Thursday, June 7, 2012

32 in 32: Chicago Bears

As a Packers fan, it pains me to admit that I am afraid of the Bears this season. Up until this season I wasn't worried about them beating us because they had absolutely no receiving threats. I bet Bears fans can finally admit that their receivers were probably some of the worst in the league. Devin Hester is just not a good WR. The man is WAY more valuable as a kick returner than a receiver. Hester has 13 receiving touchdowns in 5 seasons as a receiver, but has 17 total KR/PR touchdowns in his 6 years in the league. The man deserved a big contract. Kick and punt return touchdowns and field position are the two biggest commodities in football, but the Bears are threatening to take him off return duty AGAIN! Hester is the best kick returner in the history of football, and is one of the most mediocre receivers in the history of football. Brandon Marshall, now there is a great receiver. Marshall has accumulated 5 consecutive seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving, and things should be no different in Chicago. I might consider dropping Andre Johnson behind this guy because of the consistency issues. I think Brandon Marshall will produce a lot of the same, with about 1,200 yards and 8-10 touchdowns. He was a #1 wide receiver in Miami. He is going to a similar situation with a better QB in Chicago. I just wish he would drop fewer balls in the end zone. Johnny Knox had a tough season last year, but should be able to bounce back nicely this year. He is probably someone worth taking a flyer on, to see if he can excel in his role as the #2 receiver. He has some nice talent, but it just wasn't enough to overcome injuries and expectations last season. We should be pleasantly surprised by his play this year.

Jay Cutler should put up his best statistical season this year. They are stacked at RB (Forte, Bush, an Kalil) and WR (Marshall and Knox), which means that he has more weapons than he has had at any point in his career. By the way, I don't think any TE on this team is worth owning, but Jay Cutler certainly is. I am a little worried about Cutler having the ability to be statistically elite. He has the arm, he has the mind, but does he have the drive to really kick some butt this season? I don't think he will throw for 40 touchdowns or 5,000 yards, but I think he should have over 250 yards passing and about 2 TDs in each game this season. He should be more consistent than Carson Palmer. His fantasy playoff stretch is nice, playing the Vikings, Packers, and Cardinals. I would say to grab him without too many reservations in the 3rd or 4th round. I don't think he will be a value pick in the 2nd round or the top of the 3rd.

Matt Forte has already settled at a pretty low spot on most draft boards. At this point, he is really looking to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick, possibly falling even further if he doesn't get his act together and sign the tender. It is about $7.7 million guaranteed, meaning that he could quit after this season and live off that money for the rest of his life. I am going to live off less than that for the rest of my life, so why can't he? Just buck up and play football. Have a great season and then go play for a team other than the bears (going to the Packers for cheap would REALLY show them, wink wink). If Forte comes back before training camp, expect him to be a solid but not elite RB1, if he comes back after training camp he will probably be a decent RB2. The longer he holds out, the more carries Bush will get. Now Michael Bush has move value the longer Forte holds out. barring injury to Forte, I can't imagine Bush collecting more than 150 carries this season, but it might be a worthy investment to grab him after you have your starting lineup set. Bush has the potential to become a vulture, limiting Forte's value.

Now this defense should be good again, but it will be elite if Hester is returning kicks and punts. The give up plenty of points to good teams, but they get sacks and a few turnovers. They will be drafted. Robbie Gould might be worth drafting, but I don't particularly like him.

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