix. He has top-12 upside.