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3rd year WRs.

Postby Guttpuppy » Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:28 pm

I thought there was a discussion here about this,not sure.Ah well,here's an article from TSN.

By Vinnie Iyer - SportingNews

Few fantasy football trends have been written about more than the "Third-Year Receiver." I should know -- I used this space about a year ago to break down the 2003 class.

And for good reason: This theory hit a boom last season with Chris Chambers, Chad Johnson, Santana Moss and Steve Smith headlining as No. 2 and 3 sleepers who quickly turned into No. 1-like studs. Sure, there were some disappointments from Koren Robinson, Quincy Morgan and Rod Gardner, but there also were some nice surprises in Reggie Wayne, Justin McCareins and Drew Bennett.

Why Year 3? The first year usually means learning a pro offense and the second year is about growing pains through game action, which means the third year is when athletic talent and knowledge come together.

Overall, the '03 class rated nicely, but the "NFL juniors" for '04 don't look as good. Why? Because with several intriguing second-year receivers already making noise on rosters -- in addition to a plethora of promising rookies -- more teams are going younger to find impact wideouts.

Taking into account this season's sensational sophomores-to-be, I've come up with a corollary to the third-year theory -- the top 10 second-year receivers to go along with the conventional fantasy wisdom. Looking at the two lists, these are only more reasons why you can wait to draft a good wideout.

Ranking the third-year receivers

1. Donte' Stallworth, Saints. He says he's ready to work hard and put his hamstring problems behind him with the proper conditioning. If that's the case, if he's at full speed, no NFL receiver is faster -- and he should put up blink-of-an-eye-popping stats opposite Joe Horn. Think Stallworth's rookie year, when he had eight TDs despite starting only seven games.

2. Javon Walker, Packers. He is Green Bay's best downfield threat, but he must be more consistent with his route running and hands to become Brett Favre's unquestioned go-to receiver. If that happens early, Favre-to-Walker will become one of the league elite's deep-ball connections.

3. Andre' Davis, Browns. Davis' red-zone looks will decrease now that the team has added rookie tight end Kellen Winslow. Davis also is hurt by the return of Dennis Northcutt, who will steal some touches. That said, Davis still is the Browns' most explosive receiver and will be a more reliable starter than Morgan.

4. Ashley Lelie, Broncos. With the retirements of Shannon Sharpe and Ed McCaffrey, the pressure is on Lelie to produce right away after two slow subpar years. His untapped talent and favorable starting situation puts him this high, but until Lelie puts it all together, Rod Smith remains the better fantasy option.

5. Deion Branch and David Givens, Patriots. Both projected starters make good No. 2 or 3 fantasy options, even though New England's passing game plays no favorites. Givens scored five TDs in the final five games of last season, including the playoffs. Branch led the team in receiving yardage. They both should be better in '04, as will Tom Brady.

6. Darnerien McCants, Redskins. Despite making only 27 catches last season, his six TD receptions were one more than Gardner and matched Laveranues Coles for the team lead. McCants' 6-3 frame makes him a perfect end-zone target on corner fades, and he should continue to be valuable in scoring leagues.

7. Jabar Gaffney, Texans. He has been quiet in his first two seasons in the league, but Houston's young offense is only now starting to come into its own. With No. 1 receiver Andre Johnson, tight end Billy Miller and running back Domanick Davis all playing big roles in the passing game, Gaffney will get some nice open looks from David Carr.

8. Reche Caldwell and Eric Parker, Chargers. The old "someone has to catch the ball for them" adage applies here, but play "wait and see." Parker has the better size and quickness, so he's the better bet to emerge as the true No. 1 receiver. Considering rookie Philip Rivers is the best bet to emerge as the No. 1 quarterback, however, don't expect too much here.

9. Josh Reed, Bills. Because he stands only 5-10, he works best out of the slot, where he was primarily used as a rookie when the team had Peerless Price. Reed will run routes out of there again this season, but that also means his production will be curbed as a No. 3 receiver behind Eric Moulds and rookie Lee Evans.

10. Antonio Bryant, Cowboys. He was in the top five before his little tussle with Tuna in practice. Watch Bryant in training camp -- he either will turn that fighting fire into competitive drive, or he will literally punch his own ticket out of Dallas.

Ranking the second-year receivers

1. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals. He had 101 catches for 1,377 yards and eight TDs as a rookie and should be in for quite an encore now that he has rookie Larry Fitzgerald to deflect some tight coverage.

2. Andre Johnson, Texans. He showed flashes of his gamebreaking ability in '03 and will become a more consistent playmaker in '04.

3. Charles Rogers, Lions. Assuming the broken collarbone he suffered last season is fully healed, he should come out with the big-play bang he showed at nearby Michigan State because the Lions' passing game is much deeper and quarterback Joey Harrington is ready to break out.

4. Brandon Lloyd, 49ers. He had a flair for the acrobatic as a rookie, and he steps into a huge go-to role with the departures of Terrell Owens and Tai Streets. The big questions aren't about Lloyd's ability, but on the team's cloudy situations at quarterback and No. 2 receiver.

5. Justin Gage, Bears. Chicago is set to move on because of the David Terrell hasn't gotten it done, making Gage the prime beneficiary. Look for Gage to win the starting job opposite Marty Booker, as his downfield running and jumping skills nicely complement Booker's over-the-middle possession style.

6. Tyrone Calico, Titans. He made an early splash in the red zone last season, scoring four times on just 18 catches. He will get many more looks all over the field now that McCareins is a Jet and only Drew Bennett is in front of him as a No. 2.

7. Adrian Madise, Broncos. If Lelie falters, don't be surprised if Madise gets some opportunities opposite Smith. Madise had only two catches last season, so he is very raw. But with a good preseason, he'll be worth watching as a potential midseason waiver-wire pickup.

8. Kassim Osgood, Chargers. If Caldwell and Parker aren't up to the task, Osgood will get a shot, and he has more upside than oft-injured veteran Kevin Dyson. Like with Madise and Lelie, watch how the Chargers' receiving situation develops through camp and the early season.

9. Kelley Washington, Bengals. Sure, Chad Johnson and Peter Warrick are ahead of him, but Washington is too big and too fast for Cincinnati not to use him often in multiple-receiver sets. He also can get physical and make plays in the end zone. He is worth a late-round flier for your bench, especially in a scoring league.

10. Nate Burleson, Vikings. Former Raven Marcus Robinson is the projected starter opposite Randy Moss, but Robinson has had problems staying healthy and productive in the past. It's another must-see situation, especially in such a prolific offense, which means even as Minnesota's No. 3 receiver, Burleson has some value in deep leagues.
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Postby CC » Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:34 pm

Nice post GP. ;-D
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Postby TheHeat24 » Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:36 pm

I really dont see how Branch will make an impact this year with all of those 5 receiver sets the patriots run and with Corey Dillon now there to take some plays.

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Postby brdmaverick » Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:37 pm

I noticed that at number 5 you have Deion Branch and David Givens.

As a hardcore Pats fan I have been able to watch the maturation of both of these guys.

They now have Dillon, and I'm not quite sure how that will effect the production of these guys. Should I expect less from them since Dillon will certainly take a lot of handoffs and score TDs, or should I expect more since Dillon will draw more defensive coverage towards the run?

While Branch and Givens are both young, talented recievers, I have a feeling Dillon's presence will mean less opportunites for them and therefore less production.
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Postby MCG321 » Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:01 pm

I think Javon Walker will have the best year, as he doesn't have competition like Stallworth (Horn) and Lelie (Smith) have.
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Postby Gunslinger » Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:44 pm

MCG321 wrote:I think Javon Walker will have the best year, as he doesn't have competition like Stallworth (Horn) and Lelie (Smith) have.

Of all those guys, I like Andre Johnson. Man, for some reason I think he is going to explode this season. I've been taking him waaaayyy to early in some mocks.
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Postby Azrael » Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:12 pm

I personally like the chances of some of the 2nd year wideouts moreso than the 3rd year wideouts. Like Calico, Lloyd, and Johnson. FWIW, I consider McCareins a 3rd year wideout since he caught only 3 balls his rookie year.
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Re: 3rd year WRs.

Postby KingGhidra » Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:00 pm

Guttpuppy wrote:I thought there was a discussion here about this,not sure.

Well I started this thread a while ago about 4th year WRs.

http://www.fantasyfootballcafe.com/foru ... hp?t=60267
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Postby Homeless » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:49 am

A couple of these guys could make someones season. I'll let you know which ones later :-? :-b
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Postby cooleyhigh » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:53 am

Why does no one like Boldin? The guy made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
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