The re-building Bears are really starting to take shape and there is a fair amount of Fantasy Football value on this roster. However, injuries are always a concern and that is of particular note with respect to Chicago’s most valuable fantasy player, Alshon Jeffery.
WR Alshon Jeffery
There’s no denying Alshon Jeffery’s talent. He’s got the size and enough speed to stack defensive backs. He has excellent body control and high points the football with the best of them. His quarterback, if nothing else, has a strong arm and typically gives Jeffery an opportunity to make plays downfield. He, in my opinion, is a more than capable successor to Brandon Marshall but he isn’t considered to be in the Top Tier of NFL receivers and in many instances he isn’t considered to be in the second tier either. What’s the deal? Health? Yes, but at the end of the day that’s not why you’re passing him up. It’s because there’s nothing sexy about Jeffery’s game… He doesn’t have the suddenness of an Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr. He’s not as smooth as A.J. Green or DeAndre Hopkins and he doesn’t dominate physically like Julio Jones and Dez Bryant. But come fantasy draft time those are the only receivers I would consider taking before Jeffery. He’s a bon-a-fide #1 receiver talent and has averaged 5 receptions, 75 yards and just under half a touchdown per game in 51 career games. Keep in mind Jeffery has put those numbers up despite only nine injury plagued contests as the clear cut top receiver on the depth chart. Comparatively, A.J. Green has averaged 5.5/81/0.6 in 76 career games. No big discrepancy. Oh, and did I mention Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte are no longer in town and Jeffery is in a contract year (franchise tag). Don’t sleep, Jeffery will eat in 2016 and get paid in 2017.
RB Jeremy Langford
You’re either a naysayer, down on Langford’s ability to be an effective lead back (3.6 ypc), sketchy hands out of the back field (7 drops on 42 targets), and he’s in the midst of a running back committee. Or, your too high on Langford, who has been taken as early as mid-to-late 2nd round in some drafts (why are you drafting already?) and not just in mock drafts. I think Langford is a talented, slasher with very good top end speed. He has a few things to work on but what’s encouraging was that he is the most talented back on the roster (sans Matt Forte) and he averaged well over 2.0 yards a carry inside the opponents 10 yard line. You can’t teach speed and you can’t teach “nose for the endzone.” I think it more likely that Langford loses passing down work rather than goal-line touches which isn’t ideal but not particularly damning. Touchdowns drive fantasy.
TE Zach Miller
Injuries have robbed the journeyman tight-end of several seasons but Miller became a real factor down the stretch in 2015. So much so, the Bears parted ways with the enigma that is Martellus Bennett. The aforementioned Bennett averaged 69/705/5 over three seasons in the Windy City and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Miller ends up with a comparable stat line with defenses faced with Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White outside the numbers. What’s most impressive about Miller is his catch/target ratio. In 48 career games, Miller has only been targeted 106 times (46 in 2015) but he has 79 receptions (34 in 2015) and 9 touchdowns (5 in 2015). That’s good for a 75% completion rate when Miller is targeted. If use miss out on the likes of Gronk, Olsen, and Reed take a good, long, look at Miller. He’s sure to fly under the radar in a few of your fantasy drafts.
Others of Note:
- WR Kevin White
- QB Jay Cutler