2017 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidate: Cameron Meredith

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

WR Cameron Meredith | Chicago Bears | 3rd Year

2016 Stats: 66 receptions for 888 yards, 4 TDs

After being inactive for the first two games, a combination of circumstances led to Cameron Meredith becoming the Bears’ No. 1 wide receiver in 2016. 2015 top-10 pick Kevin White missed significant time to injury again, and later a four-game suspension for Alshon Jeffery opened the door even further for Meredith.

In Meredith’s first two games last season, he totaled six catches (on eight targets) for 52 yards. From Week 5 on, 12 games, he averaged 5.0 receptions (7.4 targets) and 69.6 yards per game. Projected over 16 games, that’s 80 receptions for 1,115 yards and five touchdowns. As noted by numberFire, that full season projection would have made Meredith a top-20 wide receiver in PPR leagues last year.

Meredith surely helped a lot of fantasy owners win championships last year, with 18 catches for 239 yards in Week 15 and Week 16. Add Week 14 (six receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown), and Meredith was a fantasy playoff force.

But a closer look at his numbers shows volatility. Along with four double-digit target games from Week 5-12, Meredith also had five games with four or fewer targets (four in a row from Week 7-Week 11 and five out of six from Week 7-Week 13, with a bye mixed in). In the one game Meredith had more than four targets over that stretch, Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Meredith delivered two catches for 19 yards on nine targets.

The Bears’ quarterback situation was not great in 2016, but it’s hard to say it will be markedly better with Mike Glennon and rookie Mitch Trubisky this year. In a relative doomsday scenario current No. 3 quarterback Mark Sanchez would have to start games, which would be comparable to Matt Barkley being under center in 2016. Meredith was well-involved and pretty productive when Barkley had to play late last year though, with over 60 receiving yards in each of Barkley’s final five starts and at least six targets in five of Barkley’s six starts.

Meredith is Chicago’s proverbial No. 1 wide receiver, with an average draft position that presents value (WR43, pick 9.10 in standard 12-team leagues, WR42, pick 8.11 in 12-team PPR via Fantasy Football Calculator). But even with Jeffery’s departure there’s added competition for targets, to whatever level Kendall Wright, Victor Cruz and Markus Wheaton fit that description.

Meredith’s breakout season may have been 2016. But there’s some idea there’s more in store, with an elevation to WR2 or even low-end WR1 status over a full season with a prominent role. Based on that standard, I don’t see a further breakout for Meredith in 2017. Better numbers will come from purely being on the field for 16 games, nothing more.

Cameron Meredith 2017 Projection:

75 receptions for 960 yards, 4 TDs

Breakout Percentage: 10%

 

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Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

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