Waiver Wire: Keeper Edition
We’ve spent a lot of time the last few weeks trying to prepare the frontrunners for the playoffs. Kevin Albanese sent me a friendly reminder yesterday on just how spot-on his BCS look ahead list was, and we put together player rankings for weeks 12 & 13 for those thinking ahead.
Now it is time to help out you fellas whose seasons are over. Guys, no matter how many times you run the permutations, you’ve still been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Don't fret, it happens to the best of us.
For those in keeper leagues, there is still work to be done. Whether it be through waiver moves or trades, it’s time to start building for next year. If that means unloading top talent now, do it. There are no moral victories in college fantasy football.
Keep in mind this is not a complete list of keeper picks. I don’t think we need to tell you Jerrod Johnson and Robert Griffin are top young quarterbacks, and you should hold onto them for next year. This is a list of players that haven’t put up the numbers this year, but should emerge in 2009.
Taylor Potts, Texas Tech
I don’t think we really need to explain this one. As long as Mike Leach is around, Tech quarterbacks will be a hot commodity. In a veteran keeper league, the odds are good that Potts may not be available. If this is the case, it’s time to dicker and deal. If there is no way to wrangle Potts away from another owner, take a shot at freshman Seth Dodge. Dodge is a highly rated recruit and one never knows what is going on in Leach’s head.
Jacob Bower, Tulsa
The JUCO transfer made a run at the starting job in 2008. Enough of a run to cause us to drop David Johnson in our preseason rankings a week before the start of the season (not one of our best moves). Like Texas Tech quarterbacks, Tulsa quarterbacks are a system play, and Bower will have two years of availability remaining.
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
Besides seniors Chase Daniel and Chase Patton, Gabbert is the only other quarterback on scholarship for the Tigers. Gabbert was a highly touted recruit in 2008 and came from a spread offense in high school. A pair of high school seniors will attempt to enroll early to challenge Gabbert next spring, but Gabbert should have a leg up based on his talent and knowledge of the offense.
Jarrett Brown, West Virginia
Brown is a bigger, albeit slower version of Pat White. While he might not posses the lightening quick first step of White, he is just as athletic. Brown has looked good in relief duty the past two seasons and has even spent time at wide receiver and running back, just to get on the field
John Chiles, Texas
I know Colt McCoy has said he will stay for his senior year. An admirable proclamation. However, let’s check back with Colt in February when he is clearing a spot on his shelf for a Heisman trophy and possibly wondering when his national championship ring will arrive. If Colt does leave early, Longhorn fans need not worry. Prolific John Chiles lays in wait.
We’ll have more on whom we think will declare early for the NFL draft in the coming weeks. From Devin Thomas to Jamaal Charles to Felix Jones and Davon Bess, we pretty much nailed the early entry watch list last year (shameless self-fluffing I know).
Blake Joseph, Houston
Alright, this one is a reach. But maybe…just maybe Case Keenum thinks he is good enough to turn pro. Highly unlikely I know. But there have been worse moves made in the past.
John Brantley / Cameron Newton, Florida
There is much debate over which 5-star quarterback is considered Tim Tebow’s backup: John Brantley or Cameron Newton. And like Keenum, I can’t see Tim Tebow leaving early for the NFL. But Brantley and/or Newton are worth a shot just in case he does. Even if Tebow sticks around, I would hold onto these two highly rated quarterbacks for 2010.
Jeremy Avery, Boise State
Avery fist caught our attention in scrub time against Weber State in 2007. With the assumption that Ian Johnson would not return in 2008, Avery made our list of 2008 keeper picks last year. Avery’s speed and quickness continue to impress, and he is slowly taking over for the worn out Ian Johnson. The emergence of quarterback Kellen Moore is a concern and DJ Harper should also see increased carries in 2009, but Avery should be the man.
John Clay, Wisconsin
Clay has taken away a bit of our thunder the last few weeks. With P.J. Hill slowed by a leg bruise, Clay has seen his workload and exposure increase. The bulldozing Clay should be the next in long line of fantasy running backs to come from the city of Madison, Wisconsin. If he is still available in your league you should pick him up.
Charles Clay, Tulsa
Clay has seen limited action the last few weeks and that might be a good thing. If he is sitting on the waiver wire and you are in a keeper league, you should snap him up. While Tulsa will continue to spread the ball around, the backfield rotation becomes a bit clearer with the graduations of Tarrion Adams and Courtney Tennial. Clay has been used in a variety of positions the last two years, but he should settle in as Tulsa’s top rushing threat in 2009.
Caleb King, Georgia
King has been relatively quiet this year. It has been the Knowshon Moreno Show, and this should be Knowshon’s last act. I can’t see any scenario that has Moreno coming back in 2009.
Daniel Herron, Ohio State
Like Moreno, Beanie Wells is as good as gone come the end of the season. The redshirt freshman Herron leapfrogged senior Maurice Wells and sophomore Brandon Saine on the depth chart this fall and should be the OSU starter when Wells departs.
Andre Anderson / Glenn Winston / Edwin Baker / Larry Caper, Michigan State
In 2007 Michigan State rushed for 2576 yards and 29 touchdowns. So far in 2008 Javon Ringer leads all fantasy backs with 1455 yards and 18 touchdowns. Head coach Mark Dantonio likes to run the football and he doesn’t care who knows it. So who is next year’s Javon Ringer? Well, therein rests the problem.
There is a reason Ringer has tallied 300 carries so far this year and it’s not just because he has a wicked spin move. Andre Anderson is second on the depth chart but lacks the size of an every down back. Glenn Winston has looked good on kick offs, but was conspicuously absent from the roster last week. Asthon Leggett and A.J. Jimmerson have yet to catch on and Caurlton Ray is using up a redshirt.
The one to watch in all of this mess is incoming freshman Edwin Baker. A la my preseason Mark Ingram pick, Baker has the tools (speed and power) to be an every down back for Michigan State. But we won’t know if he can deliver until he arrives on campus. To add to the confusion, Michigan State also brings in highly touted running back Larry Caper.
I’m sure I just created a nightmare for commissioners everywhere as they field a barrage of waiver requests for high school seniors. My sincerest apologies.
Lyle Leong, Texas Tech
Leong almost spoiled his inclusion on the list with three scores against Kansas State in week six. Fortunately for us he resumed his role as Michael Crabtree’s understudy the last three weeks. Like Ringer, Crabtree is impossible to replace; he was an aberration. Tech will spread the ball around just like Tulsa does once he leaves. And leave he will. Detron Lewis could also be thrown in this list. But Lewis is a known commodity and he plays in the slot. Leong plays on the outside and past history has shown this to be the most productive position for Texas Tech receivers. He won’t be Crabtree, but Leong has the potential to be a good fantasy wide receiver in 2009.
Damaris Johnson, Tulsa
Johnson breaks the mold a little bit as he is a proven commodity. However he is still showing a high level of availability. Yes playing Tulsa wide receivers can be a bit frustrating as it is impossible to pinpoint who is going to get the ball on any given week. However, top wide out Brennan Marion will be gone, leaving Johnson as the most talented receiver on the roster. Johnson gets involved in both the run and pass game, making him a lethal fantasy weapon in 2009.
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Like Johnson above, Broyles has been no stranger to our waiver wire lists. After starting the season hot he has tapered off a bit. Which may have led some owners to throw Broyles back in the free agent scrap heap. With Juaquin Iglesias, Manuel Johnson and Quentin Chaney all set to graduate, Broyles should be a stud in 2009.
Danario Alexander, Missouri
What is a CFFinsider piece without mentioning Danario Alexander? Nothing I tell you, nothing! Poor Mr. Alexander has suffered through a number of injuries the past two seasons. However, a quick look at Alexander’s numbers show that he has caught a touchdown pass in four of the last five games. Sure they have come with the games largely out of reach. But it is encouraging. When you throw in the assumption that Jeremy Maclin is likely to declare for the NFL after this season and Tommy Saunders is a senior, the odds that we stop talking about Alexander any time soon are pretty slim.
Obviously there are dozens of players that could be included on this list, and we’ll be hitting them up in normal fashion in the off season. This is provided to give you a jump on 2009 and beyond. If you have someone hiding in the weeds that we've missed, feel free to drop us a line.
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