Top Five Fantasy Questions for the Bears

In this new feature, looks at the top five questions for all 32 teams that fantasy football participants will have to face in their drafts this summer.

Chicago Bears

1. Who will be the starting running back this season for the team and what kind of production can be expected? The competition is between the incumbent Thomas Jones and rookie Cedric Benson. While many think the team will just hand Benson the job, he'll have to prove himself during training camp.

Jones will head in to camp as the starter and at times last year, was pretty effective. However, with offensive coordinator Ron Turner returning after a lengthy absence, you'll likely see much more of a commitment to the running game than with his predecessor Terry Shea.

The running plays that Turner will call will be more power based and that really doesn't fit Jones as well as it does Benson which is why he should wind up being the starter. The question is when will Benson take over and that will be determined how well he learns their playbook and pass blocking responsibilities.

As for fantasy production, whoever starts (probably Benson by the first week of the regular season), should be a decent fantasy starter. The problem is, as we saw last year, since their passing game was so bad, teams loaded up against them with eight-man fronts and it made running pretty hard. So the passing game must improve if their starting back is to be a pretty solid fantasy option this year.

2. Are any of their wide receivers worth drafting other than Muhsin Muhammmad? That other starting job looks to be an open competition between the incumbent Bobby Wade and fellow young receivers Justin Gage and Bernard Berrian.

Gage had a few decent moments with then rookie Grossman a few years ago but didn't follow that up last season. Berrian flashed a little success last season but couldn't put any consistency together. Wade looked to be more of a possession guy who probably would be better used as their third receiver.

Overall, none of them look to be worthy of drafting at this point but Gage probably offers more explosiveness than any of the other two.

3. Is TE Desmond Clark worth drafting at all? It looked like he might be on the verge of being a decent fantasy option earlier in his career with Denver but he since has bounced around and hasn't really been a factor due in part to injury.

Clark has good athletic ability but really has been underused in recent years. While there's a possibility that Turner starts to use him more their passing game is a huge question mark and so is Clark's role in it. If you are one that drafts two tight ends, Clark's worth a shot as a backup but not as a starter.

4. Is QB Rex Grossman worth drafting as a backup or starter? Their passing game was supposed to be a strength last season but Grossman suffered a season-ending knee injury so their offense was derailed.

Now healthy, Grossman should start to progress with Turner calling the plays. However, his group of receivers are unproven except for Muhammad so the expectations aren't going to be very high just yet.

As noted earlier, this will be a more run-orientated offense so average passing numbers should be expected this season. That could change as Grossman gets more experience but it's going to take time. We see him as a fantasy backup this season.

5. Is their fantasy defense worth drafting as a starter or backup? Head coach Lovie Smith's defense really started to produce good turnover numbers before they lost some key players as the season progressed. Those players (DE Adewale Ogunleye, MLB Brian Urlacher, S Mike Brown, and CB Charles Tillman) are all expected to be 100% by the start of training camp. With that said, their fantasy defense has a chance to be a big surprise this season and worth selecting as your starter.

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