Dynasty Capsule: Chicago Bears

Nick Whalen


The first year with John Fox as Head Coach was a success in Chicago. Losing the opening three games of the season was no surprise, considering they were playing three of the best teams in the NFC. Chicago went 6-7 down the stretch with six of the losses by six points or less. It’s going to take some time, but Fox took the Bears in a positive direction in 2015.

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Jay Cutler

If I were to tell you Chicago traded away Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery would play in less than half the snaps, first round pick Kevin White wouldn’t play in 2016, Eddie Royal played in only nine games, Martellus Bennett would miss five games and Matt Forte would miss almost a month of the season. What kind of season would you expect from Jay Cutler? I would assume most responses would say average to below average, maybe even a bad season.

Jay Cutler had the best statistical season of his career! He posted the best QB rating and yards per attempt of his career, while having the second best completion percentage. Everyone thinks of interceptions with Cutler, he had his lowest interception percentage since 2011. Now add in the context of injuries from the paragraph above and it was a remarkable season from Cutler. Hold on, hold on! Before I’m labeled as a huge Bears homer, please read this article I wrote about Cutler at the end of the 2014 season and also another article written early in the 2012 season. Cutler took some big strides in 2015, despite adversity of injuries to his weapons and himself.

Running Back

Matt Forte

I’m sure owners of Matt Forte weren’t pleased his touches got cut into by the young RBs, but it was overall a solid season. He averaged 16.3 PPG in PPR, which was good for 6th among all RBs. A knee injury he sustained in week 8 against the Vikings and forced him to miss the next three contests. Forte did appear to lose a step and saw his lowest reception total of his NFL career. He also turned the dreaded age of 30. This is the point dynasty owners run away, sell him, etc. However, he’s savvy at this point in his career and has such a good feel for the game that he can play at a solid level for another 2-3 years. I would buy Forte for the veteran discount as long as he’s somewhat cheap. Forte is a free agent this offseason and I don’t see him returning to Chicago. They’re trying to get younger and save money, while Forte wants to play for a winner. Good luck Matt, I appreciate all the years you gave us in Chicago.

Jeremy Langford

The fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, surprisingly got lots of work in 2015. After the Forte injury, Langford stepped up in the starting role in Chicago. He had double digit carries in 9 consecutive weeks and caught 22 receptions. However, I would pump the breaks on the Langford hype. He averaged 3.6 yards per carry and has issues running on the interior. His long legs prevent quick cuts, leverage, and rob him of power. On the edge, Langford does a decent job and shows solid burst. He shows good hands, but also had a few drops and only caught 22 of 42 targets. At the ripe age of 24, I’d be weary of acquiring Langford at his current price point.

Ka’Deem Carey

I wasn’t a fan of Carey out of Arizona as a FF asset, but I thought he ran hard and gave me a Knowshown Moreno feel. In 2015, I thought he ran better than Langford. Carey averaged 3.7 yards per carry, which is only .1 better than Langford. However, almost a quarter of Carey’s carries were with 3 TEs in the game and those formations don’t lead big yardage plays. Carey broke tackles, ran hard inside, showed determination and impressed me enough to acquire him in leagues.

Now the big question is IF Forte leaves in free agency, who is the starter in Chicago?

Everyone assumes it will be Langford, due to the amount of touches he received in 2015. In the three games Forte missed, Langford averaged 4.0, 3.7, 1.9 yards per carry on 51 total carries vs Carey 4.0, 4.0, 3.6 on 30 total carries. Then why didn’t Carey get more touches at the end of the year? Against Denver, the last game Forte missed, Carey played better than Langford, but sustained a concussion. He missed one game due to the injury and only had 16 more touches the rest of the season. I wonder what might have been if Carey didn’t get injured. Do I think Ka’Deem Carey will walk in as the starter in 2016? Heck no. But I do think it’s a conversation and much closer than people even suspect. DLF January ADP has Langford at 57 vs Carey at 194. Carey is close to free and he has a chance at a starting job next year.

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Wide Receiver

Alshon Jeffery

Another year and more soft tissue injuries for Jeffery. It caused him to play in less than 50 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in 2015. This is a theme I’m not enjoying as a dynasty owner with lots of shares and it’s being reflected in his ADP. He used to be a hands down 1st round pick in startups and now he’s creeping into the second round, despite being 25 years old. However, Jeffery finished WR10 in PPG and extrapolating his 2015 numbers to 16 games would equal 96 receptions for 1,434 yards and 7 touchdowns. Pretty incredible when you consider he wasn’t 100% the entire season, which speaks to his talent. Jeffery wins with his size, body control, physicality, route running, strong hands, and his vertical.

Kevin White

The Bears thought they got rid of the drama when they traded away Brandon Marshall and replaced him in the first round of the NFL Draft with White. From what started out as shin splints, mysteriously changed to surgery and caused White to miss the entire 2015 season. I was personally mad they traded Marshall and now this! He practiced with the team late in the season for a short time before going to the long term injured reserve list. I have high expectations for White in dynasty. He has the size, athleticism, hands to succeed and become a WR1. I also listened to many interviews after he was drafted and he sounds like a very humble and hard working man. His current ADP is fair and someone I would acquire.

Marquess Wilson

The opportunity was there for Wilson in 2015. Jeffery and White were both injured, it’s time to shine. Unfortunately, Wilson battled some hamstring issues himself and only produced a 28/464/1 stat line. He is a solid NFL WR3, but I’m not sure he’s quick twitch enough and he’s certainly not thick enough to be a FF asset. I’m glad he’s on the team that I cheer for, but I’m not holding him on any FF rosters.

Eddie Royal

Chicago signed Royal last offseason for 3 years for $15 million dollars and gave him $10 million guaranteed. That’s solid coin to give someone who has been a role player for most of his NFL career. I then pondered, how might Chicago use Royal? It made me think back to his glorious, rookie season with Cutler in Denver. Maybe Chicago brought him in to be a slot extraordinaire.

Those visions were quickly changed as Royal didn’t emerge. He had a couple of solid outings early in the year, but didn’t average over 10 yard per reception until December. Injured for a good portion of the season, Royal appears to be a bust of a free agent signing in Chicago. His FF value is gone now.

Marc Mariani/Josh Bellamy/Cameron Meredith

I’d like you guys to meet the starting WRs for the Chicago Bears against Denver. Seriously, this is who they started and only lost by 2 points. To my surprise, Mariani proved to be a better slot WR than punt returner. Bellamy and Meredith had their moments, but nothing to see here.

Tight End

Martellus Bennett

The FF community had large expectations of Bennett after posting a 90/1,016/6 season in 2014. He was getting more comfortable with Jay Cutler and things had to go great in 2015, right? Wrong. Despite all of the injuries, Bennett put up 53/439/3 before getting shut down for the final four games with a rib injury. The Bears new coaching staff has been rumored as not liking Bennett’s attitude, which has followed him throughout his football career. Owed $6.3 million dollars in 2016 with only $1.1 of which is guaranteed, many think the Bears will release him in the off season. He’s a talented player at TE, but which team will put up with his attitude?

Zach Miller

The Bears were lacking weapons on offense and needed someone to step up on offense. Over the last two months of the season, Miller stepped up with 31/304/5. I know what most are thinking, yeah he showed promise with a Raiders years ago. No, not that Zach Miller, this is a different Zach Miller at TE. DLF’s own Jaron Foster wrote an article about Miller back in November. He shined in the preseason in 2014 for Chicago, but was lost for the season due to an injury. However, he’s athletic, good after the catch, and has solid hands. He’s already 31-years-old, but if Gary Barnidge can do it, why can’t Zach Miller? Buy him cheap.


nick whalen
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