It's that time of year again. The time where we spend precious moments of our lives checking the waiver wire or trade block instead of finishing that report that is due in three hours.
Yes I am talking about Fantasy Football Season. The time where every game is of interest. The absolute best time of the year.
Let me guess if it wasn't for your best player getting hurt or your starting RB splitting carries for no good reason you would be reigning fantasy champion.
Anyways take a look at my top five fantasy sleepers. It could mean the difference between year long bragging rights or becoming year long office dummy.
Sage has arrived at Minnesota from Houston and will "compete" for the starting QB position. Now I parenthesize compete because I think the decision has already been made by head coach Brad Childress that he will roll with Mr. Rosenfels.
It took Coach Childress exactly 2 games last year to declare Gus Frerrote the starting QB over Tavarus Jackson for the rest of the season.
That doesn't exactly sound like a guy thrilled with what he sees. Plus just last week Tavarus went down with a MCL sprain which has forced him to miss a week of practice.
This is exactly what Sage needed to take the lead in this race and he won't let it go.
Now we all know the Vikings have the Fantasy Football worlds MVP Adrian Peterson. This will lead to plenty of defenses putting 8 people in the box to try and stop the run. Which leads to single coverage all over the field. And if there's one thing Sage can do it's throw a pretty accurate deep ball.
Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin are tailor made for exactly that.
Sage will be a perfect fill in QB for your fantasy team and by season end could be an every week starter.
What? A Kicker? Ya that's right, a kicker! Now I'm not saying you pick him in the early rounds of your fantasy draft. This won't be necessary.
But what I am telling you is the moment you see that first kicker go off the board whomever it may be. That will be your signal to snag up Garret Hartley.
Last year the Saints went through kickers like Al Davis goes through coaches. But at the end of the season they found exactly what they were looking for.
He was a perfect 13-13 in field goal attempts and scored at least 6 points in every game he played in.
Still not good enough for you? Well let me keep going. Ten of his games will be played in a dome, which of course means perfect kicking conditions.
And we all know the Saints put up points. They have one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL.
Still not enough? Well let me give it one last shot. All time leading rusher for the N.O. Saints Deuce McCallister is gone. He was a guy who could get the tough yards down by the goal line and put 6 points on the board.
Now carrying the ball down by the goal line will be Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. Two guys who are undersized and may have issues getting those ugly yards. This means the drive stalls out and he on comes our No. 4 sleeper, Mr. Garret Hartley.
Ray Rice is the brightest light in a crowded backfield of uncertainty in Baltimore. Willis McGahee can no longer be depended on, plagued by injuries and inconsistency. You could practically see Coach Harbaugh's frustration steaming from his face everytime Willis underperformed.
Leron McClain is another back who will get some touches but towards the end of the season he was more often utilized as a fullback. These reasons combined with Rice's flashes of brilliance leads me to believe he is well deserving of Sleeper #3.
Even though he is a little undersized for your typical RB, he is built perfect for durability. For what ever reason the short, low-center of gravity Rb's almost never take a huge hit in the NFL and are almost never injured.
He also has great hands which will rack you receiving yards as well. I expect big things from Ray and so should you in 2009.
Former Chicago Bear bust and outcast Cedric Benson signed with the Bengals mid-season last year and had a little something to prove. He wanted to prove that the Bears made a big mistake not giving him more time.
Well I don't know if he had the Bears to worried with the emergence of Matt Forte in the Windy City. But what Cedric did do was prove that it is possible to run the ball effectively in Cinci. Who knew?
In the 2nd half of 2008, Benson had three games where he rushed over 100 yards including a 171 yard performance against in state rivals Cleveland. And unlike teammates Chris Perry and Kenny Watson, Head Coach Marvin Lewis showed a commitment to run the ball with Benson.
Five times he ran the ball 20 plus times.
The fact that Coach Lewis showed his commitment to run the ball, combined with Benson's something to prove out look makes him a great fantasy mid-round pick.
Don't forget they will rely more on running the ball now that leading reciever T.J. Houshmandzadeh is in Seattle. I expect 1,100 plus yards for Cedric and 9 touchdowns.
Gee, let me see. Well Peyton is healthy this season, and Marvin Harrison is no longer in the picture. Sounds like a pretty good formula for success for Anthony Gonzalez who will be in his first season as the number two receiver at Indy.
In his rookie season he was the number three receiver in the Colts offense. He totaled 37 catches and 3 touchdowns.
Last season he was still the number three receiver offense but that didn't stop him from drastically improving his catch total. He went from 37 to 57 and added one more touchdown.
Now he will be on the field in almost every situation as the number two receiver which means more catches and will have more plays designed to go his way or at least be an earlier read by Peyton which means more catches.
There's absolutely no reason in my mind why Anthony Gonzalez barring injury shouldn't have his first career 1,000 yard season. And he should have a ridiculous amount of catches since primary target Reggie Wayne does most of his damage down field.
My 2009 season prediction for Anthony Gonzalez goes as follows: 91 catches, 1,080 yards, and 9 touchdowns. This makes Mr. Gonzalez my number 1 sleeper for 2009.