Brian Cushing | Houston Texans | LB
2012 Experience: 4th Season
IDP Fantasy Football Outlook: I liked Brian Cushing over DeMeco Ryans last year because of Ryans health problems and it turned out to be right. Cushing was voted team MVP last year, and hopefully his supplement issues are a thing of the past.
Look for Cushing to play a vital role in the Texans success again, and while Wade Phillips defense traditionally hasn’t had huge numbers from inside linebackers, I point to Cushing as a player than can sustain LB2 production in this scheme.
A good nose for the football Cushing just makes plays; he excelled in the 3-4 scheme a year ago and IDP owners should expect more of the same with Ryans now in Philadelphia.
|2012 Projected Stats||110||72||3.5||2||4||2|
2012 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: ADP's | Rankings | Mocks | Cheat Sheets + Auction Values
Information is constantly changing in the NFL and fantasy player values can change at any moment. Having updated, informative news can help you not just at your fantasy football draft but during the regular season. Feel free to glance at our recent articles to make sound decisions throughout the year.
Summer of 2011: Fantasy Projections
Sure, Brian Cushing was suspended for four games last season due to taking some type of steroid but the guy came back and posted 86 tackles from the strong-side linebacker position. I can’t imagine anyone would have actually believed he would keep up his pace from his rookie season, at strong-side, but it may be time to expect another 130 plus tackle season now that Cushing is moving to the inside in Wade Phillips 3-4 defense.
Not only does Cushing clearly have a nose for the football but like his linebacker coach, Reggie Herring points out, this kid brings a thump and tries to actually hurt the ball carrier on every hit. Because Cushing has proven to stay healthy and productive on the field, with this style of play, I have no problem still viewing him as one of the bright young linebackers for IDP fantasy football.
Look around the internet at 2011 IDP rankings and you will find that many sites have Cushing as a top 30 option this year and actually have fellow inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans ahead of him. Now Ryans is a talented linebacker, but I’m not sold he will out produce Cushing as he’s coming back from a Achilles surgery (ruptured his tendon last year) and still isn’t able to run at full speed as of July.
While I respect those IDP fantasy experts around the web for the hard work and dedication they have to providing fantasy analysis, I find it ridiculous to believe that Ryans will out produce Cushing this season. Furthermore, Cushing should see an up tick in his production, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes the season as one of the TOP FIVE linebackers for tackle heavily leagues this season.
I’m going to be bullish on Cushing’s projected stats, because I feel that while the rest of his teammates will be getting their timing down in the 3-4 scheme, this young athlete will get to the football and make plays, like he’s always done. Sure, I can understand if you are afraid he might have another suspension or something like that, but you should be able to get him at a No.2 linebacker value or even a No.3 and for that upside, he’s a terrific option to put your money on this year.
8/2011 Update - With Cushing battling injuries this summer, I tailed his projected stats way down from where I thought he might be this year. I still believe Cushing is a nice player to own this year, and you should find him at your draft at a LB-3 value.
|2011 Projected Stats||102||78||1.5||3||7||2|
2010 IDP Fantasy Football Outlook
For as big a rookie season Brian Cushing had on the field he’s had that much of a horrible one this offseason. Cushing’s four game suspension to start the year is just the half of what has been done to his reputation by some in the NFL. Some unnamed sources have labeled him a steroid user since high school and this has brought into question just what kind of player will Cushing be when he returns.
At least you can have Cushing at a better value on draft day because of his suspension, but it would be wise to have a good player to back him up on your team. You will need someone for the first month, and Cushing was inline for a down tick in production. Last year was a ridiculous season for any strongside linebacker, and it’s best if IDP fantasy owners move with some caution on Cushing for 2010.