Flying 'Air Cutler'
By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman's decision to reinstall Jay Cutler as the starting quarterback has left fantasy owners who have been riding the "Josh McCown Express" without a vehicle in Week 15.
But "Air Cutler" may be able to get you to the fantasy championship game.
As much as I'd like to advise you to stay away from Cutler, who is as risky as driving 70 mph on a winding road during a snowstorm, the situation is too good to pass up.
Trestman has been pressing all the right buttons and Chicago's offensive line has played extremely well lately, leading to three straight games with at least 348 passing yards for McCown.
In Week 15 Chicago will take on the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed multiple passing scores in eight straight games after giving up two in the first five weeks and allowed 418 yards to Tom Brady just last week.
The Browns have shutdown cornerback Joe Haden, but Chicago can counter will Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte. Haden can't cover all of them.
In the past, Cutler may have forced 10 passes to Marshall even with Haden draped on him, but Jeffery has emerged as one of the top receivers in all of football this season. Cutler will have plenty of confidence targeting the second-year wideout if he's in single coverage and on the plays Cleveland chooses to double both players, Bennett and Forte will have favorable situations in which they can thrive.
Cutler was playing very well before injuries wrecked his season. He had 12 passing scores over the first six games, threw for multiple touchdowns in five of them and averaged 271.7 passing yards per game in that span. But he needs to finish strong to maximize his value heading into free agency.
There's no denying Cutler has one of the top arms in the NFL, but if he can't separate himself from a 34-year-old journeyman, why would any team want to pay him franchise quarterback money?
Investing in Cutler long term is probably not a good idea, both in fantasy and reality, given his inconsistency, but we aren't thinking long term right now. We're thinking about Week 15.
And in Week 15, with Trestman calling the plays and Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett and Forte at his disposal, Cutler should be able to stay airborne for 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns at Cleveland.
12/14 20:13:11 ET