Chicago Bears Week 5: Fantasy Forecast
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
While it’s been just a mediocre start to the season for the 2-2 Chicago Bears, they have been one of the most fantasy-friendly teams in the NFL with three players in the top 5 in scoring at their position (Cutler, Forte, Bennett) and two others in the top 20 (Marshall, Jeffery). Every Friday, I’ll be breaking down the weekly match-ups for all fantasy relevant Bears players and giving my projection on how many fantasy points they will score and whether they are worth starting or not.
So if you have any Bears on your fantasy rosters, remember to check back on Friday afternoons for a second opinion on how your Bears are going to do in fantasy that week and whether they deserve a spot in your starting lineup. If you disagree or have anything interesting to add, let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.
*My scoring projections are based on default Yahoo scoring plus .5 PPR and my start recommendations on 12-team leagues with the Yahoo default starting lineup slots.
Chicago Bears Fantasy Forecast
Cutler has caught a lot of flack for interceptions thrown in the losses to the Bills and Packers, but his overall numbers are very good. Cutler is completing 65.8% of his passes (well above his career 61% average) and is averaging 251 yards and 2.5 TD passes per game with a 94.7 passer rating. Cutler is the only QB besides Andrew Luck to throw at least 2 TD passes in all 4 games this season and he’s off to his best start as a Bear. In my opinion Cutler is a must start every week, but even if you disagree this week is a no-brainer. The Panthers have been picked apart the last two weeks by Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco and just aren’t the same defense without DE Greg Hardy. They are giving up the 10th most fantasy points to QBs and don’t have enough talent at CB to deal handle the Bears receiving weapons. I think it’s going to be a big day for Cutler.
Projection: 24 fantasy points
It’s been an uneven fantasy season for Forte so far; when the Bears use him he’s awesome, but for some reason he has less than 20 touches in 2 of the Bears 4 games (both wins?). Hopefully that silliness is over and Forte gets the 25-30 touches he deserves every week moving forward. Carolina’s defense has given up the 8th most fantasy points to RBs and there should be plenty of room for Forte to run as long as Trestman doesn’t forget about the running game (again). Forte is averaging just over 5 yards per touch, so it’s really just a matter of getting him the ball.
I’m not recommending you start Carey in any formats this week, but I do think he is worth a roster add immediately. Last week the Bears gave Carey his first taste of extended NFL action and he didn’t disappoint (14 carries, 72 yards). Over half of Carey’s yards (41) came in garbage time, but he had some good runs while the game was still in doubt and the fact that Trestman trusted Carey enough to play important snaps for the first time all year is a good sign. Hopefully nothing ever happens to Forte, but if it does Carey could have RB2 value and is a great stash at the end of your bench.
Start: No (but snatch him off the waiver wire if you have room on your bench)
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
It’s been a couple down weeks in a row fantasy-wise for Marshall, but he was a full participant in practice Thursday for the first time in three weeks so it seems he is finally 100% healthy. Marshall was basically a decoy the last two games (3 catches total), but he should go back to being Cutler’s primary target this week. The Panthers corners are sub-par and I expect Marshall to come back with a vengeance this week.
I’ve mentioned a few times that Carolina has weak corners and they really don’t have anyone that can stick with either Marshall or Jeffrey. They probably both won’t have huge fantasy lines and I think Marshall will get more targets, but Jeffrey should still put up a solid, start-worthy fantasy line.
It’s been a disappointing start to Holmes career with the Bears. It’s either Cutler doesn’t trust him or he doesn’t understand the playbook. Holmes showed that he still had some burst in the preseason, but has yet to contribute during the regular season. With both Marshall and Jeffrey banged up the last few weeks, it was a perfect opportunity for Holmes to step up and he didn’t. I’d be surprised if Holmes has any fantasy value this year, but if it’s going to happen this is a good week for it.
After missing weeks 2 & 3 due to injury (hamstring) Morgan had a decent week 4 with 3 catches for 24 yards but most of it was in garbage time. There is an opportuninty for someone to step up into the 3rd WR role before Marquess Wilson returns, but as of now no one has and from what we’ve seen so far it’s doubtful anyone will.