News & Analysis

Burton finds fantasy-friendly landing spot in Chicago

Jan 21, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton (88) reacts to his first down reception against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears continue to be very active in free agency and will snag another offensive weapon in TE Trey Burton. Chicago will also ink Allen Robinson to a deal when the free agency period officially opens on Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST.

Burton was arguably the top pass-catching tight end in this year’s free agent class following a strong 2017 campaign. Despite being stuck behind Zach Ertz on the depth chart, Burton made his mark as a role player throughout the season, and was especially effective when Ertz was sidelined. In those two games, which occurred in Weeks 9 and 14, Burton racked up seven catches on 10 targets for 112 yards and three touchdowns.

Of course, we can’t overlook the fact that Burton hasn’t been a full-time starter at any point since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Florida in 2014. Still, the Bears were willing to pony up $32 million over four years for his services. That average of $8 million per year makes Burton the sixth highest paid tight end in the league, and it also suggests the Bears view him as a full-time starter.

The addition of Burton almost certainly spells the end of Dion Sims’ tenure in Chicago, but the Bears also have second-year man Adam Shaheen on the roster. Shaheen was a draftnik favorite thanks to his impressive size and athleticism. He ended up being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft, but only played a minor role in the passing game with just 12 catches last season. Shaheen still has appeal as a long-term dynasty stash, but the addition of Burton takes Shaheen off the redraft radar.

For Burton, this is a solid landing spot. He’ll play in a system that is likely to be very TE-friendly under new head coach Matt Nagy. Like with Allen Robinson, Burton’s fantasy value hinges on Mitchell Trubisky taking a step forward in Year 2. That being said, Burton’s plus ability as a receiver and his favorable role in the Bears’ offense bode well for his fantasy prospects. He’s a good bet to produce TE2 numbers with the outside chance of him landing on the back end of the TE1 radar.

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