Fantasy Football Hot Routes: Bears won't hibernate without Jay Cutler

      October 22, 2013 @ 17:13:33 PDT

One week against a vulnerable secondary doesn't guarantee the job, but Josh McCown won't be horrific if he's asked to replace Jay Cutler (groin) for at least the next month.

Seattle Seahawks WR Percy Harvin
Helps team, not necessarily himself

There's a solid chance the Chicago Bears won't look for a quarterback outside the organization. This offense might be the best at which McCown has had the chance to direct. Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, a much-improved offensive line and protection strategy ... plenty of weapons and continuity to help him. Marc Trestman knows how to work with QBs. Note the physical, if not necessarily stylistic, similarities between McCown and past Trestman success story Rich Gannon.

This isn't an endorsement of McCown as a bona fide fantasy backup but a reminder that enough schematic stability remains for fantasy owners to avoid throwing in 'Da Towel on 'Da Bears skill players. Plus, the way the defense has lost bodies, they'll probably still have to chuck it often.

The Jordan Reed-Aaron Hernandez (on-field) comparisons have been starkly surfacing lately. Their similar athleticism and "move" attributes, which were cultivated at the University of Florida, have lucky Reed owners enjoying Robert Griffin III's latest weapon. RGIII is finding his footing again, which will keep defenses on their heels and allow guys like Reed to find plenty of space.

Reed will carry weekly TE1 potential for the remaining season, especially in reception-rewarding games.

Percy Harvin (hip) might emerge from the Physically Unable to Perform list as soon as this weekend for the Seattle Seahawks against a ghastly St. Louis Rams defense. It's an acceptable chance to take if your lineup is bye-ridden, but it's likelier that if it comes this week, Harvin's initial contribution will involve plenty of decoy work on a limited snap count.

It could help get more out of talented but sometimes sloppy Golden Tate, who's been looked to 25 times over the last three games and would benefit from decreased defensive attention.

Miami Dolphins catcher Brandon Gibson made the squad because of his effort to learn the slot position during camp. He doesn't have the typical SL speed or build at 6-foot, 207 pounds, but he's shifty enough that if he makes smart moves, he'll continue commanding Ryan Tannehill's attention, especially with the run game having struggled immensely before this past week.

Tannehill will throw plenty in this optimally up-tempo system, and Gibson goes into most weeks with palpable flex returns.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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