Players that will Take a Step Back in 2009
Matt Cassel, QB, KC
No Moss. No Welker. New offense. New coach. Cassel in no way will repeat his 3,600+ yards and 21 TD's to only 11 INT. In an offense struggling for an identity in the preseason, with one legitimate receiving weapon, let someone else draft Cassel based off last years numbers.
Chad Pennington, QB, MIA
You can bet that teams are going to better defense the "Wildcat" offense in 2009 and Pennington's amazing 2008 will not be repeated. He had a solid 19:7 TD to INT ratio, however with Chad Henne the QB of the future in Miami, if they get off to a slow start, expect Pennington to be moved to the bench.
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
This is not to say that Johnson will have a "down" year, however with LenDale White in better shape and still seeing goal line carries, Johnson will be hard pressed to match his 1,228 rushing yards. He may score 9 times as he did last year, but to expect that kind of breakout season two years in a row is asking a lot.
Derrick Ward, RB, TB
Ward signed a nice Free Agent deal in Tampa this offseason, however as indicated this week, Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham will also see a ton of carries and Ward, who signed to become the starter, will have to earn his reps. While Ward may produce when inserted in the game, a 3-headed RB committee is not good for anybody.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR
Many have hyped Stewart as taking a bigger chunk out of DeAngelo Williams' value in 2009, however I do not buy it. He has missed 14 straight practices entering Thursday and for owners to expect a quick turnaround is asking a lot. He will go early in drafts as owners see his 836 yards and 10 scores. Let someone else grab him and you take Ray Rice or Leon Washington.
Brandon Marshall, WR, DEN
Whether attitude, injuries, or Kyle Orton, Marshall will take a step back in 2009. Marshall had a stellar 2008 with 104 catches, over 1,200 yards but only 6 scores. While Josh McDaniels loves to toss the ball aroud the field, in PPR leagues, Marshall wont approach 104 catches again and the yardage seems high. McDaniels loves to use the TE, so watch Tony Scheffler get some more catches as well.
Antonio Bryant, WR, TB
Another Buc makes the list. Bryant won many people fantasy leagues last year with his insane performance down the stretch, however with the uncertainty at QB in Tampa, stay away. Bryant had over 1,200 yards and 7 scores last year, however the strength of Tampa's offense is its running game. In addition, Kellen Winslow was brought in to lighten the load on Bryant, so expect a ton of targets to go his way. While others are drafting Bryant take a safer option in Houshmandzadeh or Welker.
Bernard Berrian, WR, MIN
Berrian is already being bothered by an injury in the preseason and his value largely is based on long receptions as he led the league with an average of over 20 yards a catch. With Favre at the helm and his arm strength decreasing, how many times is Berrian going to be targeted downfield? He only had 48 catches in 2008 and is not a possession receiver. Expect Berrian to be one of the first Vikings pointing the finger to Favre in favor of Jackson.