2012 Team Outlook: Chicago
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI (WR - #51) - Quality Backup
Alshon Jeffery is another big wide out with similarities to Brandon Marshall. Cutler is going to have lots of opportunities to allow his big receivers to make plays. Jeffery, Marshall, Hester and Bennett will be quite the wide out squad this season. There will be plenty of experience and hopefully some positive chemistry. Jeffery will have the ability and the opportunity to have a breajout first season as long as he fully recovers from a lower leg injury that has limited him and learns the playbook.
Update 8/26/12: I am upgrading Jeffery to quality backup status and might even consider him a safe pick if he and Jay Cutler continue to connect consitently. The one-two wide out punch of Marshall and Jeffery is going to be tough for opponents this season if Cutler is accurate with his throws.
WR Devin Hester, CHI (WR - #114) - Deep-league Only
If Alshon Jeffery's lower leg injury or unpreparedness limit him, expect to see Hester slide into the number two receiver role. Chicago has the ability to move Marshall, Hester, Jeffery and Bennett around in plays to open passing lanes. Hester is great down the field and will get chances. Hester's route running ability will keep him productive this season. Keep an eye on Jeffery's status and team reports. If he slips off of the radar Hester and Bennett should be on your sheet somewhere.
WR Earl Bennett, CHI (WR - #119) - Deep-league Only
Bennett tends to play slot receiver. Cutler trusts Bennett in these plays, but Bennett's production has declined. With Hester, Jeffery and Marshall as targets, Cutler will have many options. I like Marshall as the clear gavorite target. I think Jeffery and Hester come close second and Bennett takes third/fourth. If you can pick-up Bennett late in your draft he might have some good games and make your pick worth while.
TE Kellen Davis, CLE (TE - #33) - Deep-league Only
Davis will be the starting tight end. He caught 18 passes for 206 yards and 5 TDs last season. He is not at the top of my TE list, but could always play a factor in a newly stacked Chicago passing game. Look for Davis to be closely followed on the depth chart by Evan Rodriguez with Matt Spaeth looking to get into plays as well. Each will get some chances and Cutler will find his favorite TE target. I think it will be Davis and Rodriguez could be a surprise.
TE Matt Spaeth, PIT (TE - #55) - Not Draft Worthy
Spaeth drops to number three on the TE depth chart as of recent reports. Kellen Davis will be the starter and be backed-up by rookie Evan Rodriguez. Spaeth may get some chances as he has some chemistry with Cutler, but it appears the other TEs will take the forefront.
TE Evan Rodriguez, CHI - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Rodriguez is a big, rookie tight end and might be just the target Jay Cutler likes. However, Kellen Davis is the starter for now and Rodriguez will have to prove his effectiveness. Look for him to be a super sleeper pick. A Mike Tice run offense will definitely have some tight end plays as Tice is an old TE.
Rodriguez has produced some bright moments this preseason. Look for him to surprise down the stretch and maybe earlier in the season. His super sleeper status might soon be categorized as sleeper.