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2014 Draft Prep: Jay Cutler will have a career season

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Here's a question for you. How would you feel about a quarterback who passed for 4,450 yards, 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions? My guess is you would like that a lot.

What if that quarterback had more than 360 Fantasy points? To put that in perspective, Andy Dalton was third in points last season with 353. You'd probably like that number in the majority of leagues, too.

Well, that's what Jay Cutler is capable of this season if he plays 16 games. And health is really the only knock on him. The prediction here is Cutler will have the best season of his career. He's a tremendous value pick based on his Average Draft Position at No. 82 overall as the No. 12 quarterback off the board.

Cutler and Josh McCown combined for those passing stats last year. When you factor in their rushing stats, the duo scored 366 Fantasy points in a standard league, which would have made them the No. 3 quarterback behind Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

Now, it's difficult to say Cutler will replicate those stats on his own, and he's been injury-prone the past three years. He played in just 10 games in 2011 because of a thumb issue, missed one game in 2012 with a concussion and was limited to 11 games last season because of groin and ankle problems.

But he's healthy now and the Bears are committed to him. He signed a seven-year, $127 million deal this offseason with $54 million guaranteed. On top of that, they let McCown sign as a free agent in Tampa Bay without bringing in a top backup since Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen are the other quarterbacks of note on the roster.

The Bears have faith in Cutler and so do we. The big reasons why are his receiving corps -- led by Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett -- and coach Marc Trestman.

Trestman's offense helped Forte finish as a top-three running back in standard leagues, and Marshall and Jeffery were top-10 receivers. Cutler and McCown combined for a standout campaign, but now we want to see Cutler stand on his own.

When he was healthy last season, Cutler was awesome with six of 10 games (he was hurt early in the Week 7 game at Washington) with at least 20 Fantasy points. He opened the year with 20 or more points in five of six games and he should continue to thrive this season.

Cutler has been a solid Fantasy quarterback in the past -- he has three top-12 finishes on his resume from 2007 to 2009 -- but this could be the best year of his career. His best season was 2008 in Denver when he passed for 4,526 yards, 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He finished with 312 Fantasy points as the No. 5 quarterback. He's been trying to reach that plateau again ever since.

With the Bears, Cutler's best season was 2009 when he passed for 3,666 yards, 27 touchdowns and 26 interceptions, but this year he should shatter those stats. He's going to be one of the best buys on Draft Day.

In my leagues, I like waiting for quarterbacks, and Cutler is usually my fallback option on Draft Day. I'll let other owners reach for their signal-callers early while I horde running backs and receivers, but I know a big reward is waiting for me when I snag Cutler later.

It might not work out how I hope, and Cutler's injury history speaks for itself, but if Cutler stays healthy and plays like we think he can, he could be the biggest difference-maker in all leagues.

His best year is going to happen in 2014.

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Player News
Seahawks say FB Derrick Coleman out at least 6 weeks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:53 pm ET) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told the Seattle Times that fullback Derrick Coleman will miss at least six weeks. Coleman broke his foot in pregame warmups Sunday at St. Louis.

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(6:48 pm ET) The Broncos promoted running back Kapri Bibbs to the active roster and waived linebacker Shaquil Barrett.

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by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:29 pm ET) The Rams made wideout Austin Pettis a healthy scratch Week 7 and waived him Monday after he was late to a meeting Saturday, reports Fox Sports.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins benefited from bye
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:25 pm ET) Buccaneers rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins said the team's Week 7 bye helped his sore ankle, reports the Tampa Tribune.

"When you don't have to practice and you're not hitting people every day, you're definitely going to feel better and get your legs under you," he told the paper. "I think having a little more rest definitely gives you a fresh mind and a fresh body."

The Bucs host the Vikings on Sunday.


Titans waive TE Brett Brackett
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:01 pm ET) The Titans waived tight end Brett Brackett, who played in two games this season without making a catch.

Saints put DE Glenn Foster on IR
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:54 pm ET) The Saints placed defensive end Glenn Foster on injured reserve after he hurt his knee in Sunday's loss to the Lions. Foster, 24, appeared in five games this season.

Report: Raiders safety Usama Young suffers torn ACL, MCL
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:43 pm ET) Raiders safety Usama Young is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL and MCL Sunday against the Cardinals, a source told ESPN. Young has totaled 23 tackles (21 solo), two pass defenses and one sack through six games.

Jaguars promote DE Chris Smith
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:43 pm ET) The Jaguars promoted rookie defensive end Chris Smith to the active roster. He was a fifth-round pick out of Arkansas.

Report: Rams waive wideout Austin Pettis
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:41 pm ET) The Rams waived receiver Austin Pettis, reports ESPN's Adam Caplan. Pettis was a healthy scratch Week 7 against the Seahawks.

He spent his entire four-year career with St. Louis, catching four touchdown passes each of the previous two seasons.


Saints re-sign TE Tom Crabtree, waive LB Todd Davis
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:39 pm ET) The Saints re-signed tight end Tom Crabtree, according to The Times-Picayune. To clear a roster spot, linebacker Todd Davis was waived.

 
 
 
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