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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Team Talk: Chicago Bears

Chicago is up next in our Team Talk series, this one also written by Adam Filadelfo.  Follow him on Twitter: @Frostt24.

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Always a potential to be a breakout offense, Da Bears seem to fall just a bit short. If this is the year they put it all together, you are going to want to own some of these players to help bring you a fantasy football championship.

Jay Cutler - Let me start off by saying Cutler has the tools to be an elite level quarterback. Now let me say that he isn't an elite level quarterback. Maybe it's his approach to the game or maybe it's his attitude, but something is holding him back. He has a great arm and sometimes looks like he's turned the corner, but just when it seems like he's put it all together he goes and throws an ill-advised pass that gets picked off. Maybe he thinks his big arm is all he needs. There were just too many games (last year especially) that Cutler either failed to show up or threw more interceptions than touchdowns. At this point, he's probably best suited as a backup fantasy quarterback.

Matt Forte - Forte is more valuable in PPR formats simply because he is an important part of the passing game. But what hurts him most is his lack of scoring touchdowns. No matter what format you may play in, nothing is more valuable than touchdowns. That may be the only department Forte is at a disadvantage, and he certainly has room for improvement there. He's currently going in the second round of drafts and in a new system with new head coach Marc Trestman he could see a boost in touchdowns scored.

Brandon Marshall - One word comes to mind when describing Marshall. Beast. Not only is he a weapon downfield, he's a strong red zone threat as well. Brandon is a physically gifted athlete with the ability to make outstanding plays but may need another wide receiver opposite him to reach his full potential.

Alshon Jeffery - He showed signs of breaking out last season but never quite took that next step. Some are predicting this could be the year but I'm tempering my expectations. Marshall is clearly Cutler's favorite target and it sometimes seems Cutler only sees Marshall on the field. That could hurt the value of Jeffery even more. Until he shows he can do more than just flash signs of ability, I'd stay away.  Unfulfilled promise makes him worthy of a late round flier in your drafts.

Martellus Bennett - Bennett could have a really good year in Chicago. He's a legitimate red zone option in a season where tight end seems at a premium. He also gives Cutler another option at the goal line. He's an every week starter at his position that could very well help a Bears offense that had to settle for far too many field goals last season. Keep in mind that Marc Trestman is known for being an offensive minded coach so that could help boost Bennett's value.

Michael Bush
- He won't see much work as long as Matt Forte is healthy. That being said, there's a good chance Forte doesn't stay healthy for the entire season. If the Bears need him, Bush can produce. Even with Forte in there, Bush has been more of the goal line back and could be valuable by means of scoring touchdowns. Only problem with that is it's almost impossible to predict touchdowns. I think right now, Bush is worth drafting as the clear cut handcuff for Forte owners. He probably won't hold much value for any other fantasy owner.

Devin Hester - Let's get this out of the way right now: The Devin Hester as a receiver experiment has failed. However, in fantasy leagues where owners are rewarded for return yards, Hester could still hold some value. Hester is one of the most electrifying return specialists to play in the NFL in quite some time. Any time he has the ball in his hands, there's a good chance he can take it to the house. In most leagues if you want to get the benefit of Hester's return ability, you're going to want to draft the Bears defense and special teams.

D/ST - Make no mistake about it, the Bears defense will be one of the first defenses off the board come draft day. Only problem with defenses is an elite defense one year isn't necessarily that the following year. What made the Chicago defense so great to own in 2012 was their penchant for getting turnovers. You can't count on that happening again, but the potential remains. Regardless of that though, you should be confident using  the Bears defense in most matchups.