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Sleepers and Busts – NFC East

Philadelphia


Eagles

Sleeper: LeSean McCoy – Shady has proven himself more than a simple handcuff. Brian Westbrook’s missed time has allowed McCoy the opportunity to impress. This will not be the only time this season that Westbrook will be on the sidelines, but even when he’s healthy, look for the Eagles to utilize both runners. Westbrook has been falling in recent mocks. If you gamble on him in your draft, be sure to select McCoy prior to the competition. He’s currently being drafted towards the end of the seventh round. His impressive preseason performances have drawn attention from fantasy nation. If I’m a Westbrook owner I’d plan on having to use a sixth-round pick to land the talented rook.

Bust: Michael Vick – Vick’s value would get a stock bump if he was categorized as a WR or RB. He won’t see enough snaps to warrant a QB start. I’m sure that the Eagles will get creative in his usage, but his classification as a quarterback will prohibit fantasy GM’s from utilizing him in flex scenarios or at the WR3 spot. I’m sure he’ll piece together a few highlights, but there is better talent available in the later rounds that are more deserving of a flier.

Dallas


Cowboys

Sleeper: Patrick Crayton – Even with Terrell Owens leaving town, Crayton found himself in an all-out dog fight for the starting position opposite Roy Williams. Early camp rumors had Miles Austin as the favorite to win the battle. But Crayton has impressed during camp, staking claim on his spot. Not only did he beat out

Austin for playing time, but also beat out Felix Jones for return duties. His stock should get a bump in those leagues that reward for special team yardage. Tony Romo will see that Williams is not Owens and look to find what’s familiar. Crayton is a good possession guy that will find the endzone from time to time. He’s not highly regarded by fantasy nation and is a sure bet to out-produce his draft position.

Bust: Roy Williams – For whatever reason, Williams is a player that has been over-valued in both fantasy and reality. There is not a wide receiver in the league playing under more pressure. The Cowboys mortgaged the farm to get him. Their return on investment won’t equal out. He has had an entire offseason to get familiar with the system. He’ll bounce back from last season, but will not be worth his current ADP (Round 4.5 – 41st pick overall). I think I’ll pass.

New York


Giants

Sleeper: Ahmad Bradshaw – After spending the entire ‘08 season in the dog house, Bradshaw has been let loose. He’s impressing in preseason action and is due to assume Derrick Ward duties in the Giants powerful ground game. The loss of Plaxico Burress will have the G-Men relying more heavily on the run. Given Brandon Jacobs’ style of running, Bradshaw will get a few starts throughout the season.

Sleeper: Domenik Hixon – Hixon struggled in ‘08 as he was forced into the WR1 spot for the Giants. With a year to become acclimated to the role, Hixon is in a better space heading into ‘09. No solidified positions were identified heading into camp, but Hixon has held on to his spot, outworking rookie Hakeem Nicks. He is still not a legitimate No. 1 threat, but he remains the Giants’ No. 1 option. Current ADP trends suggest you can grab him on the cheap.

Washington

Redskins

Sleeper: Ladell Betts Clinton Portis came out the gates running. He looked clean in his cuts and displayed the burst he’d been lacking since his

Denver days. Betts was supposed to be used in a “speller” role, supplying Portis with much needed rest, but his ‘08 season was lost to a knee injury. He returned in Week 10, but never recaptured his top form. Struggles in the passing game led to an overworking of Portis. He broke down towards the end of the season and played hurt through many games.

Washington has learned from their mistakes and has committed third downs to Betts. His role in the offense should grow as the Redskins look to keep Portis off the I.R.

Bust: Jason Campbell – One can come up with numerous reasons why

Campbell has struggled in the pros, but the fact of the matter is – he’s simply not that good. Granted the ‘Skins have done a poor job of surrounding him with talent, but

Campbell has done little with what he’s been given. He opened the ‘08 season with promise but then stalled out with the rest of the team. The Redskins’ air attack will continue to struggle. I hope Portis is ready for another heavy workload.

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