1) Plaxico Burress, wide receiver, free agent
Team: Kostas Bolos | Team Roster
Reason: A boom-or-bust pick, but perhaps worth the risk this late in the draft. Some team is likely going to take a chance and sign Burress this summer despite his legal issues. It appears the biggest obstacle preventing Burress from playing in 2009 is commissioner Roger Goodell and not the courts. I suspect Burress plays at least a portion of the season.
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I have a lot of questions at receiver outside of Calvin Johnson, so adding extra depth here is a priority. Burleson (knee) is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and started to show signs of serious fantasy potential in Seattle before his injury. If he can return to form, he could easily win a starting job. My low expectations out of him are 45 receptions for 650 yards and six scores.
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Reason: Seattle's offense should revolve around the running game this year, but that will relieve pressure on Hass, who's reportedly healthy. Back problems don't just go away, but if he can approach 16 games played, he can throw 20-plus touchdown passes, given his receiving corps. This is coordinator Greg Knapp's offense, but it won't be Michael Vick running it.
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Reason: Potential backup signal callers were falling into a similar tier, but Campbell presented the biggest chance to outperform expectations this year. Already capable of protecting the football, Campbell finally has a second season to work with the same offensive coordinator and his productive set of weapons.
5) Brett Favre, quarterback, free agent
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I'm not worried: "Free agent" will read "Minnesota Vikings" soon enough. I was hoping Jason Campbell would make it back to me - oh, the joys of drafting with co-workers that know who are your sleepers! Favre (shoulder) gives me the security of a capable backup and an iron man, even if his shoulder isn't quite 100 percent all year. I think he can throw for 3,500 yards and 21-23 touchdowns.
6) Pittsburgh Steelers, defensive team
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Reason: With no position players exciting me at this point, I decided to take the best defense from last season in the Steelers. They have only lost two starters from last season, so they should be similar to 2008. I would like around 17 interceptions, 48 sacks and three defensive touchdowns.
Team: Matt Wilson | Team Roster
Reason: I wanted to add more running back depth, and I think the explosive Norwood will receive more touches in the Falcons' offense this year, since the club probably does not want starting running back Michael Turner to tote the rock 377 times again. Norwood is a dual threat, averaging 5.8 yards per rush and 9.4 yards per catch during his three-year NFL career, which makes him the perfect complement to Turner. If Turner breaks down, Norwood's value obviously will skyrocket. Assuming Turner stays healthy, I am expecting 750 total yards and six total touchdowns from Norwood.
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
Reason: I'm not particularly ecstatic about having Orton as my backup quarterback, but he could be a sleeper in 2009. The Broncos are expected to pass frequently, and I'm hoping head coach Josh McDaniels can maximize Orton's potential.
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
Reason: Once he became a big part of the offense, Bess racked up an impressive number of receptions for a rookie. Of his 54 receptions, 35 came in his final six games; that pace would net him 93 receptions over a full season. Receiver Greg Camarillo (knee) under reconstructive knee surgery, and I don't feel he'll be healthy enough to take away from Bess. In a PPR league, Bess definitely has some upside; think Wes Welker v. 2.0.
Team: John Kotch Jr. | Team Roster
Reason: I couldn't help but put Washington at the front of the line in this round. In his three years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he saw limited action as the third wide receiver, he showed that he has potential as a deep threat. Now Washington will have an opportunity to show what he can do as a starter opposite Titans wide receiver Justin Gage. With the Titans' elite rushing attack, along with tight end Bo Scaife, I expect Washington to have plenty of big-play opportunities. He's a quality reserve with sleeper potential.
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
Reason: Manning will play against the New Orleans Saints when my primary quarterback, Peyton Manning, is on his bye week. I'd be happy if he just puts up a solid game for the one week that I'll need him.
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Reason: In Weeks 14-17, Branch caught 17 balls for 260 yards and four touchdowns. On two occasions during that stretch, he scored twice in a single game. Those are the sort of efforts that win fantasy football matches. I'm not expecting Branch to amass 80 catches - he never has - but I am drafting him for four or five huge single-day outputs, which will hopefully occur when I've been wise enough to put him in my lineup.
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