Sleeper: Mike Goodson – Jonathan Stewart‘s continued struggles with a strained Achilles’ has sidelined him throughout camp. Stewart’s absence has DeAngelo Williams‘ stock rising, but also has left a tremendous void to be filled in the Panther offense. Goodson, a rookie runner, could arise as Stewart’s replacement in the potent
Bust: Jake Delhomme – Delhomme is coming off of Tommy John surgery and one of the worst playoff performances I’ve ever witnessed by an NFL starting quarterback (six turnovers vs. the Cardinals). Despite his ‘08 and offseason stuggles, Delhomme was able to land a five-year, $42.5 million dollar extension. Steve Smith is the only thing keeping Delhomme fantasy relevant these days. The Panthers are a run-first team and will look to pound the rock in the redzone. Williams and Stewart combined for 30 of the team’s touchdowns last season. The league has caught on to the Delhomme-to-Smith connection, though none have found a way to stop it. The organization has failed to upgrade at the wide receiver position. Dwayne Jarrett‘s college success has never translated to the pros and Muhsin Muhammad is in the twilight of his career. Smith will make Delhomme look better than he is, but
Sleeper: Pierre Thomas – 2008 makes it two years in a row that Thomas has preformed down the stretch and made major contributions for teams fighting for fantasy titles. The Saints opting not to bring in another runner proves their confidence with their in-house option.
Bust: Reggie Bush – Don’t get me wrong, I like him. The thing is he is not a running back. He is a wide receiver that can run the ball from time to time. His early career struggles were due to a trial-an-error approach by the Saints, attempting to find where Bush best fit in their offense. The good thing is I think they have found his proper role. The bad thing is I don’t believe his health will hold up for them to exploit his talents.
Sleeper: Matt Ryan – There will be no sophomore slump with Ryan. Another year of experience combined with the addition of the greatest tight end of all-time has the talented second-year play caller looking at a sophomore jump. The strong ground game lead by Michael Turner, combined with the extremely talented receiving options in Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, have the Falcons in contention for the NFC South title. After an impressive rookie debut, Ryan should improve in all positional stat categories.
Bust: Michael Jenkins – Jenkins quietly had a decent season in 2008, but will be down graded to the third receiving option in
Sleeper: Derrick Ward – Ward surprisingly totaled over 1,400 total yards for the Giants while splitting time with Brandon Jacobs. His stats suffered in the TD department due to the short-yardage specialties of his
Bust: Michael Clayton – Clayton has failed to build upon an impressive rookie year. Tampa will look to be a run-first team, with receiving opportunities being vacuumed up by Antonio Bryant and Kellen Winslow. He is a player that will be overlooked in the Bucs passing attack and a player you should overlook come draft day.