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August 18, 2008

Bare Bears: Orton over Grossman

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This 2008 Chicago Bears team may be one of the worst producing fantasy teams in a long while. Heading into the season, they do not have a must-start playing at any skill position. Even their previously vaunted defense has taken a step back, and is looked at more-so for the potential special teams touchdowns from Devin Hester.

Chicago announced today that they would be going with Kyle Orton over Rex Grossman, with two pre-season games in the books. Neither Orton or Grossman have performed particularly well, with Orton going 12 for 19 for 99 yards 0 touchdowns 0 turnovers. Grossman meanwhile has thrown a touchdown and interception, going 13 of 22 for 108 yards. Either way do not expect either to be fantasy relevant, and likewise the targets they are throwing to is scarce.

Devin Hester has some breakthrough potential, but only had about 20 catches 270 yards 2 TDs last year in time as a WR. Marty Booker is back for another stint in Chicago, where he was once a decent possession receiver. After leaving the Bears, his value plummeted. Brandon Lloyd is the other starter and his best claim to fame is being the 49ers top WR in the mid 2000's. Someone might consider either of these two as a third or fourth receiver in a deep 14+ team league, but they all have plenty to prove.

Greg Olsen and or Desmond Clark could be valuable, if they did not have eachother to fight with over catches. Olsen is the young former first rounder who has more potential down the road, while Clark has proven himself over the years to be a fluky scorer. He will go weeks without doing anything but he can then grab a few TDs in one game. Hardly a consistent threat and you will probably see this from both of them this year.

Matt Forte could be a solid running back and may be the only Bear with real fantasy value. He is quick, athletic, can catch out of the backfield, and provide an element that Cedric Benson failed to. However he has plenty going against him, like the porous passing attack described above, and the terrible offensive line. The line will be better than the 2007 version as they drafted Vanderbilt's Chris Williams at pick 14 to shore up the tackle spot. Still, plenty of work to be done there. Thus, Forte is a good late RB pickup in the draft, because there is value in a running back that is at least guaranteed to get the rock a majority of the time even if he is not particularly successful.