Is Earl Bennett a One Week Wonder?

 By Vidur Malik

It’s safe to assume that the Chicago Bears receiving corps isn’t well represented in fantasy leagues. The wideouts haven’t exactly helped quarterback Jay Cutler that much throughout his tenure, but there is one receiver you should pick up if he’s available.


In the Bears’ 30-24 win over the Eagles on Monday night, Earl Bennett showed the country why he is Cutler’s No. 1 target. Bennett led the team in receiving with five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown and was the only receiver who consistently caught the balls thrown to him.


He has chemistry with Cutler, his college teammate at Vanderbilt, and it showed. He’s probably got the best hands on the team and should be a reliable fantasy option now that he is back from the chest injury that caused him to miss five games prior to the Monday nighter.


Bennett is currently way down the list of Bears receiving leaders, but now that he’s back on the field, he should move up quickly. Running back Matt Forte is No. 1 by far; his 41 receptions are almost double that of the Devin Hester, who is No. 2 with 22 catches. But even if Bennett isn’t Cutler’s No. 1 option in the entire offense, he should be when it comes to wide receivers.


No other Bears receiver has proved to be a go-to guy. Hester’s speed is sometimes neutralized by his questionable hands, and Roy Williams has a reputation for dropping passes. Dane Sanzenbacher and Johnny Knox have been reliable, but Sanzenbacher’s only averaging 9.1 yards a catch, and though Knox is a solid deep threat, he hasn’t become a do-it-all receiver yet.


Bennett ran several kinds of routes on Monday night, and looked like the most complete player of the receiving corps. Now that he’s back, don’t be surprised if he leaps up the production chart for the Bears and quickly rivals Forte for receptions.


He might have already been claimed in your league, but if he’s not, pick him up. The Bears aren’t the first team you think of when you’re looking for good wide outs, so he might have gone unnoticed on your league’s waiver wire. Adding him would be a good move, as the Bears have been on a roll and Cutler is making smart decisions with his cannon arm. Putting Bennett at your flex spot to complement your surefire starters should increase your point total, and since he’s got the reliability factor that quarterbacks love, you never know when he’ll have a big day.


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