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Martellus Bennett trade to Patriots helps Zach Miller


Just when the free agency waters had started to settle, we get hit with another big wave on the fantasy frontier. The Chicago Bears have sent Martellus Bennett to the New England Patriots along with a sixth round pick in exchange for a fourth round pick, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

So what does this mean for fantasy fans? First off, let's look at what New England is getting. Bennett is just one year removed from a 90-916-6 stat line that saw him finish as the TE5 while with the Bears, but all of those numbers were career highs for the Black Unicorn. Last year, Bennett battled injuries and seemed unsettled in Chicago (perhaps because of the new regime), leading to an overall disappointing campaign. Now, he joins an offense that has a rich history of deploying multiple tight ends:

Fantasy-wise, I wouldn't expect Bennett to replicate the ridiculous totals that Aaron Hernandez did alongside Rob Gronkowski. Bennett is an excellent blocking tight end, and could be asked to do that plenty in addition to doing damage in the passing game. This offense has evolved since 2012, too, as Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis will command a fair share of targets. Let's not forget that no tight end not named Gronk has seen more than 42 targets -- not receptions -- since 2012. Bennett makes for a nice late-round best ball pick, and a handcuff to Gronk if you're the ultra-conservative type of fantasy player, but his prospects as a season-long starting tight end aren't very high. This is more of a great football move for the Patriots than a fantasy football move.

However, on the flipside, Bennett leaving Chicago opens the door for Zach Miller to move into the low TE1 range. The Bears are more of a run-first offense (tied for sixth-highest percentage of run plays called in the NFL in 2015), but Miller and Cutler showed a nice rapport down the stretch last year, one that went beyond Miller's two big highlight-reel plays. Miller and Bennett combined for 121 targets in Chicago last year, most of which should now fall to Miller as he re-signed with the team for two more years earlier in the free agency period.

So while the Bennett trade to New England doesn't have the massive fantasy impact of other moves this offseason, it certainly has created some ripples worth following. Stay tuned.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar