Fantasy Football 2012: Possible Chicago Bears Fantasy Standouts

Derek CrouseContributor IIIAugust 22, 2012

Marshall instantly improves fantasy production for other players.
Marshall instantly improves fantasy production for other players.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have fantasy football weapons that bring tremendous upside. Once again, we’ve reached that time of year when fans are highlighting their go-to players for production. Whether you are an experienced roster analyzer or a newbie, there are some can’t-miss players on the 2012 roster.

On paper, a Bears homer fan could pick all of his favorite players and have a fighting chance every week.

The quarterback position has grown more important in the new pass-heavy NFL. Having Drew Brees or Tom Brady is always a no-brainer, but you will have to grab them early in the draft, which could hamper getting a standout running back or wide receiver. You can look down the list and find a QB who is just as productive every Sunday.

Jay Cutler has been known in the past to doom teams with his knack for throwing picks. Now with a very deep receiving corps that includes Brandon Marshall and a pair of pass-catching running backs, he could easily be a top-five QB.

When Cutler had Brandon Marshall in Denver, he passed for 4,526 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2008. He ranks below a top-10 quarterback, so you could pick him up after acquiring some other offensive talent in the early rounds.

In years past, wide receivers said, “Chicago is where wide receivers go to die.” That has changed with new personnel.

Brandon Marshall is on track to have a big season. In 2008, the combination of Cutler to Marshall amassed more than 1,200 yards and 104 receptions. Points per reception (PPR) leagues have to be optimistic.

The Bears picked up Jay Cutler’s QB coach Jeremy Bates, which means those same types of big-yardage plays are back in the game plan. Marshall has matured with something to prove. Cutler needs a big target to throw the deep ball to, and Brandon is what the doctor ordered.

With defenses having to cover a speedy Devin Hester, a rookie standout in Alshon Jefferey and pass-catching tight ends, Marshall will have many opportunities in shotgun and play-action sets. Don’t be surprised if Marshall is right behind Calvin Johnson in total production.

Even the running back position has depth for any team looking to add some consistent production. Matt Forte was over 40 percent of the Bears’ offense in 2011.

That might not be the case this year because of the addition of offensive weapons. Forte might not have as many touches or receptions as in years past, but the field will be much more open due to defenses not being able to stack the box with blitzers. Forte’s knee looks completely healed. He hasn’t lost his lateral quickness like many do after that injury.

With a player with yearly averages of more than 200 touches and 50 receptions, you won’t have to worry about inconsistency on a weekly basis. Matt might lose some goal-line touches with the addition of Michael Bush, but he should still put up numbers in long drives.

The Chicago Bears' defensive philosophy is takeaways and turnovers. This is where a fantasy defense really shines.

They are ranked as a top-five defense already, but teams have to remember that the Cover-2 tends to give up a lot of yards, so week to week it could be a high-risk/high-reward situation. One week the team could return three kickoff returns for touchdowns, or the defense could give up 200 rushing yards. The secondary has also improved, with Charles Tillman helping younger teammates develop their game.

With an aging defense, the Bears defense is a gamble that could pay off if you decide to roll the dice on them.