Fantasy Football 2014: Look at the Chicago Bears
It wasn’t long ago that the first Chicago Bear didn’t get drafted until the late rounds of a fantasy draft. The Bears just didn’t have many playmakers on their offense to produce decent fantasy stats. You might have had guys like Thomas Jones, Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, or Greg Olsen on your fantasy team but did you really start them?
Now the Bears have a few players who will put up big fantasy points this season. And teams aren’t avoiding picking Bears players due to a poor offense.
Cant miss talent
Now the Bears have one of the top fantasy players in the NFL, Matt Forte which is the second ranked running back in my latest fantasy rankings. He had the second most rushing yards in the NFL last season with 1,339, only the Philadelphia Eagles LeSean McCoy ran for more yards. Forte is a top five pick in any draft, standard or PPR.
The Bears have not one but two outstanding wide receivers which both rank as top 10 for receivers in fantasy production . Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have become one of the best receiving duo in the NFL after having a combined 189 catches for 2,716 yards and 19 touchdowns. Forte, Marshall and Jeffery will be gone before the fifth round of most drafts.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is primed for a big year as well. He had a career-best 89.2 passer rating and 2,621 yards with 19 touchdowns in just 11 games last season. Now in his second year under Marc Trestman, Cutler will have a better understanding of the terminology that Trestman brings to the team.
Last year Martellus Bennett was signed by the Bears and had career highs in receptions (65), targets (96), yards (759), average yard per catch (11.7) and tied his career high with five touchdowns.
In my fantasy rankings I have Bennett ranked tenth, but don’t plan on having him that low for long. He is capable of being a top five tight end especially with Jay Cutler as his quarterback.
Do you want just a regular kicker or a golden kicker on your fantasy team? Ranked fifth in my rankings is the golden boy himself Robbie Gould. He went 11-11 between 20-29 yards, 12-14 between 30-49 yards and 3-4 from 50 yards or farther.
Gould is one of the most consistent kickers in the NFL, and even though kickers don’t go until the end of fantasy drafts, you should really considered drafting him over all kickers if you want some fantasy gold.
Last season is over and thankfully the defensive line from 2013 is gone. The only reason I would have drafted the Chicago defense last season would have been because of Devin Hester’s kick return ability. The defensive line was the worst in the NFL and the Bears just couldn’t stop anyone from running all over them.
It’s a new year and in comes a new defensive line and the absence of Hester. The Bears defensive line this year consist of newly acquired pro-bowler Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Jeremiah Ratliff. Ratliff is the only returning starting lineman from 2013. The secondary now consists of pro-bowls safety Adrian Wilson and Ryan Mundy, along with first round draft pick Kyle Fuller at cornerback. Don’t forget about Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings that are still on the team also.
The revamped defense looked extremely good in the first preseason game against the Eagles last week, as they picked off quarterback Nick Foles twice in the first quarter. Foles only threw two interceptions total last year in his time as starter.
With the pass rush that comes along with the new group of players and the ball catching ability of the secondary, this defense is poised to put up big numbers this year in the fantasy department. I have the Bears ranked eighth in my current rankings but wouldn’t be surprised to see them go higher than that over the season.
Some Bears players to watch for this year that aren’t really on the fantasy scene right now but could be by seasons end are:
- RB: Ka’Deem Carey
- WR: Marquess Wilson
- WR: Chris Williams
- TE: Zach Miller
Featured image via: (Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)