2015 Fantasy Football Team Preview: Chicago Bears
Values everywhere! With everyone piling on Jay Cutler, Chicago's skill position players are likely to be dragged through the mud with him. That shouldn't be the case, though, as Brandon Marshall's departure should create more touches for everyone else. There's a lot of talent and potential here at a discounted price.
Bye Week: 7
Rookie Impacts: Kevin White (WR), Jeremy Langford (RB)
There's a strong chance White ends up being the most productive rookie receiver, as he should eventually take over Marshall's role opposite of Alshon Jeffrey. White owns optimal size (6-foot-3, 215) and has 4.4 speed, so the tools are all there. He might be fourth in the receiving pecking order for Chicago, but he's a decent bet for WR3 production in yards and touchdowns. Langford, meanwhile was a fourth round pick who could end up being Forte's direct backup.
Quarterback: Jay Cutler
I love taking the league's biggest punching bags. Tony Romo routinely gets overlooked in drafts, for example, and Cutler probably won't be touched even as a QB2. Despite the 18 interceptions, Cutler had 28 touchdowns and completed 66 percent of his passes last year. He still has quality weapons, and under former Denver OC Adam Gase, he's much more intriguing than the Andy Daltons and Alex Smiths of the world.
Running back: Matt Forte
Forte has carried a big load over the years, but he's a dream for PPR, as he set the record for receptions by a running back (102) last season. While he's unlikely to see that many touches again, John Fox should want to run the ball more and Forte has little-to-no competition for carries. The yards per carry may be below 4.0 again, but opportunity is the name of the game. In PPR leagues, it's hard to leave Forte out of the top-5 backs despite his declining skills as a runner.
Running back: Jeremy Langford
One of the nice things about owning Forte? You can get his handcuff for cheap. Forte has only missed one game over the last three seasons, but if he were to go down, the Bears could turn to their fourth-round pick. Langford has a decent size/speed profile and should be able to play in passing situations. If you draft Forte, watch the camp battle between Langford, Ka'Deem Carey and Jacquizz Rodgers closely.
Wide receiver: Alshon Jeffery
Jeffery was a monster to end the season, carrying many teams through the fantasy playoffs. He's proven to be a big threat in the red zone, and with Brandon Marshall in New York, Jeffery should get even more targets around the goal-line. Many will shy away from Jeffery on draft day because of Cutler, but don't let him slip too far in your drafts. He's averaged 87 catches and 8.5 touchdowns his last two seasons, so the floor is pretty high even if the ceiling is somewhat capped.
Wide receiver: Kevin White
Oakland's Amari Cooper should be your first rookie WR off the board, but White shouldn't follow far behind. If he burns it up in preseason and shows a connection with Jay Cutler, he could end up being a top-25 WR on draft day. That's a little too rich for my blood, but the talent is enticing.
Wide receiver: Eddie Royal
If Royal can somehow hold off Kevin White and stay on the field in two-WR sets, he'd be in line to see a lot of single coverage over the middle with Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett drawing so much attention. There isn't a lot of upside here since there are plenty of other mouths to feed, but if White struggles in preseason and you need some depth at WR, Royal could work in a pinch.
Tight end: Martellus Bennett
Bennett seems to get overlooked a bit, especially since he hauled in 90 catches last season and operated out of the slot a good deal of the time. That should continue this year, and Bennett should rack up the catches once again. With the tight-end position so shaky this year, Bennett should be viewed as a relatively safe top-5 choice given his prior production. Like the rest of the Bears, there's value here because of Cutler's perception.
Placekicker: Robbie Gould
Gould dealt with some injuries late in the season, and he only attempted 12 field goals in 12 games last season. He's typically been one of the most reliable kickers in fantasy, but you can target a warm weather or dome kicker instead.
Team defense (D/ST):
The Bears get the Packers in Week 1, then the Seahawks in Week 3. What's that mean? Don't draft them...but keep them on your radar come playoff time. The Bears play the Redskins, Vikings and Buccaneers in weeks 14-16.
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