Finally the preseason is over, roster cuts have been made and the season is less than a week away. RookieBlitz.com takes a second look of its ranked players and highlights the rookies that will help you win your Fantasy Football League in 2009. Watching preseason football can be tedious at times, but it is very important to see how the new rookies will adapt to the speed, pressure, and schemes they are put in. Read on for several players that RookieBlitz.com recommends are on every team this season.
Mark Sanchez – NYJ: Sanchez looks the part of a franchise quarterback. He will struggle as a rookie, but he appears to have “it”. Sanchez (NYJ vs. MIA) is a viable starting option for Aaron Rodgers owners during the Packers Week 5 Bye.
Matthew Stafford – DET: The Lions have yet to name their starting QB, and when Stafford gets his chance this season you will want to monitor him on the waiver wire depending on the size of your league. He will run hot and cold much like a Jay Cutler, but get used to saying Stafford to Calvin Johnson.
Knowshon Moreno – DEN: Moreno is currently nursing a knee injury that will hamper him the first few weeks of the NFL season. The cream will rise to the top and you can use his injury to your advantage as he falls in drafts or as a trade target from a nervous owner. He could be a key contributor for your team beginning after Week 4, and is still the RookieBlitz.com choice for Rookie of the Year.
Donald Brown – IND: This guy has everything you are looking for in a running back and is already one of the hardest working members of the Colts. Brown could be one of the top keeper players in 2010 with a big season as the lead back in the Colts committee approach with Joseph Addai. Brown will pass Addai at some point in 2009.
Chris “Beanie” Wells – ARI: Unless you take him early, you probably won’t get Wells on your team in 2009. I am higher on Moreno and Brown, but Wells still is a big and fast physical specimen. Only Tim Hightower stands in his way of the starting job. One final word of caution, the Cardinals will still make their hay passing the ball to Fitzgerald and Boldin and there isn’t much history of successful lead backs in Arizona.
LeSean McCoy – PHI: It is hard to believe McCoy’s talent matches the massive hype surrounding him. He was previously compared to Jamaal Charles by RookieBlitz.com, which is not a slight at either player. Should he get an opportunity due to injury to Brian Westbrook, McCoy would be an every week start in the high powered Eagles offense even with his talent shortcomings.
Shonn Greene – NYJ: It is hard to see the hype based on the game film of Shonn Greene so far in preseason action. Leon Washington is finally flashing his all around talent and Thomas Jones still looks like a solid running back. Greene would get a chance with an injury to Jones, but Washington would get a larger share of the carries in that scenario.
James Davis – CLE: Davis has showed big play ability this preseason after he fell in the draft due to a subpar senior season at Clemson. Davis will capitalize on his opportunity and will earn some late season starts as the Browns try to see what they have in him. Don’t go too crazy to get Davis early in your drafts; Cleveland is still in for a long season in 2009.
Mike Goodson – CAR: Goodson is too talented to keep off the field as he has been one of the best stories this preseason. You need to keep an eye on the Jonathan Stewart injury situation. Goodson should be a target on DeAngelo Williams owners as a handcuff, Stewart will be drafted too high to be considered.
Bernard Scott – CIN: One of the stars of Hard Knocks, Scott has the best chance to be this year’s Steve Slaton. He’s already locked down the backup job to Benson and needs to be on one of the last spots on your roster.
Glenn Coffee – SF and Rashad Jennings – JAX: Coffee will be the primary backup to Frank Gore, and Jennings will backup Maurice Jones-Drew.
Percy Harvin – MIN: One of the most hyped rookies this preseason, you need to have clarity in you believe in Harvin in 2009. You’ll have to draft him before more established veterans like Derrick Mason, Torry Holt and Donald Driver. Harvin’s talent is undeniable, but you may be better off going with one of the veterans instead.
Hakeem Nicks – NYG: Nicks will supplant Hixon by midseason at the latest. Nicks has been showing his big play ability the last 2 games of the preseason and will force his way into more playing time for the Giants.
Jeremy Maclin – PHI: Maclin is developing nicely and could have more of an early opportunity with the injury concerns surrounding Kevin Curtis. McNabb has already stated he thinks Maclin could start now.
Kenny Britt – TEN: Britt was one of the players this preseason that made me change my outlook for him based on his play. He could develop into a matchup nightmare like a Brandon Marshall. He is likely an early season starter with Nate Washington on the mend.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – OAK: Chaz Schilens will be out for several more weeks, so Heyward-Bey will be the top option for the Raiders by default. He is worth a late round flier based on his upside, but his best case scenario long term is a Bryant Johnson type that flashes ability inconsistently.
Michael Crabtree – SF: Crabtree continues to holdout. He has little redraft value left in 2009; he is worth a last round flier as a player to watch in 2010.
Deon Butler – SEA: Butler is another player that was worth another look this preseason based on his play. He could supplant Deion Branch at some point this season as the starting slot receiver.
Brian Hartline – MIA: Fourth round pick Brian Hartline got some starts this preseason so stay tuned to find out if it was a motivational play to Bess and Camarillo or if he is a deep sleeper good enough to start as a rookie in the NFL.
Sammie Stroughter – TB: Stroughter has proved he shouldn’t have fallen to the 7th round and has worked himself into a prominent role in the Buccaneers’ offense.
Austin Collie – IND: Collie is too talented to keep off the field. He’ll be in a rotation with Pierre Garcon for the slot receiver position in the high octane Colts offense.
Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie – CLE: Neither player stood out this preseason, but are worth monitoring because of the wide open opportunity at wide receiver in Cleveland.
Jared Cook – TEN: Cook will play a hybrid WR/TE role in 2009, and will make some big plays out of the slot when matched against slower linebackers. Temper expectations (Remember Vernon Davis), but he could still be in for some big games.
Brandon Pettigrew – DET: Pettigrew will be the second receiving option for the Lions behind Calvin Johnson. He’s not worth getting excited about, but monitor him on the waiver wire. Rookie tight ends tend to struggle so don’t count on him for consistent production.
RookieBlitz.com Certified Fresh Rookies in 2009
The following players are worthy of being on your fantasy football roster in 2009 if at all possible:
QB: Mark Sanchez
RB: Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, James Davis, Mike Goodson, Bernard Scott
WR: Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks
Donald Brown, Knowshon Moreno, and Percy Harvin will cost you a mid-round selection as the hype around each is considerable. Each is worth the price to acquire them.
Monitor Sanchez, Davis, Goodson, Scott and Nicks as you fill out the end of your roster on draft day. The payoff for each could be huge, and you’ll beat your leaguemates to the punch as they lead your team to the top in 2009.
Stay tuned to RookieBlitz.com thought-out the season as we highlight the key rookie performances from each week and give you the analysis you need to win your fantasy football league!