We continue 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. Since it is a little early, we’ll only go thru my top five at each position (I know, I know, probably not revealing much!), but I’ll also throw in some players that I think could surprise from lower down on your cheatsheet. We’ll crank these articles out one at a time by position, then we’ll talk about some sleepers, as well as some players that I’m already seeing being drafted too high. As always, your thoughts, comments, and reaction is welcome!
Randy Moss (NE)
Let’s not even open this up for debate, I’m going to assume you don’t need me to convince you of this: Randy Moss will once again be the top fantasy WR in 2008. I wouldn’t expect another record breaking season, but Moss is good to go and the Patriots offense will find him early and often.
Terrell Owens (Dal)
Owens always has been, and will continue be a lightning rod for attention, both good and bad. This causes a bit of a dilemma for the fantasy player, sometimes forcing owners to by-pass Owens because they are afraid that his antics could affect his on field, and ultimately his fantasy performance. Somehow, you need to put that aside and just accept that as part of the Owens package, and enjoy what should be the #2 fantasy WR. Owens and the Cowboys offense should continue their prolific ways so don’t be afraid to take him as your top wide out.
Reggie Wayne (Ind)
Wayne has long been regarded as a top 10 WR, but 2007 proved that he had not yet reached his ceiling for potential. With Marvin Harrison out of the lineup for much of last year, Wayne stepped it up big time, not only becoming the go to guy for the Colts, but becoming one of the top three fantasy WRs. Look for that trend to continue in 2008.
Braylon Edwards (Cle)
2007 was truly a breakout season for Edwards as he went for nearly 1300 yards. If Derek Anderson can continue his magic, there’s no reason that Edwards won’t continue his. The addition of Stallworth can only help take the defensive pressure off him so look for Edwards to remain as one of the top 5 fantasy WRs.
Andre Johnson (Hou)
Johnson missed significant time in 2007, but don’t let that dissuade you from keeping him near the top of your WR cheatsheet for 2008. Despite some off season surgery, he appears to be on schedule to begin the season healthy. He should return to form in 2008, so don’t forget about Johnson on draft day.
Not able to get any of the top five on draft day? Like me, do you like to wait and grab guys later on at the WR position? Not to worry, there are plenty of WRs that will be drafted later on that should outperform their draft day ranking…
Steve Smith (Car)
Ok, perhaps a bit of a reach to put him in the “other” category, but many early cheat sheets are doing just that (I have him just outside my top 5, but I think by draft day I will have him within the top 5). Don’t forget that his 2006 campaign had him well within the ranks of the top 10 fantasy players overall that season. A healthy Jake Delhomme and a running game for defenses to be forced to focus on, Smith could easily return to “best WR in league” status so don’t forget him on draft day.
Donte Stallworth (Cle)
Stallworth was content to be a team player in New England last year, which meant that unless your name was Randy Moss or Wes Welker, then you didn’t see much of the ball. He should emerge as a clear #2 for the Browns, and with Braylon Edwards demanding the attention of defenses, Stallworth should excel, outperforming his low pre-season rankings.