Off Season Headlines That Could Have a Big Impact on the '09 Fantasy Season.
Opening kickoff is September 10th for the regular season. Even though we are still months away many are planing their fantasy draft strategy.
Even though training camp has yet to start there are already lots of situations to monitor. In the upcoming weeks as they play out. They could have a huge impact on this years fantasy season.
One of the biggest stories is Michael Vick. However this one should have no impact on the '09 fantasy season.
Even if Vick is allowed to play in the NFL this season. If a team decides to take a chance on him. Don't look for him to do much more than hold a clip board.
Vick has not played football in two seasons. Which puts question marks on if he can still get it done with his legs like he use to.
Also there will be questions about the impact prison will have on his football career. I imagine mentally he wont be prepared either.
In my opinion the new UFL would be the best fit for Vick his first year back.
It could allow him to get back into football both mentally and physically. The UFL would be better for Vick than holding a clipboard all season.
So even if Vick returns to the NFL he has no fantasy value, and should be avoided in all drafts.
1. Brett Favre
The story from this season that has a little Deja vu from last season. Is Brett Favre possible coming out of retirement to play from the Vikings.
Don't let any smoke screens fool you. The New York Jets were a pit stop for Favre to get what he really wanted. To play for the Packers division rival the Vikings.
The Vikings give Favre the best chance to win another Super Bowl. Which is the only thing that would make comming out of retirement again worth it.
Entire Vikings offense stock would rise in fantasy drafts. If Favre came out of retirement.
Favre himself should be targeted as a low end No. 1 fantasy QB. With the upside of becoming a high end No. 1. Age should not play a huge factor in that high powered offense. Look at Kurt Warner last season.
It is hard for Adrian Petersons stock to rise. He will alreaady be selected the No. 1 overall in most fantasy drafts this year.
If Favre returns look for AD to have his best year to date.
With Favre under center last season Thomas Jones had a career best 1,312 yards and 13 touchdowns. Thomas Jones does not have the same ability as Adrian Peterson.
Also rookie Percy Harvin and veteran wide receivers Bernard Berrian, and Sydney Rice. Could become highly targeted fantasy WRs in all drafts.
Without Favre Berrian has the most value as a No.2 WR. But Favre's presence could turn Berrian in top a No. 1 fantasy option this year.
2. Plaxico Burress
A shot that was heard all a round the fantasy world last season. Is when WR Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg at a New York nightclub.
It left many fantasy owners scrambling to find a replacement on the waiver wire. As in most leagues Burress was drafted as a No. 1 or No. 2 fantasy WR.
However 6'5" wide receivers that can stretch the field are hard to replace.
Then this off-season he was released by the Giants. Also there was a big question mark if Burress would even play in the '09 season. Due to his legal problems. That could lead to prison time. For having an illegal weapon in the state of New York.
However earlier this week the first good news about Burress has come to light. Burress's case was adjourned until Sept 23.
This means that he could easily sign with a team before training camp begins.
Also his trial might not start until the spring of 2010. Meaning that there is a chance he could play the entire '09 season.
However that could be in jeopardy if Plaxico would become suspended from the NFL.
The teams that have been rumored to have the most interest in Burress. Are the New York Jets, the Chicago Bears, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Out of these three teams. The biggest fantasy impact would be if he signed with the Bears. This is not only the team with the best QB. Giving Burress the best chance to even reemerge as a No.1 fantasy WR. It would also be a big boost to Jay Cutler.
This would push cutlers stock back up to a high end NO. 1 QB. Instead for a low end No.1 that he is projected at now.
This would also raise the stock of RB Matt Forte. Who has already taken a big stock increase since the Arrival of Jay Cutler. The addition of Plax could solidify him as the consensus No. 2 overall taken this season.
If Plaxico were to be signed by the Bucs. This would put QB Byron Leftwich on the sleeper radar. Making him a viably No. 2 fantasy QB with upside.
It is my opinion it is Leftwich that will win the starting job, not Luke McCown.
If Burress does not join the Bucs Leftwich could become a nice waiver wire target, but would go undrafted in most leagues.
Even with all the possible upside for Burress this season. He should not be drafted higher than a No. 3 or 4 option on your fantasy roster.
3. Brandon Marshall
Last season Marshall was considered a high-risk high reward player. Due to a 3 game suspension that he received. However everyone that took a chance on them in their draft. Marshall paid off.
His suspension was reduced to just 1 game. Marshall had 1,265 yards, and 6 touchdowns last season.
This off-season Marshall is back into more controversy. That puts question marks on his ’09 season.
After the ’08 season Marshall had hip surgery. This has potential in it self to lower his production in the ’09 season. If not fully recovered his numbers could take a big plunge.
Now Marshall is reportedly asking for a trade. This coming after Denver was not willing to give him the new contract that he was seeking.
With Marshall seeking a new contract, then a trade. This asks the question why? If the request is based on the fact that he is unhappy with the Broncos organization. He could still be a fantasy stud this season.
However it could also be that he is trying to get paid, before he has to play this season on his surgically repaired hip. Which could mean he knows that he is not 100%.
If traded it will have a big impact on Broncos newly acquired QB. With Marshall 100% and on the Broncos roster, QB Kyle Orton has the potential to be a big sleeper this year.
Without Marshall look for Orton to produce numbers closer to last year with the Bears.
Which would make him a good option for a bye week replacement on fantasy teams that have a high end No. 1 QB.
A team that has seems to show the most interest in Marshall is the Baltimore Ravens. This could add a lot of value to second year QB Joe Flacon. He would become a low end No. 1 QB with upside.
Not only should you keep a close eye on were Marshall plays this season. Also monitor his pre season performance. Which should answer any questions about his hip.
If Marshall does not get the trade that he wants. Look for him to hold out at least for the pre-season. If he is a holdout I suggest letting him be a problem for someone else this season.
4. Vincent Jackson
There are a lot of expectations on the ’09 season for Vincent Jackson. For him to continue were he left off last season. Were he became Philip rivers No. 1 target in a high-powered offense. .
Last season Jackson finished with 1,098 yards, 6 touchdowns.
News on Jackson has been quite since February. When he plead not guilty to a Dui charge. This was Jackson second DUI, the first in 2006.
This makes Jackson eligible for a suspension from the NFL. For up to 4 games in the ’09 season.
If Jackson is going to be suspended the news should come before most fantasy drafts.
Even if he is suspended he should still be one of the top 25 WR taken. However he will probably fall a few spots.
This could also boost the stock of teammate Chris Chambers. Chambers as fallen to the No. 3 option in the chargers offense. However he is in a contract year this season, and, if Jackson were to be out any games. Look for Chambers to have lot of motivation to perform.