Clip and save: An early 2009 Crib Sheet
Jzak did a great job talking about some people who have lost value for next season in an earlier post, so I’m here to talk about players that will generate more interest in 2009 drafts after their 2008 performance.
We’ll have a more complete list when we start to roll into the 2009 season. For now, here’s a look at one player at each position who improved their standing with fantasy owners last year. Please feel free to add other deserving players in the comments section.
Tyler Thigpen, Kansas City Chiefs
As Jay-Mo pointed out in the comments section of John’s post about another on-the-rise player, Matt Schaub, Thigpen’s going to be an interesting pick for next year.
The Chiefs are unsettled in general, but Thigpen was a bright spot. there’s a potential for a triplet pairing here with RB Larry Johnson and WR D’wayne Bowe. Also, the QB is a legitimate threat to run. I don’t know if there is any other player who improved as much as Thigpen. He went from a backup on a complete afterthought of a football team into a potential top-15 player.
Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions
Smith was sneaky good at the end of the year and squeezed his way into the top 20. He finished with three consecutive weeks at 17 or more points.
With a new coach could come more opportunity for Smith to excel. The only concern with him is the heaping pile of carries he had in college. The Lions were pretty good about splitting carries with Smith for much of the year. He’s earned a right to all the carries next year if he stays healthy. And that offense has weapons (Calvin Johnson was the No. 3 WR in 2008) to take some pressure off, too.
Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints
Quick, who was the leading fantasy receiver for the high-octane Saints? Yep, Moore. Moore was a top-14 receiver. Point to his 10 TDs and say he’s going to be overvalued all you want. He had 3 100-yard games and 3 two TD games.
Yes a lot of those numbers point to him being a potentially overvalued player next year. But i like his level of opportunity in the offense. Moore had 5 or more catches in 10 of his team’s 16 games. He was a late-round sleeper last year. He won’t be available so cheap in 2009.
John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks
Carlson was a solid play this year despite the pathetic play of Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks offense. He had five TDs and one 100-yard game. Like Moore, Carlson did well with his opportunities — 50 or more yards in all but one of the seven games he made four or more catches.
The Seahawks have to be better next year, right? Carlson has ensured he’ll be a part of that improvement. He was the No. 7 tight end as a rookie this year and finished weeks 12 through 16 strong (9 points or more in PPR leagues).