Editor’s note: To help you prepare for your fantasy football draft, NESN.com will profile each NFL team and analyze which players are worth picking and which players aren’t worth your time. Today, we look at the Bears.
Does anyone know what the Chicago Bears are doing?
Last season’s NFC North cellar-dwellers finished 6-10 and then went ahead and let quarterback Jay Cutler’s two favorite targets — running back Matt Forte and tight end Martellus Bennett — leave the team with practically no return.
That means there shouldn’t be much interest in having many Bears on your fantasy football roster. We took a closer look at the Chicago players you should draft, plus the ones to avoid and peg as sleepers.
Alshon Jeffery, Wide Receiver: Jeffery is one of the most talented wideouts in the NFL … if he’s healthy. That’s a big if, though, as the seven games he missed last season point out. Due to injuries, Jeffery really only played seven full games, but he recorded 54 catches for 807 yards and four touchdowns in that time. Those numbers basically double if he plays the season healthy and put him on pace for career highs across the board. While he’ll likely get more attention from opposing defenses due to the lack of other major offensive threats, the Bears have a fairly soft schedule and a convenient Week 9 bye. He’s being taken as a late-second rounder/early-third rounder as the 10th WR off the board. Draft him with confidence in that position, but don’t reach for him much earlier than that.
Robbie Gould, Kicker: Gould scored the sixth-most fantasy points among kickers last season, and he’s good for a few longer strikes as well. With a potentially very bad offense, Gould could see even more attempts this year — or less, if the team struggles to move into enemy territory altogether. He’s worth grabbing as kickers start flying off the shelves.
Jeremy Langford, Running Back: This is less of an “avoid” than it is a “proceed with caution.” Langford garnered a ton of hype toward the end of last season — understandably so — and saved more than a few people who were missing Matt Forte. But Langford might be a bit overrated, especially given the small sample size. Here’s why, per Pro Football Focus: His 3.6 yards per carry were fourth-worst among qualified running backs, his eight drops on 40 receiving targets were the most by any running back, and he only had two 15-plus yard plays, meaning he isn’t as big-play prone as you think. He’s being drafted late in the sixth round as the 24th running back off the board. Don’t reach any higher unless you have to.
Jay Cutler, Quarterback: He’s going undrafted in most leagues. Don’t be the one to change that. He’s lost his best weapons, his numbers were down last season, and he’s injury prone. He’s a last-resort, injury-induced, midseason waiver-wire grab.
Bears Defense/Special Teams: They ranked sixth-worst in fantasy points last season, had just one double-digit scoring week, and didn’t have a defensive or kick-return touchdown.
Kevin White, Wide Receiver: We were pretty high on White last year until he suffered a leg injury that sidelined him for the entire season. He doesn’t have any pro reps, but he’s had a year to study, and that could be beneficial. Take a flier on White in a later round if you don’t have another pressing need.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images