The Fantasy Football season is basically over, but there is plenty of work to do in regard to next season. One of the things we talked about throughout the year was the ability to chart players in an effort to remind you—at next year’s draft— that there is more to the draftees than just those big name players.
In this five part series called Fantasy Football's Crystal Ball, we want to take a look at 5 prospects per position that should have an immediate impact on next year’s season. We’ll quickly run through the highlights, the potential future of the player, and the knocks he’ll have to overcome to rise to Fantasy greatness.
This is a great way to get an early jump on next year’s draft, as well as the season, so don’t forget to bookmark this section should you like and/or agree, and remember to consider our Dominator service next year.
Also, although the season is over, we here at Top Fantasy will continue to work for you—the droves of loyal fans—throughout the off season giving you a constant stream of information, and a one stop place on the web for Fantasy Football info…even if it’s in March :)
5 Potentially Great Quarterbacks for 2010:
Holmgren has a history of developing quarterbacks into great players, and the conservative—often confusing—play calling and coaching of Mangini is something that Holmgren will look to remove.
Quinn showed flashes of brilliant play this year, particularly down the stretch. But at times, he played fairly well even against the more difficult teams of the league such as:
Minnesota (21 of 35 for 205 yards, 1 TD 1 INT), and San Diego (25 of 45 for 271 yards and three TDs) with is most memorable game coming against Detroit (21 of 33 for 304 yards and 4 TDs).
The future of Quinn is very bright, should he continue to get ample practicing time, and have a good offseason. A more stable work environment should be afforded to Quinn, which could help further his development in lieu of the chaotic situation he had to deal with this year.
The knock on Quinn is his inaccuracy down field, and his inability to adjust to heavy pressure; but when there is a lack of playing time, these problems usually rear their ugly heads.
Advice: While Quinn leads the way in potential quarterbacks, it will be the offseason that determines whether or not he is a top rated sleeper pick at a crucial position such as quarterback. Monitor his progress this offseason, and the activity of the Browns altogether, before moving him up in your ranks.
Freeman has shown, at times, he has the potential to be an elite quarterback, but has also shown he has a long road ahead of him.
To Freeman’s credit, though, he led his team on a comeback against the heavily vaunted Packers, and had a banner performance against the Falcons going 20 of 29 for 250 yards and 2 scores.
The knock on Freeman—and his development—is he’s a great shotgun passer, and a not-so-great pocket passer, which never boads well in the NFL. Freeman will have to work on his pocket passing skills in addition to curbing his penchant for turnovers if he is to turn the corner.
Advice: Freeman isn’t the only problem in Tampa right now. The team’s approach to the 2009 season was very haphazard, very inefficient, and devoid of any solid game plan. As if that’s not enough, the Glazers (Tampa’s owners) are heavily criticized for their apparent unwillingness to spend money.
This is a problem for a budding quarterback.
If the organization can’t surround him with talent—thanks to a tight wallet let’s say—there is only so far that quarterback can go. Monitor the off season pickups by Tampa, and whether or not the Glazers are going to dish out some cash for their NFL team, or for their beloved Manchester United.
Matthew Stafford: I know it’s a bit trite to talk about the number one draft pick of 2009, but the Lions—offensively—have a very bright future ahead of them with Stafford leading the way.
Stafford played rather well this year breaking the 60% completion mark three times in 2009; a fine accomplishment despite the lack of offensive weapons.
But what’s more important is the kid’s toughness and Troy Aikman like qualities. He played through injuries, took ever hit on the chin, and showed his willingness to be the next great quarterback in the NFL.
The knock on Stafford is actually his complement around him. The Lions will have to bring in another set of reliable, threatening, hands to draw attention away from Megatron as well as find some serious upgrades to the O-Line if Stafford is to move forward.
Advice: Stafford should be considered a low end 2nd round pick in my opinion to insure there is a quality backup on your bench. There is only room for improvement in the Lion’s organization, and we should start seeing that as soon as next year. Stafford has a huge potential for a sleeper pick.
Matt Moore: Moore is an incredibly intriguing player that should be on everyone’s offseason radar as his late season performance has earned him the right to compete for—and win—the starting job next year.
Moore has already posted incredible numbers in his four game stint as a starter:
65 out of 103 which equates to a 63.1 % completion rate for a whopping 828 yards, and an impressive 7 touchdowns to only one pick.
His season finale against New Orleans should be a good one.
IF Moore stays in Carolina, there is no reason to shy away from this guy which could give you an interesting draft strategy considering no one will remember him. Moore spreads the ball like a veteran, is cool in the pocket, and can move pretty well if need be.
There hasn’t been any real knock against Moore thus far. He has played well against some pretty good competition, he protects the ball, he’s not turnover prone, and the kid can move the offense.
Advice: There is a small chance that Moore could be traded away, and if that does happen, his success will be co-dependent on which team he winds up on, but he has a bigger chance of starting next year for the Panthers, making his draft value rise considerably.
Bruce Gradkowski: Gradkowski took over for the overly inflated Russell at quarterback, and gave the Raiders reason to think there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
For the Raiders, the team has plenty of talented players both in the backfield and catching the ball—not to mention on defense as well— but the coaching has been less than desirable.
Gradkowski could be that guiding light the Raiders have been looking for at quarterback. Gradkowski played a bit conservative this year, but his performance against the Steelers in week 13 (20 of 33 for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns) was a grand example of what could be.
The obvious knock on Gradkowski is his health and his size. It is speculated that his conservative play is the product of his small 6’1” frame, and his inability to move around a lot in the pocket is the product of two MCL tears.
Advice: Gradkowski isn’t worth a draft look unless he is available very late after you have built your team. Still, he could be a nice addition as a third quarterback to your roster in case he does actually break through. Otherwise, he could be a great candidate for trade bait which is just as important to building your roster.
In our next installment, we’ll take a look at the running back potentials that should make some noise in 2010.