2011 Team Outlook: Chicago (Page 2)

Football > Preseason > 2011 Team Outlook: Chicago

2011 Team Outlook: Chicago

A fantasy football preview of the Bears this year. Profiled players include Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Marion Barber, Chester Taylor, and Devin Hester.


Bennett's value is questionable given his decreased production from 2009 to 2010. However, Bennett happens to be in a good situation in Chicago where Cutler has weapons and just needs the team to fall into sync completely with its running and passing schemes to dominate opponents. Bennett will play in an offense that will pass early and often, likely utilizing him as the third receiver in most plays. If Forte is forced to concentrate on the running game to a greater extent, Bennett could benefit from increased looks. Bennett is a sleeper until he shows his hand and becomes a regularly productive wide out.


With the addition of Roy Williams on his side of the field, Knox might have to shift his role to get the plays. Fortunately for Knox, I foresee many a play with Williams, Hester and Knox in the mix. I still think Knox is worth a look and will be a safe pick at this stage. If his productivity suffers and Williams is the star, get rid of him early.

Johnny Knox stepped into Chicago's leading receiver role last season. However, 960 receiving yards and 5 touch downs is not my first pick for a fantasy receiver. This season I believe that Knox will continue his role in Chicago and continue to progress his game in sync with Jay Cutler and the rest of the offense. Knox will be one of those safe picks at receiver in 2011 drafts. I do not see him going too early or too late, but somewhere in the middle of the bunch. Look for Knox to produce - meaning over 1,000 yards receiving and increase his number of scores. I like Knox and think he will continue to grow into his role in Chicago.


Williams was one of those guys that was on ther bubble in Dallas and Chicago seems happy to have him for Cutler to toss passes at. Williams will move from third string guy into a starting role again and this, coupled with Cutler's arm makes him a safe pick in my book. The Chicago offense can be potent and Williams may be a leader in this offensive scheme. I am banking on Williams to surprise and be a big producer this season with his new team.

The range on Williams heading into the 2011 season is anywhere from cap casualty to third-stringer to starting receiver for a highly potent offense. At this point the best guess is the Cowboys hang on to Williams -- even though his guaranteed money has been paid out -- but he would likely stay in his role behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. That's why ideally for Williams -- and fantasy owners -- he moves on to a new situation. As for actual production, Williams started out surprisingly well in 2010, but his numbers declined dramatically. No better than a WR4 in most scenarios, Williams could be a sneaky pick elsewhere or if Dez Bryant's situation unravels. We'll see.


With the loss of Greg Olsen to Carolina, Kellen Davis becomes the starter in Chicago at tight end. In my book, any tight end with speed and good hands is a safe pick under Jay Cutler. We know from experience, both in Denver and in Chicago that Cutler likes his tight end targets and if Davis can make Cutler feel comfortable throwing his direction, he will be money. Pick up Davis with confidence.

Jeb Gorham
Fort Collins, CO
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2007
I have been involved in sports since a youngster, growing up playing nearly every sport imaginable. Short Track Speedskating was my main sport with six years competing at national and international levels. For the past ten years I have worked in the sports, fitness and wellness industry. Since 2011 I have been an Assistant Professor of Management - Sports Management at Southern Vermont College. I have my masters degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park and my Ph.D. in Sport Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. I am an avid cyclist and fantasy sports are one of my many hobbies.