Joining the Chicago Bears agreed with tight end Martellus Bennett last season, as he set career-highs in catches (65) and yards (759) while tying his career high in touchdowns with five. He had a solid role in the red zone, with 16 targets, but he only had two touchdowns over the final 14 games and there definitely seems to be some untapped potential for Bennett as a touchdown scorer.
Bennett finished fourth on the Bears in receptions last season, and his status in the pecking order is unlikely to change much this year with two great wide receivers (Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery) as well as one of the best pass-catching backs (Matt Forte) in the league in the fold. That said, he still had the seventh-most targets among tight ends last season (94), while leading the position with an average of 6.2 yards after the catch and posting a 69.1 percent catch rate (sixth-best among tight ends).
Bennett appears to be a forgotten man in fantasy drafts right now, with an average draft position in the middle of the 11th round (per Fantasy Football Calculator.com). Ladarius Green has an ADP a few spots earlier than Bennett, and Eric Ebron’s ADP is roughly a round later right now. Bennett is clearly a much safer fantasy option than either of those guys, and it’s worth noting he finished as the 10th-highest scoring tight end in ESPN standard leagues in 2013 (96 points).
After the clear-cut top top option at the position (Jimmy Graham), there’s not a dramatic difference between the next 10 tight ends in average draft position. That group does not include Bennett, as the 13th tight end going off the board right now, and that sets him up to be a steal in drafts and auctions. With the likelihood he posts similar numbers to last season, along with a few more touchdowns, I’m buying Bennett as a top-10 fantasy tight end for this year.