This is my favorite time of the year.
The novice fantasy football players are busy hibernating in their man caves, watching Rules of Engagement or Celebrity Apprentice, while the expert dynasty leaguers are re-evaluating their rosters and looking at every possible way to improve their teams.
If you’re on this site and looking for ways to upgrade your team this offseason, congratulations! You’re both a professional and an addict.
What I love most about the offseason is the upcoming lists of amazing sleepers from many sites out there. You can imagine they’re going to play it safe and have their sleeper lists compiled with names like Ben Tate, Isaac Redman and Toby Gerhart. C’mon. Really? It drives me crazy to see other sites play it safe with their sleepers and not provide any type of value by doing so.
At DLF, you know we focus on the lesser known players. While the success rate with many of these players is less than ideal, we want to give you thoughts on players you won’t read about in the mainstream publications.
Today, there’s one particular name on my mind – Joe Morgan of the New Orleans Saints.
Yes, Joe Morgan of the New Orleans Saints. He’s a not a total unknown – in fact, I’ve seen him name pop up in the DLF Forum where some of the best dynasty minds congregate. For those who don’t know Morgan, let’s take a closer look.
After attending the University of Illinois for two years and posting just 47 yards on four catches, the 6’1″, 184 pound Morgan transferred to small school Walsh University in Ohio. In his two years at Walsh, he posted 79 catches for 1,317 yards and scored nine touchdowns.
So, what’s the big deal?
Morgan started impressing scouts at the combine where he ran a 4.4 40 and had a broad jump of over ten feet (he ran track in College as well). He wasn’t drafted and was signed by the New Orleans Saints in late July. That’s where our fun begins!
After seemingly being brought in to Saints camp as an extra camp body, Morgan started doing something unforeseen – impressing the coaching staff. He ran solid routes and and showcased his speed every day during Summer practices, showing enough to merit keeping him on the roster into the preseason.
Then this happened (sorry about the video quality, I had Kosmo Kramer get this from me at the local movie theater):
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After that game, Morgan made it through the first round of cuts and played in game two, where this happened (check it out at the 1:45 mark):
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Morgan was said to be pushing Devery Henderson and Adrian Arrington for the final roster spot during the preseason, but then suffered a meniscus tear that put him on IR. Make no mistake, though. That injury had just a four week recovery timetable, so he should be just fine by now. The Saints just found a nice way to give him a year to learn the offense and be around the team. In essence, he was redshirted.
So, at first glance, you have to like what you see with Morgan, but you also know the Saints are loaded at wideout, right? Well, look at this list:
Marques Colston – Free Agent
Devery Henderson – Signed
Lance Moore – Signed
Robert Meachem – Free Agent
Adrian Arrington – Restricted Free Agent
Courtney Roby – Free Agent
With the issues they have with Drew Brees’ contract and the deal they need to work out with Carl Nicks, it’s going to be tough to use the franchise tag on Colston, leaving him open to shop his services. Regardless, they’re most certainly going to be looking for more depth at receiver. Perhaps they have it from within.
Morgan (much like Arrington) may just have a golden opportunity to make an impression and climb up the depth chart in one of the most explosive offenses in football. The Saints could very well address the position during the draft or even bring in some other free agents, but I believe Morgan has shown enough to merit that final roster spot you may have available in your league. It’s a total shot in the dark, but it likely won’t cost you anything.
You probably think it’s crazy that a small school kid could make a training camp impression, be redshirted with a minor injury, then make a huge impact in the league the next year. Well, Victor Cruz probably has something to say about that.
Here’s a quick interview from Morgan at last year’s combine.
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