What I think I know
Preseason is an important part of the fantasy football season process. As you prepare for your league’s draft, you have to know who is who and what is what. With 65 exhibition games played there is plenty of opportunity to see lots of potential studs, duds, sleepers, and enough to confuse the average Joe.
After watching five weeks of preseason action I have managed to ingest plenty of football to satisfy my bold predictive palette. I have seen plenty of the starters, more than enough of the back-ups, and in some cases even the water boys play, enough to tell me all I think I need to know. As I evaluate some of the performances and look over more of the highlights, it all becomes so very clear (at least in my mind).
1. Tom Brady will be huge in 2009. Pessimists and optimists alike can rest their fears, injuries are a thing of the past and Brady is back. He has a little rust, but knows what to do with the ball. With Moss on the outside, you know Brady will get the ball to his best playmaker.
2. Drew Brees is still No. 1. Commanding last year’s number one offense, Brees is going to be tops again in 2009. With Colston, Moore, Henderson, Bush, Shockey, and Thomas, do I need to say more?
3. Marques Colston will return to form. 2008 was a shortened season for the Saints big playmaker. It’s a new year and Colston is healthy. Can you say 2007 form?
4. Chris Henry is the Bengals second best receiver. This may be an understatement. While “Ocho” has looked good this preseason, Henry has been the standout in camp and I believe he’ll continue into the regular season.
5. The Raiders won't have a top 20 receiver in 2009. With inconsistency under center and unproven wideouts at the position, it’s hard to imagine any of the Raider’s receivers emerging as a big-time fantasy option. It will be receiver-by-committee in Oakland.
6. Mark Sanchez is the “Real deal.” After seeing this kid play in College and watching him at the next level, he looks ready for the big stage. He’ll experience his growing pains, but he’s got poise, maturity, and a nice arm to compliment a good head; expect big things in his future.
7. Brandon Marshall and Michael Crabtree are a pair of knuckleheads. One wants too much money for having done nothing and the other wants to get paid when he still needs to prove he can be trusted. Remember boys, this is a business and it’s all about your perceived value, not just what you want.
8. Chad Ochocinco is going to blow up in 2009. All Chad needed was his buddy Carson to come out and play. We are already seeing the effect of Palmer’s presence. Last year Ocho’s longest pass-reception play was 26-yards and in the preseason, he’s already had two plays that are longer. Fantasy owners need to lookout for Ocho in 2009.
9. Aaron Rodgers looks like an elite quarterback. The boy has got a big time arm and has an outstanding class of receivers; Jennings, Driver, Jones, and Nelson. Rodgers has looked efficient, accurate, and effective this preseason. He’s going to be huge and put up some big numbers.
10. It may be early to be so bold, but this will be the year of the Ram. Steven Jackson has worked hard this offseason, he is healthy and clearly not only has the skill set, but all the talent needed to be the best in the league. He won’t lead the NFL on the ground, but his versatility will get him more touches in open space to do more damage. I expect well over 2,000-total yards and more than 12 touchdowns in 2009.
By David Ortega