Fantasy Friday: Jay Cutler needs a big week

On a few occasions this offseason, we discussed my hope to incorporate some fantasy-related discussion into our regular season routine. It was a more difficult process than I thought, given the irrelevance of divisions in fantasy football as well as my own, uh, growing knowledge in the subject.



So what I've settled on is a weekly "Friday Fantasy" post that points you toward some intelligent discussion of the fantasy implications of an NFC North player. We'll lean heavily on our own ESPN fantasy staff, but I also plan to check in with our friends at Football Outsiders and perhaps even a few of you as we move forward.

Let's start if off with ESPN.com's Eric Karabell, whose Insider-only blog focused on the Week 1 matchup between Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Only subscribers can read the entire post, but here is an excerpt of Karabell's thoughts on Cutler:

Cutler is a top-10 quarterback, especially this week against the Lions. But if he throws for only 165 yards and three picks, everyone is going to assume what happened last season is on the docket again. And can you imagine if he loses the game, to a team coming off a 2-14 record in 2009? This is a crucial week for Cutler, but I think it couldn't set up any better. It's the Lions! Last season Cutler had a 19-point fantasy game in Week 4 against them, and closed the season with a four-touchdown, no-interception, 27-point effort on the road. [Matt] Schaub and [Tom] Brady don't need to play well this week. Cutler does.

Sounds good to me, as long as you don't lose points for sacks in your league. That doesn't happen, does it?