The 2015 Chicago Bears are really looking for this season to be a kind of fresh start for the team, as they are coming off of a 5-11 season after which the GM and the Head Coach were fired. However, with the hiring of John Fox there is a great deal of optimism headed into the new season. Fox had been the head coach of the Broncos and Panthers previously and has also coached his way to two Super Bowl appearances in his 13 years as a head coach. What affect will these changes make on the fantasy outlook for the 2015 Bears? I think there will be a lot of value to be had on this Bears roster, which could mean you need to consider taking numerous Bears players this fantasy football season:
Jay Cutler is the starter and will continue to be. In 2014 Cutler threw for a league worst 18 interceptions and has a propensity for multi-interception games. Also, the Bears division has given Cutler fits, as has only beaten the Packers once in his career and has only just NFC North wins since 2012 and both of those came against the Vikings. Cutler did throw for a career high 28 TD’s in 2014, and a lot of people think that Fox will bring out the best in him. I see him as a QB2 in season long leagues and he could have a few great matchup days in DFS fantasy leagues, as well.
Matt Forte has been a consistent fantasy player for several years now and there is no reason to expect that to change. He scored 10 times last season and the second leading rusher was Jay Cutler. So as long as he is able he will do the ball carrying for the Bears. He may be on the downward slide and the exit of Marc Trestman should see his catches take a dip, but as far as his abilities he is still worthy of being one of the top 10 RB’s taken in the draft.
Bears first round pick Kevin White could potentially miss his rookie season and he was listed as a starter on the Bears depth chart across from Alshon Jeffery prior to getting sidelined. That will most likely put Eddie Royal into that role, and he deserves a look as someone to receive most of Brandon Marshalls targets. With Royal largely operating out of the slot, though, Marquess Wilson could also be on the radar to a certain degree when he lines up on the outside. That being said, you can safely expect Alshon Jeffery to really have a huge year with the absence of Brandon Marshall. Jeffery is a must-draft top-10 option, Royal is a sneaky WR3 in PPR leagues and Wilson is more of a late-round flier.
Martellus Bennett is a top 5 tight end and will be gone quickly once people start drafting TE’s not named Rob Gronkowski. He had 128 targets in 2014 and made good on 90 of those for nearly 1,000 yards and 6 TD’s. No other TE on the Bears roster will threaten those numbers outside of a Bennett injury and with Marshall gone and Kevin White hurt, his role should remain large enough to get him in or close to the league’s top five producers at the position.
The Bears attempted an abnormally low number of Field Goals in 2014. Robbie Gould was 75% on his attempts and only had 9 FG’s made. No FG’s from 50+ and misses in each yardage category except 20-29, but changes in the organization could balance things back out and allow Gould to be a sneaky value pick at the position.
What was once a great and revered defense is no more. With a new coach and defensive coordinator it may improve but they are at best a middle of the pack defense in an offensive powerhouse division. Transitioning to a new 3-4 defense could go either way, but with Fox leading this crew they may have a shot at producing at some point in 2015. Drafting them in season long fantasy football leagues just isn’t an option, however.