The All-Under-the-Radar 2009 Fantasy Football Team

Jeff SockContributor IIAugust 18, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 16:  Wide receiver Josh Morgan #84 of the San Francisco 49ers catches a 22-yard pass over defensive back Jarrett Bush #24 of the Green Bay Packers during a preseason game at Candlestick Park on August 16, 2008 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco won 34 to 6.  (Photo by Greg Trott/Getty Images)

QB – Matt Hasselbeck


Here are Hasselbeck’s stat lines over the last six seasons:


2003     3841 yards   26 TD   15 INT

2004     3382 yards   22 TD   15 INT

2005     3459 yards   24 TD     9 INT

2006     2442 yards   18 TD   15 INT

2007     3966 yards   28 TD   12 INT

2008     1246 yards     5 TD   10 INT


Every odd numbered year it appears that Hasselbeck puts up some very starter worthy numbers.  Guess what, 2009 happens to be an odd numbered year.


Not only that but he adds TJ Houshmandzadeh to his receiving mix this season.  He has never had a player of his caliber to throw to in his entire career.  The 2007 stats were realized throwing to Bobby Engram.  I am pretty sure Housh is a big upgrade over him.


Plus he gets Nate Burleson in his year to be on again as he also displays some of that every other year quality.


John Carlson is also the best TE he has had since being with the team as well.


I see no reason why he does not return to his 2003 form numbers with the receiving group in place this year.  That’s not shabby numbers for a QB that can be had in round nine or 10 of most drafts.



RB1 – Knowshon Moreno


I know I keep preaching my earlier article that was written this year, but until these picks go down in flames, I am sticking by my revolutionary RB draft theory.


I know the criticism. How can you pick Knowshon Moreno as an RB1 when Denver has been nothing but an RBBC for several seasons, McDaniels is an RBBC coach, and Buckhalter and Jordan are in tow?


The answer to that is simple; the team did not draft the best back coming out of college with their first pick to sit him on the bench.


McDaniels has been already quoted as saying that he can be “a three down back in this league.”


Why shouldn’t McDaniels feel that way?  Moreno is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and is already adept a blocking blitzes on third down. 


The only thing of worry about Moreno at this point is the MCL sprain that he has currently.   He should only miss a week or two of preseason and should be fine for the opening bell kickoff weekend.  This injury worry may allow you to draft Moreno even later than usual in fantasy drafts this year.


I truly believe he is a top ten fantasy back talent in both ppr and non ppr leagues.



RB2 – Derrick Ward


Who was that free agent RB last year that went to a team with a rookie QB and was probably going to be in an RBBC situation with Jerious Norwood?


O Yeah, that’s right Michael Turner was considered to be a gamble play last year.  Let me ask you something.  How did that work out for Turner owners last season?


I would say he may have helped lead some teams to the fantasy promised land.


I really believe that Derrick Ward can have a similar impact in 2009 in Tampa.  This team’s QB situation is very much up in the air this preseason.  I see this team run, run and running the ball as much as they can in 2009 just like Atlanta did in 2008. 

Yes, I do think he will lose some touches to Earnest Graham, but he should definitely see more than he had last year in a season where he was a 1000 yard rusher.



WR1 – Chad Ochocinco


Ochocinco was a perennial top ten WR powerhouse for several seasons until 2008, when his starting QB Carson Palmer was injured early in the year. 


Ryan Fitzpatrick does not even come close to Palmer as a QB, thus Ochocinco’s numbers suffered in 2008. 


He prepared diligently this offseason and has come to camp to prove that he is still one of the best in the game.  He is still only 30 years old and possesses elite skills.


As long as Palmer is healthy, Ochocinco will return back into the elite WR status again.



WR2 – Josh Morgan


Who is this guy?  I thought Michael “I am not going to sign my tenth pick in the draft contract” Crabtree was supposed to be the new stallion here?


You better think again.  Morgan is a fast physical receiver that already has some time under his belt last year. He is having an impressive training camp this season.


If you project his stats from last year, up to a mere 65 receptions (which is not totally out of the question) his numbers are 1037 yards receiving and 10 TD.  Now I think those numbers are too lofty of expectations, but 850-900 yards and 7 TD are not out of realm of possibility.


For a guy you can pick up in the twelfth round or later, that is extremely good value.  He should be on everyone’s late round sleeper pick list.



TE – Brent Celek


Living in Eagles country, I see lots of their games on TV every year.  This guy really impressed me any time he was on the field.  He caught just about everything thrown his way.


Now, with LJ Smith gone and Cornelius Ingram’s knee injury, he should see almost all of the receiving TE passes in 2009.  He did extremely well in the final regular season game against Dallas and once again in all three playoff games. 


McNabb loves to throw to his TE, especially in the red zone. 


I foresee his stats finishing at 650-700 yards and 5 TD.


Not bad numbers for a TE you can get in round 12 or 13 of your draft.



K – Lawrence Tynes


You should always draft a kicker that plays on a team with a solid defense, and a decent offense but not a proficient one.  That provides maximum field goal opportunities for your kicker. 


The Giants fit that description this year, as the changeover at WR may cause the offense to sputter out in the red zone.  We all know that the defense should still be stout this season.


I would like to give a shout out to fellow sportswriter John Zaktansky's article for this selection.


DEF – Washington Redskins


The defense was solid last season, but lacked putting up the big fantasy defense numbers (sacks and turnovers). 


Enter pass rush specialists, Albert Haynesworth and Brian Orakpo.  Sacks probably just went up by 20, 15 between them and five from other players around them being free from double team.


The increased pass rush will also cause more errant throws from opposing QB resulting in an uptick in interceptions. 


Look for them to possibly sneak in as a top 10 fantasy defense in 2009.



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