So the NFL Pre-season has officially started as of this past weekend, and I’ve done 2 of my 4 fantasy football drafts for this season already. I know many more drafts are to come, and for those of you who want the perspective of someone who has won many leagues in the past few years that I have been playing, I’ll dispense my knowledge and advice on a top-5 basis.
While I have no doubt that Jay Cutler will be a top-15 quarterback this year, you are going to pay top-10 pricing for him. His arm is solid in terms of strength, but not in terms of getting picked off. Jay Cutler interceptions are a given in almost every game. He tries to fit balls in the spots where no hole exists. He frequently fires the ball into triple coverage. He doesn’t make smart decisions with his passes. What’s worse is Cutler’s brazen arrogance that he will not stop throwing interceptions. In a game against the Washington Redskins, a below-average defensive team, Cutler was picked off four times by DeAngelo Hall. What’s more alarming is that after the game, Cutler indicated that he would have continued to pass it Hall’s direction if given the chance: “I’ve played against (Hall) before,” Cutler said after the game. “There’s no reason to shy away from him. That’s hard for me to say throwing four picks to the guy, but I still think if we had to play him tomorrow I’d go after him every time.”
Combine this with the fact he has no elite receiver to catch the ball (Devin Hester and Johnny Knox, while fast, don’t exactly fight for the ball well). Add in his “toughness” issue from last year’s NFC Championship game where he walked off the field as the Bears were losing, and I place Cutler on the immediate “Do Not Draft” list. I’ll gladly take Jay Cutler in the mid-rounds of a draft, but not within the top 4 rounds that you may have to take him at.
What can I say about Kyle Orton? He’s a mid-level guy, very average, very stable week-to-week. He’s never going to be the top QB of any given Sunday, but he’s not going to be a complete flop, either. However the hype right now for Orton is a little too much, and I feel that he’s going to be taken too early in a draft. Plus, watch out for Tim Tebow, who will be thrown into wildcat situations to leech red zone opportunities in Denver.
With a rotating runningback situation, and shaky top wide receivers, I was happier with Orton in Chicago. Plus, who knows, if Orton continues to remain average and the Broncos are having a losing season, watch out for Tebow to take the starting reins.
Garrard is another quarterback who could be great, but is instead just “good”. Is it the available receiving options in Jacksonville that is hurting? Is it Maurice Jones-Drew who pounds with the rock so well? Is it the fact he’s now 33, and on the definite decline?
All of them, my friends. Plus the Jaguars grabbed Blaine Gabbert in April’s NFL draft who will eventually be throwing the ball and calling the plays; maybe in 2012, or maybe a month from now. Not a single player for the Jags is worth owning unless the name is MJD.
While 90% of NFL are fans are still surprised to see Alex Smith back again, starting for the San Francisco 49ers, the rest of us are wondering when he will live up to his draft status. Will the signing of Braylon Edwards help? Will Michael Crabtree come back from being a pussy in the preseason? Will Vernon Davis have to do all the work again? The world may never know.
Now that the Niners grabbed Colin Kaepernick out of Nevada in the second round, and are bringing in a veteran QB to try out this week, will Alex’s job be safe again this year?
The hype is there, but so is Jimmy Clausen. And Derek Anderson is still hanging around in the NFL if you can believe it, listed 3rd on the QB depth chart for the Panthers. With a solid duo runningback attack in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, and only one reasonable receiver, will Cam Newton have a chance at even 2,000 passing yards this season?
Don’t act on the hype. Let your opponents draft Cam Newton early on, and let them drop him mid-season.