Heading into his second year of being a Chicago Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler could have big things on the horizon. The Bears brought in pass happy offensive coordinator Mike Martz to groom the young veteran leader. How good he reacts to the tutelage though is anyone’s guess, but expectations are high. Last year, his fourth in the league, Cutler tossed up 3,666 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, but on the negative side were the 26 interceptions. That is a scary number as Martz forces a lot of passes upon the quarterback. None-the-less, he played as a QB1 last year and he will remain a mid-low QB1 this year. The talent around him though will not allow him into stud status.
Backups: Caleb Hanie, Dan LeFevour
The Bears running back situation is pretty solid having third year running back Matt Forte and free agent/long-time Minnesota Vikings Chester Taylor sharing the rock this season. In 2009 Forte took a step back from his rookie year as he posted 1,400 all-purpose yards and only 4 touchdowns. Expect him to bump up his game some allowing him to raise from his low-end RB2 status of last year to a low-end RB1, high-end RB2 in deeper leagues.
Taking the carries that Forte won’t get in 2010/11 is Taylor who changed teams in the NFC North this past off season. While he won’t get the touches to make him a respectable fantasy football running back, he will still get enough to make him a low-end RB3, high-end RB4 with the possibility to jump up the charts if Forte falls to injury. Taylor has the talent to take the rock for a solid period of time and star. Whether or not that opportunity will show itself this year though is unpredictable.
Backups: Kahlil Bell, Garrett Wolfe
While there is a lack of established talent on the field at the wide receiver position, the Bears do have some possible sleepers in Devin Aromashodu, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett. None are WR1’s nor are they WR2’s by any means. But at least one player from this group will work themselves into being a solid WR3 in fantasy football this year. Will it be Aromashodu who rocked out the last four games of last year? Hester who is explosive with the ball but has a hard time hanging onto the rock? Those two are the more likely candidates. As for Knox and Bennett, they are just a step below from those two but things have to play themselves out before we get a better grasp on what is going on. Martz falls in love with certain receivers so keep your eye on this closely. None should be drafted as anything more than a low-end WR3, high-end WR4 and the latter two shouldn’t be relied on for more than WR5 numbers.
Backups: Rashied Davis, Juaquin Iglesias
Tight end Greg Olsen enjoyed his best year to date in the league in 2009 as he ranked in the top-12 amongst his competition at his position in fantasy football points by going for more than 600 receiving yards and grabbing 8 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Martz is in Chicago and more times than not his tight end is used primarily for blocking purposes. Look for a slip in stats and ultimately a slip in his fantasy football rankings. A high-end TE2 is the best case scenario this year.
Backups: Desmond Clark
Chris Ziza is a fantasy football fanatic who can be found at Working Man Sports. He hosts a daily Fantasy Football Breakdown Show that you can participate in now until the end of the 2010/11 Super Bowl, helping guide your way to fantasy football domination.