All over America, people are participating in their league's fantasy football drafts, and chances are you know who you're taking first and probably second as well. You've been thinking about it for weeks.
But what to do when you reach the fourth and fifth rounds and still don't have a quarterback or second running back?
I'm here to help.
So I've compiled two teams here. One of sleepers and one of busts. My assessment of these players is based off of Yahoo! Sports point system as that is where I play my fantasy ball.
2008 Fantasy Quarterbacks Rank: 17
Projected 2009 Rank: 12
2008 Fantasy Points: 217
2009 Projected Points: 250
As quarterback of the Chicago Bears, Orton had a decent season in 2008 thanks to a productive running game and a good offensive line. He may have been a good backup QB option for your team last year.
This year, Orton will be the starting QB for the Denver Broncos. He will again have a solid offensive line, but this Broncos team will rely more heavily on the pass than the run.
Jay Cutler put up monster numbers in the Broncos offense last year. Orton won't be as effective as Cutler but he will see a boost in production and should make for a solid fantasy starting Quarterback for any league with at least 10 teams.
2008 Fantasy Running Backs Rank: 8
2009 Projected Rank: 3
2008 Fantasy Points: 231
2009 Projected Points: 275
In 2008 Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 824 yards and had another 565 yards receiving, meaning that Jones-Drew was better at being Brian Westbrook, than Brian Westbrook.
More importantly, Jones-Drew had 14 touchdowns, while sharing time with Fred Taylor.
Fred Taylor is now a Patriot and the Jaguars ground game will practically be owned by Jones-Drew in 2009.
I would project 1,200 yards rushing and another 400-500 receiving yards with close to 20 combined touchdowns.
Some in your leagues might bypass Jones-Drew based on last year's performance. Don't do it. If Michael Turner and Adrian Peterson are off the board, you should be taking Jones-Drew if he's sitting there.
2008 Fantasy Receiver's Rank: 27
2009 Projected Rank: 20
2008 Fantasy Points: 124
2009 Projected Points: 150
Steve Breaston was the third receiver in Arizona's pass-happy offense last season and was a decent situational receiver with five games of 90 or more receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Breaston is still the third receiver in the Cardinals offense, but he also still has Kurt Warner tossing him the ball, and considering that Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin ranked first and fifth respectively in 2008, there is plenty of receptions to go around in Arizona.
Expect more consistency out of Boldin this year, and that means more touchdowns. He was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2008, expect about the same number of yards but double the touchdowns, making Breaston a solid third receiver on your fantasy team in ten team leagues, and a good second option in 12-16 team leagues.
2008 Fantasy Receivers Rank: 30
2009 Projected Rank: 23
2008 Fantasy Points: 119
2009 Projected Points: 138
I know what you're thinking. Lee Evans has been a "sleeper fantasy pick" for the last four years and he's never paid off. I'm full of crap.
The thing is though, Evans has always been relied on as the No. 1 receiver in Buffalo until now.
Terrell Owens arrival in Buffalo should put the pressure on him and take it off Evans. Expect Evans to get more looks in this Bills offense now as he will able to get open more often.
Evans and his Steve Breaston-like 1,017 yards and three touchdowns in 2008 should translate to roughly 1,150 yards and five touchdowns in 2009 making him a solid second or third receiver depending on the size of your league.
2008 Fantasy Tight Ends Rank: 14
2009 Projected Rank: 6
2008 Fantasy Points: 78
2009 Fantasy Points: 105
Kevin Boss was only a marginally viable tight end in 2008. Probably only good as a free agent pickup during your starting tight end's bye week.
However, the Giants receiving corps have been decimated. Amani Toomer is off to Kansas City and Plaxico Burress won't be playing this year to say the least.
With the Giants top two receivers now being Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith (the other one), Boss should get a lot more balls thrown his way and those numbers should increase.
I would expect 600 receiving yards and eight-nine touchdowns, elevating Boss to starting tight end status in any league.
2008 Fantasy Kickers Rank: 20
2009 Projected Rank: 11
2008 Fantasy Points: 116
2009 Projected Points: 140
Nick Folk was the consensus No. 1 fantasy kicker before the 2008 season started. So what happened? A sputtering Dallas offense happened.
Tony Romo's injury brought the passing attack to a screeching halt and with that, Folk's production also plummeted.
With a healthy Tony Romo, Folk should become a productive fantasy kicker once again. He won't be the best in fantasy ball, but he should be a viable kicker in leagues with at least 12 teams.
2008 Fantasy Defenses Rank: 14
2009 Projected Rank: 10
2008 Fantasy Points: 159
2009 Projected Points: 175
In 2008, no fantasy defense scored more than the Green Bay Packers defense.
With seven turnovers returned for a touchdown and 22 interceptions, the Packers ranked first and third respectively, but finished only 14th in fantasy points due to allowing 368 points against.
Expect the same high turnover defense in 2009 and fewer points allowed with B.J. Raji filling in on the defensive line and Charles Woodson, Al Harris, and Nick Collins back in the secondary.
This defense will still get overlooked in fantasy drafts, but I would take them in a heartbeat over the likes of Minnesota, Dallas, and Miami.
2008 Fantasy Quarterbacks Rank: 4
2009 Projected Rank: 9
2008 Fantasy Points: 327
2009 Projected Points: 255
Jay Cutler broke out in a big way in 2008, leading a strong Broncos passing attack. It was a perfect storm in Denver as the ground game was not as strong as usual and the Broncos had a hot rookie receiver in Eddie Royal as well.
Cutler will still be a decent starting quarterback in Chicago, but he's no longer a top five fantasy quarterback. Chicago has a much stronger ground game with Matt Forte and the receiver quality is also slightly down from what Denver offered, although Devin Hester could make for a nice target.
Don't avoid Cutler like the plague, he's still worth a draft as a starting quarterback, but don't draft him like he's one of the best in the game because he won't be.
2008 Fantasy Running Backs Rank: 6
2009 Projected Rank: 10
2008 Fantasy Points: 237
2009 Projected Points: 215
Tomlinson has been a fantasy beast for most of his career but expect decline to start settling in.
LT has had a heavy workload over the past few seasons and he is starting to age as well. Combine that with the fact that the Chargers seem to be transitioning to a more pass-heavy offense, and that adds up to more decreased production for Tomlinson.
LT had 1,110 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 2008. That's down from 1,474 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2007, and 1,815 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2006.
You can see where this is going.
LT will still be a viable fantasy back, but I wouldn't use a first round pick on him. Maybe a mid to late-second rounder.
2008 Fantasy Receivers Rank: 10
2009 Projected Rank: 19
2008 Fantasy Points: 166
2009 Projected Points: 150
T.O. had a solid 2008 despite inconsistency at the quarterback position in Dallas, racking up over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Owens however is 35-years-old entering the 2009 season and is joining his fourth team in the last six years.
A known complainer, Owens has often been critical of his quarterbacks. He's had Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, and Tony Romo throwing to him in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Dallas. Now he has Trent Edwards who is unquestionably not as good as the previous three quarterbacks Owens has had.
Expect friction and expect a decline in production. However, Owens is still worth a draft in the last third-early fourth round as a second receiving option, just don't be stuck with Owens as your top receiver, you might be in for a long year.
2008 Fantasy Tight Ends Rank: 6
2009 Projected Rank: 8
2008 Fantasy Points: 102
2009 Projected Points: 90
Daniels isn't a bad receiving tight end, he just doesn't score like the rest of the top tier tight ends.
In 2008, Daniels had 862 receiving yards which was good for third in the NFL, however he only had two touchdowns and those both came against the lowly Lions.
For comparisons sake, the five tight ends that had more fantasy points than Owens all had at least four touchdowns. Four of them had at least six.
So if you want a scoring tight end, don't look towards Daniels.
2008 Fantasy Kickers Rank: 8
2009 Projected Rank: 9
2008 Fantasy Points: 136
2009 Projected Points: 134
This isn't really a knock on Brown, it's more of an observation of how cluttered the kicking position is.
Brown was the sixth ranked fantasy kicker in 2008, tied at 136 points with three other kickers. Yahoo projects him as the third ranked kicker for 2009. In fact, the 15th ranked kicker in 2008 only had nine fewer points than Brown. The third ranked kicker only had nine points more than Brown.
So don't fret the kicking position. Instead of wasting a pick on Brown, you're better off waiting until the last round of your draft and taking a kicker there, as most likely he'll finish only single digits behind Brown or whoever the top kickers end up being.
2008 Fantasy Defenses Rank: 2
2009 Projected Rank: 6
2008 Fantasy Points: 230
2009 Projected Points: 180
The Ravens have been a great fantasy defense for years, but expect them to take a significant downturn for 2009.
Chris McAllister and Bart Scott are gone and there have been changes in the coaching staff as well. That adds up to fewer touchdowns and more yards allowed.
The Ravens will still be a viable defense but aren't worth taking first or second like in years past.