STUDs (RB replacements) ----- 1-Randy Moss - Record Setter. I have moved this guy into my top5 overall players. Randy Moss can single-handedly win you games from the WR position.
2-Terrell Owens - The single most consistent stud WR out there. Mark him down a TD a game with the potential for more. I think he is a decent bet at the end of the first, early second to pair. 1300/13 looks like a good baseline in Dallas, and with the WR2 position unsettled there is some upside there.
3-Braylon Edwards - 16 TDs in a season is so rare that you have to put him with the elite. Derek Anderson is still there, Winslow is still there, and Edwards has already shown me enough to consider him the next flat out STUD WR. This is one guy I will not hesistate to pull the trigger on anywhere in round 2. ----------
WR1 (week in/ week out point scorers)
4-Larry Fitzgerald - With Boldin hurting, I like Fitzgerald to reach the levels he did in his best years with a chance to surpass them. The only thing that has really set this guy back in his career has been injuries. If healthy, 1300/10 looks like a minimum. I'm not worried about Leinart, because I know if he falters Warner is right back in the game. And like he has proven at all levels of the game, Fitzgerald is the man who is scoring the TDs, not the guy passing him the ball. Extra value due to NFC West matchups.
5-Marques Colston - New Orleans is poised to do big things this year, and Colston is the stud on that offense. I think he has the potential to do what Edwards did last year and breakout above 15 TDs. Big redzone guys like Colston can put up 100/1 no matter what the game situations looks like. Like Fitzgerald, health is the only thing holding this guy back.
6-Steve Smith - The two game suspension bumped him down out of my first tier. The concussion worried bumped him down a couple of slots in this tier. But I still have Steve Smith ranked higher than almost everyone out there. Why? Because when this guy is on the field he is one of two or three active WRs who can literally carry your team to victory.
7-Reggie Wayne - I like this guy, but not at the top of the draft like everyone else. I think Wayne is a safe bet for 1300/10 type numbers, but he doesn't have much of an upside above that either. Personally, I don't think Marvin Harrison is done quite yet.
8-Plaxico Burress - I like Plaxico Burress, always have. And I think he and Brandon Jacobs are going to make you wish you picked up more NYGiants in the draft this year. Burress has an ankle injury so I bumped him down a little bit, but last year he showed that he can play on that injury. And this year he is just showing that he is still unhappy with his contract. Look for Burress to turn it on during the season and look for consistent TDs in the box scores. Burress is one of those rare WRs where you can expect a TD each week and not be dissappointed often. Side note: I believe Eli Manning to be one of the BEST values at QB this year.
9- Andre Johnson - I have mixed feelings about Andre Johnson. I love his talent, and what he did last year on a ppg basis. The improvements at QB in Houston are night and day and we are finally getting to see the real Andre Johnson. But something is just not right here. I can't put my finger on it, but drafting this guy as a WR1 seems like a big risk and almost a mistake. Just a gut feeling I guess. Many people out there will point to his year end finishes and rank Johnson at like WR #20, but I think that is stupid. I can't really explain why but I just get the feeling that Johnson doesn't have the huge stud upside or the consistency of the guys ranked ahead of him to warrant a top5 ranking. I still have him in my WR1 tier, but I hesitate to pull the trigger on him in the 2nd round. I probably end up missing out on Johnson this year unless I see him still there in the 3rd.
10-TJ Houshmazilli - Another guy with a lingering injury. And another guy that is a TD scoring machine when he is on the field. Contrary to popular opinion, Houshmazilli is the guy to own In Cinncinnati. In head to head leagues this guy is going to add so much more value to your team than a guy like Chad Johnson. TJ is a threat to score week in and week out. And while he doesn't blow out the boxscores very often, TJ is the type of guy that head to head owners should love. Carson Palmer often locks onto this guy for quarters at a time. I liken him to a mini-TO. Big worry is the injury and whether he can hold up for a full season. At the same time, missed games = higher ppg totals. ----------
WR1a (some risk, big reward)
11-Santonio Holmes - Another guy I like more than just about anyone is Holmes. This guy played like a 1300/12 WR last year when healthy and it was only his second year in the league. Guys like Greg Jennings and Dwayne Bowe are grabbing at a lot of attention for what they are doing so early in their careers, but Holmes seems to be the unsexy player of the bunch. 1000/8 doesn't sound so impressive, but when you figure that he did it in basically 12 games of play... we are looking at another Colston-like phenomenom. People seem to be buying that Big Ben is a top QB in fantasy, but why do they ignore his #1 WR and playmaker? Holmes rounds out my top10.
12-Calvin Johnson - If I had more balls, this guy would be in my top10 or even top5. But this is the one guy who I will jump on very early to ensure that he is on my team. Or maybe I won't really jump on him that early, I'm thinking 3rd rounder. I believe Calvin Johnson is one of the rare WRs in the NFL that is head and shoulders more talented than 95% of the other guys out there, including teammate Roy Williams. Jon Kitna will still be passing a lot of the time and now his targets will be focused on mainly just two players instead of four. I think Calvin Johnson will become his #1 WR there starting in game 1 and he will remain the #1 until he gets hurt or he retires. Next year I think we are disucssing Calvin Johnson in the 1st or 2nd round instead of the 3rd or the 4th.
13-Torry Holt - This is the first time in a long time that I can say there is some risk with Torry Holt. The offense is not looking good. Jackson is holding out. His knee may be chronic. And he lost longtime consistent partner Isaac Bruce to take attention away. Holt's main value for years was in his ability to consistently get a lot of yardage and have a decent shot at putting up some good TD numbers. This ranking may be due more to nostalgia than anything, but I can't help but consider Torry Holt in the 3rd round of my drafts if I see him sitting there.
14-Chad Johnson - Similar critique to Torry Holt. I do not want Chad Johnson as a WR1 this year and I don't think I have wanted him as a #1 for about 4 years running. The price has always been too high and has not matched the production. But as a WR2, Chad Johnson is the ideal candidate. Even when he is not having his blowup games, 5/60 is not going to hurt you that much from the WR2 position. And when he goes off for 150/3, that is basically a guaranteed win. Draft smart and land Chad Johnson as a WR2 and he could carry you to a title.
15-Jerricho Cotchery - Meet this years Greg Jennings. The NY Jets have been a poor offensive team ever since Curtis Martin's big year a few years back, but Cotchery has been a solid 80 catch guy the entire time there. I can't remember the last time NY had a legit QB, but now they have Favre. And reports I'm reading is that Cotchery is the odds on favorite to be Favre's goto deep threat. This is the guy who has the potential to do what Javon Walker and Greg Jennings have done in recent seasons. Guys that blow up and are immediately scoring like a longtime top5 WR. I think Coles becomes the Driver to Cotchery's Walker/Jennings. 1200/12 is not far fetched for Jerricho. Risk meet Reward.
16-Marvin Harrison - Enough is enough. The knee is healthy enough for him to suit up and play several series in a preseason game. And before the knee, I think Marvin had the single longest streak of seasons with 10+ receiving TDs in the league. (Ok, I made that up, but it could be true). Harrison is old, but Joey Galloway has been old for like 4 seasons now and that hasn't stopped him. I think Marvin Harrison as a WR2 could be money for the owner with enough balls to pull the trigger. And with a 4th or even 5th round pick, you are not risking much at all. I do not understand the nonsense that some people are spewing that has this guy ranked at WR30-40+. Are you seriously going to take Ted Ginn over Marvin Harrison? ---------
WR2 (solid players with less upside or more risk than WR1a)
17-Chris Chambers - I like Chris Chambers. I've always thought that he was underappreciate in Miami and underutilized. And it appears that in San Diego, although he is being used a similar manner, he is getting more and better opportunities. I believe Antonio Gates is a horrible pick this year and will not be healthy by the start of the season. I have reservations of whether or not he will ever be the same TE he once was, simply because he has never experienced a injury that slowed him this badly or took too long to heal. And Chris Chambers is going to soak up the difference when Gates is not at 100%. This is the type of guy who can score 10 TDs on 50-60 catches, and really the sky is the limit if SD decides they want to make him their #1 target on a full time basis.
18-Anquan Boldin - I am a little bit leery of Boldin this season. Hamstrings can be very tough to recover from for a WR. And Boldin doesn't really have the opportunity to be a stud in Arizona anyway with Fitzgerald there. Best case scenario, Boldin catches 100/1300/10. More likely he will be slowed down a bit or miss some time and come up with 80/1000/7. I would rank Boldin lower, but I know that when he is in the game he is going to catch some balls and put points on the board. In a PPR league that type of ability adds a ton of value and even in standard leagues it can't be overlooked.
19-Dwayne Bowe - Dwayne Bowe is a very talented WR. Watching him play last year made me confuse him with an experienced vet. And if Damon Huard had hung onto the job and played himself into a mini-Derek Anderson, I would have Bowe ranked much higher. As it stands, I have Bowe barely inside my top20 on the expectation that he will be decent with the potential to explode. I like Brodie Croyle and I like what Kansas City is doing as a team, but I think they are a season away from making any fantasy difference makers. Instead of a stud, Larry Johnson is a borderline RB1, and instead of a WR1 Dwayne Bowe is a WR2. Quick improvement could easily boost either of those guys into the next tier though, so keep a close eye on preseason game 3 and developments during the season.
20-Roy Williams - Consider me down on Roy Williams even if I do have him in my top20. I think he is being overdrafted for what he is: a big and slow WR. I simply do not think Roy Williams has the skillset to be an elite WR in the NFL, and really he has only produced like one for a single season when he was the only viable offensive threat on his team. Roy Williams is a lot like Chad Johnson, but he doesn't have the same explosiveness and he doesn't have anything close to a track record. Like was mentioned earlier, put me firmly in the Calvin Johnson camp for Detroit Wrs and let somebody else reach for this guy in the 3rd round.
21-Brandon Marshall - All world talent, no brain. Why does it seems like some of the most talented players in the NFL are also the biggest troublemakers. Luckily for Marshall, Denver cut his only potential competition for receptions this offseason. And even with the 3 game suspension, I think Marshall will provide some good value for his owners. I am a believer in Jay Cutler and I think he has locked Marshall in as his main beneficiary. The potential is there for top10 or even a top5 season with Cutler throwing the ball. And as much as I hate to admit it, Marshall is going to make some owners very happy that he fell in the draft due to his antics. I for one know that I would have him much higher if he had stayed out of trouble this offseason. Could be a mistake.
22-Laveranues Coles - A solid vet who should put up good numbers. I think Coles will immediately step into the Donald Driver role and provide excellent value on draft day if he lasts into the middle rounds. I don't know how bad the Favre hype has hit yet though, so maybe he is even overvalued on draft day, who knows. I think Coles is in line for a lot of the underneath stuff that Favre is famous for and he will gets his opportunities as a 3-down WR. I don't think he has even close to the same upside as Cotchery, but his baseline is very similar. I'm thinking something like 80/1100/7 should be easily within reach for Coles. Very ho-hum productive WR2 that you may be able to grab as WR3.
23-Nate Burleson - This is the one guy I have trouble not falling into the trap with. Who else are they going to throw the ball too!?@# Either Matt Hasselbeck is the most overvalued Qb in the history of fantasy, or Nate Burleson is the most undervalued WR in the history of fantasy. Seems to me like you believe in either one or the other, but 95% of people don't believe either one! Nate Burleson always seems to be on the board when I'm willing to take him and I gobble him up in every single draft I participate in. Deion Branch his been injured since he stepped into town and has never produced better numbers than a WR2 (for his team). Bobby Engram suffered a serious injury and he has been nothing more than a WR3 in Seattle until the situation forced him into the starting lineup. Matt Hasselbeck has been one of the best and most consistent QBs in the NFC for years. Seattle has the easiest schedule for passing in the entire NFL each and every year with 6 games vs, SF, STL, and Arizona. What more could you ask for? Burleson scored almost 10 TDs last year in a part time role. Either some unknown young guy is going to step in and blow up, Branch/Engram are both going to make miraculous recoveries, or Nate Burleson is going to provide ridiculous value this year. Take your pick. ----- WR3 (top10 potential, but a pure gamble at this point)
24-Roddy white - I thought White would be something special when he was drafted onto the Falcons. Simply put, no one else on that team has the talent to become the type of player Roddy White is right now. Chris Redman and Joey Harrington threw him the ball last season and he was quietly putting up quasi-stud numbers. I remember playing the White owner one week last season and losing the game only to catch myself saying "Roddy freaking White beat me?". I think either Ryan or Redman will be good enough this year to keep Roddy White up above 1,000 yards and possible even more. We could be looking at the next Chad Johnson in the making. I think Roddy is going a little bit early in drafts, but his owners could be rewarded if the situation in Atlanta is not as dire as everyone thinks.
25-Greg Jennings - Another guy who is being overrated based on what he did in 1 season. Except in the case of Greg Jennings its not his talent that is being overrated, but his situation. Aaron Rodgers will do well to produce 75% of the stats that gunslinging Brett Favre has made us all accustomed to. Even still, I like the skillset that Jennings brings to the table and I think he has enough talent to produce above average numbers in an average situation. I don't know where this guys ADP will end up, but it seems like he is a bit overvalued right now. I view him as a decent WR2 gamble if you wait until the 5th+ round.
26-Wes Welker - Probably the most overhyped WR in the draft this year. This is a guy who played on a team with the most prolific QB in the NFL history last season, caught over 100 passes, and still only scored in 6 games. That my friends is the definition of a possession WR. And this year, I have to believe that Tom Brady will not throw for 50 or even 40 TDs again. In all likelihood, Welker will not even come close to approaching 100 receptions or 8 TDs again. I think the main reason why you would want Welker on your team this year is that you believe that something is going to happen with Randy Moss and Welker becomes the defacto WR1 in NE. Then he will break 1,200 yards and 9 TDs right? Because he didn't last year.
27-Anthony Gonzales - This goes contrary to my primary fantasy philosophy: never draft WR3s. But Anthony Gonzalez is a special case. If Harrison goes down he would become the #2 WR in Indy obviously, and just as obviously Peyton Manning would be his QB. Gonzales is a gamble plain and simple, and personally I think it is a losing gamble with Harrison returning to form. But it may be a smart move to pickup Harrison AND Gonzales in the same draft. At the price you are currently getting Harrison, the reach for Gonzales really doesn't affect you all that much. And don't be afraid that Gonzales won't produce if he steps in, it seems like everytime he got the opportunity (passes thrown his way) he turned it into something last year.
28-Hines Ward - Ward is at the end of his rope. The guy is solid when he plays, but even then Holmes was far outshining him last season. In the past 4 seasons Ward has played less games in each consecutive season. He has gone for less yards in each consecutive season. And he has seen his ranking go from WR10, to WR20, and then to WR30 last year. The team went out and grabbed the big target that Big Ben was looking for in Limas Sweed, which I think will immediately hurt Ward's TD scoring opportunities. The writing is on the wall for Ward to become nothing more than a role player for the Steeler's and fall almost entirely off the fantasy landscape. Hines Ward scraped out a mention in my top32 because he is perhaps the most competitive player in the NFL and he will fight to hang in there as long as he can. Who knows, maybe he stays healthy and enjoys a renaissance this season. I'd wager that it's pretty unlikely though.
29-Lee Evans - I like Wes Welker more than Lee Evans, so that should tell you something. Honestly, I think Evans is a pretty good player, but people have overrated his talent to the extreme in recent seasons. This is the type of guy where you take away one big play or game and suddenly he is very average. The main reason why I even have Evans here is that I have heard a lot of good things about Edwards and I can't overlook the fact that Evans has been productive in the past even when a mediocre QB has locked onto him as the primary target. Maybe Lynch will be outstanding and gave Edwards breathing room. Maybe Edwards will mature quickly and get the ball to Evans in spots where he can produce. Maybe rookie Hardy will become the WR2 to finally take the pressure of Evans. Maybe Lee Evans will end up on my team as a WR3, but most people still have him ranked a lot higher than I do.
30-Kevin Curtis - Curtis kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I had drafted him late in a couple of leagues last year only to find him sitting on my bench during his blowup 400/3 game or whatever he had. Then he produced to be decent, but nothing special for the rest of the year. The guy just does not score enough TDs. But Curtis has a saving grace, he is the WR1 for the Eagles. Reggie Brown is hurt. Nobody else is worth mentioning. And Donovan McNabb has risen out of the ashes more than one time to become a fantasy force out of nowhere. Curtis is the only likely beneficiary if McNabb does have any kind of resurgence. westbrook is a stud in the receiving department, but he can only touch the ball so many times. Bottomline, I wouldn't mind Kevin Curtis as a WR3, but it's not really something I'm looking forward to.
31-Joey Galloway - This guy is old. I mean really old. He's defied his age for like 3 or 4 years now, but I think the end is coming near. This is not the same guy who came out of nowhere 3 years ago and was a top10 WR. This is the guy who numbers have decline in several seasons in a row. Then again, Galloway is the only offensive weapon that Tampa has. And Jeff Garcia seems to know how to get him the ball. I think he will score enough to be a solid WR3 in fantasy, but I just don't see the upside. Reminds me a whole lot of Rod Smith in the years right before his retirement. He was still pretty good and a decent guy to have around, but nothing even close to resembling a special player. You can draft Galloway pretty late and be happy about it, but if you don't get him in a double digit round(doubtful) I don't think you will get THAT much value out of him.
32-Donald Driver - I think Driver is poised to fall off a cliff with Favre gone. In fact, you could say that he fell off the cliff last year with only 2 TDs. That said, I think 2007 was somewhat of a fluke in his TD production considering he had over 80 receptions and 1,100 yards in 15 games of playing time. You could do far worse than Donald Driver as your WR3, but you could also do far better. I personally don't see myself gambling on GB and Aaron Rodgers this season, so at his ADP I don't think Driver will end up on many of my teams.
Very nice. I like almost everything, the only criticism I have is Marshall falling all the way down while Smith barely dropped. They are both suspended for the first 2 games and they both have top five potential and you drop smith around 2 spots and Marshall around 10 spots.
I love reading these things and agree with most everything with the exception of Marshall so low. I think he belongs right around Holmes and Megatron. Yeah he's an idiot but I rarely see guys get in trouble (atleast that is my recollection) during the season. He will probably be too busy during the season to punch out his GF or whatever else. I think his teammates will keep him accountable at least during the year. I also like the gutsy call on CJ2. The bad thing about preseason is this is one of those guys you are waiting on that could fly right up the charts with another great performance or 2 with limited time. The dude is an absolute freak and looks like a monster out there. Down on the GL, forget about it. Put 3 DBs on him and a jump ball is still automatic. He'll catch the ball a foot above where anyone else can even jump to.
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XHendrix wrote:Very nice. I like almost everything, the only criticism I have is Marshall falling all the way down while Smith barely dropped. They are both suspended for the first 2 games and they both have top five potential and you drop smith around 2 spots and Marshall around 10 spots.
Big difference between 1300/7 and 1600/12.
I really don't like that Marshall had only 7 TDs despite catching 100 passes and being the only legit WR they had on the roster last year. Plus with Marshall you miss 3 games instead of 2.
Nice list. I am totally with you on Burleson. For a guy who is going in the 9th round this year, he provides enormous value. More than any other wr in the crop, imo. Also, Torry Holt is going to surprise a lot of people this year. I would be very excited to get my two starting rb's in the first two rounds and take Holt as my WR1 in the 3rd.
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Shockers wrote:Nice list. I am totally with you on Burleson. For a guy who is going in the 9th round this year, he provides enormous value. More than any other wr in the crop, imo. Also, Torry Holt is going to surprise a lot of people this year. I would be very excited to get my two starting rb's in the first two rounds and take Holt as my WR1 in the 3rd.
I really want to agree with you on Holt but I am leery. Holt had like 5 seasons with 1300 yards or more and the past two seasons he has had like 1,100. That is good, but it's not WR1 good. And even though he has somewhat of an excuse the past couple seasons with the knee injury, that injury has really not fully healed up and it probably never will.
I really start to worry about players when they get nagging, chronic injurise, and their bread and butter production begins to erode. Holt always held a lot of value because you knew he was going to go for a lot of yardage and show up big on primetime games. Tds were never his strong suit. That said, if he falters again this year in the yardage department, I don't see him scoring 12 TDs to make up the difference. He's a very risky WR1 IMO. Much better suited to be a WR2 this year if you can manage that.
The Ram's look like they could be a trainwreck again this year and then where is Holt. All the people talking up Bulger as a bigtime value as a mid-round QB, I'm not buying. That is a bigtime gamble.
Reading this article along with Holt being the consummate professional he is makes me a strong believer in him being a quality WR1 this year. This is my favorite part:
Says Holt: "Man, my knee feels three times better than it did a year ago. I know that sounds like an exaggeration, and I still have some soreness and swelling, but it's really feeling strong. I'm going in thinking this is going to be an outstanding year, for our football team and for me personally. This offense fits right in with what I like to do – getting vertical, stopping on a dime, making quick cuts. It's almost like UNLV back in the day, or when Magic was with the Lakers. I just want to get out on the wing and do my thing."
Of all the player rankings I've seen you do (not nearly as many as others I'm sure, but still a few), this is by far your best work. I agree on almost every account, and I had no idea Nate Burleson had any fantasy value until I read this. Keep up the great work Kensat.
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