Fantasy Football Today

Jay Cutler, Blake Bortles shine Thursday

By Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer

Jay Cutler's preseason performance so far will help his Fantasy value rise. (USATSI)
Jay Cutler's preseason performance so far will help his Fantasy value rise. (USATSI)

The second week of preseason action got started Thursay night with Jacksonville at Chicago, and it was another showcase performance for Jay Cutler.

Cutler had his second consecutive solid outing in the preseason, this time going 7-of-9 passing for 75 yards and a touchdown, which was a 4-yard toss to Brandon Marshall. He is now 16-of-22 passing for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason, and his value should start to rise.

I have Cutler ranked No. 11, and I love waiting for him on Draft Day, where his Average Draft Position has him as the No. 13 quarterback off the board. He is set up for a big season as long as he can stay healthy, and you'll be glad he's your starter if you end up with him.

Shaun Draughn again ran as the No. 2 running back for the Bears behind Matt Forte, and he finished with three carries for 33 yards and two catches for 12 yards. He is ahead of rookie Ka'Deem Carey if you're looking for the handcuff for Forte. Carey finished with 13 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown.

The only other note for the Bears was Martellus Bennett returned from his suspension after being out for the first preseason game against the Eagles, and he had one catch for 25 yards. He is a low-end starting option in deeper leagues.

For the Jaguars, Toby Gerhart made his debut in a Jacksonville uniform after sitting out the first game against Tampa Bay. He had six carries for 19 yards and one catch for 8 yards.

The upside for Gerhart is his workload. He will grind his way into positive Fantasy performances, and he should be a quality No. 2 running back worth drafting in Round 4.

The Jaguars weren't expected to have a quarterback battle with Chad Henne starting and rookie Blake Bortles expected to redshirt, but Bortles looks legit through two games. Not that Henne looks bad, but Bortles might not have to sit this year.

Henne was 12-of-17 passing for 130 yards and a touchdown, which was a 6-yard toss to rookie Marqise Lee. He did that against the first-team defense for the Bears and is now 16-of-24 passing for 160 yards and a touchdown in the preseason.

Bortles was 11-of-17 passing for 160 yards against the Bears, which was against mostly backup defenders, to put it in perspective. But he made strong throws and extended plays, and he's now 18-of-28 passing for 277 yards in the preseason.

We'll see how coach Gus Bradley handles the quarterback battle, but we'd love to see Bortles win the starting job. He seems ready for it and obviously has more upside than Henne.

Lee looked good for the Jaguars, who need him with Cecil Shorts and fellow rookie Allen Robinson battling hamstring injuries. Lee had four catches for 27 yards and a touchdown on four targets. Put Lee on your radar now because he has plenty of sleeper potential in deeper leagues.

The backup running back battle in Jacksonville is also up for grabs with Jordan Todman struggling with eight carries for 18 yards as the first guy off the bench behind Gerhart. He did add three catches for 24 yards.

Rookie Storm Johnson had just five carries for 14 yards, but he also did better as a receiver with three catches for 20 yards. And Denard Robinson, who was last off the bench, had six carries for 34 yards. He now has 13 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown and might deserve a longer look as the No. 2 option.

Should Gerhart get hurt during the season, we likely would see the Jaguars take a committee approach to replace him.

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