News: 2 days agoBears head coach Matt Eberflus said Monday that Claypool won't be present at the team's facilities this week or available for Thursday's game against the Commanders, Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Spin: Eberflus' comments on Claypool's status came after the wideout was a healthy inactive for Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Broncos. As Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune notes, the coach said Sunday that Claypool -- who wasn't even in attendance at Soldier Field after being told to stay home for the Week 4 game -- was expected to be back in the building for Week 5 prep, but those plans apparently changed. The Bears and Claypool seem to be headed for a divorce, either through a trade or the wideout's release. The former Steeler tallied just four receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets through the Bears' first three games, despite playing more than 75 percent of the snaps on offense in each of those contests.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Claypool is entering his first full season with Chicago after the Bears acquired him from the Steelers last season. The 2020 second-round pick looked like a budding star as a rookie (889 yards and 11 TDs and a 23rd-place fantasy finish) but took a step back the last two seasons (1,466 yards and three TDs in 30 games). Claypool was brought along slowly and struggled during his seven games with Chicago last season, totaling a 14-140-0 receiving line on 28 targets. The 25-year-old was a big investment by Chicago, so he's sure to play a sizable role in 2023. Of course, he'll be working behind DJ Moore and scrapping for targets with Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. Claypool's ceiling is limited a bit in Chicago's run-first scheme, but he could flirt with flex value and is a fine late-round flier.