RankingsAugust 15, 2011


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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receiver

By R.J. White

For most of the off-season, it appeared there were only four receivers who had risen to the cream of the crop in fantasy drafts, worthy of top-15 picks. After a QB relocation, the group has a fifth member. Larry Fitzgerald didn’t have a quarterback throwing him the ball in 2010 as much as he had a group of extras from the set of the film “The Replacements” under center. Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall together make up about a fifth of a quality QB, yet Fitzgerald managed to catch 90 balls for 1,137 yards and six TDs. Do the math, and if Fitzgerald would have had a quality option throwing him the ball, he would have finished with 450 receptions for over 5,600 yards and 30 TDs. You can’t argue with that logic. Even if Kevin Kolb is half a quality QB, Fitzgerald is primed for a huge season. Anyone grabbing him or any other top-five WR is a step ahead of the game this season.

More thoughts after the rankings.

QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DF | IDP

RankWide ReceiversTeamAvg
1Andre JohnsonHOU1.50
2Calvin JohnsonDET2.25
3Roddy WhiteATL3.13
4Hakeem NicksNYG4.13
5Larry FitzgeraldARI5.00
6Greg JenningsGB7.13
7Reggie WayneIND7.50
8Mike WallacePIT8.00
9Vincent JacksonSD9.00
10Miles AustinDAL10.00
11Dwayne BoweKC11.13
12DeSean JacksonPHI13.00
13Brandon MarshallMIA13.25
14Mike WilliamsTB13.50
15Steve JohnsonBUF18.50
16Marques ColstonNO19.00
17Percy HarvinMIN19.13
18Wes WelkerNE19.25
19Santonio HolmesNYJ19.75
20Dez BryantDAL20.50
21Brandon LloydDEN21.13
22Mario ManninghamNYG27.38
23Jeremy MaclinPHI18.38
24Anquan BoldinBAL22.00
25Chad OchocincoNE28.38
26Austin CollieIND23.38
27Kenny BrittTEN24.38
28Sidney RiceSEA25.75
29Steve SmithCAR28.00
30Santana MossWAS29.00
31Pierre GarconIND30.88
32Mike ThomasJAC33.63
33Julio JonesATL37.63
34Mike Sims-WalkerSTL44.50
35A.J. GreenCIN38.13
36Malcom FloydSD39.88
37Michael CrabtreeSF40.13
38Danny AmendolaSTL41.00
39Mike WilliamsSEA41.88
40Robert MeachemNO42.25
41Braylon EdwardsSF43.25
42Lance MooreNO44.13
43Johnny KnoxCHI37.63
44Deion BranchNE45.38
45Jacoby FordOAK45.63
46Hines WardPIT46.50
47Jordy NelsonGB47.63
48Davone BessMIA48.38
49Plaxico BurressNYJ49.38
50Andre RobertsARI68.25
51Steve SmithPHI69.50
52Jerome SimpsonCIN54.63
53Mohamed MassaquoiCLE72.63
54Nate BurlesonDET56.75
55Lee EvansBAL57.00
56James JonesGB58.00
57Derrick MasonNYJ61.25
58Donald DriverGB61.75
59Eddie RoyalDEN62.13
60Emmanuel SandersPIT63.25
61Roy WilliamsCHI53.88
62Jacoby JonesHOU63.50
63Steve BreastonKC63.88
64Brandon GibsonSTLN/A
65Jason HillJAX68.00
66Greg LittleCLE53.75
67Devin HesterCHI69.00
68Earl BennettCHI71.38
69Nate WashingtonTENN/A
70Antonio BrownPITN/A
71Donnie AverySTL75.13
72Jabar GaffneyWASN/A
73Jordan NorwoodCLEN/A
74Eric DeckerDEN79.75
75Arrelious BennTB80.00
76Torrey SmithBAL81.38
77Denarius MooreOAKN/A
78Kevin WalterHOU81.88
79Jordan ShipleyCIN82.38
80Darrius Heyward-BeyOAKN/A
81Dexter McClusterKC82.63
82Louis MurphyOAK56.50
83Anthony ArmstrongWAS83.13
84Leonard HankersonWAS74.00
85Danario AlexanderSTL65.38
86Titus YoungDET83.88
87Jason AvantPHI84.13
88Randy MossRET84.63
89Josh MorganSF84.63
90Ramses BardenNYG85.00
91Bernard BerrianMIN85.25
92Randall CobbGB86.00
93Michael JenkinsMIN86.25
94Terrell OwensFA83.25
95Josh CribbsCLE87.13

Update: The rankings have been updated as of 8/30/11. All updates are mine and mine alone, so I have left the original average rank of each player intact.

Greg Jennings may come in one slot below Fitzgerald, but the fantasy talent gap couldn’t be any wider. Jennings’s fantasy worth is tied inversely to the health of Jermichael Finley; when the electric TE is on the field, Jennings gets lost a little in the offense. Is it possible he could overcome that trend and post a huge line, especially with Donald Driver seemingly heading for fantasy obscurity? Of course, but it’s not worth spending a second-round pick to find out. The 6-12 WRs are packed pretty close, and if you have your heart set on a certain QB in the second, I wouldn’t begrudge you for taking them in the back half of that round and then picking up a receiver in the third.

Until we know what’s wrong with Jeremy Maclin (hopefully, present-you knows much more about the situation than past-me), he’s undraftable as a top-30 option. Last year’s top WR was Brandon Lloyd, and with Kyle Orton back as the starter he looks like a steal outside the top 20. Mario Manningham is my favorite value WR of the draft; I’d certainly much rather have him than Sidney Rice and his bad-QB situation or Kenny Britt and his ever-potential suspension.

Michael Crabtree looks healthy-ish and may be ready by the start of the season, which boosts him back into WR3 territory. I picked him up in a 32-team draft (don’t ask) after Louis Murphy, Deion Branch and Johnny Knox, who finds himself maddeningly out of a starting job and thus deserves to be downgraded to an undrafted talent that bears watching (no pun intended, I swear) in fantasy leagues.

At least one St. Louis receiver is destined to be a fantasy force this year in Josh McDaniels’s offense; considering they’re selected as bench players anyway, I’d try and find a way to snag Danny Amendola, Mike Sims-Walker and Danario Alexander as backup WRs and let the chips fall where they may. Whoever misses out on the fantasy goodness can be kicked to the curb early in the season.

Value players that get boosts from me in my own personal rankings include Lance Moore, Eddie Royal, Jordan Shipley and Bernard Berrian. As for an overdrafted player, Plaxico Burress’s inclusion in most mock drafts I see places too much value on him in my book. He’s likely the third or fourth option in a run-first offense who, by the way, has been stuck in jail for the last couple seasons. Do you really envision him making positive fantasy contributions?

 
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
 
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