The Chicago Bears defense/special teams (D/ST) was fantasy football’s best in 2012 by a mile. If you got lucky like me, you snagged this unit in Round 13 because you were shocked it was still available and then sat back and watch it pile up points for you all season long. Of course, that production really started to decrease toward the end of the season as the Bears D/ST was awful in five of its last seven games. However, you can expect all of 2013 to be similar to the first half of 2012 after the Bears hired former Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis.
Now DeCamillis has nothing to do with the Bears’ defense that also piled up a bazillion points in the first half of the season. However, he will be a big part of more kickoff and punt returns as well as blocked kicks. Scores on special teams change the courses of both real and fantasy football games, so this is critical to where the Bears’ unit will be taken in 2013 fantasy football drafts.
DeCamillis did all he could with a horrendous special teams unit in Dallas, turning Dwayne Harris into a quite the playmaker on kick and punt returns by the end of the 2012 season. Ask any Cowboys fan and they’ll tell you that’s no easy feat, so with the crew DeCamillis has to work with in Chicago, this should be a big year for the Bears D/ST, fantasy-wise at least.
In 2012, the Bears ranked last in the NFL in average yards per kick return with 19.8. However, Devin Hester ranked eighth in the league in yards per return (25.9) by players with at least 20 returns. That’s are two odd stats when compared to one another and it means there’s a problem in the Bears’ kick return game and that Hester frequently made something of nothing. That’s just one example of what will change with DeCamillis now in charge of the special teams in Chicago.