NFL Fantasy football: Cutler undervalued?

Monster of the Midway?: NFL Fantasy LIVE’s Adam Rank predicts quarterback Jay Cutler to have a “monster” 2012 campaign. As he points out, “only one Chicago Bears receiver has topped 100 receptions in a season during the club’s nearly 100 years of existence. Brandon Marshall did it twice with Cutler in Denver.” Since 2009, the Vanderbilt product hasn’t fared better than 12th in scoring among fantasy quarterbacks. With a new system aimed at taking advantage of his arm and now reunited with Marshall, a return to fantasy glory could be in store. Considered a borderline No. 1 or 2 QB, Cutler might prove to be one of the best draft values.

Stark contrast: The Green Bay Packers don’t plan on adding a veteran running back to their roster this year. According to Fox Sports Wisconsin, the team has not reciprocated the interest former back Ryan Grant has expressed in returning to the Packers this season. That leaves James Starks atop the depth chart, with second-year back Alex Green as his backup. Though Green is reportedly thought of very highly, he is returning from ACL surgery and will have to seriously impress during training camp in order to take the top spot. Starks is the back to select in fantasy drafts, but Green will be someone to keep an eye on. Though the Packers are a pass-first offense, Starks did rush for 578 yards in 2011 while splitting carries with Grant, who rushed for 559 yards. If the third-year back can avoid a timeshare and get the bulk of those touches previously held by Grant, there is some value to be had. Still, the two only totaled three touchdowns in 2011, so draft Starks as a No. 3 or 4 RB with upside.

Clean slate: Former Jaguars defensive end Jeff Lageman believes quarterback Blaine Gabbert “is clearly a better passer than Chad Henne after the spring workouts.” Reports have mostly been positive about Gabbert’s offseason workouts, so the news further validates high expectations entering the 2012 season. The team added Justin Blackmon and Laurent Robinson via the NFL draft and free agency, so there will be little excuse if he struggles. It is still best to take a wait-and-see approach with Gabbert in fantasy drafts, but he could be a player worth a waiver-wire pickup if he meets expectations.

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