2009 Off-Season Report Card

One of the first lessons I learned playing fantasy football is that it’s usually best to draft players from good teams, so I think it’s important to handicap all 32 teams and try to focus on the teams that will have overall success. Otherwise, if your guy’s on a bad team, the potential for ugliness greatly increases, like the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008.

So one key element to preparing for the upcoming season is analyzing each team’s off-season, and that’s what I’ve done below. The following grades are more so for this year, but they do take into consideration what the teams have done for the long-term. I’m also not only talking about the skill players for fantasy, of course.

2009 Off-Season Report Card

Team Grade Comments
PHI A+ Greatly beefed up OL, added top WR in draft, backup RB, may have replaced S Dawkins, added vet CB, improved return game. Even got a FB.
CHI A- Didn’t address every need but added an elite QB, upgraded the OL, and added some young WRs, all of which make them an immediate contender.
NYG B Thin at S after loss of Butler and did not add a veteran WR but two good prospects in draft and drastically improved depth on DL.
MIN B Upgraded QB spot (Favre or not) and might have finally solved big RT problem in draft with Loadholt, plus added playmaker in WR Harvin.
TB B Very interesting off-season with key (but aging) vets released and some intriguing skill players added/retained, plus a potential franchise QB.
ATL B Lost numerous key defensive players, but restocked in draft and added the best receiving TE in NFL history.
NYJ B Some nice additions on defense, and QB Sanchez could be very solid but he might need time; lost WR Coles and nothing was done to replace him.
JAC B Several losses but nothing major and added WR Holt plus upgraded the OL and nabbed a sleeper RB in Jennings, so overall a pretty solid off-season.
DET B Took big steps for the future with QB Stafford & TE Pettigrew and LB Peterson & RB Morris. Added a lot of vets otherwise, but aging ones.
WAS B Added a stud in Haynesworth and a nice DE in Orakpo and OG Dockery will help but not enough upgrades on team that needed them in many areas.
KC B- Some nice additions on offense and defense are overshadowed by the loss of TE Gonzalez.
NE B- Secondary revamped but will it be better? Still some questions on defense & lost a great backup QB. RB Taylor and WR Galloway nice but on last legs.
ARI B- Lost a couple of solid defensive players but added a featured back who could be special and for now didn’t lose anyone ultra-important on offense.
HOU B- Still questions in secondary and at backup, RB but a nice job adding help to defensive front
SD B- A couple of losses in DE Olshansky and OG Goff but also a couple of nice additions in DE English and LB Burnett.
PIT B- A couple of notable losses but also a few interesting additions like WR McDonald and their #1 pick DT Hood.
MIA B- Lost some players in secondary but upgraded in draft, and veteran Taylor could really help pass rush, plus Pat White could be a big weapon.
IND C+ Very quiet off-season overall and while we love RB Brown, they did lose Rhodes and WR Harrison, not to mention two vital offensive coaches.
GB C+ A low-key offense and OL still a concern but did take two big steps to help in their switch to 3-4 in the draft with DT Raji and LB Matthews.
SF C+ Nothing significant lost and nothing significant gained before the draft so it comes down to finally adding a legit #1 WR, which they did in Crabtree.
STL C+ A couple notable losses like WR Holt and still many areas of concern but big upgrades on the OL give them a passing grade.
CIN C Lost WR TJH but nice replacement in Coles and might have a keeper at TE from the draft plus a LT. But OL still a problem and WR corps still thin.
NO C Added some decent players on defense and retained their key ones on both sides so while not a great off-season, it wasn’t bad either.
CAR C Very quiet off-season but no losses of note with DE Peppers still here, and added a DE who should help their pass rush.
SEA C Lost some key players but a decent job adding impact players on offense and defense, but overall failed to address enough needs.
TEN C Losing the best DT in the league is never good but DT Haye is decent, and they added two offensive playmakers in the draft.
DEN C- Added a slew of useful players but mostly aging and basically traded Cutler for Orton plus the coaching fiasco. But RB Moreno is a nice player.
BAL C- OL upgraded and nice QB add in Foxworth, but lost LB Scott, S Leonard, and did not address major need at WR.
DAL C- Lost some key players on defense plus WR Owens, and did only a decent job adding help in the off-season. No draft picks until 3rd round hurt.
OAK D Did not really address OL and defensive issues but should at least be better at WR with Heyward-Bey and also Murphy.
BUF D- WR Owens fills a long need but he’s never a sure thing, and they lost their two best O-linemen and not much else added to get excited about.
CLE D- Added a couple of solid WRs in draft but otherwise added a bunch of retreads on defense and lost one of the best TEs in the league.

Category: Fantasy Football


11 Responses

  1. Jimmerz says:

    Can you put some type of borders or lines separating each team in that table? It’s kind of hard to tell where the comments begin and end for each team.

  2. Bill O'Brien says:

    Agreed. It is tough to read!

  3. Tony Frisco says:

    Can you guys re-format this please, it’s unreadable. Thanks.

  4. John Hansen says:

    There you go, should be much better now.

  5. Jimmerz says:

    Yes, much better thanks!

  6. Neil Devlin says:

    Great rankings. Love that the Eagles did so well this off-season, and that many people like yourself & staff feel the same way.

    Thought I’d mention a small thing of note for ya. Nothing major, but you may want to edit it.
    In the Players to Avoid article, in the Tight Ends section, it has Kellen Winslow’s team listed as “(Cle).”
    Just thought I’d mention it so you can have it changed to ‘(TB)’
    Thanks again for the best content out there. I love this time of year, when the major content starts rolling out.

  7. John Hansen says:

    Whoops, it once took me 12 months to see “Drew Bledsoe” and not put “NE” after it.

  8. Seinfeld says:

    Not sure I agree with the “Denver basically traded Orton for Cutler” comment. The Broncos picked up Robert Ayers with the 18th pick from the Bears and he will probably start at DE/OLB for them this year and they still have another 1st Round pick from the Bears next year. However, I whole heartedly agree with the “coaching fiasco” assessment! Moreno should be a stud if McDaniels gives him enough carries. Not a whole lot of faith in this new coach here in the Mile High City. Denver also dodged another bullet with no suspension for Brandon Marshall. Offense should still be pretty good. Hopefully cut down on the turnovers. Defense should be a little better, but not that much. Schedule is brutal. 5 or 6 wins this year for my Broncos! ):

  9. Neil Devlin says:

    LOL, John.
    Guess we should double check all the Fred Taylor references for you then too, huh.?. :-)

  10. John Hansen says:

    Jerry, I mean Seinfeld, I see your point, but I was really going QB-for-QB only with that comment, and that does put it into perspective.

    By late December, I’ll get all the names/teams right, mid-month at the latest.

  11. Law Firm says:

    Guys, keep in mind, this is a fantasy website. All homerism aside, this is not an indictment on any team as a whole. PHI did a great job upgrading their fantasy potential, who’s to say that translates into wins (ie., see the 2008 Saints)? You can crack on NE’s secondary, but I honestly think they added the best mix of veteran and rookie upside in that area (Springs, Bodden, Chung and Butler.) Time will tell.

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