Cutler Gets First Shot at Former Team

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler is facing a hard-nosed Broncos defense, but Denver is vulnerable

Despite playing four seasons for the Broncos from 2006 through 2009, Cutler has never actually played a regular season game against Denver. The two teams met in 2011, but Cutler was injured and Tim Tebow was the Broncos quarterback.

This time, Cutler is facing a shutdown Broncos defense that has shown some cracks lately. With Peyton Manning ruled out and backup quarterback Brock Osweiler expected to start, Cutler and the Bears have a chance to make a statement riding a two game winning streak.

Bear OC Adam Gase is having a positive impact on Cutler and is helping him to better read opposing defenses. Similar to the St. Louis Rams, the Broncos are ranked high in defense in multiple categories such as rush defense, pass yards per game, and yards allowed per play.

The Bears have their hands full and will have to make big plays down the field to open up the defense. To be successful, Gase will have to mix up the play calling and keep Cutler focussed. In the final equation, Alshon Jeffrey and running back Jeremy Langford need to make big plays to help Cutler overcome the top-ranked Denver defense.


3 Quarterbacks for Fantasy Football Survivalists

Derek Carr looking to build momentum after stunning the Ravens in Week 2

Derek Carr looking to build momentum after stunning the Ravens last week

  1. Derek Carr, OAK:

Derek Carr’s rookie season was impressive, but not to the point where one could expect him to breakout as a sophomore in the NFL. That mindset changed once the Raiders selected WR Amari Cooper in this year’s draft and signed veteran wideout Michael Crabtree. With significant upgrades in his wide receiver corps, Carr’s job has become much easier. Instead of being forced to work with mediocre talents in Andre Holmes and Rod Streater, Derek Carr can now look to his new targets to make big plays for him. Carr can be considered a high-end QB2 currently, with the potential to be a QB1 towards the end of the season.

  1. Blake Bortles, JAC:

Blake Bortles did not have a stellar rookie season in 2014, but he has proven recently that he has grown and matured as an NFL quarterback. After struggling against a stout Panthers defense during Week 1, Bortles came back and put up 273 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions on 18 completions in a surprising win against the Miami Dolphins. Bortles showed great chemistry with second-year wideout Allen Robinson, as the two connected for 155 yards and 2 TDs against Carolina on six receptions. Blake Bortles will also get another strong target in Julius Thomas in a few weeks back from his hand injury, giving him someone to look toward when in red-zone situations. Expect Bortles to be a middle-of-the-pack QB2 with major upside, especially once Julius Thomas returns to the starting lineup.

  1. Jameis Winston, TB:

Jameis Winston has not been spectacular in his first two NFL games, but his level of play will rise in weeks to come. His production should increase heavily with the implementing of WR Mike Evans into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense. Winston has only had veteran WR Vincent Jackson to turn to thus far, and a less-than-100% Mike Evans in Week 2. Now that his hamstring has fully healed, his pitch count will be reduced, and he can be counted on to make big plays for the rookie QB in games moving forward. While gaining NFL experience, and working with stud WRs in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, Jameis Winston should be considered a QB2 with upside as the season progresses.

3 Running Backs Sporting Breakout Potential

Ameer Abdullah

Rookie Ameer Abdullah is poised to become a fantasy powerhouse this season

Now that week 1 of the NFL is in the books, it’s easy to overreact to the performances of key players. Some fantasy owners might be thinking, “why did I waste a draft pick on you when Carlos Hyde was up for grabs.” But, the season is long. Don’t let Monday morning quarterbacks get to your head. There is no way of knowing how the season will play out, especially when it comes to the running back position. Here are three backs who should continue to shine for the rest of the season

Ameer Abdullah:

Ameer Abdullah had one of the most impressive performances during Week 1 racking up 50 yards on 7 carries and hauling in all four of his targets through the air for an additional 44 yards. Combine those with his 3 kick returns for 105 yards, and you have a rookie that announced his presence with authority. Abdullah even managed to add a touchdown to his impressive day by scoring a 24-yard rushing touchdown on his very first NFL touch. The rookie could help the Lions reach new heights on a team that features Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and Joique Bell. Abdullah impressed Coach Caldwell and caught the attention of many NFL insiders with his play. Look for his stock to skyrocket throughout the season.

Joseph Randle:

Joseph Randle stated in the offseason that he felt that last year’s NFL leading rusher Demarco Murray left a lot of “meat on the bones.” On Sunday, Randle didn’t make a case that he could do better than Murray’s 1800 yards with. He had a decent performance as a blocker alongside the offensive line, shown by the fact that Romo was barely touched the entire game. But he’s definitely going to have to do more than 65 yards on 16 carries to wipe away the memory of Murray, but there may be an uptick in production coming from Randle. Cowboys star wideout Dez Bryant is out with a broken foot for 4 to 12 weeks. This means the Dallas offense might be relying more on its running game in the future. Even when Bryant does come back, Dallas has a grueling December in which they’ll play at Green Bay, at Buffalo, and against the Jets. Look for the backs to feature heavily (even in the passing game) throughout the season and Randle to start against Philly this upcoming week.

Melvin Gordon:

Melvin Gordon on the other hand did not have the showing some thought he would. The new San Diego Charger rushed for a respectable 51 yards in his NFL debut. Fantasy GMs might be questioning the pick like Chargers actual GM Tom Telesco, who moved up two spots in the draft to snatch Gordon. The former Wisconsin star is due for a breakthrough, but it might not come as immediate as some would hope for. Gordon has to improve on his understanding of pass protection in order for QB Phillip Rivers to trust him with the ball. Look for Gordon to find his stride around week 4 against the Browns.

Fantasy Rookie Rundown – Cream of the Crop


Amari Cooper has offensive rookie of the year written all over him

Who will be the next star in football? Which new recruit to the ranks of NFL player will shock the world? Will it be an undrafted free agent or a high draft pick? Here are three rookies who are going to have the greatest impact during the first half of the 2015 season.

Amari Cooper (Wide Receiver)

The first receiver taken in the draft, Oakland expects great things from Amari Cooper. The expectations for Cooper are sky high, but can he have a standout rookie season a la Odell Beckham? His supreme talent was on full display during his time at Alabama, and his prowess is sure to translate to the NFL. Even during the preseason, cornerbacks have been wildly impressed the young man’s skills, particularly his route running. Cooper is a solid WR2 to start the season even though he has a tough Week 1 matchup against the Bengals pass defense which ranked 3rd in the league last year.

Jameis Winston (Quarterback)

The number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft is looking to make an even bigger name for himself as he takes the helm in Tampa Bay. Winston may have walked into the best situation possible. He gets to play in front of the same fans that cheered for him at Florida State. He also is the undisputed starter on a team praying for a lifeline. Something has to give for a team that finished fourth in a division whose winner posted a losing record. First week, Winston will match up against his draft class rival Mariota in what is sure to be an entertaining show.

Marcus Mariota (Quarterback)

The number two overall pick is looking to prove that he should have been number one. Like Winston, Mariota may seem like a godsend for the Titans simply because of the situation he walked into. He doesn’t have to play Houston (and feel the wrath of J.J. Watt) until week 8. Winston and Mariota’s matchup Sunday will beg the question: Who will be Peyton Manning and who will end up as Ryan Leaf?

Honorable mentions:

Randy Gregory (Defensive End)

The Cowboys got the first-round talent in the second round due to off the field issues. Gregory has stated he wants to make the best of his situation in Dallas, and has shown promise throughout training camp. Gregory has recorded multiple sacks in pre-season games and practicing against all-pro left tackle Tyron Smith will only help him improve. Expect him to get tons of playing time with Greg Hardy suspended for the first four games.

Trae Waynes (Cornerback)

Waynes had one of the fastest 40-yard dash times at the NFL Combine with a 4.31. The new Minnesota Viking has good size and strength along with his quickness. Waynes might not be a starter now, but look for his stock to climb in terms of roster moves throughout the season.

Duke Johnson (Running Back)

The Cleveland Browns got a good deal in picking up Johnson. But, the all-purpose player has been hit with the injury bug lately. He suffered from a hamstring injury that kept him off the field. In his first preseason game, Johnson suffered a concussion. It’s hard to get a read on whether Johnson will reach his full potential, but if he performs anything like he did at The U, he is sure to have a breakout season.

Fantasy Breakout Wide Receiver Report – NFL Week 1

Jeremy Maclin may not duplicate last season's magic, but he might come close

Jeremy Maclin may not duplicate last season’s 1,300 receiving yards, but he might come close

With just one day to go before the kickoff the 2015 season, we wanted to take one last look at the wide receiver position. This is a position that is rich with talent and depth this season, which makes it easy to overlook the diamonds in the rough. Today we feature three players that are bound to make a big splash during Week 1.                                     – ADP rankings powered by

Jeremy Maclin (ADP: WR #22)

Many experts wrote off Jeremy Maclin when he got shipped off to Kansas City, but he’s seems determined to make many of those experts eat their words. Since being reunited with his former Eagles HC Andy Reid, Maclin has been on fire showing amazing chemistry with K.C. quarterback Alex Smith. Also, let’s not forget that Maclin is coming off the best season of his career in Philly where he registered 85 receptions for more than 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Chiefs head to Houston to take on the Texans to start the season and Maclin owners should enjoy a big day. Houston’s defense features strong players in J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Jadeveon Clowney, but that shouldn’t be seen as terribly threatening. Houston will have trouble dealing with versatile RB Jamaal Charles, as well as red-zone target TE Travis Kelce, leaving Maclin in single coverage situations more often than not. Expect Maclin to produce like that of a middle-of-the-pack WR1 this week.

Tyler Lockett (ADP: WR #57)

Lockett is more of a reach play for Week 1, but he could be worth the risk in deeper fantasy formats. The rookie wideout from Kansas State has made some impressive special teams plays this preseason, scoring on punt and kick return TDs and also torched the Raiders defense for a 63-yard TD during Seattle’s preseason victory. Lockett has competition for targets in the Seahawks’ newly acquired freak-athlete TE Jimmy Graham, and WRs Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin, but his upside could allow him to steal targets from his fellow receivers. One preseason trend that should bode well for Lockett’s potential moving forward, is that Jimmy Graham was used as a blocker on nearly 37 percent of his snaps, leaving room for others to step up. Expect Lockett to see minimal snaps in Week 1, but with his big-play ability, he could definitely come down with a couple long receptions and a touchdown.

John Brown (ADP: WR #36)

John Brown is currently listed as Arizona’s WR3, but he could become Carson Palmer’s most trusted target. Brown is behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd on the depth chart, but uncertainty surrounds that wide receiver corps situation. Fitzgerald is undoubtedly on the decline, as he has failed to eclipse the 1,000 for three straight seasons, so his current place atop the depth chart is in jeopardy. John Brown will also most likely replace Michael Floyd for Week 1, as Floyd is listed as questionable with three dislocated fingers. Brown’s ability to take over as a starter later on in the season, but with Floyd out immediately, John Brown should be in line for a big game Week 1. The Cardinals are set to host the New Orleans Saints, who ranked 31st a season ago, allowing 384 yards per game, and 25th in surrendering an average of 251 passing yards per contest. Barring an out of body defensive performance from the Saints, the Cardinals offense should put up 21+ points, making a touchdown from Brown fairly likely. Consider John Brown a middle WR3 week 1, and a high WR3 if Michael Floyd is unable to play.

NFL Running Back Handcuff Breakdown

Given Jamaal Charles recent injury history, Davis may be worth a stash

Given Jamaal Charles and his recent injury history, Davis may be worth a stash

Drafting HB Handcuffs is essentially gambling; one has to have incredible foresight and luck to correctly predict those who will immediately spring from the waiver wires to starting lineups. Today we explore three backs in particular: Knile Davis, Matt Jones, and Roy Helu.  – ADP rankings powered by

Roy Helu (ADP: RB #64)

Of the three previously mentioned backs, Helu has the most upside, simply because Latavius Murray’s situation is extremely ambiguous. Unlike Alfred Morris, and Jamaal Charles, Murray’s hold on the majority of carries is extremely suspect. Knile Davis and Matt Jones will only become relevant through injury, where Helu has multiple opportunities to break into a starting role, either by injury or poor performance. Helu has size (6 foot) and speed (4.4) to be a feature back; he may just need an opportunity.

Knile Davis (ADP: RB #52)

Davis over the past few years has started for the Kansas Chiefs as a result of various Jamaal Charles injuries, and in all those situations he has performed very well. Nevertheless, Jamaal Charles is still going to be the feature back, and the only way Davis will truly become relevant is through injury. There’s no debating that over the past few years, Charles has dealt with injury issues and as he he ages, it will become increasingly difficult for him remain on the field. If something were to happen to Charles, Davis would immediately be catapulted into a cow-bell type role, drastically increasing his value. There are a lot of what-ifs in this scenario, but for the right draft pick, Davis could be worth the investment.

Matt Jones: (ADP: RB #60)

I am not a huge fan of Matt Jones this year, mostly because he is a rookie, with less than impressive athleticism, and he sits behind Alfred Morris who hasn’t missed a game in multiple years. The only way that Matt Jones will receive significant carries is through a Morris injury, but we’ve just never seen Morris succumb to that. Morris has shown an amazing ability to stay healthy year after year, and because of this, grabbing Jones isn’t worth the investment. The probability of Jones being worth a roster spot is very low, and one can find more production or a higher ceiling elsewhere.

3 Fantasy Running Backs Packing 2015 Sleeper Potential

Tre Mason

There’s no denying that Tre Mason could provide some early season punch for your fantasy roster

It’s important to stock your fantasy team with depth at every position, especially at tailback. The elite backs, and most starters will be taken within the first 6-7 rounds, but there should be some hidden gems available in the later rounds. When it comes time to round out your roster, these are some neglected talents with breakout potential for the upcoming season. – ADP rankings powered by

Tre Mason, STL (ADP: RB #37)

Tre Mason is being recognized as a much less appealing fantasy running back since the Rams drafted Georgia’s Todd Gurley, but his potential should not be ignored. Mason established himself as a force in the league last season, flashing signs of greatness during his 12-week, 765 yards and 4 TD rookie campaign. In addition to building off a strong showing a season ago, Mason should benefit from Gurley’s recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery. All indications show that Gurley will be eased into action, and could potentially sit out the first couple games. Expect Tre Mason to take on a full workload initially, and to continue to play a prominent role in the Rams offense this season.

Ryan Mathews, PHI (ADP: RB #36)

Mathews had quite the offseason, accepting a role behind DeMarco Murray in his move to the Philadelphia Eagles. Murray is coming off his best NFL season, as he led the league with 1,845 yards, and 13 TDs (tied with Marshawn Lynch), but is expected to lose some rotational carries to Mathews. Normally, a RB behind a top back like Murray wouldn’t be looked at with any promise, but with Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offensive attack, Mathews should be able to have his presence felt. Not only will the up tempo offense put him in a position to succeed, DeMarco Murray’s injury history could lead to Mathews starting at least a couple games on his own. Ryan Mathews’ value should be evaluated as a flex option, with a potential spike in production should Murray fall to injury.

Matt Jones, WAS (ADP: RB #63)

Matt Jones is one of the more intriguing options at tailback this season, as his role with the Redskins isn’t completely certain yet. The rookie out of Florida has already carved out a role with Washington as the third down running back, and he has the potential to take over as the starter as the season progresses. Jones has exhibited his explosiveness this preseason, as he has rushed for 6.95 yards per carry on 20 carries, as he has been working in with the first-team offense as well. In addition to Jones’ high level of ability, he should be targeted due to the Redskins’ uncertainty in the passing game, as Kirk Cousins should have a hard time acclimating to being the team’s sole starter after the benching of Robert Griffin III. Look toward Matt Jones as a weekly RB3 to start, with major upside if he passes Alfred Morris on the depth chart as the season progresses.

5 Fantasy Wide Receivers Sporting 2015 Deep Sleeper Potential

John Brown

As long as Palmer stays healthy, John Brown should develop into a top-notch fantasy producer

The wide receiver is arguably the deepest position in fantasy football. While there are a handful of players in tier one, there are a plethora of gems that can be found in tiers three, four, and five. That’s right, we’re talking sleepers. For the purpose of this article, a sleeper pick is defined as a player who will exponentially provide more value than their low draft position. When the draft winds down, and the later rounds come along, keep an eye out for these five wideouts.  – ADP rankings powered by

John Brown (ADP: WR #37)

Heading into his sophomore year, look for John Brown to build off a solid rookie season. In Arians’ offense that rotated quarterbacks such as Ryan Lindley, Drew Stanton, and Logan Thomas, Brown still managed to catch 48 balls for 696 yards and five touchdowns. Although Brown is third on the depth chart behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, he has the potential to be the Cardinals number one receiver by January. Floyd is currently no lock to start week one so look for Brown to take advantage of the added targets. Brown is currently being drafted outside the top 30 but has top 20 upside; grab him while you can.

Eddie Royal (ADP: WR #50)

Finally reunited with his ole friend, Cutler, Eddie Royal settled into Chicago after a career year with the Chargers. So far, the transition doesn’t seem to be too difficult for Royal. Both starting receivers for the Bears are hampered by injuries leading to more opportunities for Royal. While Alshon Jeffery is slated to return at some point this year, Kevin White is rumored to be out all season. Jay Cutler is going to have to throw the ball…and then he’ll throw the ball some more. All those targets are not just going to Jeffery and Bennett. Royal will make the most of his receptions and look to build off a stellar 2014 season.

Markus Wheaton (ADP: WR #53)

Markus Wheaton had a quiet sophomore campaign no thanks to the fantasy explosion of rookie teammate, Martavis Bryant. Recently, Bryant was just suspended four games for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. That upticks Wheaton’s value just enough as he’ll now be starting across Antonio Brown in a high-powered offense. “I think Markus Wheaton is our breakout player of the year,” Roethlisberger said in an interview for SiriusXM NFL Radio August 2. “I want that pressure on him because when we’re in two wide sets, he’s our No. 2 guy”. Big Ben certainly knows what’s going on in the locker room better than anyone else. Cheers to year three and that a diamond in the rough is made from all that pressure.

Brian Quick (ADP: WR #58)

This selection has the most potential to blow up in my face. Last season, Quick was a top 20 wide receiver in weeks one through six before suffering a season ending shoulder injury. Fully healthy once again, Quick is back atop the depth chart as the Rams number one wide receiver. However, he may not just be the top receiver for the Rams, but also the top option as Tre Mason and Todd Gurley are both questionable for the season opener. Quick will have the opportunity to resume his breakout season early in 2015 and if he can stay healthy, who knows what his ceiling is?

Stevie Johnson (ADP: WR #60)

Stevie Johnson is the one receiver I tend to have on every one of my rosters at the completion of a draft. Johnson is low enough in the rankings and on the depth chart for everyone to overlook him. Don’t be that guy. After a couple down years in Buffalo and an awful stint in the run-first San Francisco scheme, Johnson has found himself in the best situation since the start of his career. As the third string receiver in San Diego’s offense, Johnson shall be revived. The Bolts utilized three wide sets on 86% of their plays, third highest mark in the league. Initially slated to play the slot position, Johnson will see soft coverage while defenses have their hands full with Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd. Side note: Eddie Royal accumulated 1,409 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last two seasons as a slot receiver in San Diego.

2015 Quarterback Sleeper Guide


Teddy Bridewater could break out as a fantasy game changer this season

ADP Rankings powered by

Teddy Bridgewater (ADP: QB #16)

After an impressive rookie season in which he completed 64.4% of his passes for 2,919 yards and 14 passing touchdowns, Bridgewater is the go-to quarterback for the Vikings and looks comfortable taking on his role as the leader of the Minnesota offense. This fantasy QB has the benefit of a rapidly improving receiving corps with the likes of Cordarrelle Patterson, Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson and tight end Kyle Rudolph. The second-year quarterback is a decent QB2 option with the probable return of Adrian Peterson. Bridgewater is only one spot ahead of the embattled RGIII (according to ADP) so he is basically a steal at this position.

Ryan Tannehill (ADP: QB #13)   

Finishing as the 10th overall quarterback in fantasy points, Tannehill signed a six-year, $96 million contract extension that should put him as the Dolphins undisputed starting quarterback for the near future. Throwing for 4,045 yards and 27 TDs last season, the fourth-year dual threat out of Texas A&M will work with a revamped offense, boasting the likes of Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings and Jordan Cameron. Another solid QB2 option, Tannehill will definitely provide a safe amount of points on a weekly basis.

Derek Carr (ADP: QB #24)

Carr was the most successful of all of the rookie quarterbacks last season, showing miserable Raiders fan a glimpse of hope in a constantly bleak situation. Amassing 3,270 passing yards and 21 TDs on 12 interceptions, Carr will benefit from a bolstered offense due to the addition of stellar college wideout Amari Cooper as well as esteemed coach Jack Del Rio. Combine that with the newly acquired Michael Crabtree and Andre Holmes, and Carr could put together a surprise season for fantasy owners.

Sam Bradford (ADP: QB #15)

Though Bradford has struggled mightily for the majority of his career, his draft stock must be trending up simply because of the offense he is playing for. Chip Kelly made a flurry of acquisitions during the offseason, adding Miles Austin, DeMarco Murray and drafting Nelson Agholor to an already dangerous receiving squad. And let’s also not forget that Coach Kelly led the Eagles to be the 13th most efficient passing offense with Nick Foles and one Mark Sanchez. Scoop up Bradford with confidence.

Blake Bortles (ADP: QB #29)

After a slightly down rookie season for the 3rd overall pick last year out of UCF, Bortles featured both flashes of potential as well as sloppy play. He possesses the league’s worst completion rate while under pressure at 36.4% and only threw for two or more touchdowns twice. So why does he make this list? Not only did the Jags’ weapons improve with the additions of Julius Thomas and T.J. Yeldon as well as the developments of Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee, but the Jags will get Luke Joeckel back, who missed the majority of the season and was a huge piece missing from an offensive line that allowed 71 sacks on the season. Look for the situation in Jacksonville (as well as Bortles’ numbers) to improve this season.

2015 Wide Receiver Sleeper Guide


Playing opposite Antonio Brown, Bryant will continue to get open looks this season

– ADP rankings powered by

Donte Moncrief (ADP: WR #67)

Averaging 306 passing yards per game, the Colts flash a talented receiving corps and Donte Moncrief is no exception. Bolstered by the addition of the versatile veteran Frank Gore, the Colts will feature an elite passing game as they try to make another deep run into the playoffs. Moncrief collected a modest 444 yards as a rookie, but has a high ceiling due to his solid frame and speed. Though playing time will sometimes be hard to come by after the Colts signed Andre Johnson, Moncrief’s flashes of potential will make him a solid WR3 that will reel in big points by surprise.

Martavis Bryant (ADP: WR #28)

Despite his 4-game suspension, Martavis Bryant has the potential to be a fantasy steal during the upcoming season after exploding for eight touchdowns in ten games as a rookie last season. Scoring a touchdown once every six times he was targeted, the former fourth-round selection out of Clemson projects to be one of Big Ben’s favorite red-zone targets. Only five players saw more targets in the ten games that Bryant played. He’s a touchdown machine with tremendous upside and is a comfortable regular WR2 play.

Victor Cruz (ADP: WR #35)

The former fantasy star, whose season was cut short by a torn patellar tendon, has solid potential to have a rebound year. Projected as the 50th receiver to be taken off of the boards, Cruz’s production has slowly deteriorated year by year since 2011, and his ceiling is even further limited by the rising stardom of one Odell Beckham Jr. However, if he stays healthy, Cruz is a solid target for Eli Manning as a #2 receiver. Though he is questionable to return by the start of the season, fantasy owners can hope that Cruz can remain healthy for the entirety of the season; if so, Cruz could be a steal.

Nelson Agholor (ADP: WR #30)

Taken 20th in this year’s draft, Agholor, according to some NFL executives, already shows potential to start as the Eagles’ top receiver. In a dangerous Chip Kelly offense, Agholor will take the helm of a deep receiving corps. Collecting 1,313 yards and 12 TDs at USC last year, the rookie will provide fantasy owners with a solid point production, getting a good amount of targets week-by-week. Projected as the 34th receiver to be drafted, Agholor is an absolute steal.