SleepersFebruary 28, 2009


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Sleeper Watch

By Todd Ransom

If your looking for some serious value in your redraft leagues or the next Hidden Gem in your dynasty leagues, look no further than Josh Morgan. Other then being a sixth-round pick, this kid has had everything going for him. From the moment he was drafted, he was the type of guy who instantly adjusted to the speed of the NFL. He caught the attention of Mike Martz and Mike Nolan in their very first OTAs as someone who makes big plays and subsequently had a strong preseason. He battled a staph infection and a hamstring injury as a rookie but had a solid debut. Coach Mike Singletary and the Niners sound committed to him starting 2009 in the split-end role where he has been so effective.

He’s got the size at 6′1″, 220 pounds and has the speed to beat defenses deep, reminding me of a young Anquan Boldin. The stars are lining up for him to have a breakout second season and he is flying under the radar in fantasy circles, so it’s time to jump on board with a guy who has WR1 potential. Morgan has showed more in limited time then the likes of Limas Sweed, Devin Thomas, James Hardy, and Sidney Rice. There is no real threat to take attention away from Morgan in SF because Isaac Bruce certainly isn’t scaring anyone deep. Morgan has been the deep threat from day one and he had no problem taking that role in stride.

It’s time to throw the draft stock out of the window now, because Josh Morgan is a guy who has a ceiling of 1,200 yards and double digit TDs while being the explosive play-maker through the air for the Niners. I don’t care who lines up behind center, he did well with both Shaun Hill and J.T. O’Sullivan at QB. Here are some of the highlights from his game logs:

  • Week 1 (Pre): 4 catches, 68 yards, 17 YPC – not bad for his very first action as an NFL pro
  • Week 2 (Pre): 5 catches, 114 yards, 1 TD, 22.8 YPC – exploded vs Green Bay
  • Week 7: 5 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD, 17.2 YPC – after he recovered fully from the staph infection
  • Week 10: 4 catches, 54 yards, 1 TD, 13.5 YPC – last game played for four weeks due to injury
  • Week 16: 2 catches, 55 yards, 1 TD, 27.5 YPC – finally healthy from his hamstring injury
  • Week 17: 3 catches, 50 yards, 16.7 YPC – solid close to the season

Notice how high his YPC usually is. To put it into perspective, Larry Fitzgerald averaged 14.9 YPC in 2008 while Anquan Boldin averaged 11.7 YPC. I’d say that’s mighty impressive for a rookie lacking an above-average QB and offensive line, and lacking a true #1 WR opposite him. Morgan averaged 16 YPC in 2008, which is more than many highly-touted rookies: Donnie Avery with 12.7, Eddie Royal with 10.8, and DeSean Jackson with 14.7. I understand the argument that most of those guys played more snaps and caught more balls, but my point is not to show that Morgan is necessarily better then these guys, but that he is a legitimate deep threat and his YPC numbers for any rookie WR are mighty impressive.

Morgan has proven he can play with the best of them. He has the opportunity, situation, and talent on his side, which is a combination any dynasty leaguer should be keying on. He’s going to be rated much lower then any of the aforementioned players but has just as high of a ceiling and as good of a chance to produce as any second-year WR. Expect 1,100 yards and 8 TDs in his second year and a very bright future for Morgan. Don’t miss the boat on this Hidden Gem because his value will never be lower then what it is right now.

 
Todd Ransom is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Todd in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of LS2throwed.
 
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