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2003 Player Rankings: Wide Receivers
Updated: August 15, 2003
 
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<< THE TOP OF THE WR RANKINGS

TIER 6 - The Haystack  NFL   Bye   Upside   Risk     Ht     Wt   Age   Exp     Auction % 
  51 Schroeder, Bill DET 6   6-3 200 32 7   Minimum
  With only 595 yards and five scores, Schroeder's output with Detroit was almost half of that the previous season with the Packers. He missed time with a torn tendon but was not delighting his new employer when he was healthy anyway. It was a lost season for the Lions in 2001 when they struggled through Harrington's first season and their prized acquisition Hakim left the field on a stretcher in week 11. This season things should improve under Mariucci and Schroeder will be providing possession catches with less pressure than last season. Schroeder will never be the star in Detroit, but it is still too early to write him off as a bust. By the same token, Schroeder's age spells a big concern and an obvious limit to his upside.
  52 Patten, David NE 10     5-10 190 28 6   Minimum
  Patten turned in a career best 824 yards and five scores last season but he has likely reached his upper limit after six seasons and three teams. In the first half of 2002, Patten posted nice numbers with two 100 yard games and three of his scores. The Patriots were a hot passing team with Brady at the helm in the early going and then cooled down sharply last year - so did Patten's numbers. In the final eight games, Patten only averaged 35 yards a game and scored only twice. With a diverse passing scheme in New England, Patten will not receive enough passes to improve what is an average receiver at best.
  53 Smith, Steve CAR 3   5-9 179 24 2   Minimum
  All things considered, Smith was a nice surprise last season when he gained 872 yards and three scores. He also returned kicks and in his spare time assaulted teammates in the film room. Tough guy for only 5'9" and 179 pounds. With Isaac Byrd out injured, Smith stepped up and made the most of the opportunity last year, notching two 100 yards games and six with at least 70 yards. Smith plays a lot bigger than he is and while the Panthers attempted to replace him with Dyson, that plan failed. Smith will enter training camp as the favorite for the #2 spot but in the best case scenario will be limited in scoring touchdowns from the conservative offense.
  54 Morton, Johnnie KC 9   6-0 190 31 9   Minimum
  One of the biggest disappointments from free agency last year, Morton left on top in Detroit with 1154 yards and in his first season with the Chiefs, only had 29 catches for 397 yards and one score. Any player new to his team should always be considered as an extra risk. Morton was hampered by back spasms but as the primary receiver, Morton should have been able to put together more than one game over 60 yards. The receiver situation in Kansas City with Morton, Kennison, Hall and Boerigter will be determined this summer and Morton needs a good camp to show he belongs. After playing for nine seasons, maybe the 31 year old dog cannot learn new tricks Raised 56th to 53rd (07/28/03). - Morton has been moved back to his Split End position like he played for eight seasons in Detroit instead of the Flanker position he tried to learn last season.
  55 Moss, Santana NYJ 5   5-10 185 24 2   Minimum
  The first rounder from 2001 finally cracked the starting lineup last season and managed 433 yards and four scores. Moss had one 100 yard game but half of his games were under 20 yards. Moss was a playmaker at Miami but so far has been a disappointment. Most consider Moss to be to small for the pro game and indications are that he will never be much more than a slot receiver. He has some upside from a young, capable passer in Pennington and only aging Chrebet and Conway in front of him but so far he has not shown the total package needed to become an everydown player. He will turn in some nice games but sandwich those between yawners.
  56 Hilliard, Ike NYG 4     5-11 205 27 6   Minimum
  Hilliard only played seven games last season thanks to Brian Dawkin's crushing shoulder hit. He ended with 386 yards and two scores. He was on a pace for 880 yards and five scores which would have been about average for him. Hilliard has never delivered on his promise when he was selected as the first receiver taken in the 1997 draft and he has never managed a 1000 yard season in six years. But he is always good enough to keep and plays a decent Tonto to Toomer's Lone Ranger. Not much upside but a guy that can "get you something".
  57 Bennett, Drew TEN 9   6-5 203 24 2   Minimum
  With the loss of Kevin Dyson to Carolina (who then lost him too), the Titans will be using the summer to decide between Bennett and Justin McCareins to fill in for the #2 spot across from Mason. Bennett is the front runner and at 6'5", makes a tremendous "McCaffrey-esque" target over the middle. It is not likely that Bennett will ever be more than a #2 receiver but could pull down at least average numbers this season.
  58 Johnson, Bryant ARZ 7   6-2 214 22 R   Minimum
  The Cardinals began their receiver makeover this year by selecting Johnson with the 1.17 pick. Johnson has great size, flypaper hands and has been clocked with a sub 4.4/40. He has an excellent shot at being the #1 receiver in Arizona this season but considering the inexperience with all receivers and the new quarterback of Jeff Blake, temper your expectations of all Arizona players this season.
  59 Thompson, Derrius MIA 4   6-2 216 25 3   Minimum
  After spending his first season on the Redskins' practice squad getting cut and re-added, Thompson managed to make the team in 2002 and caught three passes. In 2003, during the season of receiver discontent by Spurrier, Thompson played every game and became the starting #2 in week 13. He gained at least 70 yards a game in the final five games and scored three times. Spurrier was so impressed that he cut him for the Dolphins to hire. Thompson has good size and is still young, but he has not shown much more than an just an average possession role and in Miami, that is not much. He will also have to contend with McKnight and recently re-signed Gadsden for playing time. His best quality right now is that we do not know for sure that he will do little in Miami.
  60 Hakim, Az-Zahir DET 6     5-10 189 26 5   Minimum
  Hakim was having a problem last season settling down into a starting role since he had spent his career in St. Louis as the #3 receiver. He had three games of 97 or more yards including a fine 143 yard effort in Green Bay but he was carted from the field in week 11 with a fractured left hip and was lost for the season. With the drafting of Charles Rogers, the plan is to move Hakim back to his more familiar role in the slot and make use of his downfield speed. He was miscast as a #1 receiver and will turn in good, though inconsistent, games back where he plays best.
  61 Dwight, Tim SD 6     5-9 180 27 5   Minimum
  Dwight had a career year for catches with 50 last season but only scored three times all season and ended with 623 yards. That likely is the upper end of what you can expect and with Boston now on board, Dwight will struggle to reach that much. He is always a threat for the touchdown bomb, but never provides the consistency to make him a reliable fantasy player.
  62 Jacobs, Taylor WAS 8   6-0 205 22 R   Minimum
  Washington spent their 2.12 pick this year to take Jacobs and reunite him with his old college coach. Jacobs is already considered a very polished receiver with great hands that already has been a great route runner in Spurrier's offense. He wowed the coaching staff in mini-camp and is already slated to play in the slot this season. Great upside and Coles, Gardner and Jacobs could join to make a deadly receiving trio. For a third receiver the normal response is that there are not enough ball. In Washington, there just might be.
  63 Randle El, Antwaan PIT 7   5-10 184 23 1   Minimum
  Yet another converted quarterback catching passes for Pittsburgh, Randle El managed 489 yards and two scores in his rookie year and gave glimpses of his uncanny openfield running. Antwaan is already publicly calling for more action in 2003 and while he should see a bump to his numbers, he is the #3 receiving option on a team that has potentially the best one-two punch already. Randle El can get you extra fantasy points if you can count punt returns, but his impact will be limited with Burress and Ward in front of him.
  64 Jurevicius, Joe TB 4   6-5 230 28 5   Minimum
  Like McCardell, Jurevicius went to Tampa Bay last season and battled various knee and ankle injuries most of the season. He ended with 423 yards and four touchdowns. Playing often at less than 100%, it is hard to evaluate his performance but he did have a 100 yard game in week 14 and three scores in the final five weeks adding another in the Divisional round against SF. Against PHI, Joe had only one catch but it went for 71 yards. Jurevicius will never be a big yardage player but at 6'5", he makes a tremendous red zone target for a team that is lacking the runners to punch it in. Look for Joe to improve on 2001, but likely not enough to warrant drafting.
  65 McCaffrey, Ed DEN 10   6-5 215 34 12   Minimum
  Easy Ed joins Rod Smith in pushing the age envelope farther than most have managed, After missing almost the entire 2001 season with a broken leg, McCaffrey returned in 2002 and turned in a respectable 903 yards but only scored twice. He was wildly inconsistent with four games of 100+ and eight games of less than 36 yards. His age, durability and new quarterback all spell more risk than before and the emergence of Lelie is more likely than McCaffrey returning to his glory of three or more years ago. McCaffrey underwent groin surgery in March and missed mini-camps but is expected to be ready for training camp.
  66 Branch, Deion NE 10     5-9 193 23 1   Minimum
  Along with the other Patriot receivers of last year, Branch started out strongly with 370 yards and two touchdowns in his first four games. The Patriot braintrust looked like geniuses for drafting him. Then things got worse. In his final seven games, Branch only had a total of 11 catches for 119 yards and no scores. Branch is too small for everydown duty and at best will develop into a #3 or #4 option.
  67 Bryant, Antonio DAL 3   6-1 192 22 1   Minimum
  Bryant turned in a solid rookie season, scoring in six different games and with 733 yards, providing as much or more than Rocket Ismail would have done if he stayed healthy. His numbers were propped up with the seven catch, 170 yard game in Washington during week 17 and he rarely had more than three catches a game. Bryant developed very well for a rookie but is now limited by a change in offense and the addition of Terry Glenn during the offseason. Training camp will provide more answers on the individual roles, but going in Bryant still stands as the #2.
  68 Boerigter, Marc KC 9   6-3 223 25 1   Minimum
  Players like Boerigter are what makes the NFL and fantasy football fun and exciting. Sometimes, you just never know. Marc has two scores in week six but then was not used again until week ten when he had two catches for 42 yards. The next week it was just one catch for 12 yards. Then in the course of the next three games, he had a total of four passes and scored on every one. Thinking that this undrafted rookie kid might have something, he received five passes the next week and gained 144 yards and scored twice, effectively winning the game with a 99 yard touchdown. He did nothing in the final week but by then everyone was already out of breath. That made 20 catches for the year and eight touchdowns with a 21 yard average per catch. This summer will investigate if Boerigter was a delightful - but unsustainable - gimmick last season or if he has what it takes to dislodge Morton. He is very likely to rise in the rankings and considerably if he snags a starting role.
  69 Brown, Tim OAK 8   6-0 195 36 15   Minimum
  Holding up well through the 2001 season, Brown finally stumbled last season. He may never get back up again. Though he had 81 catches for 930 yards, he only scored twice all season and never again after week three. He turned in only one 100+ yard game and had the lowest yards per catch (11.5) of his career. With Rice still around and Porter taking over his spot, Brown will still be in the picture, he just won't be the one spiking the ball.
  70 Jenkins, Martay ATL 8   6-0 206 28 4   Minimum
  When the receiver train left the Arizona station, Jenkins wisely joined Boston and Sanders. Jenkins had his third year cut short with a broken shoulder in week eight but has shown flashes of ability in limited play in Arizona. Jenkins signed a one year contract, so he must perform this season to get that 2004 paycheck. Jenkins should serve as a #3 for the Falcons but may challenge for a bigger role.
  71 Northcutt, Dennis CLE 9     5-11 175 25 3   Minimum
  During the summer of 2002, Northcutt was constantly impressing coaches and teammates with his ability to make long plays and apparent inability to ever drop a pass. Northcutt is smaller than ideal for a receiver but is fast and a playmaker when he gets the chance. Dennis sprained his MCL in week 12 last year and only returned for one catch in the final game. He produced 601 yards in roughly nine games but was used inconsistently in the year. One notable is that Northcutt had five touchdowns last season and three of them came in the two games with Holcomb. In week five, Northcutt had eight catches for 185 yards and two scores and in week one, he had one catch for a 43 yard touchdown - all from Holcomb. Northcutt is a battler but his size makes it less likely that he will rise to being an everydown #2. He makes a much better longballer on multiple receiver sets which makes him too inconsistent to be a good fantasy player for now. Lowered 61st to 71st (07/28/03) - Northcutt is still waiting for a contract extension since he is due to be a free agent next season. He stated that he felt the Browns would not extend his contract and allow him to leave. With the improved play of Andre Davis in training camp and the contract squabble, he falls due to increased risk.
  72 Walker, Javon GB 8   6-3 215 24 1   Minimum
  Walker played in almost every game last season, the problem was that he rarely had more than one reception. Ending with 319 yards and one score, Walker's limited play prevented the rookie from developing into NFL form but will again get a shot this season as Terry Glenn has left and he will battle with Ferguson for the #2 spot. Training camp watch.
73 Caldwell, Reche SD 6     5-11 194 24 1   Minimum
  The three touchdowns Caldwell scored in five weeks last season were encouraging, but Caldwell spent most of his rookie season with only one or two catches a game. He is still developing and with a great training camp could move up. Playing for a team that doesn't prefer to throw and most often does not have the need limits what upside he might have had. Update (08/11/03) - Caldwell takes a jump up based on looking better in his second season. He may develop more next season, but shouldat least be more heavily used this year.
  74 McCareins, Justin TEN 9     6-2 218 24 2   Minimum
  in 2002, McCareins and Bennett traded time trying to fill in for the oft-injured Kevin Dyson and while McCareins played in eleven games last year, he rarely had more than one or two passes. Drew Bennett is a better complement to Mason instead of McCareins who is very similar to Mason. Justin still has potential but it is not likely to get much work this season.
75 Kasper, Kevin ARZ 7     6-0 193 25 2   Minimum
  Kasper is a definite player in the mess that is the Cardinals receivers. A veteran with only two years and 23 NFL catches, Kasper has as good a shot as any to be a starter. Update (08/11/03) - Kasper was the almost constant target of Jeff Blake in the first exhibition game and given that the Arizona receivers might actually need someone with game experience, he could be used more heavily at least early in the season.
  76 Glenn, Terry DAL 3   5-11 195 28 7   Minimum
  Glenn is now reunited with the Big Tuna, the very same coach that uttered the infamous "she" seven years ago. If Glenn cannot make good with Brett Favre as a quarterback on a team with no veterans, it is optimistic to expect moving to a poor offense with a bad quarterback will improve his numbers.
  77 Davis, Andre' CLE 9   6-1 194 24 1   Minimum
  In his rookie year, Davis scored four times in the first three games including a 99 yard effort in Nashville. After all the fantasy waiver wires lost him, the Browns went back to the other three receivers and Davis did little the rest of the season. Still too young and inexperienced, Davis has to wait for another year before he can challenge for a starting role on a team that has an usually large number of good potential receivers already.  Raised 79th to 75th (07/28/03) - With Dennis Northcutt unhappy with his lack of a contract extension, the second year receiver of Davis absolutely wowed the crowd in training camp by catching impressive touchdowns from all three quarterbacks. Davis raises a little in light of his improving play.
  78 Bradford, Corey HOU 5     6-1 197 27 5   Minimum
  Bradford's 45 catches for 697 yards and six scores led the receivers in the Texans' inaugural season, so there is still plenty of room for team records to be set this season. Bradford holds the single season record for 100 yard games with one. It was an inconsistent year as expected with a new team using a rookie quarterback. With Andre Johnson on the roster and Gaffney a year more experienced, Bradford should get some help this season which will likely keep his numbers stagnant or lessened.
  79 Stokes, J.J. JAX 7 6-4 225 30 8   Minimum
  Now at the age of 30, the line of people waiting for Stokes to break out has dwindled to his mother and agent. While owning all the tangibles, Stokes has never delivered on his potential and many people point at Bill Walsh's decision to resign Stokes to a four year contract in 1999 as a sign the game has passed him by. Stokes will play the #2 role that once meant something with McCardell but leave that to be the extent of similarities.
  80 Edwards, Troy STL 5     5-10 191 26 18   Minimum
  Since Terrence Wilkins never was able to pick up the offense last year, Edwards stepped in as the #3 receiver in week nine. He is expected to stay on but only had 18 catches in his eight games with two touchdowns. His yards per catch of 8.7 is very low for a wideout but he did not receive enough passes for a good measure of his worth.
  81 Sanders, Frank BAL 5   6-2 215 30 8   Minimum
  As a member of the Arizona jail break, Sanders landed in Baltimore where Brandon Stokley left a spot open. Sanders has seen his numbers decline for the past five years and there is little reason to expect merely changing teams was all he needed. He can provide some possession numbers and score very little as he perfected in Arizona. He may be challenged for the starting #2 slot by Marcus Robinson, but the winner will still likely not be fantasy relevant.
  82 Terrell, David CHI 3 6-3 215 24 2   Minimum
  Being the first drafted receiver is no guarantee of success, at least not in 2001. Terrell was the hottest receiver in the draft when he left Michigan but unlike the next picks of Koren Robinson and Rod Gardner, Terrell has never broken the starting lineup and last season only contributed nine catches for 127 yards and three scores. Terrell broke his foot and was placed on IR in 2002, missing the final eleven games of the season. Though rarely used, he did catch scores on his lone catch in the first two games and had a 52 yard completion against GB in week five. Terrell has been considered an attitude problem in his first two years and while he was given ample opportunity in camp and games in his rookie season, he has been unable to take advantage of the skills and good size that made him a star in college. He is a big risk considering his past injury, new QB and the loss of stature he has on the team but he has potential. Terrell started last season well and then was injured. However, GM Jerry Angelo said that the team drafted Justin Gage (5.08) to challenge Terrell which only further signifies his standing. David is a decent deep risk pick that could land big or just finalize the stamp of "bust".
  83 Boldin, Anquan ARZ 7     6-1 215 22 R   Minimum
  Selected with the 2.22 pick, this ex-Seminole comes off a monster year at Florida State but had missed all of 2001 with a knee injury. He might not break the starting lineup this season but he is considered to be a great complement to a speedy receiver, meaning he is big, with good hands and only average speed.
  84 McAddley, Jason ARZ 7     6-2 204 23 1   Minimum
  When all the Arizona receivers were injured, McAddley stepped up and delivered a big 113 yard game against Seattle in week 10. He never again rose above 58 yards and will most likely lose out in the battle of boys that are the Arizona receivers. With nine games, he is a veteran though and could continue to get starts.
  85 Shaw, Bobby BUF 9     6-0 183 28 5   Minimum
  Shaw's moves from Jacksonville to Buffalo where he should see use in the slot and multiple receiver formations. He is one of those receivers that play bigger than his size and when in Pittsburgh added a great third down tool for the Steelers. After five years, he has not proven to be anything more.
  86 Mitchell, Freddie PHI 3     5-11 184 24 2   Minimum
  Knowing that the Eagles needed better receivers, Philly tapped Mitchell in the first round of 2001 before Reggie Wayne, Quincy Morgan or Chad Johnson. Oops. Mitchell now has a total of 33 catches for 388 yards in two years. If he is pacing himself, he is planning on a very lengthy career. Mitchell enters into his third season and if he cannot show significant progress there is little reason to ever expect he will. Mitchell is a risk and has hinted at no real upside. He needs to show something this summer or he will drop even further. The only thing he has going for him is potential and outside of Michael Westbrook, players cannot make a career merely out of potential.
  87 Stokley, Brandon IND 7     5-11 197 26 4   Minimum
  Stokley trades Chris Redman for Peyton Manning which should be a good career move but Stokley will only play as a #3 at best and has never been durable in his four seasons. Little upside on him and even if he covers for an injured player, the likelihood is good he too will eventually get hurt.
  88 McKnight, James MIA 4     6-1 198 31 9   Minimum
  After 31 years of age, eight seasons and three teams, McKnight's average in Miami of around 600 yards a season and two or three touchdowns likely represents his upper limit. With Ricky Williams running and Derrius Thompson and Gadsden around, lower any expectations you might have had about McKnight.
  89 Wilson, Cedric SF                
  New (08/04/03) - The #3 receiver for the 49ers has been very impressive in camp and is expected to play a larger role in the more open passing game for San Francisco under Dennis Erickson. With Owens in the final year of his contract, developing players like Wilson is even more important since San Francisco may not be able to bring Owens back next season.
  90 Gaffney, Jabar HOU 5   6-1 193 22 1   Minimum
  As a rookie receiver on a rookie team with a rookie quarterback, the results were as expected. Gaffney only managed to score once and gained 483 yards on 41 catches as a #2 receiver. This season he will be challenged for the spot by Andre Johnson and may lose it by August.
  91 Engram, Bobby SEA 4     5-10 188 30 7   Minimum
  With the improved passing attack in Seattle last season, Engram saw his 2001 numbers rise from 400 to 619 yards. He still has not scored since 1999. Minor yardage guy with no upside.
  92 Washington, Kelley CIN 6   6-2 218 22 R   Minimum
  New (08/06/03) - The rookie has been very impressive in training camp so far and already the coaching staff is excited about his prospects. The Bengals are looking for someone to step up into the #2 WR across from Chad Johnson and Washington has so far shown that he is moving in that direction. Washington brings in a great combination of size, speed and catching ability that has been lacking from the more diminutive Peter Warrick who will be playing more slot this season. Washington was drafted in light of his size and ability to get beyond jams at the line of scrimmage.
  93 Pathon, Jerome NO 10     6-0 182 27 5   Minimum
  Pathon has offered a viable third outlet for Aaron Brooks, but the 523 yards and four scores last season are likely his upper limit, especially as Stallworth develops more.
  94 Proehl, Ricky CAR 3   6-0 190 35 13   Minimum
  After 13 seasons, Proehl was supposed to be playing out his swan song in Carolina this season by adding a veteran #4 to the mix. With the injury to Dyson, he may be moved to #3 and continue his string of 400 yard seasons with a couple of touchdowns.
  95 Houshmandzadeh, T.J. CIN 6     6-1 197 25 2   Minimum
  T.J. has spent his first two seasons with the Bengals looking great in practice and then failing to deliver on the field. As the Bengals progressed late last season, they used Houshmandzadeh less.
  96 Hall, Dante KC 9     5-8 187 24 3   Minimum
  Hall is a small kick returner that can be electrifying when he has the ball. Besides scoring on two punts and one kick return, Hall added three receiving touchdowns including the two scores in Denver. His 75 yard touchdown catch and run deserves to be in the top ten highlights from last season. Unfortunately he is too small for an everydown role, but in leagues that allow punt or kick returns to count for a receiver, he may be worth a consideration.
  97 Oronde Gadsden MIA 4     6-2 215 32 5   Minimum
  Since 1999, Gadsden has declined in yardage and yards per catch and last season had a wrist injury that ended his year after week six. He was just re-signed by Miami as some deep insurance and a minor cost savings since they still had tape with his name on it above his old locker. Update - Gadsden has sprained ligaments in his ankle and will likely miss the entire training camp. Ranked this low already there is no need to drop him anyway.
  98 Robinson, Marcus BAL 5 6-3 215 28 6   Minimum
  Robinson was a late acquisition by the Ravens to bolster what is a weak receiving corps. He has a big name to anyone who has played fantasy football for at least four years since 1999 saw him gain 1400 yards and nine touchdowns in only his second season. Robinson had a back injury in 2000 and was placed on IR. Robinson had a knee injury in 2001 and was placed on IR. A big target, Robinson was beset by injuries constantly and by the time he neared health in 2002 the Bears already had Booker, White and Terrell in front of him. Robinson is a longshot to do much due to his durability problems but was very talented in his one glorious season. Leave him alone unless surprisingly good news comes out of the Ravens camp.
  99 Calico, Tyrone TEN 9   6-4 223 22 R   Minimum
  Calico is a very big receiver that wowed coaches at the combine by running a 4.27/40. That is a size/speed ratio of dreamlike proportions. However, Calico is considered to be a somewhat sloppy route runner and he has the occasional drop. He may take time in the NFL to develop, but at least with Calico the techniques can be learned. Size and speed do not change. Calico was impressive in mini-camp.
  100 Parker, Eric SD 6     6-0 172 24 1   Minimum
  Rookie year only had 17 catches but in the off chance he does catch a pass, chances are good it is pretty far down the field. Parker had catches in five games but in each he always had an 18 yard or better reception. He is fast but too small to be much more than the occasional "caught you not looking" pass.

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