Fantasy Football: The impact of Dolphins’ Jay Cutler signing

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Jay Cutler has officially agreed to a one-year, $ 10 million deal (plus $ 3 million in incentives) with the Miami Dolphins. The first bit of news here is that Ryan Tannehill is done for the season with another partial tear of his ACL. The second piece is the Fantasy Football impact for the Dolphins skill position players. Let’s get to smokin’ Jay first and then feel the waterfall effect.

Jay Cutler, QB — He is the starter, which keeps Matt Moore in the backup role. Compared to Tannehill and even Moore, Cutler is a more aggressive downfield thrower, evidenced by his Air Yards, a metric from Sporting Charts. In their words, Air Yards is “defined as the total distance that a football is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage to the point of reception. Air Yards is calculated by taking total passing yards and subtracting Yards After the Catch (YAC).” Cutler AY/A (Air Yards per Attempt) ranked inside the Top 10 for starting quarterbacks at 4.47. For comparison, Ryan Tannehill was at 3.86 and Moore at 4.17. Nevertheless, this is still going to be run-first offense (only the Bills attempted fewer passes: 447 to 477) which limits the ceiling for Cutler … as does his ability to stay on the field and show consistency. Cutler only has value in two-QB and Superflex leagues, and Moore is still worth a stash for the aforementioned reasons.

Jay Cutler.

Jay Cutler.

(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Jay Ajayi, RB — Move along. Nothing to see here. Again, the Dolphins are going to be a run-first team, and if anything, no Tannehill might have them lean on Ajayi a bit extra.

Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, WR — We already knew Moore slightly hurt Jarvis Landry’s value and gave a small boost to DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills. Now, the boost is even more … albeit, still not such a large factor that you should be dropping Landry exceptionally far while moving Parker and Stills way up your board. I’ll say it one more time: run first. On that same note, though, Landry’s value was already overrated in standard leagues due to the lack of touchdowns. With Cutler at quarterback, the targets could dip a small amount, which would push Landry from high-end WR2 in PPR to low-end, especially if we’re to believe in Parker’s breakout and increased targets.

As for Parker, the Cutler signing would appear to help him on the surface. With Cutler’s aggressive nature and tendency to like his No. 1 receiver to be more in the mold of Parker, this could increase the likelihood of a breakout. Don’t forget about Stills and his big-play ability. He’s still worth grabbing late in drafts, as there is always the chance Cutler develops a rapport with him instead, and at the least, Stills is a terrific Best Ball pick. My updated projections for Cutler, Ajayi, Landry, Parker, Stills and even Julius Thomas (what do you need to know? He catches touchdowns … when healthy … which is rare) will be available Monday afternoon.

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