Once again, I'm basing a player's "stock" on Yahoo's fantasy football Big Board.
- Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos - Yes, Jay Cutler is a better quarterback than Kyle Orton. But it stands to reason that Royal is a better fit for Orton's skills/comfort zone. Royal is more of a "find me and I'll blow this open" than Marshall, who's a jump ball maestro. I see Royal improving on last year's numbers, and if your league gives points for return yards, he's a stud. 2009 projected stats: 100 catches, 1150 yards, 800 return yards, 9 total TDs
- Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles - Though it pains me to say it, McNabb has become one of the more underrated passers in the league. His health is always an issue, but he played 16 games last year and posted a career high in yards. And even though his rushing yardage has dropped dramatically, he's still the most elusive guy in football, and that means plays get extended. I hate-respect him. 2009 projected stats: 3800 yards, 24 TDs, 10 INTs
- Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers - How is this guy outside the top 5 quarterbacks on the Big Board? Part of it has to do with everyone's love affair with Kurt Warner (which I assure you will end this year), but I have to think the rest of it is that people still don't realize how good Rivers is. Only twice last year did he have more INTs than TDs, he led the NFL in TDs, passer rating, and TD-to-INT ratio. Now do you know? 2009 projected stats: 4100 yards, 33 TDs, 11 INTs
- Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings - Harvin is as talented as any receiver in this year's draft. He'll have the opportunity to win playing time (from...Bobby Wade?). And he'll benefit from the scariest play-action move in football (everyone's head turns when Adrian Peterson gets the ball). Hey, there's always one or two rookie receivers who blow up. My bet is on Harvin. 2009 projected stats: 70 catches, 900 yards, 6 TDs
- Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR, Raiders - In a preseason game last season, Higgins returned a punt 40 yards for a touchdown, then did a cartwheel and a backflip...after the run. While all the talk will be about Darius Heyward-Bay, and while Javon Walker is certainly the incumbent, there's no doubting Higgins' ability. Over the last three games of the season, he notched twelve catches and four touchdowns (one returning). I don't imagine the Raiders will be all that potent, but Higgins is too good to be kept down. 2009 projected stats: 45 catches, 750 yards, 1200 return yards, 6 total TDs