TE Martellus Bennett, Free agent
HT: 6-6, WT: 259, Born: 3-10-1987, College: Texas A&M, Drafted: Round 2
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: C Hyde (110), M Evans (111), Martellus Bennett (112), B Roethlisberger (113), D McFadden (114)
Position: D Pitta (90-TE10), Z Ertz (101-TE11), Martellus Bennett (112 - TE12), C Clay (135-TE13), L Green (138-TE14)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: J Hunter (110), R Randle (111), Martellus Bennett (112), A Dalton (113), T Austin (114)
Position: D Pitta (88-TE10), Z Ertz (99-TE11), Martellus Bennett (112 - TE12), L Green (129-TE13), C Clay (130-TE14)
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Martellus Bennett found new life in Chicago last season, and was a significant portion of the passing game. With guys like Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in the mix, it’s hard to see Bennett being a bigger portion of the offense than he was last year. Maybe a few more catches or another red zone target or two, but 800 yards and five TDS seems about the high water mark for Bennett.
Chicago brought in several different guys to add some depth to their wide receiver corps. In the second season of Marc Trestman’s offense, the Bears could shift away from using Bennett as much and more toward a vertical passing game. Bennett will still see plenty of action, but as the fourth or fifth receiving option. His TD total holds somewhere around four or five but his reception and yardage total takes a step back.
Bennett is a big part of the Chicago offense, and he performed well in his first season with the Bears. He’s a big, physical receiver who can make the first tackler miss and will fight for the extra yard on every play. Even if the Bears have upgraded their WR3 and WR4 position, Bennett is still going to see a lot of action. He’s just too talented and creates too many mismatches for the Bears to ignore him. He should finish right around the top 10 for fantasy tight ends again this season.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Bennett opened the game with a dropped pass from Jay Cutler over the middle. He was open and the ball hit him in the hands, but his nerves got the best of him and he just dropped it. That drive ended in a three and out, but on the next series, facing second and six from the eight yard line, Bennett broke straight up the hash mark into the end zone. Jay Cutler threw a nice pass to him, a little higher than expected to avoid the defenders. Bennett showed his physical size and strength, going up for the ball, making the catch and dragging it in as he went to the ground, staying in bounds and holding on to it for Chicago's first Touchdown of the game. It was his first officail catch as a Chicago Bear. In the third quarter, Jay Cutler was flushed from the pocket on 3rd and 7 because of a blitz. He rolled out and began to take off down the field. But when the defense came up to make the play, Bennett broke to the open spot and Cutler hit him with a perfect pass. Bennett hauled it in and rumbled 30 yards on a nice catch and run to give Chicago a big first down that eventually led to a score. Bennett also had a nice 11 yard catch on 3rd and 8 in the 4th quarter as the Bears were looking to run out the clock. It was a short square in Cutler was under pressure, but Bennett made the play to keep the clock rolling. It would have been a solid debut for Bennett had he not been called for two holding penalties and had the dropped pass.
Week 2 - Martellus Bennett really showed why the Bears acquired him in the off season. His first catch of the day came early in the game when Bears had driven down to the one yard line. He started out on the right side, but then released into the flat where Cutler dumped the ball to him and he was able to power into the end zone for the Touchdown. It was only slightly different than on the game winning touchdown, where Bennett lined up in the slot, but released into the outside and Cutler put the ball onto his outside shoulder and Bennett hauled in a tough catch and rumbled into the end zone for the winning score. In the second quarter, Bennett nearly had a third touchdown, where Cutler put the ball up where only he could come down with it in the end zone. Bennett made a great one-handed catch, but came down out of bounds and it was incomplete. On the next play, Cutler was sacked and fumbled the ball and the Vikings returned it for a touchdown. Bennett's contributions outside of the red-zone are pretty substantial as well. When Cutler is in trouble, he rolls out and looks to dump the ball to either Forte or Bennett. The Bears also scheme where the fake a sweep to Forte or Bush running one way and have Cutler roll out with Bennett in front of him in the flat. Cutler can either take off up field or dump the ball to Bennett for nice 12-14 yard catch and runs. They did this a couple times in this game as well.
Week 3 - The Steelers put pressure on the Bears from every angle in this game, and Bennett spent most of the game as an additional blocker. His two receptions were just short check-down type of plays, where Cutler was scrambling to avoid the said and dumped it to Bennett as a safety valve. On both plays though, Bennett showed good athleticism, making defenders miss and fighting for extra yards. It may have only resulted in 10 total yards for the day, but it showed that Bennett was going to make the most of his opportunities – something that Chicago has been missing from the tight end position.
Week 4 - Martellus Bennett started the game strong for Chicago this week, but ultimately became the ‘check down’ reception guy who racked up a lot of targets but only a few yards. His first catch came in the first quarter – a big 30 yard gain down the middle of the field. The defense was keying on Brandon Marshall and Bennett was wide open down the right hash. Jay Cutler hit him in stride and he rumbled down the field for a big 30 yard gain. But Bennett wasn’t targeted again until the end of the second quarter, when Cutler tried to hit him in the back of the end zone with time winding down. The ball was thrown too high but Bennett was able to make the catch, but when he landed, the ball popped out and it was ruled incomplete and the Bears had to settle for a field goal. In the third and fourth quarter, Bennett caught several shot passes, mostly when Cutler was in trouble and rolling out to avoid a sack. Bennett would make the catch, try to make a move and then be tackled for minimal gain and almost always short of the first down. He had one nice catch in the 4th quarter, when Cutler hit him again down the right hash mark and Bennett continued to fight his way through the defenders, turning a medium pass into a big 20 yard gain. Eight of Bennett’s 12 targets came in the 4th quarter after Detroit had already put 37 points on the board. Cutler would check down to him to avoid the sack, but that was about it.
Week 5 - Martellus Bennett got off to a slow start for the Bears this week and didn’t have a target or a catch in the first quarter. But in the second, he had a couple catches, including one that gave the Bears a scare. On a short catch and run, Bennett used his good physical skills to juke and fight his way forward for additional yards. However, at the end, he tried to jump over the defender and was up-ended, coming down hard on his head and neck. He took a couple plays off but came back and even had a nice 14 yard reception on the final drive of the half, when Jay Cutler was running around trying to avoid the sack. Early in the third, Bennett had a nice 12 yard reception down the middle of the field, where he took a hard hit as he made the catch but held on to the ball and gave Chicago the first down. In the 4th quarter, he had a nice 10 yard catch and run on 3rd and 4. On the play, he stayed in to block, then released into the flat. The defense lost track of him and Cutler dumped him the ball for a nice 10 yard catch and run for the 1st down. It was his last catch of the game though, and the Bears looked farther down field for the rest of the game due to the fact that they were so far behind.
Week 6 - Martellus Bennett continues to just make great plays for the Bears, every time that they need him. Bennett came up with six of the seven passes that were thrown his way; five of them going for first downs. His first catch came mid-way through the second quarter – a short dump into the flat on the left side. But Bennett took off up the field, hurdling a defender and breaking it for an additional five yards, and a big 14 yard gain. Bennett had a second catch in the quarter – a short square out where he made a nice catch, ran through the diving tackle from the defender and broke up field for a big 15 yard gain. Bennett’s one ‘missed’ target came at the start of the third quarter, where he stayed in to block, then released up the field. Jay Cutler was under pressure though and had threw it into the ground near Bennett to avoid the sack. Bennett’s longest catch came in the 4th quarter, when Cutler was lined up in the shotgun and hit him on a short inside-out route. Bennett ran through several arm tackles and rumbled up field for a big 16 yard gain. Whether it’s a designed short pass or a check-down from a deeper route, Martellus Bennett just makes great plays for the Bears and he continues to be a nice safety blanket when Cutler needs him.
Week 7 - Martellus Bennett was dinged up this week but was active for the game. Despite playing for most of the game, the Bears were always looking to push the ball downfield or give it to Matt Forte on the goal line. In the 4th quarter, after Brandon Meriweather was flagged for launching himself at Brandon Marshall, the Bears faced 1st and goal from the 7. Bennett lined up on the right hash mark and ran straight up field into the end zone. The defense lost track of him and Josh McCown hit him with an easy touchdown catch. It was his only reception of the evening.
Week 9 - Martellus Bennett had a quiet game for the Bears, but came up big when he was needed. On the first drive of the second quarter, Josh McCown hit Bennett on a crossing route, and he rumbled forward for a big 27 yard play, dragging a couple guys with him and nearly getting into the end zone. Two plays later Matt Forte powered up the middle for a touchdown. McCown took a couple shots at Bennett later in the game, but he was pretty well defended and the ball was either incomplete or he wasn’t able to secure the catch. On the final drive of the game though, Bennett came up big for the Bears. On 3rd and 9, McCown hit him with a short dump into the left flat. Bennett made a great move to avoid the first tackle, rumbled forward for another three yards before being hit again. But Bennett kept fighting and powered forward, nearly making a first down. It set up a 4th and inches call that the Bears converted and eventually ran out the game.
Week 10 - With the Lions putting heavy pressure on the quarterback for most of the game, Martellus Bennett wasn’t able to work the short flats as effectively as he has in previous weeks. His first reception of the game came on the second drive, and it was a quick screen which should have resulted in a solid gain given how effective Bennett has been in making defenders miss. However, the Lions were all over it, pushing him back the second he made the catch, and he had to fight his way forward to lose only a yard. Bennett had two nice catches early in the second quarter, but that was about the extent of his effectiveness for the game. On the opening play, he made a great catch on crossing route on 3rd and eight, breaking it over the middle for a nice 13 yard gain. A few plays later, he caught a short square out on second and eight, and powered up the right sideline for another 13 yard gain. He wasn’t targeted again until the final drive of the game, and even that was just a short four-yard come-back route.
Week 11 - Martellus Bennett was quite for almost the entire game, but came up HUGE when the Bears needed him. Through four quarters of play, Bennett only saw two targets and one catch for just five yards. He was flagged for more penalties than he had receptions, but he contributed a lot more in down-field blocking for Matt Forte. However, in the overtime period, Bennett came up with the play of the day. On first and 10 from the Chicago 35, Bennett lined up in the slot and took off straight up the right hash mark. Facing single coverage, Bennett was able to get down the field quickly and Josh McCown put the ball into his hands perfectly. The ball was thrown high where the 6 foot 8 tight end was able to use his size and athleticism to make the catch and power forward for a big 44 yard gain. It was a dagger into the hearts of the Ravens who were hoping for a comeback and the Bears won the game on a field goal just three plays later.
Week 12 - Martellus Bennett had just four catches in this game, but he made all of them count. The first was a short pass mid-way through the first quarter when Chicago faced 2nd and goal from the seven. Bennett ran down to the one yard line, turned around and the ball was there. He hauled it in and out-muscled the defender into the end zone for the touchdown. In the second, he ran a deep crossing route from right to left, and Josh McCown threw it perfectly to him, dropping it over the head of the linebackers and in front of the safeties. He hit Bennett in stride and the big man rumbled 37 yards for a big gain. His last two catches came in the third and fourth quarter, but were nothing special from a yardage prospective. They were two key third down conversions however, and both helped get Chicago deep into the red zone. Bennett also had a TD catch in the 4th quarter that was called back for a holding penalty. Josh McCown was flushed out of the pocket and the defense lost track of Bennett who was wide open in the end zone. McCown hit him with a nice pass but the play was blown dead and the Bears eventually ran it in.
Week 13 - The Vikings turned up the heat on Josh McCown, especially in the second half, and Martellus Bennett spent a significant portion of the game staying in as an extra blocker. He had two targets in the first quarter, and both plays were negated by a penalty. The first was an off target pass that was intercepted, but it was called back because of defensive offside. The other was a nice square out route on third and 9 where Bennett ran 8 yards, turned and caught the ball, then powered his way forward for the first down. However, to gain separation, he ran into and shoved the defender back several yards from his break, and he was flagged for offensive pass interference. In the second quarter, he had two short catches of five and nine yards, but both were well short of the first down. He wasn’t even targeted in the second half of the game.
Week 14 - Martellus Bennett opened the game for Chicago, running 10 yards down the field, turning around on a curl route and Josh McCown hit him right on the numbers. Bennett spun and fought forward for 11 yards and the first down. Later on that drive, he stayed in to block, then released into the flat. Josh McCown dumped him the ball for a seven yard catch and run. He had a couple more short check down type of receptions before making his biggest catch of the day in the third quarter. It was another deep curl but it was a bit deeper this time, and Bennett was able to turn the catch into a 15 yard gain and another first down.
Week 15 - Martellus Bennett opened the game strong. On the opening drive, on 3rd and 7, Bennett had a step on a short crossing route. Jay Cutler hit him in stride and Bennett was able to make the catch in stride and head up field for a big 23 yard catch and run. On the next series, Bennett saw that Cutler was in trouble, found a soft spot over the middle and went up for a big catch as Jay was hit, giving him another 22 yard reception on a key third down. On the opening series of the third quarter though, Bennett nearly cost Chicago the game. On 3rd and 8, Bennett stayed in to block and then broke into the left flat as Cutler dumped him the ball. Bennett made a move, and then tried to fight for extra yards and had the ball stripped. The Browns recovered it and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. Bennett had two catches in the 4th quarter as well, but none were for more than 10 yards.
Week 16 - The Black Unicorn was the lone bright spot for Chicago in this game, and he finished as the team’s leading receiver. In the second quarter, Bennett helped Chicago drive down to the Philadelphia 19 yard line with three key receptions. On 3rd and 7, he made a nice catch on a square out for nine yards and a first down. Two plays later he caught a medium curl, turned and powered his way forward for 13 yards. On the next play he ran a medium crossing route and Jay Cutler hit him in stride. Bennett rumbled for 25 yards and got Chicago into the red zone first time all day. Cutler was sacked twice on the next two plays though, and the drive stalled with no points for the Bears. At the end of the third quarter, Bennett was open down the left side of the field and Cutler threw a pretty pass there Bennett was able to get his hands on it. He had trouble controlling it though, and barely got his arms around it and his feet in bounds before going out at the one yards line for a 30 yard reception. If he would have held onto to the ball, he could have easily scored, but it still was the biggest play of the day for Chicago. Brandon Marshall scored two plays later.
Week 17 - Bennett was the forgotten man in this game, and the Bears used him more for blocking than anything else. He had just one catch in the game – a medium crossing route where Jay Cutler was flushed out of the pocket, and then hit him in stride for a nice 15 yard catch and run with 30 seconds to go.