Sleeper Rookie Cards: Five 2009 Second Day NFL Draft Picks to Watch

Sleeper Rookie Cards: Five 2009 Second Day NFL Draft Picks to Watch

All fantasy football players are familiar with the concept of a sleeper: the guy who can be drafted late and still be a valuable contributor under the right circumstances. Finding one or two can make the difference between a decent team and a championship squad.

There are sleepers in the world of football cards too, guys who go unnoticed by many collectors while the spotlight shines on players drafted in the first two rounds. Their cards never carry high price tags right off the bat, but they can experience dramatic surges in activity once they get a chance to show what they can do.

Success at the NFL level usually comes from an intersection of talent and opportunity, and it's never easy to predict exactly which players possess the former and will get the latter. That's why holding on to any rookie cards from a given season for a few years is a good idea.

Still, it's possible to make an educated guess at a few players who might be able to work their way out of commons bins and into the hearts of collectors. Here are five 2009 rookies, all drafted in the third round or later, who may be able to pull off the trick if given a chance:

Glen Coffee, RB, San Francisco 49ers - 3rd round, 74th overall

Coffee was a workhorse at Alabama, and he was one of the stars of the first half of the 2009 preseason, racking up 196 yards in two games. He has a nice blend of speed and power and figures to get the first crack at carrying the load for an improving 49ers team if Frank Gore goes down to injury.

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2009 UPPER DECK BLACK LUSTROUS GLEN COFFEE RC AUTO 1 1!!
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Glen Coffee 2009 SP Authentic Rc Super Patch AUTO 99
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GLEN COFFEE 49ERS ALABAMA 2009 DONRUSS THREADS COLLEGE GRIDIRON KINGS AUTO 37 50
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GLEN COFFEE 49ERS 2009 ROOKIES & STARS PRIME MATERIALS JERSEY AUTO RC 01 10
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GLEN COFFEE 49ERS ALABAMA 2009 TOPPS PLATINUM PATCH AUTO RC REFRACTOR 084 150
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Javon Ringer, RB, Tennessee Titans - 5th round, 173rd overall

Though on the small side at 5-foot-9 and just over 200 pounds, college defenses had a hard time stopping Ringer when he was at Michigan State. The Titans are loaded at running back with 2008 rookie sensation Chris Johnson, bruising LenDale White and former second round pick Chris Henry, but if Ringer can make plays in games that count like he has in the preseason, Tennessee may have to find a role for him.

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2009 Bowman Sterling Game Jersey Autograph Auto Javon Ringer RC 414 600 MSU
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2009 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Card #134 JAVON RINGER RC Auto - Titans
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2009 Topps Chrome Javon Ringer Rookie Auto #TC125
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2009 Bowman Javon Ringer Draft RC Auto #127
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JAVON RINGER 2009 UD DRAFT EDITION #21 AUTO RC 50
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2009 SPx #108 Javon Ringer Jersey Auto RC Rookie! 475 549
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Tom Brandstater, QB, Denver Broncos - 6th round, 174th overall

It's doubtful the Broncos expected the tall, strong-armed Brandstater to do anything but carry a clipboard in 2009 when they plucked him from Fresno State at the top of the sixth round. But Kyle Orton hasn't even looked like the second coming of Jay Cutler, much less John Elway, and Chris Simms is already hurt, so you never know.

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2009 TOM BRANDSTATER ROOKIE AUTO FINEST 09 17
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(6) 2009 Football Tom Brandstater Rookie Auto Cards Lot 299 Bulldogs Broncos
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James Davis, RB, Cleveland Browns - 6th round, 195th overall

With Jamal Lewis nearing the end of the line, the Browns have to think about the future of their running game. Jerome Harrison has shown flashes, but Davis had a terrific college career before his senior year and ripped off one of the preseason's most impressive runs with an 81-yard touchdown against the Lions.

Sammie Stroughter, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 7th round, 233rd overall

Not too many players were picked after Stroughter despite the numbers he put up while at Oregon State. He's on the smaller side, but his ability to contribute in the passing game and on kick returns will make it hard for the Bucs not to keep him on the roster come the start of the regular season.


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Nick has been collecting sports cards and memorabilia, especially football, basketball, boxing and MMA, for over 25 years. He's been writing about the hobby for a while too, most recently for About.com. When cards and collectibles give him writer's block, Nick spends time editing and writing for BoxingWatchers.com, contributing to SLAM! Wrestling and reviewing music for HipHopSite.com. He lives outside of Hershey, PA (a.k.a. Chocolatetown, USA) with his wife Diane, daughter Beth and son J.T.

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