Sunday, September 6, 2009

More Sleepers...and Why

Here's a list of this year's potential sleepers divided by position. Take them as you will.

Running Back:

Beanie Wells: He's taking over, plain and simple. He'll be more of a receiving threat as well. Give it a few games and Wells will steal the spotlight from Tim Hightower, who was just last year's hero. Pick this guy up if he isn't already taken and if you have him, hold on tight, he should take you for a ride. Prediction - 965 yards rushing, 34 receptions, 301 yards receiving, 10 total touchdowns

Rashard Mendenhall: Willie Parker just won't cut it for the Steelers offense, which will continue to grow this year. Mendenhall will either end-up the better end of a one-two punch will Parker or will take over entirely as the starter by game six. Prediction - 829 yards rushing, 9 touchdowns

Donald Brown: This boy is the future of the Colts' running game. Joseph Addai was fantasy magic two seasons ago, but the injury bug is catching up with him as it did last year. Brown will get the feature role as Addai loses the ability to take the needed pounding. More touches for Brown will give him a chance to show off and he'll be in the same situation as Mendenhall. Predicition - 684 yards rushing, 48 receptions, 325 yards receiving, 9 total touchdowns


Trent Edwards: Behind the Bills' offensive line is Edwards, a man who has never been great. He has a solid game from time to time, but is no Pro Bowler. He won't make the Pro Bowl this year, but you can expect him to improve with Terrell Owens grabbing the ball for him. T.O. can turn quarterbacks into stats machines with him down the field. Mind you, he's only a flex or second string player. Prediction - 3134 yards passing, 19 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 98 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns

Joe Flacco: He's just going to improve. Ray Rice will make magic, enabling Flacco to do his job even more efficiently. Prediction - 3390 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 136 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns

Wide Receiver:

Percy Harvin: This rookie is going to make his way to the top, possibly eclipsing Bernard Berrian in the red-zone. His abilities in the Wildcat could make even more difference with trick plays. Plus, Brett Favre...yep. Prediction - 867 yards receiving, 7 touchdowns, 116 yards rushing, 1 touchdown

Darrius Heyward-Bey: I just like this kid. I know that Oakland is incapable of doing anything besides occasionally running the ball well, but Bey just seems poised to be the second best thing behind Darren McFadden. No Randy Moss numbers this year, but good things will happen. Prediction - 754 yards receiving, 9 touchdowns (crazy I know, but he's going to be the only one catching touchdowns pretty much)

Well, hopefully this will help. And hopefully this advice will serve me well, also. Here's to fulfilling fantasy football season. Next, we'll look at the duds that we will experience this year, especially amongst some of the higher level players.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Will get back to the last topic later.

I just wrapped up drafting a brand-spankin'-new Yahoo! Fantasy Football team (standard format). Here's the outcome:

QB - Kurt Warner
WR - Andre Johnson
WR - Calvin Johnson
WR - Hines Ward
RB - Ronnie Brown
RB - Kevin Smith
TE - Visanthe Shiancoe
K - Jason Elam
D/ST - Miami

LenDale White (RB)
Laveranues Coles (WR)
Ray Rice (RB)
Matt Hasselbeck (QB)
Kyle Orton (QB)
Leon Washington (RB)

In a ten team league I was stuck in one of the more unusual positions - LAST PICK. What does that mean exactly? It means I wait until the tenth pick of the first round to grab up a player and then I get the first pick of the second round. Back-to-back picks! Boy does that seem awesome. Until you have to wait for another 18 picks to go by before you get your next back-to-back bit of fun. It's a tough position and you have to be creative to figure out how to go about using those picks. At that point, the top five running backs are definitely drafted. You could get two top 20 RBs, but that feels like a waste.

What did I opt for? Two incredible receivers - Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson. I prayed that the nine players before me would leave me with Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte, or LaDainian Tomlinson. Surprise, surprise, no luck. So as it got closer, I thought about grabbing up Drew Brees, but that was taken from me by pick eight. Unfortunately, I had to weigh my options. I looked down the barrel of these wildly productive receivers, one of whom is getting an offensive upgrade (C. Johnson) and laid them down as my top two picks. Sure, it's a hell of a wild shot, but it seemed solid at the time. Now with those solidified, I had to wait...a while.

When it finally came around to my next turn, I knew I wanted a solid RB and a strong arm to top it off. With Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, and Brees gone, I opted for Warner. Sure, he's another year older, but his receiving core is just as incredible as ever. Even if he drops in production by 20% overall, it's a winning situation. My RB choice was Ronnie Brown. The man is poised for an amazing season. He's at peak physical condition and it's a contract year, so he's got something to prove. We're looking at 1,000 plus yards and an increased potential in the Wildcat.

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...