Five Super-Early Fantasy Football Sleepers for 2009

Eric PehowicContributor IJune 2, 2009

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 19:  Wide receiver Kevin Walter #83 of the Houston Texans during play against the Detroit Lions at Reliant Stadium on October 19, 2008 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

“Ultra-early” felt more super than “super-early.” But, truthfully, ultra-early would be a lie. Ultra-early would have been February or March. It’s June, and glorious fantasy football bears down upon us all.

We're still a few weeks away from the meat of preseason-hype season, but it’s never too early to talk about fantasy sleepers.

Yesterday, I had to keep my players in one 10-keeper dynasty league and one four-keeper league. On another day, sometime in the very near future, we’ll discuss those changes because I had some decisions to make that peeled away the fantasy baseball film covering my eyes since my first ever fantasy football auction a few months ago.

For now, it’s sleeper time.

Having not created a list of my own, I perused several online outlets, and it went something like this:


“Where is...what’s he doing on page three?”

Here are a few of those players.


Kevin Walter, WR, Texans

Practically the reason I’m writing this post, Walter’s projected draft spot jumps wildly from list to list. But here’s what you need to know. If you remember back to those standardized tests you did oh-so-well on: Kevin Walter is to Andre Johnson as Wes Welker is to Randy Moss.

The bottom line is that Walter is a Welker clone, and you want to be on his good side when that last Texans cylinder finally kicks in.


Donnie Avery, WR, Rams

I said super-early sleepers, not early super-sleepers. So, Avery fits here. There are a lot of fantasy experts pegging Avery as a sleeper, pushing him into their top 25-30 WRs.

There are some that aren’t buying, but I am dumping the change out of my living room couch to pay what I must for him.

A few flashes of greatness last year will be multiplied this year with the departure of Torry Holt. The offense can only get betterunder new coach Steve Spagnuolo. Avery will benefit greatly.


Trent Edwards, QB, Bills

Another trendy pick, sure, but it’s not just that he’ll be throwing to Terrell Owens now.

TO’s arrival makes Lee Evans a No. 2—a spot where he’ll be great. Also, the team won’t miss Marshawn Lynch with Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes in the mix. However, his return will open the field even more for all these weapons.

Edwards has a great chance to jump from oh-god-I-gotta-play-Edwards bye-week fill-in to full-time starter. Holy crap, look at those hyphens!

Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns

Hey, EP, what’s with all the WRs? And what’s with the back-to-back Edwardses? Don’t judge, just follow along.

Edwards was awful last year. There is not a redeeming crumb of anything that he can take away from last year. Yet on the day of your draft, I ask you to remember 2007—80 catches, 1,289 yards, and 16 TDs.

He’s still got that top-three talent, but there are still issues, like the Browns QB and his ridiculous case of Stone Hands.

Luckily, you won’t have to pay for a top-three WR to find out if the issues have cleared up. Many fantasy players are going to let him drop beyond his projections because they are afraid.


Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs

Finally a running back, right? Yeah, you fantasy football players love your running backs and Charles could be a great pick this year.

The arrival of Matt Cassel automatically makes the Chiefs better. Larry Johnson has declined sharply and Charles averaged 5.3 yards on 67 carries last year, caught 27 for 272, and scored a receiving TD. Cassel’s going to dump it off to Charles a lot while running for his life in Kansas City’s constantly-collapsing pocket.


What do you think?

Are you buying on Charles? Think Edwards will return to fantasy stardom? Are you still too busy trying to find a spot starter to jump ahead of that annoying roto-leaguer who always picks up the rookies first? Let us know in the comments below or go to our forums and start a conversation.


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