Time IS a factor. Fantasy drafts will start happening in less than 90 days. Yes it is only May, but FFToolbox has released their initial official rankings (take a quick peak). The best of the best are preparing now which means you should be too. In this week's Quick Snaps, Zeus and Thayse will enlighten you and your league mates on those tough questions you want to know. Fire away!
1. The Bears have really done a stellar job helping Jay Cutler out this off-season. Will acquiring Marshall and Jeffery push Cutler into a top 5-7 QB range?
Zeus- As a Packer's fan it pains me to admit this, but I think that Cutler has a strong year. Before being injured he was on pace for over 4,000 yards and 25 TDs with guys like Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett, and Roy Williams leading the way. Now for his first time in Chicago Cutler has a legit number one. Jeffery will push and get a bunch of playing time, and when the whole Forte situation gets resolved Cutler will be loaded with talent around him. Now if only that offensive line shows up. I say he finishes in top 10.
Thayse- Well you hit the nail on the head with that last comment. Cutler's health and turnovers have a lot to do with the weakness at offensive line. I would say Cutler has the potential to be a top QB worthy of starting nearly every game. Reuniting Marshall with Cutler and adding Bush who has strong receiving abilities similar to Forte is FAR more important than Jeffrey or the TE out of Temple. Nice part is Cutler goes well underrated and you can pick him up as a back up in late rounds to monitor early on.
2. Jamaal Charles was a beast and drafted extremely high in 2011 before tearing his ACL. Where should Charles go and is a guy like Trent Richardson considered a better option?
Zeus- Oh boy. See, I like Charles a lot and I have confidence in his ability to return to form, but now he has Peyton Hillis in his backfield as well. Not saying Hillis will take all of his touches, but it will be a full blown committee nonetheless. I say Charles should go in the 3rd round, but he may go higher in many drafts. Looking at Trent Richardson, if you are in dynasty leagues snatch him up. I am not one for rookies in typical open drafts, so I let other people snatch them up early if they are hot on them. I would draft Charles over TRich.
Thayse- Both players are gambles, but have to be drafted at some point. I'm going to say Richardson over Charles though; reason being consistency. Rookie RBs putting up huge numbers are few and far between, but Cleveland is going to ride him and he can handle the load. My only precaution might be late season fantasy playoff time when the touch count is high and some rookies can lose steam. Charles had a massive YPC average in 2010, but let's remember he only crossed the finish line 5 times rushing and the majority of his points where big plays that stemmed from great speed and agility. I have to see that he can be 100% after an ACL tear before I make him a top 40 overall.
Zeus- I honestly doubted AJ Green last year. He seems to have at least one big play every game. Victor Cruz came out of nowhere to shock the fantasy world and is in a strong passing offense. Steve Smith revived himself last year with Cam Newton at the helm, but I am not sure if I am buying it quite yet for him to repeat this year. If I were to rank the three I would go Cruz, Green, and then Smith. I think too many people will reach for Steve Smith this year.
Thayse- I would go same order, Zeus. I think Cruz is a stud and could have a year as good or better. Nicks gets a lot of defensive attention (there is less competition to share balls with) and his skills will continue to improve. AJ Green is a consistent and good choice as a WR2 as he is clearly Dalton's top target. I am going to upgrade Smith a little though from the way you make it sound. I wouldn't reach for him either, but I'll say he is a good safe choice for a WR2 and if you can use him as a Flex you've done well with WR depth.
4. 2011 seemed to be the year of the tight end. Jimmy Graham and Gronk just ripped defenses apart, and are surely bets to get snagged in the second round in most drafts. Where do the next 6-8 guys go and when is the run?
Zeus- In my opinion tight end is deep this year. You have guys like Hernandez, Finley, Vernon Davis, Gates, Witten, Fred Davis, TGonz and Pettigrew out there after the top 2 go. I think you can draft skill positions and wait if you miss on these guys, but you will start to see the 2nd to 3rd tier guys drafted in the 5th round or so. I am happy with any of the ten guys above, so draft who you prefer when you think the right opportunity to pounce on him is.
Thayse- I'm not sure if I think this year will have a run like most years on TEs, but just a natural trickle of 1 or 2 each round starting in the second. TE depth is strong this year. If you have the luxury to get one of the studs go for it, but if you end up waiting and then journeyman a little throughout the year you will be fine. Let me throw a couple more names out there just to prove my point: Owen Daniels, Jacob Tamme (back with Peyton), Coby Fleener (TE is rookie QBs best friend and they played in college together), Ed Dickson, and Brent Celek. There is opportunity cost one way or the other but all of these players we've mentioned and more will get starts on fantasy rosters.
If you have more specific questions or comments on anything related to taking an away game trip, please comment below and we will respond.