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2003 Player Rankings: Wide Receivers
Updated: August 15, 2003
 
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THE REST OF THE WR RANKINGS >>

TIER 1 - The Big 3  NFL   Bye   Upside   Risk     Ht     Wt   Age   Exp     Auction % 
  1 Harrison, Marvin IND 7     6-0 175 30 7   24
  Let's not waste bandwidth here. Harrison has been in the Top 5 wideouts for the past four seasons including three #1 ranks. After setting the all-time record last year with 143 catches, Marvin's response was "I can do better."
  2 Moss, Randy MIN 6     6-4 204 26 5   24
  During the time Moss was not ferrying road workers on his hood, he has spent the last five seasons being a Top five receiver including twice that he was the most productive in the league. Even in light of the turmoil of the Denny Green era and the new offensive system under Mike Tice, Moss has never fallen below 1224 yards in a season and only once had less than ten touchdowns. He is - believe it or not - reported to be showing a newfound sense of maturity, work ethic and good attitude during the offseason and with Culpepper at the helm, he is a low risk Top 3 and a possible #1 yet again.
3 Owens, Terrell SF 10     6-3 226 29 7   22
  Over the past three seasons, Owens has never fallen below 1300 yards or 13 touchdowns in a season and that is even more stellar considering he missed four games over that time span. With a physique like a Greek statue and a mouth like an air raid siren, there is plenty to like or dislike about Owens. But when the whistle blows, the tie goes on and Terrell is all business. Update (08/15/03) - Owens drops one notch in light of the added risk that Garcia now present with his back problems. Owens will catch a lot of passes this year no matter who throws them, but he deserves to drop one from the bigge rrisk potential that his quarterback poses.
TIER 2 - Consistency + NFL Bye Upside Risk Ht Wt Age Exp   Auction %
  4 Robinson, Koren SEA 4   6-1 205 23 2   18
  The chances are pretty good that Chicago regrets passing on Robinson and taking David Terrell as the first receiver in the 2001 draft. While Robinson ended his sophomore year with an impressive 1240 yards and five touchdowns, the way he did makes all the difference. With Dilfer at QB, Robinson only averaged 53 yards a game and that was only because he had 166 yards against STL. Starting in week nine with Hasselbeck, that rose to 96 yards per game. In the final six games, Robinson averaged 108 yards a game and scored four of his five touchdowns for the year. In a position that routinely loses half the prior season's top ten, Robinson is only 23 and has already began his break out season last year earlier than what is normal. Entering his third season, Robinson is only going to get better. Koren did fracture his right hand in mini-camp when a teammate stepped on it but it is expected to be fully recovered by the start of training camp.
  5 Moulds, Eric BUF 9   6-2 204 29 7   18
  In following what is an odd pattern that develops for some receivers, Moulds once again turned in a stellar odd year campaign. That makes 2002 (1287/10), 2000 (1326/5) and 1998 (1368/9). Those were markedly better than 2001 (904/5), 1999 (994/7) and 1997 (only second year playing). Moulds is not bound by contract to do that, but it is oddly consistent. And it could happen again. Moulds benefited greatly with Drew Bledsoe in 2002 and finally broke the 100 catch mark. Moulds is a definite safe play as a higher fantasy draft pick, but his numbers tailed off in the second half of the season when defenses had figured Bledsoe, Moulds and Price out. Moulds averaged 98 yards a game the first eight weeks with four 100+ yard games. The second half of the season he fell to only 63 yards per game with only one 100+ yard effort. On the positive he continued to score in roughly every other game. Moulds is riskier this year with Peerless Price gone and an offense that was declining last season. The Bills state they want to run more as well but Moulds will always be a big component in every game plan and is still a safe pick.
  6 Burress, Plaxico PIT 7     6-5 226 25 3   18
  Burress had his breakout season in 2002, gaining 1325 yards and seven touchdowns. A huge, prototypical possession receiver, Burress finally delivered on the promise that made him the second receiver taken in the 2000 draft. What the numbers hide is that Burress had two seasons inside of one. When Kordell Stewart played for five games, Burress had one touchdown and averaged 48 yards per game. When Tommy Maddox was the starting QB, Burress averaged 99 yards a game and scored six times. Since Burress is effective as a possession receiver, he has very few bad games and is getting better.  Update (08/11/03) - Burress falls one spot since the Steelers offense is looking out of synch - particularly in their pass protection.
  7 Holt, Torry STL 5   6-0 190 27 4   16
  If Holt has a downside, it is that he does not catch a lot of touchdowns. He has never had more than seven in a season and only managed four in 2002. What Holt does offer is great yardage. For the past three years, Holt as gained 1635, 1363 and even 1302 yards last season when the Rams rolled over and went to sleep. With the team healthy once again, Holt should hold true to his numbers and manage around 1400 yards and his high end seven scores, making him one of the lower risk players in this tier. Entering into his prime, he could be worth more.
  8 Horn, Joe NO 10     6-1 206 31 7   16
  Horn must be considered early since he has been one of the few consistent receivers in the league the past three years (at least productively consistent). Since the 2000 season, Horn has always gained between 1265 and 1340 yards with around eight scores. He was on a pace for almost 1400 yards and nine scores last year when his numbers dipped with the injury to Brooks' shoulder the final three weeks of 2002. Horn may be 31 years old, but he really did not play much until going to New Orleans in 2000 when he was first made a starter and has never looked back since. Basically, Horn is a four year veteran with great production every season. While Donte Stallworth has added a new dimension to the offense, it comes as an addition to Horn, not at his expense. Stallworth's continued development could actually help boost Horn's numbers. Joe is a safe pick here and might do better if the Saints can avoid the injuries and internal problems that have sank the past two seasons.
  9 Johnson, Chad CIN 6     6-2 192 25 2   15
  Johnson was selected in the second round of the 2001 draft by the Bengals and along with the rest of his team, suffered through the QB carousel early last season. Once Kitna was entrenched as the starter, Johnson had a breakout season in the second half of 2002. His total numbers - 1166 yards and five touchdowns - were impressive for a second year player but like Koren Robinson, he hit his stride later in the year. In his final eight games, Johnson recorded five 100+ yard efforts and scored in four games. He averaged 102 yards a game over the last half of the season in only his second year. He runs a sub 4.4/40 and has excellent size. Johnson will only improve and with another year of Kitna before Palmer is expected to play, Johnson will continue his hot streak of last season.
  10 Ward, Hines PIT 7     6-0 200 27 5   15
  The converted college quarterback took until 2001 to make a splash, gaining 1003 yards and four touchdowns in what was thought would be his upper limit. That was an incorrect conventional wisdom it turns out. Ward was perhaps the greatest sleeper last season by gaining 1329 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was a Top 5 receiver overall in almost all scoring systems and second best in many. For fantasy owners who draft as if last season repeats, he should easily be a top five again but he is more likely to see a decrease this season than hold his numbers. Ward was always a favorite of Kordell and in the five games that Stewart was starting, Ward averaged 92 yards a game and had four touchdowns. Under Maddox, Ward was still a bonus to own but fell to 79 yards a game with eight touchdowns in those eleven games. Those numbers look that good because he had a 139 yard and 168 yard efforts in weeks 10 and 11 with three scores. The other nine games with Maddox only produced 62 yards a game on average with about a touchdown every other game. In an offense that is throwing well and with Burress there for balance, Ward is still worthy of being a deeper #1 WR for a fantasy team but it unlikely he will again be the big difference maker he was last season.
  11 Booker, Marty CHI 3   6-0 210 26 4   15
  2002 saw Booker use his second year of starting to improve both his total yardage and yards per catch while his touchdown total fell from eight to six. Considering the changes at QB during the year and the lack of a ground game, Booker did well enough to manage that much. This season yet again, Booker must contend with a new quarterback in Kordell Stewart which does not add risk so much as it still fails to take away what Booker already had. Still he is always capable of the monster game in an offense that throws to him 100 times a season.
TIER 3 - Solid or Moving Up NFL Bye Upside Risk Ht Wt Age Exp   Auction %
  12 Coles, Laveranues WAS 8 5-11 196 25 3   14
  Following a nice progression, Coles three year career as a Jet increased yardage from 370 to 868 to 1264 yards season in his breakout year. While Coles is not a big. possession receiver in the mold of Owens or Boston, he is the perfect player for Spurrier's scheme in Washington. Not big, but fast with good "yards after catch". Washington took Coles with a seven year, $35 million offer so there is zero chance he will not be given every chance to continue his nice development. The Redskins will be throwing no less than the Jets last year but as a new player to the team, it could take Coles a few weeks to get into rhythm with Patrick Ramsey. By mid-season, there should be no problem with Coles offering up great weekly points for your fantasy team and it may not even take that long.
  13 Driver, Donald GB 8   6-0 188 28 4   14
  Driver's amazing season of 1094 yards and nine touchdowns was not only impressive, it was almost unheard of in this era where only top draft pick receivers perform well. While Driver was an seventh round afterthought in 1999, he broke out last year when three critical factors merged. First, the Packers had no veteran receivers having dumped malcontent Schroeder and the aging Freeman. Secondly, Driver practiced and played a clear step above all other receivers. While he did not have the pedigree to play big, perhaps, Driver played hard and smart. He is a success story for all seventh rounders to admire. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, he had Brett Favre as a quarterback who made stars out of other projects in Antonio Freeman and Robert Brooks. Driver saw his yardage per game dip in the last six weeks of the 2002 season but still scored twice. Driver is a risk to repeat his nine touchdowns since almost certainly Robert Ferguson and/or Javon Walker will step up more this season and Driver will need to be less of the show but he will still provide solid numbers.
  14 Mason, Derrick TEN 9     5-10 192 29 6   12
  After a career year of 1128 yards and nine touchdowns in 2001, Mason fell slightly to 1012 yards and five scores last season as Eddie George came back to life and Steve McNair suffered rib, back and toe problems. Mason is in the prime of his career and with the #2 receiver spot going to lesser experienced players this year, he will be relied on to repeat 2001. McNair is healthy again and will bring Mason's numbers back up. Mason will be overlooked by many fantasy owners - don't be one of them.
  15 Price, Peerless ATL 8 5-11 190 26 4   12
  During his four seasons in Buffalo, Price got better every year, increasing his yardage until 2002's breakout year of 1252 yards and nine touchdowns. The Falcons traded their #23 pick in the 2003 draft for the rights to Price which they later turned into Willis McGahee. Time will tell the wisdom of the move. Along with Eric Moulds, Price was red hot last season but slowed down considerably in the final seven games along with Bledsoe. Through his first nine games, Price averaged 93 yards a game and scored seven times. In his final seven games, he only averaged 59 yards a game and that includes the week 13 when he only caught two passes for 73 and 20 yard touchdowns (his only scores in the final seven weeks). Normally a receiver like Price would fall back significantly moving to a new team and assuming a #1 role. Price is going to the one team that actually could fit him the best - Atlanta with Michael Vick. Peerless has always been a fast, big-play receiver and while he may not provide the possession role typical of a #1 receiver, no other team needs a speedy, talented longball guy like Price. With the time that Vick buys moving in the pocket (with a threat to take off running) and considering his cannon arm, safeties are going to have to make a critical decision in the blink of an eye. Watch Vick or chase Price. They will pay dearly when they choose the wrong option. There is always risk changing teams for a receiver and Price is not going to pump numbers with a ton of possession catches, but the upside is that he could deliver some monster games.
  16 Boston, David SD 6 6-2 242 24 4   12
  Boston looks like a bookend to Terrell Owens and in 2001, he played like one as well. Boston produced 1598 yards on 98 catches and scored eight times for Arizona in his third season. Boston only lasted seven games in 2002 before he lost the rest of the year with a torn patella tendon. Boston was already a concern prior to the injury though, he had only two 100 yard games in the first seven weeks and four times he failed to reach 60 yards in a game. He only scored once and that was in the first week. Boston never really got along with HC McGinnis who blamed Boston's reduced production last year on Boston not practicing enough in the offseason and keeping chemistry with Plummer. Throw in the legal problems from marijuana and cocaine that haunted him and 2002 made for a very forgettable year. Considering his tremendous 2001 season, it is not entirely possible that Boston had already left Arizona last year, at least in spirit. Boston now goes to the Chargers for a new lease on his career. Thanks to having Tomlinson, the Chargers will not have the same need to throw as Arizona always did though so far Drew Brees appears to be no upgrade from Plummer. Still, in face of all the risk one fact cannot be denied - Boston is big and very talented. He has proven it before and he has a new opportunity to prove it again.
  17 Bruce, Isaac STL 5   6-0 188 30 9   10
  After peaking in 2000 with 1471 yards and 12 touchdowns, Bruce has lost yardage to Torry Holt while declining in touchdowns as well. Last year during the Rams troubles, Bruce gained only 1075 yards and seven scores. The reality is that Bruce had a lot of mediocre games and only his two games in weeks 10 and 11 saved his stats. He had 163 yards and three touchdowns against the Chargers and 141 yards against the Bears. Otherwise he spent 14 games gaining only 771 total yards with four scores all year. Bruce actually did the same thing the prior season when he had three monster games (144/1, 179/1 and 130/no TD). That meant the other thirteen games only produced 653 yards. Bruce is a decent #2 receiver to have since he gains something every week and two or three times a year he makes a big difference. But even if the St. Louis offense comes back to form this season, his less consistent numbers and minimal upside make him not worthy of more than a #2 WR for your team. His year end numbers may be fine, but the manner he gets them will be less helpful to your team.
  18 Jackson, Darrell SEA 4     6-0 201 24 3   10
  After three seasons, Jackson has been a solid performer and developed quickly into a receiving threat. Coming off a fine 2002 performance of 1081 yards and eight touchdowns, Jackson fell to only 877 yards and four scores last year. You must remember that Jackson was also missing for three games last year after he was flattened in the Dallas game. I was actually there and he did not move for quite a while and later went into convulsions in the lockerroom. When he returned in week 12, Hasselbeck was in charge, Robinson was stepping up and Jackson ended the season with four games of over 90 yards and four touchdowns. Paired with Robinson, Jackson suddenly becomes a dangerous #2 receiver instead of a solid #1 for the Seahawks. Seattle's offense has a great schedule this year and is starting to find a good rhythm with Hasselbeck.
  19 Porter, Jerry OAK 8   6-2 220 24 3   10
  For the first time since Al Davis started wearing velvet jogging suits, neither Jerry Rice nor Tim Brown are the best Raider receiver to draft. After two years of little or no play, Porter was mixed in with Rice and Brown last year with stunning results. He only had 51 receptions and gained 688 yards. That is very good for a #3 receiver. He also had nine touchdowns in the regular season and three more in the playoffs. That is great for any #1 receiver that catches twice as many passes. Including the playoffs, Porter caught a touchdown in 11 of 19 games. In the Divisional Round, he had 123 yards on six catches. With a quarterback like Gannon and on the news that he will be swapping roles with Tim Brown, Porter is poised for a big season. His value may decline if Gannon goes out injured or retires next season, but Porter has become very familiar with the endzone and the more passes he gets, the better he will become.
  20 Toomer, Amani NYG 4     6-3 208 28 7   10
  Toomer turned in a career best 1343 yards and eight touchdowns last season and had the third highest yardage in the league. Not bad but hardly typical. For the three years prior to 2002, Toomer was a consistent 1100 yard, six touchdown receiver. He still is. Last year was an aberration for two reasons. First, Ike Hilliard had a brutal hit by Brian Dawkins and was lost for the season to shoulder surgery. His replacement Ron Dixon later suffered knee problems and he too missed eight games last season. Toomer was basically the last man standing as the Giants scrambled with Tony Simmons, Herman Moore and anyone they could find to put out there. Toomer's numbers would have still been close to his norm had it not been for the 204 yard, three touchdown pasting he gave the Colts in week 16. Toomer is solid and he is good for yardage, but he has never been a big scorer and last season was nice but not the norm. Chances are anyone who used him in a 2002 fantasy championship will be all over him again in the draft.
  21 Smith, Jimmy JAX 7   6-1 213 34 10   9
  Smith held out last year and received a new contract, but he also delivered his worst season since his rookie year. With only 1027 yards and seven touchdowns, it was a down year for oldest starting #1 receiver whose name is not Jerry. Smith only had two 100+ games last season and in the final five weeks only had one game with more than 35 yards receiving. Brunell did have some injury problems at the end of the season though he did not miss any games. Going into this season, Smith is a bigger risk than normal due to his age and the state of the offense. Brunell is a lame duck going into the season and could eventually give way to Byron Leftwich which could actually help his numbers but more likely would harm them. The loss of McCardell was never replaced last season and acquiring J.J. Stokes is not likely a quick tonic. Older and with less around him, Smith falls but is still worthy of being a #2 fantasy receiver.  Update (08/11/03) - Smith rises since he appears in good health and is fitting into the new West Coast scheme very well. He had five catches for 70 yards against Miami last weekend.
  22 Stallworth, Donte NO 10 6-0 197 22 1   9
  The first receiver selected in the 2003 draft, Stallworth follows recent first pick flops of Ike Hilliard, Kevin Dyson, Peter Warrick and David Terrell. Looks like they finally got one right other than Tory Holt in 1999. Stallworth comes off a rookie year with 594 yards and eight touchdowns. Stallworth can flat out fly. He ran a 4.25/40 (no typo) in college. Donte had eight touchdowns but only 42 catches. He scored three times in the red zone but burned secondaries for touchdowns of 41, 34, 29, 28 and 57 yards. There are two aspects to consider with Stallworth. First - he is only a second year player that only once had more than four catches in any game last season. He is still developing and with Horn in place, does not need to be the biggest part of the offense. He missed three games with a hamstring problem and missed much of training camp for the same reason. What needs to be determined is if Stallworth was merely pushing too hard last year and just needs to get used to the NFL game. Hamstring problems in receivers can be a huge problem but mitigating that is the fact that it is not unusual for a rookie to have hamstring troubles in his first year. But the upside on Stallworth this year and in the future is very big since he not only is a speed demon, he also has the size to be much more than just a longballer. In a keeper league, bump him up a few more. If you get distance touchdowns, he becomes even more valuable.
  23 Morgan, Quincy CLE 9 6-1 209 25 2   9
  By gaining 964 yards and seven touchdowns in only his second season, Morgan's development has happened more quickly than expected. Opening week one with 151 yards and two scores on nine catches, Morgan served notice that he was not willing to wait until the standardized third year to explode. While that was his best game all season, Morgan still played well enough to record six more games of at least 80 yards and one more 100+ yard game when he scored two touchdowns in Jacksonville. Morgan now enters his third year with good upside in an attack that still has not decided between Couch or Holcomb. If Couch keeps the starting job, Morgan will likely fall a bit but the more effective passer of Holcomb will only help. While Morgan could easily do better than this ranking, he gains some concerns from the production by Kevin Johnson and Dennis Northcutt which could cut into his numbers.
TIER 4 - Old Faves, New Waves NFL Bye Upside Risk Ht Wt Age Exp   Auction %
  24 Johnson, Keyshawn TB 4   6-4 212 30 7   8
  In 1998, Keyshawn Johnson had 1131 yards and 10 touchdowns in his breakout third season. Four years and a new team later, many people are still expecting him to repeat. In Tampa Bay's championship season of 2002, Keyshawn turned in 1088 yards and five touchdowns. Broken down a little more, he had three big games - week 5 (131, 1 TD), week 9 (133, 2 TD) and week 16 (132, 1 TD). Otherwise he averaged 53 yards a game for the other 13 games with only one touchdown. Even this ranking is optimistic considering you want more than 53 yards in an average week. You remember the odd 130 yard game with a score, but you usually get 53 yards. The Buccaneers will have a brutal rushing schedule this year with, apparently, no runningbacks anyway. Their passing schedule is lighter and as the most recent champs, all teams will want to beat them and force them to score with their offense instead of just their defense. Brad Johnson is a solid QB and Gruden likes to pass. There are several big reasons to expect Keyshawn to turn in a big year and 53 little ones to remind you that it just might not happen. Again.
  25 Conway, Curtis NYJ 5 6-1 196 32 10   8
  Conway moves to New York and trading Drew Brees for Chad Pennington alone increases his upside. While some this summer have already decided that Conway will be a 1:1 replacement for Lavernues Coles, that might be very optimistic. Conway has only logged one season over 1000 yards in the past seven years and that was in his second season in San Diego. His first year changing offenses From Chicago to San Diego produced only 712 yards and five touchdowns. Conway's lack of big numbers is also related to his lack of durability. In the past seven years, only 2001 saw him play all 16 games. Conway will get the start and will enjoy a better passing offense, but with his age and durability issues combined with a new offensive scheme means Conway is not a long term answer for the loss of Coles and might not be a 16 game answer either. Raised 29th to 25th (08/04/03) - While it was only a couple of pass plays in a preseason game, Conway's catches in Japan against the Buccaneers were proof against a top defense that he and Pennington have already been gaining chemistry and while Conway may not duplicate Coles' 2002 season, he will be the clear #1 receiving option for the Jets. With his injury history and still some reality applied, he should not be considered higher at this time but he warrants a move up to the starting fantasy receiver area.
  26 Smith, Rod DEN 10   6-0 200 33 8   8
  After a career year in 2001 where he gained 1343 yards and 11 touchdowns, Smith slid back to only 1027 yards and five scores last season. It could be less this year. At 33, Smith is obviously nearing the wall and with Jake Plummer now at quarterback, he might hit it. Smith never had a 100 yard game last year and normally hovered around 60 yards a week. With a hot runningback in Clinton Portis and a new quarterback to learn, Smith is more likely to regress than improve. He stays this high in light of his reasonable consistency with yards, moderate as they are. Raised 28th to 26th (08/04/03) -Much like Conway, Smith is showing a good rapport with his new quarterback and appears to be in good shape and is the only constant for receivers since Lelie and McCaffrey's roles are not yet completely defined. . By no means worthy of a top ten again, Smith deserves this bump up.
  27 Rice, Jerry OAK 8   6-2 200 40 18   8
  There is not a lot of new light to shed on Jerry Rice after 18 years. He will turn 41 this season and by all indications has bent or broken almost all laws of nature in addition to all the NFL records. He is to the NFL what Jason is to horror flicks. Just when you write him off, you discover you are wrong and then he kills you. Rice makes a good #2 receiver that can be had deeper in your draft since most fantasy owners are younger than him and know they could not last ten minutes in an NFL game. Rice had 92 catches for 1211 yards last season. Think of that next time you get tired mowing the grass.
  28 Gardner, Rod WAS 8     6-2 217 25 2   8
  Gardner was the lone consistently good receiver for the Skins last season and with 1006 yards and eight scores in only his second year, his ranking would be higher were it not for the addition of Coles in the offseason. That duo should provide the bulk of receiving yards in Washington which could be considerable if Spurrier gets his way. With the addition of Coles, many fantasy owners are overlooking Gardner this season but that is a mistake. Spurrier routinely had two primary receivers at Florida that would at times produce 1000/1000 seasons and then a smattering of others with each game. Gardner already has played with Ramsey and could easily be the more productive receiver. For us old timers, think Atlanta and the run-and-shoot.
  29 Taylor, Travis BAL 5   6-1 200 25 3   8
  Taylor has had a nice, although slow, increase from year to year since being drafted as the third receiver in the 2000 draft. Last season Taylor gained 869 yards on 61 catches and six touchdowns. Basically, he has added around 300 yards and three touchdowns each season. If he does that one more season, he starts to approach the top ten. There is a problem with Taylor that is not really his fault. He has no quarterback. Last year when Chris Redman was starting, Taylor only averaged 37 yards a game and never scored. With Jeff Blake throwing in the final ten games, Taylor averaged 65 yards a game and had a total of six touchdowns. Blake is gone. Redman is not. Given Redman's history of locking on Todd Heap and ignoring the rest, Taylor may not see better numbers this year but Redman could - and must - improve his selection of receivers. There is a chance that Kyle Boller could start as well which by the numbers seems warranted since he has not yet proven to be substandard like Redman has so far..
  30 Wayne, Reggie IND 7   6-0 203 24 2   8
  All systems are go for a breakout season. Wayne has every indicator of the fuse being lit - third year player, good size, decent speed and great hands. He plays for the #1 passing quarterback in Manning and has the #1 receiver in Harrison to draw the attention. In the last half of 2002 while Harrison was setting records, Wayne turned in three 100+ yard games and three touchdowns. With 49 catches and 716 yards last season, he doubled his rookie year numbers. Wayne may be capped at how much he can do playing with Harrison, but that cap is likely higher than what many other teams get from their #1 receiver.
  31 Brown, Troy NE 10     5-10 193 31 10   8
  Brown fell from his career high of 1199 yards to 890 last season while only scoring three times. His knee was injured in week three and he sat out two games and it was still tender when he returned. Brown had a 176 yard game in week three with one score but once he returned from the injury he only managed one 111 yard game in Detroit to eclipse the century mark. If you get reception points, Brown is far more valuable since he had 97 last season and 101 in 2001 but Brown loses stature in fantasy terms considering his declining yards per catch, smaller size and advancing age. Brown still makes a great #3 receiver but with a big lack of touchdowns he is not able to post enough points to make him a viable #2 for your team.
  32 Chambers, Chris MIA 4     5-11 210 24 2   6
  After a thrilling 883 yard, seven touchdown rookie season, Chambers followed up the accomplishment by only gaining 734 yards with three scores. He also lost four yards from his 18.4 yard per catch average of 2001. Chambers had two 100 yard games last season but more than half his games he failed to even reach 50 yards. His yardage went down in the four mid-season games when Fiedler was out, but his game averages only fell from 61 yards down to 47 yards during that time. Disregarding only two games (102 and 138 yards) meant he only averaged 44 yards per game with Fiedler. With the introduction of Ricky Williams last season, the offense went away from the pass and until Ricky is injured, there is no reason to start throwing much again. As an added bonus, the Miami defense looks even stronger this season which may lower the passing need even further. Chambers will get catches every game and will turn in the occasional nice afternoon, but his main consistency is that he will not produce big numbers.
  33 Muhammad, Muhsin CAR 3   6-2 217 30 7   6
  After three big seasons, Muhammad is now three years removed from when he was last a significant fantasy player. In 2001, he only managed 585 yards and one touchdown while suffering from a shoulder and later toe injury that made him miss five games. Last year it was his hamstring that limited him in some games while forcing him out for two weeks. In the new offense last season, Muhammad still managed 100 yard efforts three times and scored in three games. As a possession receiver, Muhammad still makes a good #3 for your team since he will almost always get around 40 yards a game with maybe six or eight weeks of solid yardage. But his touchdown drop is troublesome and with Stephen Davis on board, Muhammad's redzone ability may be used even less. The attempt to upgrade his complement with Kevin Dyson failed before the ink was even dry but the team could still add someone before September.
34 Galloway, Joey DAL 3   5-11 197 31 8   6
  With 908 yards and six scores, Galloway had his Cowboy career best in 2002. This is less than he managed in any of his first four years with the Seahawks, but by this point expectations are much lower. The only ball handler in the entire Dallas offense with a secure job, Galloway is a safe bet to reach the same 900 yards and six scores of last season but his high side is not much more with Parcells running the show. Galloway actually averaged about 15 yards a game more with Quincy Carter than he did with Chad Hutchinson, so the winner of that derby will not have a big effect on him. Either Carter plays at his level or Hutchinson slowly improves. Galloway is a nice #3 receiver to have since even last season he turned in three 100 yards games. At 31 years of age, a history of injury, a new conservative offense with questionable weapons all adds up to more risk than upside. Lowered (08/15/03) - Galloway falls thanks to the muddled and befuddled quarterback situation.
  35 Rogers, Charles DET 6 6-2 205 22 R   6
  Rogers quickly flew off the board when the Lions used their 1.02 pick in April to secure the rights to the most exciting player in the draft. The accolades heaped on Rogers - playmaker, greatness, game-changing - seem almost too good to believe. Almost ss if it is a setup for a disappointment Since Randy Moss proved an extreme exception to the rule. Rogers is considered to have a rare combination of size (6-2 1/2 - 205 pounds) and speed (4.3/40) which allowed him to be a homerun threat every time he touched the ball. Charles is in Detroit now, where they are installing a new offense and their QB of Joey Harrington was less than impressive last season. It is not reasonable to assume that a rookie receiver will right all wrongs, but he must be considered to have big upside with limitations that may only apply to this season. Hopefully Rogers will not be a contract holdout and spend enough time in camp for a better evaluation.
  36 Thrash, James PHI 3     6-0 200 28 6   5
  After scoring eight times with 833 yards in 2001, Thrash fell to only 635 yards last season and scored six times. His numbers dropped dramatically after McNabb stopped playing in week 11 and Thrash topped out at only 45 yards a game in his absence. With McNabb back,. Thrash will again be the more heavily used receiver but in Philadelphia what does that really mean? I can tell you - not a lot. The last Eagle receiver to break 1000 yards for a season was named Irving Fryar. It was 1998. There was no McNabb. The headcoach was Ray Rhodes. This is now a very diverse offense that does not make a star of any receiver. Thrash could be good for more touchdowns - he had eight in 2001, but there is little upside on any Eagle receiver.
  37 Reed, Josh BUF 9   5-10 203 23 1   5
  Reed is gaining steam in fantasy drafts as the man who would be Peerless this year in Buffalo. Hoping that he can replace Price without a noticeable drop-off is too optimistic. Both players were drafted in the second round of their respective years and the two players have many similarities. What is most notable is that Price himself did not break 1000 yards until his fourth season and when he was in his second year, he only managed 762 yards and three scores which is more typical. Reed has upside from opportunity and showed ability in limited play last season, but moving from being the #3 where he normally only had two passes per game into the flanker spot will prove as challenging as opportunistic. He is a very nice pick here for keeper leagues. Update (08/11/02) - Reed has been impressive in camp and while he does not have the speed of Peerless Price, he has displayed solid hands and garnered the admiration of the coaching staff that expect the second year player to develop quickly.
  38 Lelie, Ashley DEN 10   6-3 200 23 1   5
  Lelie gained a respectable 525 yards in his rookie season and was generally fed two passes a game. He notched his first 100 yard game in week 16 and scored in weeks 14 and 17 as a sign he was improving. Lelie was the second receiver taken in the draft last season and will receive more playing time this year. He is more valuable in keeper leagues as he must contend this season with aged trio of Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey and Shannon Sharpe. Throw in a new quarterback and this does not have the marks of a breakout season. Update (08/11/02) - Lelie has been constantly wowing the coaches in training camp with a big leap in development from his rookie season. While McCaffrey is still around, Lelie is the talk of the camp.
  39 Pinkston, Todd PHI 3     6-2 174 26 3   5
  Pinkston actually posted slightly higher numbers last season than Thrash, but the difference all came after McNabb was out for the season. Prior to week twelve, Thrash had 509 yards and five scores to Pinkston's 448 yards and four touchdowns. Although Thrash received minimal production in the final five games, Pinkston actually benefited from McNabb's absence and averaged 70 yards a game with three scores. Without McNabb there, opponents defended against a more traditional attack and focused more on Thrash. With McNabb back, the ratio will once again favor Thrash slightly and since both are still on the Eagles, it will mean that neither will post big numbers. Pinkston is also unlikely to get much more involved in the offense since at 174 pounds, he is the lightest starting receiver in the entire league.
  40 McCardell, Keenan TB 4     6-1 191 33 11   5
  McCardell only managed 670 yards and six touchdowns in his first season as a Buccaneer but he was hampered almost the entire season by various injuries - mainly a strained quadricep and a hairline scapula fracture. He only missed two full games but played limited in others. McCardell is capable of double the yardage though six scores is his personal best. He will gain more yards this season and provide a nice complement to Keyshawn with lesser upside for touchdowns.
  42 Johnson, Kevin CLE 9     5-11 195 26 4   5
  After turning in 1097 yards and nine scores in 2001, Johnson regressed to only 703 yards and four scores last season as Morgan and Northcutt cut into his action. Johnson actually received far lesser numbers with Holcomb throwing so the quarterback situation there is important in addition to staving off Northcutt from reducing Kevin's role. Johnson has proven to be a solid receiver from his very first season but he has not shown that he is good enough to take it to a higher level of fantasy relevance. Solid but probably unspectacular again.
TIER 5 - #2's Coming Through NFL Bye Upside Risk Ht Wt Age Exp   Auction %
  42 Ferguson, Robert GB 8   6-1 209 23 2   5
  Ferguson only had 23 catches for 319 yards and one score last season, but there are excellent reasons to expect that was merely a slow start. Ferguson waited in the background as Terry Glenn played the #2 in many games last year. But now Glenn is gone and the #2 spot is open competition between Ferguson and Javon Walker. Ferguson has the early lead in the race, having one more year of experience than Walker. The #2 spot should be good for at least 800 yards and several scores and could go higher. In week 14 against the Vikings, Ferguson showed promise by catching six balls for 105 yards and two touchdowns. They cannot all be the Vikings, but Ferguson will get better.
  43 Kennison, Eddie KC 9   6-1 201 30 7   5
  In a season where the Chiefs had one of the most powerful offenses in the NFL, Kennison was the lone receiver contributing to the effort. Though he had 906 yards receiving, he rang up 347 in just three games. He only had three touchdowns. The good news was that Kennison trailed only Quincy Morgan for average yards per catch (17.1 versus 17.2) for receivers with more than 50 catches. Of the eclectic group of receivers in Kansas City, Kennison has been the most consistent and best yardage gainer. The Chiefs receivers are in a state of flux after last season and training camp should sort things out more. Until then, Kennison is the safest bet.
  44 Streets, Tai SF 10   6-2 206 26 4   5
  Streets has proven to be a shrewd draft by San Francisco who drafted him out of Michigan knowing that he would miss almost all his first season due to a leg injury. Streets spent the first few years in sporadic play along with J.J. Stokes but during the last half of 2002, Streets was the unquestioned #2 and had seven of his last nine games with at least five catches in each. He also scored all five touchdowns from week eight onward. Streets had 756 yards last year but is certain to improve that. The 49er's want to throw more long passes this year and with good speed and Owens to concern the safeties, Streets could very well turn in a few very nice games.
  45 Johnson, Andre HOU 5   6-2 230 21 R   5
  Technically, Andre Johnson sits behind Jabbar Gaffney on the depth charts but the rookie may already be a more polished receiver than Jabbar. Taken with the Texans 1.03 pick, Johnson comes into the league having not only been a standout at Miami, he actually played even better in big games. In the Rose Bowl for the National Championship, Johnson caught seven passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He is not only a great size, he has been clocked with a 4.35/40. Tremendous upside for future seasons, Johnson may provide David Carr with the offensive spark that was lacking last season. Johnson may be slightly limited player for the Texans as opposed to the Radiers or Colts, but Johnson has all the marks of a future top receiver.
  46 Warrick, Peter CIN 6   5-11 195 26 3   5
  While Warrick has spent all three seasons around 600 yards gained, under Kitna he increased his touchdown totals to six last year. With Chad Johnson drawing attention and a new offense being installed under HC Marvin Lewis, Warrick will increase his numbers from last season, especially during the earlier part of the season. Warrick had to wait through the QB problems early last year and also suffered a lung injury which kept him from starting five games. Back in health and with a QB that throws him touchdowns, Warrick will provide an adequate #2 for a team that will need to throw more than most.
  47 Bates, D'Wayne MIN 6     6-2 215 27 4   5
  After spending time sharing with Alexander last year, Bates enters his second season with the Vikings. While he only gained 689 yards and four scores last year, Bates came on well in the final five weeks and turned in four games of at least five catches and 70 yards. In a good offense with Moss to worry the secondary, Bates should provide a worthy #2 option for Culpepper and will increase his numbers from last season.
  48 Finneran, Brian ATL 8   6-5 210 27 3   5
  While Finneran was a nice surprise last season, gaining 838 yards on 56 catches for six touchdowns, the reality is that his best quality was that at 6'5" he was able to give Vick a big target and the rest of the receivers were either too young (McCord), too old (Jefferson) or a discard from another team (Gaylor). Finneran could still provide about the same numbers as the possession receiver but with Price in place and Martay Jenkins there to challenge him, chances are best his numbers will fall from last season. Update (08/11/03) - Finneran grabbed a beautiful touchdown bomb from Vick this weekend and the Falcons offense looks like it may be better than last year. With all the attention that Price is commanding, Finneran appears to be the main beneficiary.
  49 Chrebet, Wayne NYJ 5   5-10 188 29 8   5
  While Chrebet has fallen significantly in yardage since his career year in 1998, he still managed to snag eight touchdowns last year during his 51 catches for 691 yards. With Coles gone, the Jets will be relying on he and Conway to continue feeding impressive stats for Pennington and only Chrebet has played in that offense before. Last season, Chrebet never gained more than 69 yards in a game but had ten games with at least 40 yards and seven games with scores, doubling up in two different weeks. His high side will not be at the level of most #1 receivers but as deeply as he is available, Chrebet has a good chance to improve from last year and provide consistent, if a bit low, numbers for you. He is a great bye week filler. Update (08/11/02) - Chrebet's fall here is more related to solid showings of the six players he has fallen behind now and a slight concern that Santana Moss may reduce his numbers.
  50 White, Dez CHI 3   6-1 215 23 3   4
  White has been a nice complement to Marty Booker with catching 51 passes for 656 yards last season. Just as important, he has outplayed the overall #1 receiver taken in the 2001 draft of David Terrell. White has less upside considering the change at QB and the prominence of Marty Booker. White also could see some challenge by David Terrell which is insignificant or considerable, depending on if you ask coaches or Terrell, respectively.

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