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Preseason Preview - Wide Receivers
David Dorey
July 22, 2010
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Other Positions:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers  |  Tight Ends

Wide Receiver Totals by Year

Year Runs Rush Yards Rush TD Passes Comps Passing Yards Pass TD
2005 239 1,189 7 9,962 5,514 74,065 421
2006 246 1,463 5 9,719 5,349 72,546 431
2007 208 869 4 10,231 5,915 77,272 483
2008 240 1,642 9 9,690 5,563 73,039 416
2009 317 2,102 7 9,846 5,648 74,564 431

While receiving numbers were up for running backs and tight ends, the wideouts showed only an small incremental increase last year and really no change from previous seasons. Healthy numbers that dwarf all other positions of course, but the increase in passing during the last couple of years has been more about including running backs and tight ends than receivers. The complexity of offenses is more about spreading the ball around now than just looking to throw to the two starting wideouts.

Top Ten Wide Receiver Totals

Year Targets Comps Receiving Yards YPC TD FF Pts
2003 1,494 926 13,171 14.2 101 1,923
2004 1,433 869 12,808 14.7 119 1,923
2005 1,528 907 13,142 14.5 100 1,914
2006 1,521 853 12,552 14.7 90 1,795
2007 1,559 938 13,191 14.0 124 2,063
2008 1,420 845 12,778 15.1 93 1,836
2009 1,398 861 12,417 14.4 103 1,860

Maybe a little more troubling is that the receiving numbers are going up all over the league but the wideouts are not only seeing little change, the top players in this position have actually reached new lows though only by a small percentage. The stud wideouts have certainly not seen any increase and generally are only holding on or sliding back a bit.

Arizona Cardinals

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 423 4 255 4 3,342 3 13.1 14 23 3t
2008 461 1 310 1 4,013 1 12.9 18 30 1
2009 417 2 271 2 3,228 2 11.9 28 21 3t

There has been an obvious shift here with Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin gone. What has been a top five unit in every category for a few years now will seek to have a more balanced offense and return to a more traditional passing attack. That will see Larry Fitzgerald featured but undoubtedly will have the other wideouts with much less work. Steve Breaston has moved up to take Boldin's spot but Early Doucet is expected to have an improved year as the slot receiver. There is a chance that Doucet could even push Breaston for the flanker role. What that would mean in this new offense remains to be seen but it will be less than what we are used to seeing. All camp will really do is give Doucet a chance for more starter work and see if he can dislodge Breaston.

Atlanta Falcons

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 355 8 206 9 2,476 13 12.0 29 13 18
2008 311 15 188 10 2,704 7 14.4 7 12 16t
2009 308 16 168 21 2,130 21 12.7 20 15 14

The Falcons passing numbers fell back last year but only marginally. Matt Ryan was injured for three games and more importantly, the rushing offense was much less dominant because of Michael Turner also being injured. Overall, the numbers were roughly the same and the Falcons go into this year still with Roddy White as the flanker and Michael Jenkins as one of the least effective split ends in the NFL (Part VII). Harry Douglas has been hoped to overtake Jenkins but blew out an ACL last year and may end up on the PUP list for training camp. No changes here.

Baltimore Ravens

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 343 11 191 12 2,281 19 11.9 30 8 25t
2008 237 28 135 26 1,955 24 14.5 6 10 24t
2009 274 22 149 23 2,081 22 14.0 8 12 18t

The wide receiver numbers did not rise much last year but Joe Flacco was much more effective (mostly thanks to Ray Rice) and he enters his third season with a new weapon in Anquan Boldin. Derrick Mason remains as a possession receiver but cedes the #1 role to Boldin. The Ravens also added Donte Stallworth as a slot receiver where he has always belonged. It is a remake of the wideouts and a much needed improvement. This is a definite reason to watch the week three preseason game to see how well Flacco is connecting with Boldin and even Stallworth. The expectation is that this should challenge as one of the best passing seasons ever in Raven's history..

Buffalo Bills

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 274 23 149 26 1,857 27 12.5 25 6 32
2008 265 25 162 20 2,035 22 12.6 20 9 26t
2009 257 25 132 28 1,769 28 13.4 14 13 16t

The addition of Terrell Owens accounted for almost no change last year and this remains one of the weakest passing attacks. There is almost no change here with Owens gone other than Steve Johnson getting a chance to be the #2 starter despite having two seasons with only 12 receptions in his NFL: career. The Bills have Chad Jackson who has been an injury waiting to happen so far in his career. Jackson has been quietly impressive in OTA's but should disappear once again when the pads go on in training camp. This team will have very marginal fantasy value yet again and likely none outside of Lee Evans. New head coach Chan Gailey will install a new offense along with OC Curtis Modkins but there little to work with on this team and almost no expectations for this season.

Carolina Panthers

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 318 16 169 19 1,967 26 11.6 32 11 21t
2008 287 20 168 19 2,676 8 15.9 3 11 18t
2009 261 24 142 25 1,824 24 12.8 17 9 21t

The Panthers dumped Jake Delhomme and are going with Matt Moore so there's already enough risk and unknown in this offense. Add in that Steve Smith fractured his arm and will miss out working with Moore until probably the final preseason game. Muhsin Muhammad is gone so the #2 job will be open between Dwayne Jarrett (the favorite) and Brandon LaFell who was a third round pick in the draft this year. This offense is always about Steve Smith and no other wideout has ever mattered other than the one year Muhammad filled in for an injured Smith. Minor interest here in the battle for #2 but most likely is is Jarrett and he won't matter in fantasy anyway.

Chicago Bears

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 296 20 154 25 2,056 25 13.4 12 11 21
2008 258 26 126 29 1,685 28 13.4 15 9 26t
2009 310 15 185 12 2,334 15 12.6 21 14 15

Bringing in Jay Cutler had a dramatic effect on the wideouts who combined to be average - a major step up from horrible. Now hope springs eternal with the hiring of OC Mike Martz who ushers in a style of offense never seen in Chicago before. Perhaps for good reason though that remains to be seen. Devin Hester was considered for slot work but his hefty salary gets him a starting role. But in the always complex passing game of Martz, both Devin Aromashodu and Johnny Knox are sure to factor in and even second-year player Joaquin Iglesias may show up as well. This offense should produce at least decent passing stats if only because throwing a league high number of passes is a hallmark of Martz. This is a camp worth following because the Bears need to cement roles and get Cutler ready to hit a lot of different players.

Cincinnati Bengals

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 432 2 266 3 3,263 4 12.3 28 24 2
2008 344 6 200 7 1,964 23 9.8 32 11 18t
2009 315 14 182 13 2,284 16 12.5 23 19 7t

The last two years, Carson Palmer has either been injured or not playing well and the results are obvious above. For 2010, it will really be all up to Palmer because the Bengals have restocked the shelves and more than amply replaced T.J. Houshmandzadeh unlike last year. Chad Ochocinco remains the team's stud wideout and reality show star. But Antonio Bryant was brought in and joins Matt Jones who may stick. Andre Caldwell is having a great offseason and could figure in. The team also drafted ex-UT star Jordan Shipley. There will be plenty of wideouts to throw to this year. The question is how well Palmer will throw it and if anyone behind Ochocinco and Bryant will factor in. As cheaply as Palmer and these wideouts are coming in drafts, they are worth a flyer or two for your team depth.

Cleveland Browns

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 261 26 141 28 2,057 24 14.6 2 20 10
2008 236 29 94 31 1,261 31 13.4 14 5 32t
2009 254 28 113 31 1,372 31 12.1 26 5 32

The Browns ranked in the bottom two in both receptions, yards and scores by wide receivers last year. There is no where to go but up really though that alone is hardly reason to expect any significant changes here. Mohammed Massaquoi returns as a starter and should be joined by Brian Robiskie who has an excellent offseason. That leaves the slot up for grabs between newly signed Bobby Engram or Chansi Stuckey. There could be some movement here in the depth chart but no reason to expect it to matter. Jake Delhomme will start out as the quarterback but that could shift to Colt McCoy by the end of the year and make the group even less attractive for this year.

Dallas Cowboys

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 270 24 155 23 2,442 15 15.8 1 23 3t
2008 318 12 159 21 2,334 14 14.7 4 19 3
2009 297 20 170 20 2,755 9 16.2 1 24 1

No doubt dynasty leaguers will be following this training camp. Miles Austin was the surprise wideout of 2009 when he rolled up 81 catches for 1321 and 11 scores despite almost no action in the first four games. Now the Cowboys have drafted Dez Bryant with fingers crossed that they can make amends for skipping on that Randy Moss guy a few years back. Bryant has already been impressive in camp and will be a direct challenge with Roy Williams for the #2 spot. Fantasy drafts indicate that everyone thinks Bryant is the clear winner of the #2 job and worthy of the risk because he is being taken as a low end starter in most leagues. The Cowboys offense looks potent this year and Bryant could be a missing piece of the puzzle that Williams never was.

Denver Broncos

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 333 13 188 14 2,502 12 13.3 13 14 16
2008 450 2 272 2 3,130 2 11.5 31 16 6t
2009 371 3 219 5 2,641 12 12.1 27 16 12t

The Broncos passing attack saw them with the third highest passes thrown to wideouts, the fifth highest catches and yet only the 12th best yards thanks to a 12.1 yard average. That's bound to take a nosedive this year again with Brandon Marshall gone. Camp will need to unwind the depth chart that likely will see Eddie Royal end up in the slot while Jabbar Gaffney is the only other certain starter. The rookie DeMaryius Thomas could end up as the other starter but he's missed a lot of time with a foot fracture. He's healthy now and should end up winning the job. Brandon Stokley has been nursing a shoulder injury and doesn't appear as likely to have a meaningful role. The Broncos also drafted Eric Decker with their second round pick and he could factor in. This could be a very odd year since the Broncos may opt to use multiple starting quarterbacks by the end of the season. The most interest here is less about who is replacing Marshall (since no one truly will) and more about how well Royal can bounce back from a dismal sophomore year.

Detroit Lions

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 436 1 268 2 3,370 2 12.6 21 18 11
2008 289 19 147 23 2,111 19 14.4 8 13 13t
2009 304 18 145 24 1,822 25 12.6 22 9 21t

This training camp is going to be important since Matt Stafford has new weapons to use. Calvin Johnson was a disappointment in 2009 with only 945 yards and five scores after logging 1331 yards and 13 scores as a rookie. Overall, the total numbers were much the same. This year Johnson will not be standing alone. Nate Burleson comes in to be the starting flanker and Bryant Johnson is moved to the slot. That should help Burleson's constant double teams at least slightly and Stafford will have a year under his belt this time. Burleson is the one to watch here, both to see what he might do and how much he can help ease the defensive focus on Johnson.

Green Bay Packers

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 349 9 220 6 3,140 5 14.3 3 21 7t
2008 365 3 222 4 3,093 3 13.9 13 18 4t
2009 325 10 192 11 2,934 6 15.3 4 17 9t

No matter if it was Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers, the Packers wide receivers remain top ten in all notable categories. Donald Driver and Greg Jennings remain the starters but there is a fight for the #3 spot between Jordy Nelson who has been rather impressive in the offseason and James Jones may finally have to cede the slot to him. Camp will determine the #3 role but that won't have a lot of fantasy value. Outside of Driver and Jennings last year, the three other wideouts who played only combined for around 800 yards and four scores.

Houston Texans

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 297 19 186 16 2,529 11 13.6 10 16 12t
2008 327 10 210 5 3,009 4 14.3 9 18 4t
2009 345 7 225 4 3,046 5 13.5 13 17 9t

The Texans almost lost Kevin Walter who explored his options as an RFA but he remains with the Texans and with that brings back the same set of receivers from 2009. Andre Johnson was the #1 wideout in most fantasy leagues last year and Walter had 611 yards and just two touchdowns - a drop from the 899 yards and eight scores from 2008. But he lost out on some work to Jacoby Jones who ended with a career best 437 yards and six scores. Jones has been the object of praise in the offseason and HC Gary Kubiak has said that Jones is showing maturity and finally taking the next step. He'll need a great camp to unseat Walter but even if he doesn't, Jones made some noise as the #3 last year already. Jones is the one to watch here.

Indianapolis Colts

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 299 18 188 15 2,564 10 13.6 9 15 14
2008 324 11 204 6 2,477 11 12.1 24 15 9t
2009 343 8 211 7 2,733 11 13.0 16 21 3t

The Colts produced their normal top ten numbers last year and even ended with 21 touchdowns by the wide receivers for third best in the league. It was an interesting season once Anthony Gonzalez went down with a knee injury and that allowed Pierre Garcon (47-765, 4 TD) to replace him and Austin Collie (60-676, 7 TD) moved up to make the slot matter once again . Now with Gonzalez back up to speed the Colts find themselves with more qualified players than starting spots. Training camp will determine if Gonzalez wins his old job back from Garcon and the winner will have fantasy value. The Colts remain very happy with Collie in the slot.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 270 25 155 24 2,191 21 14.1 5 22 6
2008 312 14 178 16 2,098 20 11.8 28 9 26t
2009 300 19 176 15 2,254 18 12.8 18 9 21t

This has long been an average unit at best but there is at least some optimism that 2010 can see an improvement with Mike Sims-Walker who had a minor breakout last year with 869 yards and seven scores and Mike Thomas (453 yards and one TD). The problem with the passing game is mostly inconsistency since both receivers had big games but also turned in some very bad ones as well. Jarrett Dillard should keep the #3 role and has been very impressive in the offseason but not enough to challenge for the #2 spot from Thomas. The one to watch here is Thomas who enters his second season.

Kansas City Chiefs

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 240 31 135 29 1,707 29 12.6 20 8 25t
2008 285 21 146 24 1,785 27 12.2 22 11 18t
2009 334 9 173 18 2,200 19 12.7 19 12 18t

No changes expected here with Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers returning as the starters. Bowe has shown more dedication this offseason but still has a ways to go to erase his past transgressions. Lance Long will likely remain as the slot receiver but the Chiefs spent their 2.04 pick on Dexter McCluster (5'8", 165) and may occasionally use him in the slot. McCluster almost defies categorizing since they want to use him on special teams, as a runner and a receiver. It is unlikely that the wideouts are going to be anything more than average this year but McCluster is still the one to watch.

Miami Dolphins

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 244 30 121 30 1,509 31 12.5 24 7 30t
2008 269 23 174 17 2,063 21 11.9 27 5 32t
2009 318 11 195 10 2,270 17 11.6 29 6 30t

Assumedly the above numbers are all due to increase this year with the addition of Brandon Marshall to the ranks of otherwise no-name wide receivers. Chad Henne gave optimism to this year when he passed for over 300 yards in three of the final five games. Now with Marshall on board, the rest of the receivers don't matter as much. Davone Bess remains a slot receiver and the flanker will go to either Greg Camarillo or Brian Hartline. Certainly we need to see Marshall and Henne showing chemistry and the #2 spot has at least marginal fantasy value and most likely ends up to be Hartline.

Minnesota Vikings

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 254 29 143 27 1,796 28 12.6 22 9 24
2008 241 27 129 28 1,884 25 14.6 5 13 13t
2009 318 12 207 8 2,825 7 13.6 12 19 7t

Major strides were made last year when Tarvaris Jackson was benched and Brett Favre played. Sidney Rice (1312 yards, 8 TD) had a break out season and joins the ranks of the super-talented. Bernard Berrian (618 yards, 4 TD) was a serviceable #2 and the then rookie Percy Harvin not only had 790 yards and six scores as a receiver, he added 135 yards on 15 carries as well. The same unit returns and should be even better. Harvin is the one to watch in camp because if he can take another step up, the Vikes become an absolute offensive juggernaut. No changes but having one more year of experience from 2009 is a good thing with this youthful group.

New England Patriots

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 429 3 292 1 3,814 1 13.1 15 39 1
2008 354 5 227 3 2,745 6 12.1 25 16 6t
2009 423 1 273 1 3,386 1 12.4 24 20 6

The pass-intensive offense in New England has consistently posted very good wideout numbers since Randy Moss and Wes Welker arrived and last year ended up tops in passes, catches and yards for wide receivers in the league. Randy Moss remains the given here but Wes Welker is trying to return from ACL and shoulder surgery. He is expected to be ready for week one but may not be seen much in training camp. That gives Welker more risk and considering the past inaccuracies of the Patriots injury reports, his true status may not be known until the season begins. Originally he was expected to start the year on the PUP list. The Patriots want second year player Brando Tate to earn the #3 spot but Torry Holt was also added in the offseason and will have to be beaten in camp. If there is any problem with Welker playing, Julian Edelman could help fill in. Camp is really only needed to see if Brandon Tate can win the #3 role and if Wes Welker is nearly as healthy as reports have said.

New Orleans Saints

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 345 10 219 7 2,831 8 12.9 16 21 7t
2008 305 16 181 15 2,932 5 16.2 2 22 2
2009 273 23 181 14 2,759 8 15.2 5 22 2

This unit does well in scoring touchdowns and is above average in yards each season. One of the keys to the Saints offense is that they feature a deeper passing scheme as shown by their healthy average gain per completion. Hardly any reason to make changes to a team that just won the Super Bowl. With three wideouts turning in over 700 yards each, this is a very productive group and not much room for any other wideouts to step up. Marquez Colston, Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson account for almost all the stats of this highly productive group. The only notable going into camp is the status of Meachem's toe that required surgery and a pin (later removed) but that is still not 100%. Expectations by the team is that he'll be ready for the season if not training camp and that also holds true for Henderson who underwent sports hernia surgery in May.

New York Giants

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 303 17 164 21 2,118 23 12.9 17 15 14t
2008 330 8 199 8 2,383 13 12.0 26 13 13t
2009 371 4 236 3 3,154 4 13.4 15 21 3t

It was the season of most concern and unknowns. And it was also one of the best seasons ever for Giants wideouts. After purging the team of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer, the Giants entered 2009 with one of the youngest sets of receivers in the entire NFL. No problem. They responded with top five numbers for catches, yards and scores. Steve Smith (107-1220, 7 TD) and Mario Manningham (57-822, 5 TD) started the season and it did not take long for Hakeem Nicks (47-790, 6 TD) to turn in a great rookie campaign. It was somewhat a need since the rushing game fell apart in New York last year due to injuries. No changes here other than wanting to see just how much better this group can get now that they have a bit more experience.

New York Jets

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 341 12 195 11 2,423 16 12.4 26 10 23
2008 293 18 186 11 2,157 16 11.6 30 15 9t
2009 245 31 134 27 1,844 23 13.8 10 9 21t

The Jets had a decrease in passing numbers last year partially from using a rookie quarterback but mostly from relying on rushing and defense to win games. It left anemic stats for the wide receivers even after Braylon Edwards came over. Now Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery will be joined by Santonio Holmes once his suspension concludes. That's a full complement of wide receivers for Mark Sanchez to use and somewhat an embarrassment of riches for a team that will not ask these receivers to do too much. Brad Smith will battle and likely beat David Clowney for the slot role until Holmes returns in week five. Unfortunately, getting in more talent only makes any individual wideout here less likely to post significant fantasy numbers.

Oakland Raiders

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 225 32 112 32 1,586 30 14.2 4 12 19t
2008 200 32 82 32 1,166 32 14.2 10 11 18t
2009 252 30 99 32 1,363 32 13.8 9 7 27t

For three straight seasons, the Raiders featured the least used set of wide receivers in the NFL. No team can claim to have had worse receivers over the last three seasons. But now with Jason Campbell on board instead of JaMarcus "Baby Huey" Russell, there is much optimism that these wideouts will have a dramatic increase this year. They have no where to go but up anyway. Chaz Schilens (6'4", 225) will supply the possession role and Darius Heyward-Bey will offer the outside speed. Heyward-Bey was pitiful last year but Russell had no luck in connecting with him. Campbell has already been much more impressive in OTA's this year and shown some growing chemistry with Campbell. That leaves Louis Murphy on the outside looking in. Camp should provide a clearer picture of what to expect with the Raiders actually using a quarterback this year. The numbers go up for the wideouts, the only question is if it is high enough to merit fantasy attention.

Philadelphia Eagles

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 325 14 190 13 2,564 9 13.5 11 16 12t
2008 361 4 197 9 2,618 9 13.3 16 11 18t
2009 307 17 175 16 2,754 10 15.7 2 16 12t

Though Donovan McNabb is finally gone, there are reasons to expect the Eagles wideouts to at least maintain what is generally above average marks in receiving categories. Kevin Kolb gets his chance to start and he's already been productive in brief playing time in the past. DeSean Jackson had a breakout last year when he caught 62 passes for 1156 yards and nine scores. The rookie Jeremy Maclin was also impressive with his 56 receptions for 773 yards and four scores. Throw in Brent Celek and Kolb has plenty of targets. What camp needs to do is just get the wideouts used to Kolb and see if Maclin appears ready for the next step up. He'll be a good one to be sure, it will either happen now or in a traditional third-year breakout in 2011.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 288 21 174 18 2,385 17 13.7 8 21 7t
2008 329 9 183 14 2,565 10 14.0 12 15 9t
2009 353 6 215 6 3,190 3 14.8 6 17 9t

The Steelers come off a tremendous season using the wide receivers for very high marks including third best yardage in the league. But that was then, this is now. Ben Roethlisberger is out for four to six weeks depending on the whims of the commissioner. Byron Leftwich is the likely replacement and that alone depresses numbers. But Santonio Holmes is also gone and with him 1248 yards and five scores from last year. Hines Ward has continued to be nearly ageless (34) and Mike Wallace has been good enough that they were comfortable sending Holmes packing. Wallace gained a heady 756 yards on just 39 receptions last season and scored six times. Wallace is the one to watch and the second year player is in a perfect spot for a breakout season unless Leftwich for a month and a very daunting schedule conspire to limit his potential this season.

San Diego Chargers

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 401 5 210 8 2,940 7 14.0 6 12 19
2008 220 31 131 27 2,148 17 16.4 1 16 6t
2009 255 27 153 22 2,376 14 15.5 3 13 16t

The Chargers ranked low on most aspects of wide receivers because of Antonio Gates workload and having Vincent Jackson take a heavy portion of the wideout targets. Jackson ended 2009 with 1167 yards and nine scores. The best any other wideout had was only two touchdowns. Chris Chambers was released during the season and Malcolm Floyd took over with decent results - 45 receptions for 776 yards and one score. Floyd turns 29 this year so he's no youngster but he'll not only be the #2, he'll take a bigger role when Jackson sits out the first three games of the season because of a drug suspension. If Jackson proves successful in prompting a trade - more unlikely every day - it would really be a big hit on this unit. In camp, the one to watch is Floyd. Josh Reed signed a one-year contract but he is only depth.

San Francisco 49ers

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 255 28 114 31 1,329 32 11.7 31 8 25t
2008 316 13 185 12 2,432 12 13.1 17 15 9t
2009 243 32 136 26 1,564 30 11.5 31 7 27t

Granted - the receiver numbers from San Francisco were low last year but there were big developments along the way that will pay off in 2010. Michael Crabtree did not sign until week six and even without the benefit of any training camp still had 48 catches for 625 yards and two scores. The bar should be lifted much higher for him in 2010 with a full offseason and preseason under his belt. Crabtree was the consensus best receiver in the 2009 NFL draft. This year he gets a chance to show more. The 49ers also switched to Alex Smith in week seven with far better results. Smith scored in all but one game and over half his games had more than one score. Josh Morgan remains the starting flanker and will almost certainly post less than stellar numbers as the #3. Jason Hill will challenge for the slot role since Ted Ginn has yet to show he really deserves it. The one to watch here is Crabtree who could be big this season - he should be no worse than the spot you draft him at.

Seattle Seahawks

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 396 6 242 5 3,104 6 12.8 19 23 3t
2008 267 24 137 25 1,670 29 12.2 23 8 29
2009 364 5 206 9 2,376 13 11.5 30 8 25t

The acquisition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh has done little to spark the receiver numbers and the ex-Bengal only managed 79 catches for 911 yards and three scores - his worst showing in his six year career. At 33 years of age, Houshmandzadeh's best days are behind him. In Seattle, they are shrinking in the rear view mirror in a hurry. Housh said that he actually played with three broken ribs for the first six weeks of last year and then started having groin problems. He is still not 100% recovered from a sports hernia and could be more susceptible to have another. Deion Branch has been the other starter but he is recovering from a knee scope. There is a coming tilling of the soil here with the only question being when? Deon Butler has been very impressive in the offseason and HC Pete Carroll has singled him out for being so improved. The Seahawks also drafted Golden Tate from Notre Dame with their 2.28 selection. This could be a very interesting camp for this year since a transition is underway. In a dynasty league, it takes great importance since the 2011 starters may be Butler and or Tate. But even for this season, both starters from last year are still injured and being pushed by the youngsters on a team with all new coaches and no no allegiances. Butler and Tate both should be tracked.

St. Louis Rams

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 366 7 200 10 2,463 14 12.3 27 14 16t
2008 331 7 172 18 2,141 18 12.4 21 10 24t
2009 316 13 170 19 1,793 26 10.5 32 8 25t

What will transpire this year has much more to do with Sam Bradford and less about the receivers. Donnie Avery is back and Laurent Robinson is returning from a fibula/ankle injury and still is not 100%. Keenan Burton is another player returning from injury (patella injury) and he is also not 100% healthy yet. Danny Amendola will figure in as the #3 at least until Mardy Gilyard shows enough to merit more work load. This set of wideouts should all be watched and then avoided in your drafts - unless it is a dynasty pick and you are willing to wait at least two years before having a reliable wideout. Bradford is certain to struggle and these wideouts will feel the brunt all year long.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 257 27 164 22 2,251 20 13.7 7 8 25t
2008 294 17 185 13 2,331 15 12.6 19 12 16t
2009 256 26 116 30 1,595 29 13.8 11 7 27t

Should you crave inexperienced and young wide receivers, make the Buccaneers your one-stop shop. Antonio Bryant is gone and the starters are slated to be Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams (not the fat one from USC, the fast one from Syracuse this year). The slot will likely be manned by Sammie Stroughter though Reggie Brown (yes, seriously, ex-Eagle Reggie Brown) may challenge him for the job. New OC Greg Olsen is installing a new offense that still wants to run-first. Josh Freeman enters his first season as the starter and all this youth has all but drained the fantasy value from this team. Benn and Williams are worth watching but Antonio Bryant was the lead wideout in 2009 with only 39 catches for 600 yards and four scores. Dynasty picks for Benn and Williams but minimal expectations on the pair for this year.

Tennessee Titans

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 322 15 183 17 2,283 18 12.5 23 8 25t
2008 226 30 115 30 1,618 30 14.1 11 7 30
2009 253 29 125 29 1,772 27 14.2 7 12 18t

Nate Washington was the optimistic free agent pick-up last year but that only turned into 47 catches for 569 yards and six touchdowns. Kenny Britt turned in 42 receptions for 701 yards and three scores but Britt has been having a very bad offseason and is not taking any more steps (other than backwards). Lavelle Hawkins has been the best surprise during the offseason but with Vince Young as the quarterback, the Titans win but the wideouts will never be above average. Hawkins is the one to watch but really only for the future and even then - his fantasy value will never exceed marginal. Throw in Justin Gage and there are far more wideouts than passes on this team.

Washington Redskins

Year Targets Rank Rec Rank Yards Rank YPC Rank TDs Rank
2007 284 22 166 20 2,132 22 12.8 18 7 30
2008 285 22 159 22 1,856 26 11.7 29 11 18t
2009 284 21 174 17 2,136 20 12.3 25 6 30t

This will be an interesting experiment. Jason Campbell has led the Redskins charge for the last three years but never accomplished much more than being Chris Cooley's best friend. Now that Donovan McNabb is the starter, whatever the wideouts are capable of they can now do. It just remains to be seen what that is. Santana Moss has never been much more than a speedster miscast as a starter instead of a slot receiver. Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly both enter their third season and could be in a situation where a breakout is actually possible. The new offense installed by Shanahan &Sons Coaching, Inc. should suit Thomas and Kelly more than Moss. This camp has all the wideouts worth watching because there will be better passing to the wideouts. The question is if it is just incremental or if McNabb can spark of of the youngsters to take a big step up in their third season.

Other Positions:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers  |  Tight Ends

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