While Jared Allen may have some mileage on his 31-year old body, the Chicago Bears have wisely added this veteran playmaker to help improve an under-performing defense.
The 2012 fantasy football statistics for the Bears were unbelievable to say the least. In standard formats, the Bears’ defense scored more fantasy points than Ray Rice, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green, Jimmy Graham and Philip Rivers. With 24 interceptions and 41 sacks, it was no surprise that the Bears were quickly drafted in most fantasy leagues this past season.
In an average 12-person league, the defense for the Bears was generally drafted at the beginning of the eighth round in 2013. For anyone who drafted Chicago, you know this past year did not have a happy ending. The Bears’ defense struggled against the pass ranking 15th, but it was also completely dominated by almost any running back that the defense faced. While Chicago did have to play against talented running backs in Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Eddie Lacy, fantasy owners licked their chops when any of their rushers faced this team.
After a first-place finish in 2012, the Bears defense finished 27th in fantasy scoring in 2013. With the addition of Allen, fantasy players are wondering if this team will be able to produce a top-10 defense in 2014. The answers is yes, but the reason is not because of the recent signing of Allen.
From the retirement of Brian Urlacher to the firing of Lovie Smith, the Bears were a team in transition during the 2013 season. Even losing one player can cause a massive shakeup, and this team started the process of finding a new identity. Things will be more stable in the second year of Marc Trestman‘s coaching, and the defense will work on finding a game plan to stop the run.
Allen will make his contributions to this defense, but he is only one person. The Bears will be more successful on defense in 2014 because of its time to learn and develop a stronger game plan. Allen will get his sacks, but the success of the defense will not be entirely determined by just one player.
The defense for the Bear should come cheap in your draft, so you can pick this team up in the later rounds in hopes that it can return to its former glory.