I too like Coles this year for many of the reasons listed above.
Once Ward gets taken off the board, it's a fairly sizeable dropoff at WR. Let's just say for arguement's sake, that we went RB/RB, and are now looking for a #1 WR (since I think most people would agree Coles would be a great #2 WR, the real question here is whether or not he can be a serviceable #1 WR).
That leaves us with Moss, Boldin, Coles, Smith, Horn, and Mason as the next group of WR's. Breakout WR's or WR's with only 1 great season scare me, because lots of them like to go back to their ways of old after breaking out (see Burress and Krob last year).
For this reason, I would not feel comfortable having Moss, Boldin, or Smith as my #1 wr's. The potential for a bust is just too high in my book.
That leaves Coles, Horn, and Mason. Horn is getting up there in years, and while I still like him decently as a fantasy WR, I feel like Coles has a much larger upside and a similar downside. Mason I like as well, but not as much as Coles. Again, I feel like we've seen Mason's upside, and not Coles'.
I like Coles for all of the reasons KG mentioned. Most of the arguements against Coles are those double edged arguements that can be read either way:
I don't know how many times I've read on fantasy sites "xxxx will get fewer balls this year because they now have another option at #2 WR, so look for his numbers to get worse." And on other sites "xxxx should see fewer double teams this year because they now have another option at #2 WR, so look for his numbers to improve."
Recently, I've seen it go the way of a #2 WR helping more than hurting (Price/Moulds for instance), but again this arguement can be made either way.
Same goes for having a good RB. You can say that with a good running game Coles will get fewer looks, and you can also say that with a better running game Coles will get BETTER looks, and be open more as teams try and stop the run. Both make perfect "sense" logically, which one comes to bat is what still waits to be seen.
I don't see Brunell scrambling and dumping it off to his TE more, he didn't really do this in Jacksonville.
In general, I think Coles makes a solid #1 option for teams picking in the mid/late third round. If you can get him in the 4th, more power to ya. I like his upside and I feel that he'll put up commendable stats at worst. The downside on a few of the other guys (Smith, S. Moss, Boldin) I fear is much worse.
But, like 49er fan said, so much has changed on the skins this year it's really very hard to try and predict, I'm willing to take the risk at that point, if someone else isn't then that's their bag and it may end up working better for them.
Bottom line on Coles from this conversation, he's a low-end #1 WR, solid #2 WR.
After having Coles as my #2 WR last year I was about OK with what he did. I'd draft him again, but hopefully as a #2. Some strong points were made above that makes me believe that I was underestimating his performance some for this year. Just goes to show you that it's possible to change your perception from reading this board
I expect Coles to match last year's totals, but not exceed them. In New York, they had a pretty balanced offense and Coles got 1,200 and 5 TD's.
In Washington they threw the ball to him pretty much every play and he had the same production.
Under Joe Gibbs, I see less passes going Coles' way due to the run-first offense, but the play-action will be improved and will let Coles use his speed more often. Also, if the offense improves as a whole as expected, Coles could see more TD's if the Redskins are in the red zone more often.
Coles may drop down to 1,000-1,100 yards receiving, but could up his TD total to 8-10 due to play-action and being in a better offense. I wouldn't take him over Moss, Harrison, Holt, Owens, Chad, Horn, Ward, S.Moss, D.Mason, or D.Jackson, but definitely over Price, Boldin, Steve Smith, K.Rob, and Chambers.