Cassel’s fantasy value significantly rises

Will Matt Cassel turn into the next Gary Hogeboom or Matt Hasselbeck? (Photo by Getty Images)

Will Matt Cassel turn into the next Gary Hogeboom or Matt Hasselbeck? (Photos by Getty Images)

Thumb through your dog-eared copy of NFL.com’s Fantasy Football preview and drink in some of these names — Chris Redman, John Beck, J.P. Losman, Damon Huard, Kyle Boller and Brodie Croyle.

Those are the names of quarterbacks listed in the preview’s Top 40. Matt Cassel wasn’t even on that list. In fact, Cassel probably was on a level below the cutting room floor. Even handcuffing Tom Brady seemed like a reach at the start of last season because Brady never missed a start for six years. And — this deserves mentioning — the dude didn’t start a game in college.

But your fantasy football life can change quickly with one strike to the knee. And now Cassel is wealthy, starting and a Top 10 fantasy football quarterback. Or is he?

Cassel had a lot of success as Brady’s replacement in 2008, but transferring that success to Kansas City isn’t automatic. Remember Scott Mitchell? Gary Hogeboom? Matt Hasselbeck? Oops. The later actually proves that backups can find some success with new teams.

And with that, fantasy footballers should have confidence in Cassel. The Chiefs have a great offensive mind as coach, Todd Haley. The team has some nice receiving options with Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez (who must be thrilled right now). And if Larry Johnson is eventually released or traded, the Chiefs could be throwing a lot in 2009.

While Cassel’s success isn’t preordained, proceed with assurance.

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