Jay Cutler will be great this season, and you can still wait to draft him late. Credit: Getty Images
If position requirements didn’t exist in fantasy football, we’d gobble up all the quarterbacks we could and laugh all the way to the bank.
But they do, and most leagues require that we start only one quarterback. Given that they’re the most consistent statistical producers, sustain health the most by a wide margin and have the most positional depth in today’s pass-happy NFL, it’s a no-brainer to stock up on running backs and wideouts while waiting on your quarterback.
Of course, this only works if the QBs we’re waiting for produce at a top-12 clip. Here are the signal callers the “Wait on QB” purists should be targeting this year.
Cut me, Jay
Last season, Bears quarterbacks totaled 4,450 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and 19 interceptions — numbers good enough for a QB5 fantasy ranking. Credit passing-game savant Marc Trestman, whose scheme was so dominant that journeyman Josh McCown became a stud. Now it’s Jay Cutler’s turn to go off, as his superior arm talent is a perfect fit for the basketball-on-grass receiving trio of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett. Cutler’s Yahoo! average draft position (ADP) is currently 104.9, the 15th quarterback off the board. It’s robbery.
Dallas doesn't do defense
The least talented defense in the league, a ridiculously pass-happy play-caller and arguably the game’s most talented wide receiver are all going down in Dallas this season, and it sets up 34-year-old Tony Romo for a monstrous statistical season despite his advancing age. Playcaller Scott Linehan is an expert at getting No. 1 receivers open (see Randy Moss, Torry Holt and Calvin Johnson), and now gets to unleash Dez Bryant on the rancid defenses of the NFC East. Romo is going to be a gunslinger involved in lots of shootouts.
The Iceman cometh
Matt Ryan has thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in three straight seasons, yet he can be had in the seventh round of fantasy drafts. It’s a reminder of the mind-boggling depth at the position. Ryan has a chance at his best year yet, thanks largely to the healthy return of Julio Jones/Roddy White and a running game that projects to remain inept. And much like the Cowboys’ situation, the Falcons’ porous defense means the offense will need to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard.
MLB pickups ...
1. Dexter Fowler, OF, Astros – He is just about ready to come off the DL. Fowler is a five-category contributor, something hard to find on the wire.
2. Jimmy Nelson, SP, Brewers – Don’t give up on one of baseball’s top prospects just because he got shelled in his first MLB start.
3. Chase Headley, 3B, Padres — A rumored trade out of San Diego’s miserable lineup and park would do wonders.
NBA hot stove ...
Free agency and summer league developments have these guys on the rise:
1. Chris Bosh, C, Heat – The last time Bosh was the No. 1 option on his team, he averaged 24.0 points and 10.8 rebounds with elite percentages.
2. Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavaliers – It’s been proven that players shoot markedly better when running with LeBron James. The world is about to get a look at how good Irving is.
3. Nerlens Noel, C, Sixers – He's averaging 3.2 blocks, 2.2 steals and shooting 54.2 percent through four summer league games.
Follow Metro fantasy sports writer Adam Levitan on Twitter@adamlevitan.