Got Bears?

Play fantasy football? Have Bears on your team? Here's a quick checkup on their value

By Eamonn Brennan
|  Friday, Oct 16, 2009  |  Updated 3:34 PM CDT
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Johnny Knox may be the biggest fantasy surprise for the Bears.

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Sure, the Bears are 3-1 and lingering right in that tier of football teams that are apparently good but not quite elite. And that's fine. We're cool with that. Go Bears, right?

But there's a whole 'nother game within the game, and if you're an NFL fan there's at least a 90 percent chance you play. And if you're a Bears fan, there's at least a 60 percent chance you have a few Bears on your fantasy team. We do. So, a quick rundown of just how well that's gone so far:

Matt Forte, RB: Forte was easily the highest Bears fantasy pick at the beginning of the season, and after five weeks, he's not exactly lived up to his preseason value. He has 271 total rushing yards, in addition to 93 receiving yards. That's well-short of his projected stats at the beginning of the year. Worse yet, he has only one touchdown through four games. Forte owners who took him in the top five overall are probably not too pleased, but sometimes that's what happens when you don't need to rely on your rookie running back for almost every positive offensive play. Jay Cutler can make plays downfield now; he doesn't need to dump it off. Whether Forte's role will increase in the coming weeks will have much more to do with the run-blocking of his offensive line than any other factor.

Jay Cutler, QB: After a horrendous week one outing, Cutler has greatly redeemed himself in recent weeks. His ability to make plays downfield, and his use of tight ends in the red zone is a nice little boost for everyone that doesn't own Matt Forte. 901 passing yards and eight touchdowns? That'll do.

Greg Olsen, TE: Largely thanks to the presence of Kellen Davis, Cutler's other tight end target, Olsen hasn't quite experienced the breakout season most predicted for him. Two touchdowns and 10 receptions is OK stuff for a tight end fantasy-wise, but Olsen has the skills to be an elite, Antonio Gates-type receiving tight end. He can do better than this. Owners who took him as the third or fourth tight end in this year's draft -- there's always someone who starts the tight end run too early -- will be hoping so.

Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, WRs: Here's where what's good for Bears fans probably isn't good for most fantasy owners. Devin Hester was taken much higher than his current value warrants, and Earl Bennett, who was supposed to benefit from the Cutler connection, has been a frequent waiver drop. Only Knox has given fantasy owners something to value, and that value is still somewhat marginal. It's good that Cutler has a variety of options at the receiving position; it's bad for fantasy owners that none of them quite receive the lion's share of that value.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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