Fantasy Football Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Cutler, Cobb & More

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 13, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 09: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears passes to Matt Forte #22 against the Indianapolis Colts during their 2012 NFL season opener at Soldier Field on September 9, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Colts 41-21. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


Obvious Starts:
Quarterback - Aaron Rodgers (GB)
Running Back - Matt Forte (Chi)
Wide Receiver - Jordy Nelson (GB), Brandon Marshall (Chi)
Tight End - Jermichael Finley (GB)

Situations Up For Debate:




Start – Jay Cutler – Chicago

While I wouldn’t consider Cutler a must-start option depending on your format, it is hard to keep him on most fantasy benches.  He showed in Week 1 what he can do now that he suddenly has receivers around him, 333 passing yards (third in the league) to go along with two TD and one INT.  The Packers aren’t known as a defensive juggernaut and, after allowing Alex Smith to complete 20-of-26 passes, including two TD, it is hard not to like Cutler for the coming week.


Running Back

Start – Michael Bush – Chicago

He is more of a FLEX option, considering he is the second back to Matt Forte, but that doesn’t make him someone to avoid.  He was given 12 carries in Week 1 (Forte had 16) and is clearly the goal line/short-yardage back as he had two TDs.  That potential to give you at least one TD is more than enough to justify using him in deeper formats.

Sit – Cedric Benson – Green Bay

We all wanted to believe that he was going to come into Green Bay and be that missing piece to give the Packers a well-rounded offense.  Yes, he drew a tough matchup in Week 1, but he still looked pretty bad.  While the Bears are certainly not the 49ers, they did allow just 63 rushing yards in their opening game and are a solid defense in their own right.  He just isn’t worth the early week risk until he proves otherwise.

Wide Receiver

Sit – Greg Jennings – Green Bay

Officially listed as doubtful, there is just too much risk in using Jennings. In fact, the doubtful tag generally means a player is not going to play, so unless something changes dramatically between now and game time, I would recommend benching him.  There’s just too much risk given the other options available to the Packers.

Start – James Jones – Green Bay

He should be the biggest benefactor of Jennings’ absence. While Jordy Nelson becomes the clear No. 1 receiver, Jones should start across from him. In Week 1, Jones had four receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted six times, a number I would expect to increase without Jennings on the field. He is worth considering as a WR3, with WR2 potential.

Sit – Randall Cobb – Green Bay

It is clear that the Packers want him involved in the offense. Cobb caught all nine passes thrown his way in Week 1 for a total of 77 yards. He is not going to be that proficient every week and his value shouldn’t change due to Jennings’ absence. He has potential, but I would still keep him on the bench until we can see exactly what his weekly role will be.

Sit – Alshon Jeffery – Chicago

He had a very nice debut, with three catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. However, he was targeted just five times while Brandon Marshall had the ball thrown his way 15 times. Does Jeffery have potential? Absolutely. But he also is a rookie and will likely be inconsistent. This game could become a bit of a shoot-out, making him alluring, but unless you are really stretched thin at WR, I would be conservative with him at this point.

Make sure to check out our Week 2 rankings: