Mitch Trubisky has all the makings of a fantasy stud heading into 2019.
We are almost two months away from NFL training camp, meaning that fantasy football is talk is about ramp up.
This past week I had a rookie draft in my Dynasty League and also checked several other leagues that will soon be blowing up my phone with pre-draft trades and trash talk. There really is nothing like Fantasy Football.
Every offseason, I begin rankings players and looking at different situations that may produce a suprise fantasy star. This year, that player is Chicago Bears’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who is primed to take the “next step” in year two of the Matt Nagy offense.
Yes, Trubisky has a lot he needs to improve on, but don’t sleep on what will be the third year pro. He has the skill-set, team, and coach around him to be one of the most valuable fantasy football QBs in 2019.
Let’s find out why.
In 2018, Trubisky rushed for 421 yards, which was fifth best in the NFL. He also finished sixth in rushing attempts behind Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, DeShaun Watson, and Josh Allen. At times, Trubisky’s ability as a rusher was his best trait. Not ideal, but very effective.
— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) October 21, 2018
According to Football Outsiders, Trubisky was second in DVOA when it came to rushing the football as a QB. Josh Allen was No. 1 in the NFL in 2018.
Most rushing yards per game in 2018 among all QBs:
Josh Allen (53)
Lamar Jackson (43 — but 79 in starts only)
Cam Newton (35)
Deshaun Watson (34)
Tyrod Taylor (31)
Mitch Trubisky (30) 👀
Why Trubisky is a great late-round fantasy football value in 2019: https://t.co/oxnQCeZsYi
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) May 13, 2019
Throwing On Run
Trubisky’s mobility is so special, that it reminded me a lot of Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson. Last year I wrote an article comparing the two:
Like Wilson, Trubisky has the unique ability to avoid defenders and make difficult throws on the run.
— LastWordOnNFL (@LastWordOnNFL) September 18, 2018
We all know how great Russell Wilson can be in the pocket. We also know how insanely great he can be throwing on the run as well. pic.twitter.com/lvBTmGqQXK
— C.J. (@c_tumbarello) September 14, 2017
Two of my favorite throws Trubisky made last season. Both times he avoided defenders, who were in the backfield pretty much unblocked:
Fast forward to Week 14 and Trubisky's already exhibiting growth in this area. The Packers get a free rusher from Trubisky's left (almost the same as above) but Trubisky's already sensed it from the snap — he simply flows right, shakes the tackle, and throws a perfect ball. Wow. pic.twitter.com/IjHW9TVfDQ
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) February 5, 2019
This is what people talk about when they say "you can't teach that."
Packers make the perfect call. Get a free rusher on Trubisky. He steps up, shakes off the tackle, fades left and fires a pretty ball over Blake Martinez for the 1st down.#Bears pic.twitter.com/7a8WapPWtn
— Erik Lambert (@ErikLambert1) December 16, 2018
Many QBs cannot make those plays above. Trubisky can.
Versatile players tend to make the best fantasy football players. Trubisky is as versatile as they come. We can project him for, at least 400 yards on the ground with 4-7 touchdowns. in 2019.
From Trubisky’s first-to-second year in the NFL general manager, Ryan Pace vastly improved the Bears’ offense. The result was Trubisky throwing for 24 TDs, 3,223 yards and just 12 interceptions in 14 games. If Trubisky played the entire 2018 regular season, one could argue that he could have thrown for 30 TDs and close to 4,000 yards.
Pace has again improved the Bears’ offense heading into 2019. It started with trading RB Jordan Howard. Then the Bears added players like Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley Ridley, Mike Davis, and David Montgomery.
Both the RB and WR positions have been upgraded by the Bears’ front office this offseason.
|RBs 2018||RBs 2019|
|Jordan Howard||David Montgomery|
|Tarik Cohen||Tarik Cohen|
|Benny Cunningham||Mike Davis|
|Taquan Mizzell||Kerrith Whyte|
|WRs 2018||WRs 2019|
|Allen Robinson||Allen Robinson|
|Anthony Miller (1 good shoulder)||Anthony Miller (2 good shoulders)|
|Taylor Gabriel||Taylor Gabriel|
|Josh Bellamy||Cordarrelle Patterson|
|Kevin White||Javon Wims|
|Javon Wims||Riley Ridley|
|Tanner Gentry||Emanuel Hall|
Head coach and offensive guru Matt Nagy truly has “his guys” on offense, in terms of personnel. That means the offense should be much more effective in 2019. Last year, the Bears’ offense ranked 21st overall, 21st in yards-per-game, and 11th in rushing-yards-per-game, 9th in total points, and 9th in points-per-game.
You can tell there was more potential in the run game with the versatility of Trubisky, which did a lot to help the Bears’ rank in some of these areas.
Year Two Jump
I mentioned above that 2019 will be Trubisky’s second straight year in the Nagy offense. That’s big, especially for us Bears’ fans, who remember the Jay Cutler era where there was a new offensive coordinator every season.
Having improved players at the skill positions will help Trubisky, but nothing will help more than having a full offseason and regular season of a new offensive system under his belt. The playbook should expand and Trubisky should have more responsibilities in year two.
Under Nagy, veteran QB Alex Smith saw a jump that Trubisky should expect to see.
2016 Alex Smith – 3,502 yards passing, 15 TDs, 7.2 Y/A, 233.5 YPG, QBR 91.2
207 Alex Smith – 4,042 yards passing, 26 TDs, 8.0 Y/A, 269.5 YPC, QBR 104.7
In a similar system run by Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz also experienced a jump in year two of the offense.
2016 Carson Wentz – 3,782 yards passing, 16 TDs, 6.2 Y/A, 236.4 YPG, QBR 79.3
2017 Carson Wentz – 3,296 (played 3 fewer games), 33 TDs, 7.5 Y/A, 253.5 YPG, QBR 101.9
In an Andy Reid type offense, the QB gets better from year 1-2. We can trace it back to 1999-2000 with Donavan McNabb. Based on history, Trubisky should take the next step in 2019, which means if he stays healthy, he will see an increase in a lot of stats.
Overall 2019 Fantasy Outlook
Trubisky finished 2018 as a top 15 fantasy QB. While I currently have him in my top 5 heading into 2019, jumping 10 spots is a lot. Yet, it doesn’t seem that difficult for Trubisky to do. He has the skill-set, supportive cast, and coach to do it.
My 2019 projections for Trubisky look a little something like this:
4,200 passing yards, 31 TDs throwing, 5 rushing, and 9 interceptions.
For this to happen the Bears obviously need to stay healthy and Trubisky needs to become more than a 1-2 read QB. Too many times last year he would look at his first target and if it wasn’t there, run.
He needs to look through his progressions before pulling the ball down and running.
With that being said, it’s hard not to see Trubisky improving in this area in 2019. If that’s the case, he will easily be a top 5 fantasy football QB in 2019.
Here are my early Top 5 QB rankings heading into June.