With every passing day the upcoming 2009 NFL football season gets closer and closer and that also means yahoo fantasy football. The key to having a successful season in your league is to find several sleepers late in the draft. This does the following for your team: provides solid depth, gives you trade bait early in the season and allows you to go for value early in the draft. Many people new to the concept don’t understand how to determine which picks are steals and which are busts. I’ve been playing fantasy football for around 10 years now and have multiple league championships. In this article I’m gonna share some insight and give you some yahoo fantasy football sleepers to watch for in the 2009 NFL season.
Before we get into the players that are under the radar let’s talk about how to determine which ones have upside and downside. There are several factors that I always look at when considering a players value from a fantasy football perspective. Of course there are exceptions to every rule so keep this in mind when setting up your yahoo fantasy football team.
The first thing that you always want to consider is the team and system for each player. Obviously a guy on the New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals or Indianapolis Colts is gonna get more opportunities than someone on say the Detroit Lions. It all depends on the situation say for example the 2nd or 3rd option for a wide open team like the Arizona Cardinals may get more touches than the 1st option on a defensive team like the Tennessee Titans.
The next thing to consider is competition. How many other guys on the team are there to potentially take away touches? It may not be a bad thing to have someone on the Detroit Lions if he is the only viable option such as Calvin Johnson. Jeremy Maclin could be a better receiver than Darrius Heyward-Bey but he also has Kevin Curtis and Desean Jackson ahead of him on the depth chart while Heyward-Bey could go into the season as the number one receiver for the Raiders. These are some things you need to consider when it’s time to draft yahoo fantasy football sleepers in the 2009 NFL season.
The last thing to consider is their status after last season. Did the player have a bad year? Was he hurt? Did the team struggle in general? Whether it’s fair or not some players will drop in the draft because of issues from last season. A guy like Tom Brady will drop in the upcoming 2009 yahoo fantasy football rankings but he is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If the player is a rookie how does that position fare on the team. Kenny Britt has some good potential but I wouldn’t expect anything from him in Tennessee where they hardly ever even have a 1,000-yard receiver. With all of that out of the way let’s get to some yahoo fantasy football sleepers in the 2009 NFL season.
You mind as well face it Kurt Warner is an old man these days. Sooner or later he is gonna get injured or see a drop off in production. If either of those things happen then Matt Leinart will be right there to step in and take charge of one of the most high powered offenses in the NFL. If you draft Kurt Warner then I would strongly recommend to draft Matt Leinart in your yahoo fantasy football league as well.
This will be his 3rd year in the league and his numbers improved big time last year. He will go into this NFL season with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson in the backfield and Terrell Owens, Lee Evans, Roscoe Parrish and James Hardy in a loaded receiving unit. He definitely should be considered a solid 2009 yahoo fantasy football sleeper pick.
I can’t help but look at Devin Hester and see a young Steve Smith. If you remember Steve Smith broke onto the scene as a devastating return man and then turned into one of the best receivers in the NFL. With previous quarterbacks the deep ball wasn’t much of a threat in Chicago. Now that they have quarterback Jay Cutler I would expect Devin Hester to develop into a very dangerous weapon in the passing game.
The Indianapolis Colts are almost always one of the top yahoo fantasy football teams in the NFL thanks to Peyton Manning leading the offense. With Marvin Harrison seemingly all but finished you can expect Anthony Gonzalez to step in as the 2nd receiver behind Reggie Wayne. I expect him to have a breakout season in 2009 and become of the top yahoo fantasy football sleepers.
This is one of my top 2009 yahoo fantasy football sleepers. He had nearly 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns on a very conservative Chicago Bears team that had nowhere near the weapons as he will have with the Denver Broncos. Throwing to guys like Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal with a solid running game it wouldn’t shock me to see him go for over 3,500 yards and 25-30 touchdowns this upcoming NFL season.
I don’t think the Oakland Raiders gave Darren McFadden over $50 million to touch the ball around 150 times a season. Last year he had some injury problems and the team was having some major internal issues (what else is new) as well. The report is that McFadden has looked great in camp thus far and I have a gut feeling he is gonna bust out this year.
Hakeem Nicks, Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden
With Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer out of the picture the New York Giants needed to get some targets for Eli Manning. They already had Steve Smith and Mario Manningham on the roster but it has been very clear throughout his career that Eli Manning likes taller receivers because his throws naturally come out high. The Giants went out and got Hakeem Nicks (6’2) and Ramses Barden (6’6) to go along with Domenik Hixon (6’2). I would expect one of these sleepers to step up and become the number one red zone option for Eli Manning in the 2009 NFL season.
I don’t really know how much of a sleeper he will be considered in terms of yahoo fantasy football in 2009 but I think Michael Crabtree could be a huge value pick. He seemingly will step right into the 49ers starting lineup and become the number one receiver from day one. Perhaps falling to the tenth pick and being the second receiver taken will motivate him to prove people wrong.
Well that should give you enough sleepers to keep your eye on for the upcoming 2009 yahoo fantasy football season. Just keep the tips mentioned above in mind and watch for preseason and training camp developments as well.
Source(s) – http://fantasyfootball.suite101.com/article.cfm/nfl_fantasy_sleepers_watch_list_for_2009