Second Ranked Post-Hype Sleeper
2. Jay Cutler (QB, CHI)
ESPN: 119th overall player and the 15th ranked quarterback
Yahoo!: 87th overall player and the 14th ranked quarterback
Company: He is currently ranked behind both conservative quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson on both websites and his fantasy value is being compared to that of Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.
Bold: I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he outproduced Cam Newton this season.
Remember way back in 2008 when Cutler scored one fewer touchdown than Peyton Manning, threw for 4,526 yards (488 more than Aaron Rodgers), and completed a higher percentage of passes than Matt Ryan while attempting 182 more throws? He was a 25-year-old hot shot in a pass-heavy offense that featured a 24-year-old Brandon Marshall leading the way. They didn’t posses a run game and Cutler’s fantasy stock was ready to skyrocket … and then he was dealt to Chicago. His interceptions rose while his completion percentage dipped, and just like that, his 15 minutes of fame as a top-shelf quarterback had vanished.
You may have exercised patience in the coming seasons, but Cutler never regained his Denver form and likely cost you dearly. The time to forgive and forget is now, as Cutler is once again the shot-caller on a passing oriented team that is built around a massive young receiver in Alshon Jeffery. Instead of Peyton Hillis, Cutler now has one of the most versatile running backs in the game (Matt Forte ranked third among all running backs that carried the ball at least 225 times with 1.37 yards per route run).
Instead of Tony Scheffler, Cutler now has a tight end who is a pass-catcher first and foremost (Martellus Bennett stayed into block on only 43 percent of snaps last year and ranked as the second most sure-handed tight end in the NFL last year). Ooo yea, and that Marshall guy is there too. This team is absolutely loaded with talent, and we began to see just how lethal they could be late last season as Josh McCown earned himself a nice pay day.
Breaking news: McCown (who had 37 touchdown passes and 44 interceptions before last year) doesn’t have the resume to suggest he is on Cutler’s level or that he is anything but a dink-and-dunk signal caller. Yet he lit the fantasy world on fire with nearly one-quarter of his completions being thrown at least 11 yards down field. At 31 years old, Cutler now has experience and should provide the fantasy goodness that you’ve been looking for ever since he was traded to Da Bears.
In the coming days, look for the next best “Post-Hype Sleeper” at quarterback: Geno Smith