In week one the Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears in a match up of two similar teams. Both teams feature good defenses, highlighted by outstanding front sevens, and both offenses will run a version of the West Coast Offense. The big difference of course, is the Bengals are being mentioned as a legit Super Bowl contender, while the Bears are breaking in a first time NFL head coach.
From a fantasy perspective there are a few Bears that you need to be cognizant of, so here's our run down of who to start and who to sit this week.
Matt Forte RB - If you drafted Matt Forte to your fantasy team, you probably used a 1st or very early 2nd round pick for the all purpose Bears tailback. Hence you better start him.
I'm expecting big things from Forte in the WCO, both from a rushing standpoint, but also in the passing game. His only drawback is Michael Bush may vulture away most of the goal line touches. But that's ok. Forte is still worth the start, especially if you play in a PPR league. In three games this preseason, Forte had a rushing TD and a receiving TD, so you never know when he'll break one and take it to the house.
Brandon Marshall WR - Much like Forte, if you drafted Brandon Marshall, you did so with the notion of making him your #1 wide out. You simply do not bench your #1. Chicago QB Jay Cutler has a penchant for throwing to Marshall no matter what, so you know he'll see his fair share of targets.
Even though there was some drama surrounding Marshall last week, he was at practice and he declared he was good to go. I don't expect there to be any lingering concern from his hip surgery, nor will there be any concern over his "role" in the offense. He's the man.
Chicago Bears Defense - Last year Chicago had a top 5 defense, and they'll probably be solid again this year. Taking the ball away is ingrained in the psyche of the Bears' defenders, and any defense with "Peanut Punch" Charles Tillman is a good bet to get your fantasy team a turnover. Plus with this being early in the year, a low scoring game could be in order.
Also, do you really want to bench Chicago's D and special teams with Devin Hester focusing on just returning kicks this year? Start the Bears D.
Jay Cutler QB - I would hope you have a better option than the Bears QB for this week. While I'm optimistic that Jay Cutler will take to the WCO, it may not happen week one against a good Bengals D. The only way I would start Cutler is if your other QB is another middle of the pack fantasy option.
Martellus Bennett TE - I like the potential of Martellus Bennett in this offense, I just wouldn't start him this week. Let's allow the Marc Trestman offense to breathe a few weeks before giving Bennett a start. The Bengals were about average last year in allowing points to the TE position, so unless your other TE is bad, I'd keep the Black Unicorn on the bench.
What do you guys think about the Bears fantasy options this week?
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