Jay Cutler: Bears QB Is Not a Reliable Fantasy Starter Despite Big Day

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 28:  Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears throws the ball while playing the Carolina Panthers on October 28, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)
John Gress/Getty Images

Jay Cutler has been very good on the field this season, but he is not useful in fantasy football.

The Chicago Bears quarterback had statistically his best game of the season against the Tennessee Titans in Week 9. He finished with 229 passing yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. 

In standard leagues, Cutler totaled 22 fantasy points, which was the fourth-highest quarterback total of the day. However, this should not motivate fantasy owners to start the veteran in the future or even pick him up off waivers.

Coming into the game, the Vanderbilt product was No. 26 in fantasy points among quarterbacks. He was trailing big names like Mark Sanchez and Brandon Weeden, while staying one point ahead of Kevin Kolb.

The two biggest reasons for his ineffectiveness has been his turnovers and the team's offensive strategy.

While the first issue is something that has been a problem throughout his career, it is less of a concern. Half of Cutler's eight interceptions this year occurred in one game against the Green Bay Packers, and he has only thrown two in the last five weeks.

However, the lazy mistakes continue to hurt his overall performance. Including fumbles, he is responsible for 11 turnovers this season. If he cannot hold onto the ball, it will prevent him from putting together an elite week.

On the other hand, the fantasy owners should stay away due to the fact that he is not the focal point of the offense.

Entering Sunday, only the Seattle Seahawks had fewer pass attempts this season than the Bears. Instead, running back Matt Forte gets the play calls and often turns it into big days.

The win against the Titans was the first time all season that Cutler had thrown three touchdown passes, and it was only the fourth time that he topped 200 yards. Still, most of the damage was done after it seemed the opponent had given up on the day.

Chicago's defense had a dominating performance with five turnovers and a touchdown, as well as a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. By halftime, the team led 31-5 without much contribution from the offense.

Cutler did not have his final two touchdowns until the fourth quarter with his team already ahead by 25 points. Tennessee was visibly deflated and did not give much effort in stopping the offense.

Going forward, the Bears' schedule does not dictate many more big weeks for the quarterback. The next two games are against the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers, both in prime time.

Each opponent features a defense ranked in the top five in the NFL in yards against and have already stopped some elite quarterbacks this year. 

After that, Green Bay is the only opponent that features a pass defense ranked in the bottom half of the NFL.

Jay Cutler will struggle, even if the Bears succeed as a team. For this reason, fantasy owners should stay away from the quarterback for the rest of the season.

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