Fantasy Reaction: Martellus Bennett Signs With Chicago
As reported earlier this evening, Martellus Bennett has informed me that he will sign a four-year deal with the Chicago Bears.
Stuck behind Jason Witten in Dallas during the first four years of his NFL career, Bennett finally landed an every-down role with the Giants last season. The Bears took note of his strong play, locking the 26-year-old up for the next four years.
During his time in Dallas, Bennett racked up 85 receptions, 846 yards, and four touchdowns. In one year with New York, he put up 54 receptions, 611 yards, and five scores.
An athletic 6’6/270, Bennett graded out as our No. 5 overall tight end this past season. He played a career-high 945 snaps.
An elite blocker, Bennett finished as our No. 13-ranked run-blocking tight end during the 2012 season. That comes after he finished in the top five each of the previous three seasons. Obviously, this is great news for Matt Forte and Michael Bush.
Bennett spent 30 percent of his 2012 snaps in the slot, working as an in-line tight end on the other 70 percent.
He figures to see a similar ratio in Chicago. As was the case in New York, he’ll be the Bears every-down tight end, working in-line on most running downs. He, of course, is replacing the underwhelming Kellen Davis, who will be demoted or released.
The signing of Bennett, coupled with the emergence of Alshon Jeffery and arrival of coach Marc Trestman, means that the Chicago offense is in for a makeover. Marshall saw an absurd 39 percent of the Bears’ targets and scored 52 percent of the receiving touchdowns last season, numbers that are sure to regress in 2013. That will open up a few more looks for Jeffery and, of course, Bennett.
On the flip side, the Bears’ target distribution is a bit of an unknown with the new coaching regime in town. Additionally, they figure to continue utilizing one of the league’s run-heaviest offensive gameplans. Both add risk to Bennett’s 2013 fantasy prospects.
At the end of the day, Bennett is an elite blocker and a plus pass-catcher, easily locking him in as a top-10 overall talent at the position. This will lock him into an every-down role with the Bears over the next few seasons. Only a few days past his 26th birthday, Bennett makes for a top-10 dynasty tight end and a borderline TE1 in 2013.