We conclude our early season discussion, talking about rankings, sleepers, and busts. To review, I have been in quite a few drafts already, and I also had the opportunity to participate in a video draft guide talking about the current state of things. In order to expand a bit upon the short sound bites I provided, I thought it’d be a good idea to share and expand upon some of my thoughts here. Though it is a bit early, we’ve already gone thru my top five at each position (I know, I know, probably did not reveal much!), Sleepers and Under Valued players at all positions, now we’re ready to discuss the Over Valued and Bust players. As always, your thoughts, comments, and reaction is welcome!
QB Derek Anderson (Cle)
Brady Quinn is going to loom large over Anderson, and although this was also the case in 2007, Anderson’s every move is going to be scrutinized. If the season doesn’t get off on the right foot, then the Browns might be forced to consider giving their prized 2007 rookie some playing time. One year wonder? We shall see. Even if he does hold onto the job for the entire season, he’d be hard pressed to put up the same numbers that made him one of the top free agent fantasy pickups last year. At the very least, look for a reduction in last year’s performance.
QB Matt Leinart (Ari)
Leinart is another QB that will be looking over his shoulder all season. Kurt Warner is a capable NFL QB, and should Leinart struggle, the Cardinals would have to consider making a move. I’d like to give Leinart another year of NFL experience before I trust him to be the starter for my fantasy team. Or shall I say, I’d like to see Leinart perform as a starting NFL quarterback for a full season (or at least perform at a high level for part of a season) before having him on my fantasy team.
QB Philip Rivers (SD)
Though he appears to be on schedule for a healthy return, keep in mind that QBs coming off of ACL surgery often take a little longer to get back into the groove (see also Carson Palmer, though on a lesser scale). Temper your expectations for Rivers in 2008 as once again the Chargers have very few offensive weapons not named Tomlinson and Gates.
RB Larry Johnson (KC)
It’s never a good sign when a team has to release news that a player “made it thru practice”. This “good news” is going to be something that Johnson is going to have deal with for the entire season. Many questions still linger whether or not he can come back and be the work horse that he once was. You would be wise to let another owner in your league take a chance on Johnson. I just don’t get a good feeling in my gut about Johnson this year and that’s not the lunch special rolling around in my stomach either.
RB Marion Barber (Dal)
Although Jerry Jones has parted ways with Julius Jones, rookie Felix Jones will now be in the mix, limiting Barber’s touches in 2008. Running back by committee will reduce the value of both on draft day and the potent Cowboys passing attack will continue to limit the numbers in the ground game.
RB LenDale White (Ten)
White underwent some offseason knee surgery, this after a pretty successful 2007 campaign. That said, the Titans used a high draft choice to select Chris Johnson, which will surely dip into White’s touches on the field. White has had ample time to claim the role as his own and has not done so yet, I don’t see him being the man in Tennessee in 2008.
WR Dwayne Bowe (KC)
When there are soo many people touting a guy as the sleeper of the year, this should be an automatic red flag to stay away. Though Bowe had an admirable 2007 season, unless your name is Tony Gonzalez, then you would be wise to continue to avoid any any Chief involved in the passing game.
WR Roddy White (Atl)
We do like White in 2008, but we’re not seeing much of an improvement on his 1200 yards in 2007. The Falcons are in a transition year, new coaches, new QB, new everything. White will be the featured WR in Atlanta, but don’t bump him too high up your draft day cheat sheet.
WR Joey Galloway (TB)
Galloway experienced a renaissance season in 2007, putting up great numbers. Though he appears to be on track in recovering from off season shoulder surgery, he is 37 years old so temper your 2008 expectations.