The Patriots acquired Martellus Bennett in March from the Bears, giving them an impressive second tight end to go with Rob Gronkowski. Bennett, who is notorious for starting his seasons strong only to fizzle once October comes around, should play a lot for the Patriots as they move to a two-tight end formation on a regular basis. But while his playing time might be plentiful, there's nothing to believe he'll become a consistent stat producer for Fantasy. He's still a candidate for 50 catches (roughly three per week) but realistically he'll have to score a touchdown in order for him to be a useful Fantasy starter. His best value is as a very late-round pick up, especially for those owners in deeper drafts who spend a first-round choice on Gronkowski.
Bennett caught two passes for 26 yards on two targets in Thursday's preseason win over the Bears. With Rob Gronkowski (coach's decision) held out, Bennett worked as the clear top option at tight end, playing 22 snaps in the first half, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. Bennett still figures to get plenty of snaps once Gronkowski's healthy, but targets could be tough to come by in a Patriots offense that has a number of mouths to feed. There is some extra appeal due to Gronkowski's injury history.
Bennett has earned kudos from coach Bill Belichick, CSN New England reports. "(Martellus has) shown up well in all phases of the game...blocking, receiving, and he's a good downfield receiver, a big target, can go up and get the ball." Belichick further noted that while his top two tight ends (Rob Gronkowski and Bennett) are "really different," in some ways "they're kind of interchangeable" in that they can "both block. They can both catch down the field. They can run the intermediate routes, they're both huge targets." While Gronkowski -- who is having a strong training camp -- is the Patriots' clear-cut top tight end, the team's addition of Bennett figures to present opposing defenses with matchup headaches. When both players are healthy, Bennett profiles as a hit-or-miss fantasy option, though one clearly worth rostering, considering the upside he possesses in the event that Gronkowski misses any time this season.
The Bears agreed to exchange Bennett for draft picks from the Patriots on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. With the acquisition, the Patriots will trot out a receiving corps led by a two-headed monster at tight end for the first time since the 2012 season. Working in tandem with Rob Gronkowski, Bennett brings sure hands (66% career catch rate) and game-breaking potential (27 receptions of 20-plus yards and 14 touchdowns in three campaigns with the Bears) to the party in New England. In an offense that relies on precise route-running in order for Tom Brady to carve of the opposition, Bennett should prosper in his new climes.
Bennett (ribs) is unlikely to remain with the Bears in 2016, NFL.com reports. Bennett and the Bears have reportedly struggled to see eye-to-eye for some time now, and with Bennett owed $5 million heading into the final year of his contract, this offseason may ultimately mark the end of their relationship. Whether via trade or releasing Bennett, the well-rounded tight end could benefit from a change of scenery, and his absence would likely allow Zach Miller to build on his strong finish to last season.
Bears tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs) was placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday. Unable to play through a rib injury on Thanksgiving, Bennett then returned for Sunday's loss to the 49ers, catching three passes for 14 yards on four targets. He actually wasn't listed on the injury report last week, but it seems unlikely that this would be unrelated to the rib issue from a couple weeks ago. Zach Miller is now set to serve as Chicago's top tight end, with Khari Lee and Rob Housler providing depth. Bennett should be fine for offseason activities, as he's likely just dealing with broken ribs, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|11||11/20||@San Francisco 49ers||7||6.13|
|12||11/28||@New York Jets||2||4.75|
|13||12/04||Los Angeles Rams||25||8.25|
|16||12/24||New York Jets||2||4.75|
|3 Year Avg||101||69||705||5||36||10.22||102|