We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2010 fantasy football questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2010 Chicago Bears Fantasy Football Preview comes courtesy of Bear Goggles.
1. Many fantasy writers are looking for a lot of fantasy points from Mike Martz’s passing attack. Is there any reason Martz will be different than his usual pass first offense?
I could throw a bunch of cliches at you like “Bear weather” and Lovie Smith’s famous “we get off the bus running” as reasons why the Martz attack could be slowed down. I think the Martz system will put up as many points as Jay Cutler allows them. If he and his receivers can get in sync and he can stop throwing the ball to the other team, the Bears will put up big offensive numbers. One thing to keep an eye on is the Bears schedule. Besides their usual pair of divisional matchups with the Packers and Vikings, they face the tough NFC East and AFC East defenses. Not a lot of gimmes on their schedule.
2. Devin Aromashodu piqued a lot of fantasy owner’s interest with his finish to the season, but it’s looking like Johnny Knox and Devin Hester have the top 2 spots so far in OTAs. How do you see the receiver positions and numbers playing out for those three?
Sleeper alert – Devin Aromashodu will emerge as a major contributor for the Bears this season. Cutler raved about him all pre-season last year but injuries and former OC Ron Turner’s stubbornness kept him off the field. He will emerge at the big target that Cutler sought all last season. With no clear cut #1 wideout, the Bears will go with the committee approach. There will be plenty of balls to go around, so keep an eye on all three of these receivers as WR2’s in deep leagues and decent flex or WR3 options week to week.
3. Chester Taylor seems to be getting paid too much to be on the sidelines. Do you see an even split between him and Matt Forte? Or will Forte still get the Bear’s share of the touches? Both are very good receivers, which works well in a Martz offense, who gets more receptions?
I think that the Bears will move to more of a running back by committee this season. Forte was ranked off the charts in most 2009 fantasy drafts in large part due to being one of the few feature backs in the league. He had a down year in last season, but a lot of that was due to not-so-well-publicized knee injury. Forte should bounce back and both he and Taylor make decent RB3 options. If you’re in a PPR league, these guys will rack up a lot of hidden points in Martz’s scheme.
4. A lot has been made of Martz’s use of tight ends in his offense. Does Greg Olsen need to catch a lot of tipped passes off wide receivers to be fantasy relevant?
This is probably one of the most-debated topics in Chicago since Martz came on board. Lots of Greg Olsen trade rumors swirled leading up to the draft, but he’s still in a Bears uniform. It didn’t help that the Bears signed free agent Brandon Manumaleuna (yes I did that off the top of my head) to be more of a blocking tight end. Olsen was supposed to have a breakout year in 2009, but it never really clicked between him and Cutler. Most frustrating for me was that for a tight end with a lot of speed, he rarely caught the ball in space or going vertically up the seam. If anyone can, I think Martz will put Olsen in a position to succeed. He isn’t an elite TE, but I think he falls comfortably in the 2nd tier.
5. Do you believe Cutler will have a good enough handle on the offense to negate some of the offensive line trouble? Does Martz’s offense help Cutler cut down on the picks or increase them?
Cutler’s got nowhere to go but up. After 26 picks in 2009, I can’t imagine that it could get worse. (Then again, after he threw 4 INT’s on opening night against the Packers, I thought he had bottomed out. Boy was I wrong. He will be a high-risk, high-reward pickup. The offense allows for taking a lot of risks, so it will be up to Martz himself to reign his QB in. If your league penalizes QB’s for INT’s, proceed with caution. If not, he will be a boom or bust kind of guy. You’ve just got to hope for more boom and less bust.
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