Jay Cutler has been completely useless so far this season for fantasy football owners, but that’s what happens when you’ve only played in three games, and only finished two, and the third was a pathetic performance (157 yards and a touchdown). However, as Cutler himself put it, the Bears have no choice but to turn to Cutler with all other options banged up or suffering from a chronic case of Being Matt Barkley. This week he takes on the Buccaneers during a week where he is widely unowned and with key quarterback options on bye, and he is a perfectly viable streaming candidate for Stafford, Luck or Carr owners.
So far this year, Cutler’s stats are far from inspiring. There’s no way you can cut two touchdowns and two interceptions in three games without going over 260 as good, or even halfway decent. Still, it’s Cutler’s style and the Bears’ prospective game plan that make him a good play this weekend against the Buccaneers. Jay Cutler is best known for his concurrent ability to sling the ball effectively and efficiently one drive, only to throw a mind-boggling interception on the first play from scrimmage the next. He is very much a quarterback that you must pick your spots with, and you’re playing with fire any time you slot Cutler into your lineup.
It’s Cutler’s YOLO attitude to quarterbacking that will benefit his owners this weekend, as he takes on the Bucs, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterback this season and who have given up eight passing touchdowns in the last two weeks, which is two more than the Broncos have yielded all season long. They’ve also yielded at least 250 yards rushing and passing to every team’s signal caller (combining Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian) and backup Derek Anderson’s two interceptions make up half of their picks on the season. Cutler is entering a situation wherein his predilection to sling it up to Alshon Jeffery will be a benefit, as the Buccaneers cannot stop him.
The Buccaneers will also be enacting the same strategy, as they are on their 25th-string running back (though Doug Martin may be back this weekend in a limited role). They are going to throw, throw, throw. With a strong passing game on the arm of Jameis Winston and the hands of Mike Evans, they’re going to run up a decent lead with that strategy. The Bears must pass to play catchup, and that means fantasy production.
Cutler isn’t a great option, but if you don’t have a good backup, he’s widely available on the wire. He is a good streaming option this weekend because he will get plenty of volume in a plus defensive matchup. He’ll end up as a backend QB1, but has the worst-QB-this-week downside of a four-pick game.