Thursday, September 3, 2009

Final Preseason Week

This man is a very unlikely candidate for sleeper hit of fantasy football. Maybe a sleeper cell agent?

As we come to the closing of the seemingly forever long preseason, it's time to think back on what we have seen for the past three weeks and wonder why we should care about this week. After all, most teams will be sitting their starters and any 1st-team players who have even the slightest aura of injury about them will be watching from the sidelines. So what good is week four?


These are my favorites for fantasy football. Sleeper hits. Those players that could possibly take over should injury gobble up a starter. Just look at Tom Brady's season ending injury last year. Matt Cassel wasn't an overnight sensation. Most people took a look at their bench and found a suitable replacement. No one would have guessed Cassel's fantasy relevance - 327 completions for 3,693 yards, 21 TDs, 11 ints. Watch out for the little guy, he can be a fierce competitor. Who knew the new guy could survive behind the same offensive line that collapsed during the Super Bowl. Some owners swept him up and though they may not have rode him to a championship, he was certainly a strong alternative to, say, David Garrard and even out-slung the juicy rookie Matt Ryan.

Now if you are a competitive owner, you ought to be aware of who is doing the second-team work this preseason and who could take over for your opponent's star running back. It's called handcuffing, and let's just say right now that if you own Adrian Peterson and he goes down, if you don't have Chester Taylor available to you, just call it quits. Taylor is a formidable runner who did post a 1,000-plus yard season with 6 TDs the year before Peterson came on the scene. Last year Taylor posted nearly 800 yards-from-scrimmage with 2 TDs receiving and another 4 TDs rushing. You just have to keep him on your bench. You can't risk someone else picking him up and taking over your offense for even a few weeks.

Darren Sproles. Oh Darren Sproles. You sir, could truly be a gem. With LaDainian Tomlinson stepping through the door labeled age 30, the mighty munchkin could take away more carries from Tomlinson. More importantly, Tomlinson could suffer under the injury bug that plagues older plowshares who take a pounding like LT. He proved himself a dangerous receiver last year with his 5 TDs, though he only broke the plane once rushing.

To be continued...

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