Bryant has never posted great seasons consecutively and the QB situation in Tampa Bay is unfavorable regardless of who wins the job between Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich. Bryant will still put up decent fantasy numbers, just be careful how much value you give him based on his numbers from last season as it is unlikely he will have a repeat performance in 2009.
There is no doubt that Gore will again be the centerpiece of the 49ers offense, however his full fantasy potential is limited because of the lack of talent around him. Be sure to consider this before drafting him before players like Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, or even Steve Slaton.
Be careful not to buy too much into the hype surrounding Wells. Yes, he does offer a unique combination of speed and power, but there is no guarantee that he will get the majority of the carries as he will be in a timeshare with Tim Hightower. Its also worth noting that Wells will offer no extra value in a PPR league.
Crabtree will eventually have fantasy value and may be worth a mid-round pick in a keeper league. But for the 2009 season, he’s nothing more than a late-round gamble pick. With his recent holdout and the presence of veterans Isaac Bruce and Josh Morgan there is a good chance Crabtree may begin the season on the bench. Even when he does make the starting rotation the Niners poor passing attack will keep a low ceiling on his fantasy value.
Don’t let his Super Bowl MVP honors vault him up too high on your draft board. Holmes didn’t have a single 100-yard game in 2008, he has never had a 1,000 yard season, and has had back-to-back games with a touchdown only twice in his three-year career. Holmes is still a boom-or-bust receiver and too inconsistent to take early in the draft.
Roethlisberger has had success winning big games in the NFL, but that does not always translate into fantasy value. Last season Big Ben had 15 interceptions and a career-worst seven fumbles lost, and only 17 touchdowns. He is a mediocre fantasy quarterback at best and Pittsburgh’s conservative offense will limit his upside.
We are certainly not calling Jones-Drew a “bust” here as he will have a much bigger opportunity to produce as the featured back for the Jags this year. We still think he’s is worthy of a late 1st or early 2nd round pick, but just make sure you remember the lesson of Marion Barber from last season before jumping on MJD with a top-3 overall pick.
Royal was one of the biggest surprises from the rookie class of 2008, but his 2009 fantasy value took a hit with Kyle Orton replacing Jay Cutler. Royal will still retain some value in a PPR league, just be careful not to give him too much value on draft day if you are expecting a repeat performance with Orton at QB.
We still don’t understand McFadden’s lofty draft position this year. Yes, two separate toe injuries did slow McFadden in his rookie year, but besides his health, nothing has really changed for the start of the 2009 season. He is still in a timeshare with Justin Fargas and Michael Bush, JaMarcus Russell is still a work in progress, and until Oakland shows signs of offensive improvement McFadden is nothing more than a mid-late round gamble pick.