James posted no stats in the Bears' 31-17 Week 18 loss to the Vikings, and he ended the season with seven catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Analysis: As the Bears' third-string tight end, James saw more than 25 snaps on just two occasions. Although he technically has three more years on his contract, all are void years, and the team can move on with no cap penalty. However, if the Bears let Jimmy Graham go, James could move up the depth chart and potentially have fantasy value as a red-zone target, though Cole Kmet will likely see the overwhelming majority of tight end targets.
Jan 9, 2022 5:21 PM EST
James caught his only target for four yards in the Bears' 29-3 win over the Giants on Sunday.
Analysis: This is just the third time this season that James has posted a reception in a game, and he won't be a recommended fantasy option in Week 18 against the Vikings.
Jan 2, 2022 6:36 PM EST
James was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, Larry Mayer of the Bears' official site reports.
Analysis: James was one of five Chicago players to be removed from COVID-19 protocols Monday. He will likely assume his usual role behind Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham during the Bears' Week 17 matchup with the Giants.
Dec 27, 2021 2:18 PM EST
James will remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list and won't be available for Monday's game against the Vikings, Larry Mayer of the Bears' official site reports.
Analysis: The reserve tight end is one of 14 members of the Bears roster or practice squad who won't suit up Monday after being placed on the list in recent days. James had drawn just one target over the Bears' last five games, so his absence will likely go unnoticed for fantasy purposes.
Dec 20, 2021 2:12 PM EST
James was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday.
Analysis: The tight end will now likely be unavailable for the team's Monday night matchup with the Vikings as he goes through COVID-19 protocols. With Cole Kmet (illness), Jesper Horsted (illness) and Jimmy Graham (knee) questionable for Week 15, J.P. Holtz is the only healthy option remaining at the position going into Friday.
Dec 16, 2021 2:38 PM EST
James caught three passes for 38 yards and a touchdown in the Bears' 33-22 loss to the 49ers on Sunday.
Analysis: With Jimmy Graham (COVID-19) missing this game, James caught all three of his targets, including the only touchdown pass Justin Fields threw. For the second straight game, James caught three passes, though once Graham returns, there's a strong chance James returns to the reserve he held, which resulted in zero catches through Week 6.
Oct 31, 2021 2:38 PM EST
James caught three passes for 20 yards in the Bears' 38-3 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Analysis: James took over the second tight-end role with Jimmy Graham (COVID-19) sitting this one out, but he had most of his production when the game was well out of hand. Stuck in an anemic Chicago passing attack while not being the lead tight end, James has limited fantasy upside.
Oct 24, 2021 4:59 PM EST
James (personal) doesn't appear on Chicago's injury report ahead of Sunday's game against the Packers.
Analysis: James missed Chicago's previous game due to personal reasons but should make his return for this clash of NFC North rivals. With Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham occupying the top two spots on the Bears' tight end depth chart, James isn't expected to play a major role in his return.
Oct 15, 2021 12:14 PM EST
James (personal) won't play Sunday against the Raiders.
Analysis: James didn't practice all week and will consequently sit out when his teammates travel to Vegas. Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham should continue to dominate snaps at the tight end position for Chicago.
Oct 8, 2021 11:35 AM EST
James caught four passes for 54 yards in Chicago's 41-15 preseason loss to the Bills on Saturday.
Analysis: James played with both the starters and reserves, catching passes from both Andy Dalton and Justin Fields, and he was second on the team with five targets. After his second-straight solid performance, he appears to be in the driver's seat to open the season as the team's No. 3 tight end behind Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham.
Aug 21, 2021 3:16 PM EST
Although James was wide open on an easy 30-yard touchdown reception, his overall work is solidifying his role as Chicago's third tight end, Adam Jahns of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Playing primarily with the backups in the Bears' first preseason game, James was second on the team with four targets, hauling in two of them for 38 yards and a score. Although the seven-year veteran has yet to surpass 423 yards or three touchdowns in any season, he has ability as both a blocker and receiver that would allow him to step in if either Cole Kmet or Jimmy Graham were forced to miss time during the season.
Aug 16, 2021 9:18 AM EST
James signed a one-year contract with the Bears on Sunday, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: James averaged 377.7 yards per season from 2016 to 2018 during his final three years with the Steelers, but he totaled just 271 yards and two touchdowns with the Lions across the last two seasons. The 27-year-old will have to compete with Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham for targets in Chicago.
Jul 25, 2021 4:56 PM EST
The Lions released James on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: James had the two worst years of his career in Detroit, logging just 142 and 129 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Wherever he next lands, James will at least get the benefit of not working behind T.J. Hockensen, which could potentially allow him to reprise production levels similar to what he once did in Pittsburgh. From 2016-18 with the Steelers, James strung together three straight seasons with at least 300 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Mar 11, 2021 6:37 PM EST
James secured his only target for a two-yard gain during Sunday's 37-35 loss to Minnesota.
Analysis: Like in most of his outings with Detroit over the past two seasons, James' playing time included the majority of available special-teams snaps plus around half of the offensive snaps. However, with T.J. Hockenson around, he hasn't had as many responsibilities in the passing game as he did in Pittsburgh from 2015 to 2018, which is almost certainly the driver of James having logged career-lows in receptions (14) and receiving yards (129) over 16 games for the second straight season. Unfortunately for the future of his production, Detroit has both he and Hockenson locked up through at least 2022, making James seems unlikely to see a bump in his fantasy stock anytime soon.
Jan 5, 2021 4:43 PM EST
James caught one of three targets for a nine-yard touchdown during Sunday's 34-30 win over Chicago.
Analysis: While there will be days like Sunday when James comes through with a touchdown, the low amount of passing volume he sees makes James too touchdown-dependent to have fantasy value.
Dec 7, 2020 2:48 PM EST
James was targeted twice and caught one pass for three yards in Sunday's 20-0 loss to the Panthers.
Analysis: James continues to handle a consistent role on offense, playing about 50 percent of the snaps on a weekly basis. His production is capped behind T.J. Hockenson, though, and he's recorded just 10 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown through 10 games.
Nov 24, 2020 5:47 PM EST
James caught one of two targets for 31 yards during Sunday's 35-39 loss to the Saints.
Analysis: James caught his longest pass as a member of the Lions, but he'll certainly remain a complementary piece of the Lions' passing game as long as everyone else is healthy.
Oct 4, 2020 3:41 PM EST
James caught three passes (four targets) for 28 yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 26-23 win over Arizona.
Analysis: James was finally involved in the passing game after not seeing a single target during the first two games of the year. However, his track record of being a blocking specialist suggests this isn't the start of something new. It will be extremely hard to trust James in Week 4 against New Orleans.
Sep 28, 2020 3:03 PM EST
James logged 30 offensive snaps during Sunday's 42-21 loss to the Packers.
Analysis: James again significantly trailed T.J. Hockenson in playing time, and the blocking specialist didn't see a pass thrown his way for the second consecutive week despite the continued absence of Kenny Golladay (hamstring). Don't expect James to see a spike in passing-game involvement anytime soon.
Sep 21, 2020 9:21 AM EST
James, who caught two of three passes for five yards in Sunday's season finale against the Packers, finished the 2019 season with 16 catches (27 targets) for 142 yards and no touchdowns over 16 games.
Analysis: Detroit signed the former Steeler in the offseason to help the Lions offense establish its identity in the run game. For the most part, James played his role well. While fantasy owners likely hoped for more production as a receiver -- especially when T.J. Hockenson (ankle) missed time due to injury -- prolific pass-catching has never been James' game and it probably never will be. Instead, the 6-foot-7 James excels in opening holes for running backs and that's exactly what the Lions are likely hoping from James in 2020 and beyond. The 25-year-old tight end is under contract through 2023.
Jan 2, 2020 2:48 PM EST
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