Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Grading my 2009 sleepers


I pegged Davis as a breakout player in the case of Jamal Lewis' eventual demise as a feature back. Turns out I was half right. Lewis did break down, but by that time, Davis had already suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. That left room for James Harrison to step in and get all the glory, but I still believe without the shoulder injury, that could have been Davis. So I'm giving myself a bit of a mulligan. GRADE: C-


I thought Shady would have a bit more of an impact this year, especially with Brian Westbrook on the shelf so long. He did run for 3 TDs and had a few useful fantasy performances, but he also never topped 100 yards in a game and had quite a few stinkers mixed in. He does have a bright future in the league, especially with Westbrook's long-term health in question, but McCoy wasn't totally ready for prime time in 2009. GRADE: C+


I've been pretty high on Charles for quite a while and was biding my time for Larry Johnson to lose his grip on the starting job in K.C. He did, and Charles was masterful in LJ's place. He topped 1,000 rushing yards despite appearing in only 10 games and not getting double-digit carries until taking over as the starter in mid-November. I'm giving myself major props for this one. GRADE: A+


Bradshaw didn't have near the type of season I thought he would, but that could also be said for teammate Brandon Jacobs or the Giants in general. Bradshaw did have a couple outstanding games early in the season (104 yards vs. Tampa Bay, 110 yards and 2 TDs vs. Oakland) but never really evolved from being a marginal flex player or No. 3 back. Still, he was solid. GRADE: B


Orton was never very flashy - he had just one 3-TD game, in Week 16 against Philly, and topped 300 yards passing just twice - but he was never as bad as some expected, either (only two 3-INT games). I pegged him as a dependable No. 2 and ranked him 15th among fantasy QBs, and he actually slightly exceeded those expectations, finishing 14th in standard scoring ESPN leagues, above bigger names such as Carson Palmer, David Garrard, Joe Flacco, Jason Campbell, Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Ryan. GRADE: A


This one really hurt, because I thought the rookie was poised for a big breakout. He didn't get as much work as I hoped, but he wasn't extremely effective when he did (3.6 yards a carry), and he also missed several games with injury. He's still got a lot of potential and could very well overtake Joseph Addai as the Colts' lead back next year, but for now this sleeper's still dozing. GRADE: D

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