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Bennett a sleeper in Chicago?

Earl Bennett already has a rapport with Jay Cutler.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With Jay Cutler likely to throw the ball quite a few more times than 2008 starting quarterback Kyle Orton, fantasy players are desperately trying to figure out who will be on the receiving end of those throws.

Kick returner turned wide receiver Devin Hester is high on a lot of people's lists as are Rashied Davis and tight end Greg Olsen.

But the surprise answer could be your "sleeper" pick late in this year's draft - Earl Bennett.

How can I possibly recommend a player who in his rookie season didn't catch a single pass?

It's because I did my research.

In February, GM Jerry Angelo said that Bennett would be "more involved in the passing game."

Then at this year's draft, the team didn't draft a wide receiver in either the first round, second, or even with their first pick in the third round, waiting until their second pick in the round to select Oklahoma wideout Juaquin Iglesias.

And third, Cutler and Bennett already have a rapport with each other. In 2005, when Bennett was a young freshman at Vanderbilt, senior quarterback Cutler threw to him every Saturday. That year, Cutler threw for 3,073 yards and 21 touchdowns, of which, 79 catches were made by Bennett for 876 yards and nine scores.

Given that relationship, it's not a stretch to think that Cutler will look his way this season. Using a late round pick on Bennett has very little downside and possibly a huge upside.

Currently, Bennett's Average Draft Position (ADP) is 166, meaning he is around a 14th-round selection. I think that's a reasonable time to take a gamble like this.

Chicago Bears 2008 Receiving Statistics
Player Rec Yards Ave TDs
M.Forte 63 477 7.6 4
G.Olsen 54 574 10.6 5
D.Hester 51 665 13 3
D.Clark 41 367 9 1
R.Davis 35 445 12.7 2
B.Lloyd 26 364 14 2
M.Booker 14 211 15.1 2
J.McKie 11 64 5.8 1
A.Peterson 6 45 7.5 0
K.Jones 2 5 2.5 0
J.Davis 1 12 12 0


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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