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FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT KIT

2009 Player Rankings: Wide Receivers
Updated: September 10, 2009
Sort This Page By: Rank Movement: Huddle Rankings: Projected Stats: Huddle Cheat Sheets:
Sam Aiken - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 126
Keeper: 128
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
Movement:
2006                  
2007 NEP 12 1 10 10.0        
2008 NEP 14 8 101 12.6        
Avg   13 5 56 11.3 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   6 80          

No analysis available.

David Anderson - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 121
Keeper: 125
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 HOU 2 1 27 27.0        
2007 HOU 8 12 131 10.9 1      
2008 HOU 16 19 241 12.7 2      
Avg   9 11 133 16.9 1 0 0 0
Proj FA   7 100          

The Denver Broncos tried to snag the restricted free agent Anderson during the offseason but the Texans matched the three-year $4.5 million deal to keep him in Houston. That will ensure that Anderson still plays on special teams and likely plays the slot role that is rarely used in this offense. The fourth year player had a career year but still only managed 19 catches for 241 yards and two scores in 2008. That should increase but only marginally this year.

Miles Austin - DAL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 78
Keeper: 67
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 DAL 16 5 76 15.2        
2008 DAL 12 13 278 21.4 3      
Avg   14 9 177 18.3 2 0 0 0
Proj DAL   29 410   2      

(+Upside) The lanky 6-3 Austin weighs in around 215 pounds and yet has excellent speed and has been the quiet favorite of the coaching staff for the last two years. When Austin was a restricted free agent this offseason, the Cowboys coughed up $1.5 million for a one year contract so that they can work on a longer term one. Austin only has 18 career catches for 352 yards and three touchdowns but last year averaged 21.4 yards per catch in limited duty (13 catches). He’s a definite sleeper this year but by August the word could be out so much that he’s over-valued in drafts because the best case is that he becomes the #3 option behind Witten and Williams in an offense that rarely has used the flanker role and intends on passing less this year. He holds more promise in a dynasty league but is entering his fourth season. Austin needs to show up in training camp and wrest the flanker spot from Crayton or else he’ll remain in the slot where he’ll get much less play and hold no fantasy value.

Jason Avant - PHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 54
Keeper: 59
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 PHI 5 7 68 9.7 1      
2007 PHI 15 23 267 11.6 2 1 1  
2008 PHI 15 32 377 11.8 2      
Avg   12 21 237 11.0 2 0 0 0
Proj PHI   38 570   3      

Avant will be the slot receiver this year and comes off a career best 32 catches for 377 yards and two scores last year. It’s not enough for fantasy merit and likely to decrease if Jeremy Maclin gets up to speed quickly. Avant is not worth a fantasy roster spot this year.

Donnie Avery - KCC YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 32
Keeper: 27
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 STL 15 53 674 12.7 3 10 69 1
Avg   15 53 674 12.7 3 10 69 1
Proj KCC   65 850   5      

Avery had a fairly encouraging rookie season when he caught 53 passes for 674 yards and three scores last year and he even added a rushing score. He had to nurse a sore hip for several weeks but never missed a game. Now with the departure of Torry Holt, Avery finds himself as the clear #1 wideout for the Rams. He’ll also have to learn a new offense this year and no longer enjoy the benefits of playing across from Torry Holt. Expect Avery to have an improved season but his fantasy value won’t merit a start other than in the biggest of leagues.

09-12-09 Update: Avery has a stress fracture that will sideline for 4 to 6 weeks and he'll likely miss at least one season game. Avery will still be the #1 thanks to a lack of other talent on the team but he's missing time in the new offense and will likely start the year still injured.

Ramses Barden - BUF YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 98
Keeper: 104
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj BUF   21 330   1      

Barden was drafted with the Giants 3.21 pick and the Cal Poly product has already been impressive in minicamps. He brings a 6-6, 227 pound frame that could replace Plaxico Burress eventually or even play as an H-back or tight end. Barden will likely develop in to a goal line threat and could have a role over the middle but he’s raw and has much to learn. His only fantasy value is in very deep dynasty leagues until he gets some playing time during the season to see how he adjusts to the pro game and how the Giants want to use him.

Hank Baskett - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 94
Keeper: 101
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 PHI 14 22 464 21.1 2      
2007 PHI 16 16 142 8.9 1      
2008 PHI 15 33 440 13.3 3      
Avg   15 24 349 14.4 2 0 0 0
Proj FA   20 300   2      

Baskett continues as just depth for the Eagles and he comes off a career year with only 33 catches for 440 yards and three scores last year. Look for more of the same this year and possibly less since Jeremy Maclin could end up stealing receptions.

Arnaz Battle - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 112
Keeper: 82
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
Movement:
2006 SFO 16 59 686 11.6 3 5 25  
2007 SFO 16 50 600 12.0 5 4 4 1
2008 SFO 9 24 318 13.3   1 18  
Avg   14 44 535 12.3 3 3 16 0
Proj FA   18 240   1      

No analysis available.

Earl Bennett - CHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 55
Keeper: 53
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 CHI 10              
Avg   10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj CHI   41 610   2      

(+Upside) Earl Bennett was drafted with the 3.07 pick of the Bears in 2008 but he never had a catch after signing a four year contract worth only $2.5 million. On most teams that would make Bennett be a footnote that only diehard fans would know. On the Bears, that makes him a starting wide receiver. At least probably.

Bennett admitted that he had problems learning the playbook last season but thanks to a dearth of any other talent, the Bears are considering Bennett to start across from Devin Hester (who would not start for most teams). They did not draft a first round wideout this year (and couldn’t thanks to the trade for Cutler) and that leaves Bennett with a golden opportunity. There’s one more thing that many will probably overvalue – Bennett played with Cutler at Vanderbilt. Bennett has been reported to look very sharp in minicamps and so far the coaches are feeling better about the prospect of using him this year.

Much like Hester, Bennett may be worthwhile to grab in a really deep league just to see what happens during the season but there’s no reason to pin any hopes on him becoming your fantasy starter this year.

Bernard Berrian - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 16
Keeper: 18
Auction 10: 8%
Auction 12: 6%
2006 CHI 15 51 775 15.2 6 2 5  
2007 MIN 16 71 951 13.4 5      
2008 MIN 16 48 964 20.1 7 4 26  
Avg   16 57 897 16.2 6 2 10 0
Proj FA   64 1020   7      

Berrian gave the Vikings exactly what they were hoping for when they overpaid him last offseason. Despite seeing a 33% decline in his receptions, Berrian’s yards per catch spiked north of 20 and he established career highs in both yardage (964) and touchdowns (seven). Thirty-six receivers saw more balls come their way, but Berrian maximized his role as Minnesota’s deep threat by parlaying those limited opportunities into fantasy numbers that ranked him as a solid WR2. And of course, Berrian fulfilled his ultimate purpose—stretching the defense for the Vikings’ ground game.

The Vikings remain dedicated to the running game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean bad news for Berrian. For starters, he’ll have a more accurate quarterback (either Sage Rosenfels, Brett Favre, or an improved Tarvaris Jackson) throwing the ball his way. Rosenfels ranked second behind Drew Brees in yards per attempt among quarterbacks with at least 100 passes last year, so he’d certainly provide more opportunities than Jackson’s heave-and-a-prayer approach. And with Percy Harvin attracting defensive attention in addition to safeties creeping into the box to slow Adrian Peterson, Berrian should see plenty of single coverage down the field—coverage he demonstrated last year he’s more than capable of defeating. It’s tough to bank on a Vikings receiver as a fantasy WR1 given their quarterback uncertainty and commitment to the run, but another season as a more-than-helpful fantasy WR2 is queued up for Berrian.

Davone Bess - CLE YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 81
Keeper: 83
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 MIA 16 54 554 10.3 1 1 13  
Avg   16 54 554 10.3 1 1 13 0
Proj CLE   38 460   1      

Bess would be preferred to play the slot but the slow healing Greg Camarillo may force Bess into being the starting flanker which he was in minicamps. That would not be the strongest way for the Miami passing offense to go into the year since Bess only had 554 yards on 54 catches and just one score as a rookie. His 10.3 yards per catch is a bit anemic for a wideout. The Fins passing attack is hardly a fantasy goldmine and Bess may end up the #2 there. No need to reach into a situation with no upside.

06-27-09 Update: Camarillo is looking like he may get healthy in time for the season this year so Bess falls back to the slot.

Anquan Boldin - SFO YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 13
Keeper: 13
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 10%
2006 ARI 16 83 1203 14.5 4 5 28  
2007 ARI 12 71 853 12.0 9 1 14  
2008 ARI 12 89 1038 11.7 11 9 67  
Avg   13 81 1031 12.7 8 5 36 0
Proj SFO   80 1020   9      

(+Upside) Despite a ton of rumors and speculation, Boldin was not dealt to another team before or during the NFL draft and as of yet has not been signed to a bigger contract by the Cardinals. While both sides posture, the reality is that Boldin really is worth the money that he is asking for and ranked #2 among all wideouts with 11 receiving touchdowns last year. His downside is injury – in six seasons he has lasted all sixteen games twice in his career. His 11 scores last year came in just 12 games played. Boldin had a hamstring issue during the spring as a reminder of his durability problems.

Playing in Arizona, Boldin is a formidable weapon that deserves fantasy attention because he already has four seasons over 1000 yards despite missing 16 games over the last six years. He was much more productive in the first half of 2008 but that was indicative of his career. So far, Boldin has not committed to reporting to training camp in late July so the drama may not be over just because he has not been traded.

Marty Booker - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 97
Keeper: 105
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 MIA 14 55 747 13.6 6 3 19  
2007 CHI 15 50 556 11.1 1 2 12  
2008 CHI 13 14 211 15.1 2 1 3  
Avg   14 40 505 13.3 3 2 11 0
Proj FA   20 330   1      

He's not a lock to make the final roster but comes in to offer veteran presence on a team that just lost Harry Douglas for the year with a torn ACL and Roddy White is holding out.

Dwayne Bowe - KCC YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 11
Keeper: 9
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 10%
2006                  
2007 KCC 16 70 995 14.2 5      
2008 KCC 16 86 1022 11.9 7      
Avg   16 78 1009 13.1 6 0 0 0
Proj KCC   98 1280   7      

(+Upside) It would seem hard to imagine Bowe having a breakout third season when he’s had almost exactly 1000 yards and six scores in both of his first two NFL seasons. He was the third most targeted player (157) in the league last year and the Chiefs will be without Tony Gonzalez this year. That was 155 more targets last year that need to find new home in 2009. The Chiefs are in a rebuilding year and there is every reason to believe that they will throw just as much or more than they did in 2008. This should be a golden opportunity for Bowe to join the ranks of the most productive wideouts in the NFL.

What may complicate this is that Bowe no longer has Gonzalez there to draw attention – can Bowe thrive when he is the main focus of the secondary? His work ethic has been called into question before – will he work even harder to be that stud #1 receiver that is schemed against by every defense? Bowe may be the only notable weapon of the Chiefs this year and the defense may not care about anyone else.

Drafting Bowe may take a small leap of faith from the change in offense, quarterback and the loss of Gonzo but his opportunity and situation is ripe for a huge season. The payback could be huge.

09-12-09 Update: Bowe began camp as second string which will never last but he's not as sharp in camp as desired and dropping passes as well. He slides down a few spots but the Chiefs are really having a lack of any other receivers so Bowe will play a big role by default.

Mark Bradley - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 62
Keeper: 54
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 CHI 7 16 300 18.8 3      
2007 CHI 15 6 71 11.8 1      
2008 CHI 2              
Avg   8 7 124 10.2 1 0 0 0
Proj FA   38 480   3      

(-Risk) (+Upside) Bradley has a chance to be the starting wideout across from Dwayne Bowe and use his fifth season to have a breakout in an offense that will need productive receivers. Bradley’s first season in Kansas City only produced 380 yards and three scores but both were career marks from yet another player who has been all about potential and injury-marred seasons. Starting at midseason last year, Bradley had a five game burst with all three touchdowns and about 60 yards per game but then injured his ankle. Bradley is hard to rely on but if he can ever stay healthy, he could be a sleeper to own this year. But the risk is very high – he should not be more than disposable depth for your team.

08-05-09 Update: Bradley loses a little ground with the signing of Manai Toomer.

Deion Branch - IND YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 105
Keeper: 70
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 SEA 14 53 725 13.7 4 4 30  
2007 SEA 11 49 661 13.5 4      
2008 SEA 8 30 412 13.7 4      
Avg   11 44 599 13.6 4 1 10 0
Proj IND   18 240   2      

(-Risk) Branch enters his fourth season in Seattle but his first three have been disappointments that always end with injury. He missed eight games last year and was limited to 30 catches for 412 yards. Even his first season in Seattle missed two weeks and every season has resulted in exactly four touchdowns. Branch may play split end across from Houshmandzadeh but he is coming off a knee scope in the offseason and missed all the spring work. Barring a trade, expect Branch to disappoint once again while offering just enough decent play to keep him on someone’s fantasy roster.

Steve Breaston - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 36
Keeper: 32
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006                  
2007 ARI 16 8 92 11.5   2 8  
2008 ARI 16 77 1006 13.1 3 2 8  
Avg   16 43 549 12.3 2 2 8 0
Proj FA   70 810   5      

No doubt the most popular sleeper if Boldin leaves the Cardinals. Breaston showed great improvement in his second season when he had 77 catches for 1,006 yards and three touchdowns last season playing from the slot. Playing in place of Anquan Boldin for four games last year, Breaston turned in two games over 90 yards and a touchdown in each while the two other match-ups were far less productive. But Breaston did manage three games over 100 yards and already has been the most productive slot receiver as of last year.

Breaston is worth owning regardless if Boldin is there or not (since he is often hurt anyway). But if Boldin does leave, look for Breaston to turn in a classic third year breakout thanks to playing with Warner and across from Fitzgerald.

Kenny Britt - TEN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 70
Keeper: 68
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj TEN   26 420   3      

The Titans took Britt with their 1.30 pick in the draft with the intention that he would get playing time this year – there’s hardly a well stocked crew of wideouts in Tennessee. Britt is built like an NFL receiver, and his size allows him to go across the middle without fear and break tackles once he has the ball. He also has decent speed and accelerates quickly, but he lacks the elite speed to be a true deep threat. He caught 87 balls for 1,371 yards and seven touchdowns during his final campaign at Rutgers; he also carried seven times for 78 yards and a touchdown. For his three-year career, Britt recorded 178 receptions for 3,043 yards—a new Big East record—and 17 touchdowns along with the aforementioned 7-78-1 on the ground.

Britt should end up as the slot receiver in Tennessee this year but the Titans rarely use the position much. His value is longer term after he has learned the game and the Titans can work him into the starting lineup. There is a chance he could become a starter by week one but he’ll need a huge training camp before the coaches would be comfortable using him. The Titans do not throw much – 30th last year – so even long term his value is limited.

08-17-09 Update: He missed the HOF game and much time with a hammy strain but he caught five passes for 89 yards and a score in the second game and looks like he may actually show up this year. Worth tracking and his dyunasty value gets a bump as well.

Isaac Bruce - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 68
Keeper: 103
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 STL 16 74 1098 14.8 3      
2007 SFO 14 55 733 13.3 4 2 -4  
2008 SFO 16 61 835 13.7 7 1 -3  
Avg   15 63 889 13.9 5 1 0 0
Proj FA   29 420   3      

The 37-year old Bruce will probably start the season as the flanker but there is no certainty that he will finish with the job and it does the team little good to have Bruce play over other receivers who could use the playing time to develop. Brandon Jones is likely to at least get some playing time at the expense of Bruce if not replace him during the season. Bruce has the name but not much else this year.

06-27-09 Update: Bruce is sliding back to the bench it appears. He is the oldest playing wideout and 15 seasons deserves some rest. He's remaining to offer veteran depth and help out with all the young wideouts.

Antonio Bryant - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 40
Keeper: 36
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006 SFO 14 40 733 18.3 3      
2007                  
2008 TBB 16 83 1248 15.0 7 2 22  
Avg   15 62 991 16.7 5 1 11 0
Proj FA   60 800   4      

Bryant finally had a season that met his potential when he spent a year out of football and then returned to play for the Bucs. He ended with a team high 83 catches for 1248 yards and seven scores – all career high marks by a large margin. But his one magic year did not result in a new contract. The Bucs slapped a franchise tag on him and coughed up $9.8 million dollars for this year. That means, even according to Bryant, that this is a “show me again so I will believe it” year.

What will present a challenge is that all the coaches are gone from last year and a new West Coast offense is being installed. The new offense still does not have a starting quarterback and even when one is named, it could and probably will change as the season progresses. Until Josh Freeman is the started, it will change and that could be 2010 before that happens. Bryant also will have Kellen Winslow there vying for passes unlike last year when Bryant was about all there was to catch the ball. He’ll likely fall in stats this year but still will offer fantasy value. Problem is someone else in your league will take him too early expecting 2008 to repeat.

Nate Burleson - DET YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 43
Keeper: 58
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 SEA 14 18 192 10.7 2      
2007 SEA 16 50 694 13.9 9 2 4  
2008 SEA 1 5 60 12.0 1      
Avg   10 24 315 12.2 4 1 1 0
Proj DET   50 660   5      

Burleson underwent reconstructive knee surgery during last season and should be ready to play in 2009. He’s already been running in minicamps and will be ready for training camp. Burleson will likely play split end if he can prove healthy and remain that way. Unlike Deion Branch, Burleson has been healthy the first two seasons in Seattle before suffering his knee injury in week one last season. He’s a slightly better bet than Branch but needs to show up in training camp to prove how well he has recovered from his knee surgery.

Keenan Burton - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 106
Keeper: 76
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 STL 13 13 172 13.2 1 3 8  
Avg   13 13 172 13.2 1 3 8 0
Proj FA   21 300   1      

Burton is in the mix to be a starter this year after a rookie season with 13 catches for 172 yards because the Rams just have no depth. He’ll be competing with Laurent Robinson to be the #2 receiver and early expectations are that he’ll likely secure it by week one. Burton has no vested experience though since the offense is changing and Robinson has far more experience in his two seasons so it is no given that Burton starts. Track it during training camp but know regardless the #2 in St. Louis may never be worthy of a fantasy start this season.

Andre Caldwell - DEN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 117
Keeper: 119
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 CIN 7 11 78 7.1   5 53  
Avg   7 11 78 7.1 0 5 53 0
Proj DEN   9 140          

The Bengals third round pick last year didn’t do much with just 11 catches but neither did any other receivers once Palmer was gone. Caldwell is still a year away from having fantasy value if he even does then. Worth tracking for the future if Ochocinco does actually leave. Caldwell will play special teams but also has Jerome Simpson to contend with for playing time.

Greg Camarillo - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 89
Keeper: 88
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 MIA 15 8 160 20.0 2      
2008 MIA 11 55 613 11.1 2 2 1  
Avg   13 32 387 15.6 2 1 1 0
Proj FA   33 450          

Camarillo may start the season on the PUP list from his ACL and meniscus surgery last year but he has already shown up in a limited capacity in the offseason. He had potential but he’s too risky to consider this year. Expect his chances to start the season at less than 50/50.

06-26-09 Update: Camarillo is ahead of schedule and may be ready to actually start in week one. He's still a big risk and likely not worthy of much fantasy attention but he is exceeding expectations in the offseason.

Chris Chambers - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 42
Keeper: 40
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 MIA 16 59 677 11.5 4 8 95  
2007 SDC 16 66 970 14.7 4 3 12  
2008 SDC 14 33 462 14.0 5 1 1  
Avg   15 53 703 13.4 4 4 36 0
Proj FA   55 720   4      

Like Tomlinson and Gates, Chambers spent much of 2008 with nagging injuries and even missed two games. He suffered through ankle problems much of the year and then ended with a neck sprain. He only had 462 yards on 33 catches for five scores in his worst NFL season ever. In 2007, a healthy Chambers turned in 66 catches for 970 yards and four scores. He started 2008 with all five touchdowns coming in the first five games. It was a lost season for Chambers and at 31 years of age, he should return to form in 2009 with several good seasons left to play. He’s not going to be a major sleeper because his production is limited on the Chargers by Tomlinson and Gates, but Chambers comes as a bigger bargain this year and is a solid choice for fantasy depth that could return to your starting lineup in a pinch. The emergence of Vincent Jackson will also cap what Chambers can do.

Michael Clayton - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 69
Keeper: 61
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 TBB 12 33 356 10.8 1 5 41  
2007 TBB 14 22 301 13.7   5 22  
2008 TBB 15 38 484 12.7 1 2 5  
Avg   14 31 380 12.4 1 4 23 0
Proj FA   35 480   2      

Clayton gets a major advantage this year - he is neither Kellen Winslow nor Antonio Bryant so the season should be full of single coverage and defenses watching two other players more. Clayton signed a five-year, $24 million deal to remain with the Bucs and $10.5 million was guaranteed. 2008 was his best effort since his rookie year but there’s a new offense being installed this year and a potentially changing quarterback situation. At 6-4, 215 pounds, Clayton could be a nice fit in the new West Coast scheme but it may be next year before the passing game takes off in Tampa Bay.

Mark Clayton - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 61
Keeper: 95
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 BAL 16 67 939 14.0 5 7 -30  
2007 BAL 16 48 531 11.1        
2008 BAL 16 41 695 17.0 3 6 81 1
Avg   16 52 722 14.0 3 4 17 0
Proj FA   30 490   3      

Clayton enters the final year of his rookie contract so a big season would indeed be of great benefit to him. But Clayton has never shown the consistency needed to take the next step and his first four years peaked in just his second season when he had 67 catches for 939 yards and five scores. Last year with Joe Flacco at the helm, Clayton only managed 41 catches for 695 yards and three scores but there was some reason for optimism. Clayton had two games with over 100 yards. Almost all his other games were less than 50 yards though so there is no reason to expect much more than his norm this year despite his contract situation.

Clayton is worthy of being fantasy depth and he will have at least a couple of decent games, but guessing which ones they will be is almost impossible.

07-25-09 Update: Until Derrick Mason returns or another better veteran is signed, Clayton becomes as good as it will get in Baltimore. That's probably not all that good in fantasy terms, but it should easily be a career year barring any other team additions.

08-08-09 Update: Clayton suffered a bad hamstring strain and will miss four to six weeks. That drops his draft stock.

David Clowney - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 91
Keeper: 86
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 NYJ 2 1 26 26.0        
Avg   2 1 26 26.0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   22 320   2      

Clowney will compete with Chansi Stuckey to take Laveranues Coles place but the second year player only has one catch in the NFL and has a long road to convince the coaching staff that he should go from being a fifth round pick with virtually no game experience to being a starter. Worth watching but Stuckey is more likely to win the job and allow the Clowney to take the slot.

08-17-09 Update: Clowney looked great in the first game with three catches for 102 yards and he deserves a slight bump but the CB he burned (Joseph David) was also released two days later.

Laveranues Coles - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 26
Keeper: 30
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 3%
2006 NYJ 16 91 1098 12.1 6 2 14  
2007 NYJ 12 55 646 11.7 6      
2008 NYJ 16 70 850 12.1 7 2 9  
Avg   15 72 865 12.0 6 1 8 0
Proj FA   68 900   5      

(+Upside) The 31-year old nine year veteran leaves the Jets for the second time and inherits the flanker role of Houshmandzadeh. The move could prove particularly beneficial for Coles who will play with the most talented quarterback of his career. He’s played with Chad Pennington, Brooks Bollinger, Vinny Testaverde and Patrick Ramsey as his starting quarterbacks. And yet still he had three seasons over 1000 yards and typically ended with at least 850 yards every year while averaging six scores over the last four seasons.

This is an excellent chance for Coles to string some nice years before he gets too old. He is in his prime and now actually will play with a quarterback who has been to a Pro Bowl. And Chad Ochocinco will command more respect from safeties than Jerricho Cotchery, Rod Gardner or Wayne Chrebet ever did. That’s all opportunity for Coles who will likely be undervalued in many drafts this summer.

Austin Collie - NEP YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 79
Keeper: 84
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj NEP   26 410   2      

(+Upside) Collie attracted immediate attention when he was drafted with the Colts 4.27 and the BYU standout brings in a nice package at 6-2 and 206 pounds that has him already compared to Brandon Stokley (AKA the only slot receiver that ever mattered for the Colts). It should take Collie a while to get the #3 role and no doubt he’ll be drafted far too early in redraft leagues where he shouldn’t be drafted at all.

Collie could show up this season but likely only in a limited role and the Colts have drifted away from using the slot position much. Occasionally Wayne will take the slot to gain a better matchup but not nearly enough for the #3 to get on the field in a good enough position to matter. It always feels good drafting a rookie on the Colts but remember that Gonzalez only gained 576 yards and three scores in his rookie season and most of that came when he replaced an injured Marvin Harrison most of the year.

Marques Colston - NOS YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 9
Keeper: 12
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 10%
2006 NOS 13 70 1038 14.8 8      
2007 NOS 16 98 1202 12.3 11      
2008 NOS 11 47 760 16.2 5      
Avg   13 72 1000 14.4 8 0 0 0
Proj NOS   88 1140   10      

(-Risk) (+Upside) Colston missed five games last year and played gimpy in others until week 10. Then, finally, he gained 678 yards on 42 catches for five touchdowns over the final eight games. That was much more like the pace he had in 2007 when he turned 98 catches into 1202 yards and 11 touchdowns. Colston had a procedure in January to his knee that was later disclosed to be a microfracture surgery on a small hole in his kneecap. He was running in May and is expected to be ready for June minicamps and training camp but any surgery is an obvious risk and Colston nor the Saints let on that it happened in January.

Colston could have a monster year if he is truly healthy and early word is that the Saints are not concerned with his health as they acquired no free agent wide receivers and drafted none as well. He’ll be a definite watch in training camp but until he still is limited in training camp, consider him good to go for this year.

Terrance Copper - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 82
Keeper: 91
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 NOS 9 23 385 16.7 3 1 8  
2007 NOS 15 15 126 8.4 2      
2008 KCC 7              
Avg   10 13 170 8.4 2 0 3 0
Proj FA   29 370   2      

No analysis available.

Jerricho Cotchery - PIT YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 38
Keeper: 37
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006 NYJ 16 82 961 11.7 6 5 25  
2007 NYJ 15 82 1130 13.8 2 5 38  
2008 NYJ 16 71 858 12.1 5 2 8  
Avg   16 78 983 12.5 4 4 24 0
Proj PIT   70 860   4      

(-Risk) (+Upside) Cotchery gets the chance to finally be the #1 wideout for the Jets but whether he’ll do much with the opportunity remains to be seen. Laveranues Coles is gone and likely replaced with only David Clowney or Chansi Stuckey. That’ll mean that Cotchery now becomes the marked man by the secondary. His best season came in 2007 when he had 82 catches for 1130 yards but he fell back to just 858 yards last year despite playing with Brett Favre.

No doubt that the Jets will need to throw this season and that Cotchery should be the leading receiver (assuming the tight end Keller doesn’t). How much that will be worth depends on what happens with Mark Sanchez. That makes Cotchery a risk, but also with much upside and he’ll come cheap enough that he will be worth the gamble. Take him as your receiver depth and see if he becomes a starter for you.

Michael Crabtree - SFO YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 111
Keeper: 56
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj SFO   15 240   1      

(-Risk) (+Upside) The 49ers made Crabtree the second wide receiver drafted this year when they spent their 1.10 pick on the Texas Tech star (thanks to Al Davis’ advancing dementia taking Darius Heyward-Bey). Crabtree required foot surgery early in the preseason but his productivity in college was undeniable; his gaudy stats and back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards are testament to that. He has good size, though he measured a little shorter than expected at the Combine, and he’s strong and physical much like Anquan Boldin. Crabtree’s ball skills are legendary, as he consistently battled double coverage and came away with the football. His hands are excellent—Crabtree caught 94 percent of passes thrown to him and he has both the strength to break tackles and the elusiveness to avoid them once he makes the grab.

The only question is when will Crabtree become the starting split end? He’s fallen behind a bit because of the foot injury rehab and has to learn a new offense along with the rest of the team. No doubt Crabtree will be considered for slot work at a minimum but training camp will be needed to determine what his role will be on week one. His talent will be evident soon enough but he has ground to make up quickly in camp. A definite watch this summer and in dynasty leagues an obvious pick that eluded Al Davis but should not get past you.

08-08-09 Update: Michael Crabtree says he's willing to sit out the entire year and re-enter the 2010 draft. He's missing crucial camp time right now that sets him back in the best case scenario.

08-28-09 Update: Crabtree actually may sit out the 2009 NFL season and he just about might as well since he has missed all the camp anyway. He's dropping like a rock even in a dynasty league draft.

09-04-09 Update: Yeah, you show him who the man is, Mike. He's already effectively thrown away the 2009 season anyway so sitting out won't do him any more harm until next year when he is no longer the 10th pick wanting to be paid like he is #5. Benson poisoned his career in Chicago. If Crabtree holds out all year, he's going to poison his NFL career.

Patrick Crayton - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 48
Keeper: 62
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 DAL 15 36 516 14.3 4      
2007 DAL 15 50 697 13.9 7      
2008 DAL 16 39 550 14.1 4 1 11  
Avg   15 42 588 14.1 5 0 4 0
Proj FA   39 510   5      

Crayton is back to playing flanker in minicamp and no doubt will start out that way in training camp as well. But he is no lock to keep the position since the coaching staff prefers Miles Austin. He just does not have the experience that Crayton does for now. Crayton has been as good as 50 catches for 697 yards and seven scores during pass happy 2007 but his standard is more around 500 yards and four scores much like he had last year. The Cowboys are throwing less this year (if they can) and that will come straight out of what Crayton could do – assuming he continues to hold off Miles Austin. As it stands, Austin is the more interesting play since only he has upside.

Josh Cribbs - NYJ YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 84
Keeper: 99
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 CLE 11 10 91 9.1   2 11  
2007 CLE 16 3 37 12.3   9 61  
2008 CLE 15 2 18 9.0 1 29 167 1
Avg   14 5 49 10.1 0 13 80 0
Proj NYJ   30 360   2      

No analysis available.

Kevin Curtis - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 108
Keeper: 110
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 STL 15 39 469 12.0 4 4 4  
2007 PHI 16 77 1110 14.4 6      
2008 PHI 9 33 390 11.8 2      
Avg   13 50 656 12.7 4 1 1 0
Proj FA   25 290   1      

Curtis underwent groin surgery in the offseason and is expected to be ready for training camp. It was a follow-up procedure on his sports hernia from last year. But the addition of Jeremy Maclin this year should see Curtis lose his job as starting split end and that could happen as early as well one depending on training camp. There is little reason to ever draft Curtis who had his one moment of glory back in 2007 thanks only to a couple of monster games. Maclin is the one to own here and Curtis may return to just be the speedy guy running down the sideline a few times per game.

Andre' Davis - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 76
Keeper: 81
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 BUF 4 2 13 6.5        
2007 HOU 14 33 583 17.7 3      
2008 HOU 12 13 213 16.4        
Avg   10 16 270 13.5 1 0 0 0
Proj FA   25 360   3      

His brief spark in 2007 when Andre Johnson was out due to injury did not signal anything for 2008 when Davis only managed 13 catches and no scores. He’s no longer the certain replacement for Johnson either so leave the 30-year old undrafted since the Texans opted to match Denver’s offer for David Anderson.

Buster Davis - BUF YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 127
Keeper: 129
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 SDC 14 20 188 9.4 1 3 9  
2008 SDC 4 4 59 14.8        
Avg   9 12 124 12.1 1 2 5 0
Proj BUF   6 70          

(-Risk) Davis underwent surgery on his abdomen and groin at the end of last season and the first round pick from 2007 has been constantly injured and a complete nonfactor so far. Watch him in the offseason to see if he can wrest the #3 spot from Malcolm Floyd but so far nothing he has done indicates he will do anything more than get injured.

Early Doucet - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 123
Keeper: 123
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 ARI 7 14 90 6.4        
Avg   7 14 90 6.4 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   6 90          

A disappointing rookie year left the LSU star with only 14 catches for 90 yards and still no NFL touchdown to his credit. With Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston on the roster, Doucet never got much chance to show what he could do. Expect Doucet to battle with Jerheme Urban for the #4 spot but Doucet is still worth watching regardless. His progress is slow so far but he still could show up this year or next.

Donald Driver - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 31
Keeper: 29
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006 GBP 16 91 1288 14.2 8 7 16  
2007 GBP 15 82 1048 12.8 2 2 4  
2008 GBP 16 74 1012 13.7 5 2 4  
Avg   16 82 1116 13.6 5 4 8 0
Proj FA   66 850   5      

While Driver joined Greg Jennings north of 1,000 receiving yards and caught 74 balls last season, there is no doubt he’s dropped a peg in the Packers’ pecking order. Not only are his catch and yardage numbers trending downwards, his yards-per-catch is a solid three yards less than Jennings; can you say, “possession receiver”? Not that there’s anything wrong with being the No. 2 in a potent Green Bay passing game, and a dramatic dip in Driver’s numbers would be somewhat surprising. However, he’s always been an inconsistent scorer, and with his yardage totals slipping and Jennings firmly ensconced as Aaron Rodgers’ go-to guy… at this point in his career, Driver is a fringe fantasy WR2 at best.

Braylon Edwards - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 18
Keeper: 16
Auction 10: 8%
Auction 12: 4%
2006 CLE 16 60 879 14.7 6 4 12  
2007 CLE 16 80 1289 16.1 16      
2008 CLE 16 55 873 15.9 3      
Avg   16 65 1014 15.6 8 1 4 0
Proj FA   72 1020   5      

(-Risk) (+Upside) The Browns ranked 31st or worst in wideout catches, yards and scores. One player more than any could be blamed – Edwards. He built expectations up with 80 catches for 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007 and while most expected him to have a decline, the question then was “how much could he really fall after such a big year?” The answer – a lot. A whole lot. Enough to almost singlehandedly kill his fantasy owners who spent no worse than a third and likely a second round pick on him in 2008.

Edwards ended last season with stats close to 2006. He had 55 catches for 873 yards and three scores. His biggest problem was only catching 39% of the passes thrown to him last year. It was as if Edwards had lost all concentration in some games and was a big part of why the Browns struggled last year (hardly the only reason though). He was the subject of many trade rumors in the offseason but nothing transpired and besides, the Browns already gave up on Winslow. They could hardly afford to start all rookies this year thanks to Donte Stallworth’s legal problems.

Expect some improvement from last year with an easier schedule and hopefully some consistency at quarterback from Brady Quinn. The new offensive system should suit his talents so long as he holds on to the ball. He’s a risk until he can prove he has rediscovered his 2007 form and taking Edwards as anything more than a WR3 is optimistic and a risk. To his credit, he only had two games over 100 yards and one came in the two starts by Quinn (@BUF).

Bobby Engram - FA* YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 77
Keeper: 75
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 SEA 6 24 290 12.1 1 1 4  
2007 SEA 16 94 1147 12.2 6      
2008 SEA 13 47 489 10.4        
Avg   12 55 642 11.6 2 0 1 0
Proj FA*   32 420   2      

Engram turns 36 this year and signed a one-year contract with the Chiefs in the twilight of his career. This is his last stop but one that may serve up some stats for a player that has always been a contributor and exceeds expectations almost every season. He has stepped in when needed in any capacity in his stints in Chicago and Seattle and even had his first 1000 yard season at the age of 34 in 2007. Engram will compete for playing time and has more experience than anyone on the team. He may end his career with minimal use this year but he could end up starting because of injuries to other players. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time though it would be the last.

Lee Evans - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 21
Keeper: 24
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 3%
2006 BUF 16 82 1290 15.7 8      
2007 BUF 16 55 849 15.4 5      
2008 BUF 16 63 1017 16.1 3 1 22  
Avg   16 67 1052 15.7 5 0 7 0
Proj FA   50 880   6      

When Evans signed that big $37 million, four year contract last year, little did he know he would not be the #1 wideout going into 2009. At least that will be the expectation of everyone outside the Evans family tree. Evans peaked in 2006 when he had 1292 yards but last year only served up 63 catches for 1017 yards and three scores – the lowest of his career including his rookie season. What’s even worse was that he never scored in the final ten games of the season. Evans broke 100 yards four times last season and to his credit is the fact that two of his worst games both came with Trent Edwards out and J.P. Losman as the starter. Evans biggest problem – or rather limiting factor – is that there has yet to be any other receiver on the Bills that the secondary has to worry about – at least until now.

What the Owens-effect might be remains to be seen on this team with a young quarterback and a scheme that ranked in the bottom ten for passes, completions and passing yardage last year. That could result in fewer passes coming to Evans. It could mean more. Historically, the guy across from Owens has not typically fared well though none have offered the talent level of Evans (since Jerry Rice that is). What Evans should offer is at least a WR3 level of production which is where he’ll likely be drafted. But he may have the promise of being a notch better than that depending on the progress of Trent Edwards and how defenses react to this new offensive look. If nothing else, this should mean more long completions for Evans since the safety will likely now shadow Owens and streaking down the sideline is where Evans is playing to his best strength.

Lower your expectations for Evans from previous seasons since he will not perform as well but don’t think he no longer has value. He could end up just about as good depending on how things develop.

Brian Finneran - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 124
Keeper: 126
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 ATL 16 21 169 8.0 1      
Avg   16 21 169 8.0 1 0 0 0
Proj FA   10 90          

Finneran should be back for another season but at the age of 33, his already mediocre skills are starting to diminish and after years of catching just two scores per season, he only managed one touchdown in 2008 and only 21 catches for a paltry 8.0 yard per catch average. Leave him alone from now on.

Larry Fitzgerald - ARI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 3
Keeper: 1
Auction 10: 25%
Auction 12: 20%
2006 ARI 13 68 941 13.8 6 1 5  
2007 ARI 15 100 1409 14.1 10      
2008 ARI 16 96 1431 14.9 12      
Avg   15 88 1260 14.3 9 0 2 0
Proj ARI   105 1420   12      

The main weapon in this offense is not only Larry Fitzgerald, but even when he is the only weapon he is pretty much unstoppable with Kurt Warner throwing the ball. Fitzgerald was tied for the NFL lead with 12 receiving touchdowns last season and ranked #2 with 1,431 yards. It was a career best year for a player that already has three seasons with 10+ touchdowns and 1400+ yards. With Warner re-signed and a schedule that is one of the easiest in the NFL, there is no reason why Fitzgerald shouldn’t have yet another stellar season.

The Boldin situation impacts the Cardinals but not so much for Fitzgerald who will get his catches regardless who lines up on the other side. And Fitzgerald gets to play @SF, @DET and STL in weeks 14 to 16 so he’s a premiere wideout with what should be great weather and matchups when you need him most. Last season often hits the productivity of most wideouts – not so with Fitzgerald. His only downside is that he will be appearing on the cover of the Madden NFL 10 video game.

Malcom Floyd - SDC YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 83
Keeper: 89
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 SDC 11 15 210 14.0 3      
2007 SDC 6 7 97 13.9        
2008 SDC 13 27 465 17.2 4      
Avg   10 16 257 15.0 2 0 0 0
Proj SDC   24 370   2      

Floyd has signed his one-year tender offer from the Chargers and should remain the #3 wideout this year with Craig Davis still nursing injuries. He’s never going to be a fantasy starter or more than a slot receiver.

Jabar Gaffney - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 125
Keeper: 127
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 NEP 7 11 142 12.9 1      
2007 NEP 16 36 449 12.5 5      
2008 NEP 16 38 468 12.3 2      
Avg   13 28 353 12.6 3 0 0 0
Proj FA   10 80          

Gaffney will try to make the team and hope for the slot but he’s likely to be no better than a #4 in this offense and that has no fantasy value.

Justin Gage - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 45
Keeper: 46
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 CHI 2 4 68 17.0        
2007 TEN 16 55 750 13.6 2      
2008 TEN 12 34 651 19.1 6      
Avg   10 31 490 16.6 3 0 0 0
Proj FA   43 710   4      

Gage was the #1 receiver last year when he caught 34 passes for 651 yards and six scores but his workload decreased from the 55 receptions he had in 2007. The Titans have brought in Nate Washington and drafted Kenny Britt and either could eventually overtake Gage on the depth chart but to start the season Gage will remain the flanker and likely remain there all season. Washington and Britt can sort out the split end and slot positions but this offense is hardly pass-friendly. The Titans wideouts ranked 30th in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns last year. That means even the #1 wideout may not be worth a fantasy start unless it is a bigger league.

Joey Galloway - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 74
Keeper: 77
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 TBB 16 62 1057 17.0 7 2 9  
2007 TBB 15 57 1014 17.8 6 1 1  
2008 TBB 9 13 138 10.6        
Avg   13 44 736 15.1 4 1 3 0
Proj FA   23 370   3      

Joey Galloway heads to New England but at 38 years old but there is no reason to expect him to have a spike in production like Randy Moss and Wes Welker did. Last year finally saw Galloway succumb to age when he suffered a foot problem and only played nine games last season. He had a career low 13 catches for 138 yards and no scores after turning in 1000 yard seasons in each of the three previous years. Galloway is reported to still run a 4.4/40 even at his age but that only means t hat he’ll occasionally be a deep threat. No reason to draft the oldest wideout in the NFL.

Pierre Garcon - WAS YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 107
Keeper: 111
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 IND 14 4 23 5.8        
Avg   14 4 23 5.8 0 0 0 0
Proj WAS   18 290   1      

The sixth-round pick out of Mount Union had a minimal rookie season with only four catches for 23 yards but has been singled out for looking much improved in minicamps this offseason. Garcon will compete with Roy Hall and rookie Austin Collie for the slot role this year and may have an inside track on week one but smart money says that Collie takes it away at some point this year. Training camp will unravel this though the slot has not been very productive in recent years since the Colts go to fewer three wideout sets.

Ted Ginn Jr. - CAR YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 28
Keeper: 26
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 2%
2006                  
2007 MIA 16 34 420 12.4 2 4 3  
2008 MIA 16 56 790 14.1 2 5 73 2
Avg   16 45 605 13.3 2 5 38 1
Proj CAR   74 950   4      

Ginn enters his third season but a breakout year would truly be a surprise. Last year saw him with 56 catches for 790 yards and two touchdowns which was incrementally better than his rookie season. The Dolphins have not thrown much to the wide receivers who were below average in every passing category including being jus t 31s t in wide receiver scoring among all NFL teams. Ginn did not help himself with dropping passes but the Fins did not acquire any competition for him so Ginn has a chance to develop for another season. Look for what he has already d one – an incremental increase.

Anthony Gonzalez - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 34
Keeper: 31
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006                  
2007 IND 13 37 576 15.6 3      
2008 IND 16 57 664 11.6 4      
Avg   15 47 620 13.6 4 0 0 0
Proj FA   70 840   5      

(+Upside) Gonzalez reaches the magical third season and he could have a break out year of sorts. He has shown decent progression in his first two seasons and ended 2008 with 57 catches for 664 yards and four touchdowns. There is no doubt that Reggie Wayne takes the double teams and leaves Gonzalez with single coverage which will help. The departure of Marvin Harrison is another boon to Gonzalez’s cause – this year is why they drafted him at the end of the first round in 2007. Chances are best that Gonzalez just shows another year of incremental improvement though since the Colts are using many more two tight end sets now and the rushing effort should pick up for 2009. With Peyton Manning tossing the ball, the third year Gonzalez makes very attractive fantasy depth for your roster.

James Hardy - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 120
Keeper: 124
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 BUF 14 9 87 9.7 2      
Avg   14 9 87 9.7 2 0 0 0
Proj FA   8 100          

Hardy is on the active/PUP list and may enter the season by missing the first six games. He hands off in all but deep dynasty leagues.

Brian Hartline - MIA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 85
Keeper: 73
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj MIA   35 420   1      

No analysis available.

Percy Harvin - SEA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 47
Keeper: 48
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj SEA   40 570   5      

The selection of Harvin with the 21st overall pick in Round One represented a bit of a departure for the Vikings. Harvin’s numerous character red flags—more than one analyst characterized him as a first-round talent with free agent-caliber character, a point dramatically emphasized by his reportedly testing positive for marijuana at the Scouting Combine—didn’t seem to mesh with Brad Childress’ code of conduct, but with Chilly’s job likely on the line talent trumped table manners. Harvin also seemed an odd fit in a run-first offense that has failed to demonstrate much if any creativity under the Childress/Darrell Bevel regime. Mix in concerns about Harvin’s durability (another attribute Vikings fans were reminded of when Harvin missed the team’s first rookie minicamp due to extreme dehydration) and the pick has all the earmarks of a desperate move from a coach clingling to his job.

On the flip side, of course, is Harvin’s weath of talent. The Vikings reportedly added 20-30 plays specifically for Harvin during the OTAs he was able to attend, including some in Minnesota’s version of the Wildcat formation. And when Harvin is on the field, defenses will have to account for him—opening yet another running lane for Adrian Peterson. As an added bonus, the Vikings plan to use Harvin to jump-start a moribund return game; though he did not handle those chores in college, his speed and playmaking ability in the open-field certainly indicate he has the skills to do so.

Ultimately, fantasy owners looking at Harvin will have to make the same risk vs. reward assessment the Vikings did. On the plus side, Childress has demonstrated he’ll give his hand-picked players every opportunity (see: Jackson, Tarvaris) and Harvin demonstrated on college’s biggest stage that he has the talent to make plays and break games open. On the negative: Harvin’s ability to stay on the field (whether it be health-related issues or character concerns), the Vikings’ run-first offense and quarterback questions, and a 20-plus year history of Florida wide receivers flaming out at the NFL level.

Devery Henderson - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 72
Keeper: 78
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 NOS 12 32 745 23.3 5 2 14 1
2007 NOS 16 20 409 20.5 3 2 20  
2008 NOS 16 32 793 24.8 3 4 33  
Avg   15 28 649 22.9 4 3 22 0
Proj FA   26 400   3      

(+Upside) Henderson enters his sixth season with the Saints and comes off a career best season of 32 catches for 793 yards (24.8 YPC!) and scored three times. He’s never been able to hold onto a starting job when given the chance but has played well in replacement for other injured starters. That could come into play again this year with Lance Moore nursing a sore shoulder and Colston at least a concern from having knee surgery. The situation should become clearer in training camp but Henderson never makes for more than disposable wideout depth with a chance that he hits a productive stretch when you can use him.

Chris Henry - CIN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 66
Keeper: 71
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 CIN 13 37 616 16.6 9      
2007 CIN 8 21 343 16.3 2      
2008 CIN 12 19 220 11.6 2      
Avg   11 26 393 14.8 4 0 0 0
Proj CIN   24 400   4      

Henry got another chance to play for the Bengals in 2008 but had one of his worst seasons along with the rest of the passing game that missed Carson Palmer. The most surprising detail about Henry is that Palmer has been talking him up, saying that the long-beleaguered wideout has finally turned his life around and is expected to be a contributor. In his best season, Henry had 36 catches for 605 yards and nine scores. He’ll be hard pressed to return to that level of productivity but may have some fantasy value this year. It won’t be consistent enough to warrant starting him but he may become a reasonable bye week filler.

Devin Hester - CHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 27
Keeper: 28
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 2%
2006                  
2007 CHI 16 20 299 15.0 2 7 -10  
2008 CHI 15 51 665 13.0 3 6 61  
Avg   16 36 482 14.0 3 7 26 0
Proj CHI   64 890   5      

(+Upside) Certainly no one stands to benefit more from Jay Cutler coming on board than does Hester. But he’s always been over-valued in the fantasy world by those who can only remember his record-setting special teams play back in 2006. Last year was Hester’s best chance and yet his third season ended with a pedestrian 665 yards on 51 catches (just a 13.0 YPC) and three touchdowns. He has never produced a 100 yard game in his career and was overshadowed by the receiving ability of a 230 pound running back last year. But Cutler has a big arm and can throw a much better deep ball than Kyle Orton could last year.

The offense preferred to throw to the running back and tight ends more than the wideouts last season so expecting fantasy relevant numbers by any wideout here is optimistic. There is upside here, but it makes sense to make Hester part of your depth to see what happens. Do not draft him expecting a week one starter.

Darrius Heyward-Bey - IND YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 56
Keeper: 57
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj IND   30 490   4      

(+Upside) The Raiders used their 1.07 pick to make Heyward-Bey be the first wide receiver taken in the draft this year and his speed (4.3/40) was simply too much for Al Davis to pass up. Heyward-Bey is also capable of making moves at top speed, hitting a seam in the defense and going the distance. His prototypical size (6-2, 210) also helps him win battles against opposing defenders, though more through his athleticism and leaping ability than by overpowering corners. He’s a big play receiver who has all the qualities of a successful NFL wideout except for one – he’s a Raider and will play with JaMarcus Russell who has not impressed in his first two seasons. The Raiders had the least productive set of wide receivers in the entire league last year so the bar is very low for Heyward-Bey.

For 2009, his outlook has to be limited as a rookie on a bad team with a struggling quarterback but for dynasty leagues, he just has too much talent to not be eventually successful. That may take more than one year and it may not happen with Russell at the helm, but at some point Heyward-Bey will deliver the goods. This year expect Heyward-Bey to likely win the starting job in training camp and to offer an inconsistent yet occasionally impressive rookie season.

Domenik Hixon - CAR YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 52
Keeper: 43
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 NYG 16 1 5 5.0   1 -8  
2008 NYG 16 43 596 13.9 2 2 26  
Avg   16 22 301 9.5 1 2 9 0
Proj CAR   38 580   3      

Hixon will start training camp as the first team split end but he may not hold onto that role. He does have three seasons in the Giants system which is important when the wide receiver crew has a turnover to youth movement going on but his best effort came last year with 43 catches for 596 yards and two scores mostly when he replaced Plaxico Burress for the last six games of 2008. While he will likely hold on to the job for week one, it is expected that he will be pushed hard by first round rookie Hakeem Nicks. There is at least minor fantasy value here but a risk since Hixon may not hold on to the job.

Santonio Holmes - NYJ YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 25
Keeper: 25
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 3%
2006 PIT 16 49 824 16.8 2 1 13  
2007 PIT 13 52 942 18.1 8 5 17  
2008 PIT 15 55 821 14.9 5 2 9  
Avg   15 52 862 16.6 5 3 13 0
Proj NYJ   60 910   5      

Holmes never had the third year breakout last year and actually declined some when he had 55 catches for 821 yards and five touchdowns. But expect that he will go higher this year after his nine catches for 131 yards and a score got him the Super Bowl XLIII MVP award. Holmes was consistent last year with more than 50 yards in most games but he never had a 100 yard effort until the Super Bowl. Nice timing for the Steelers, less so for fantasy owners who were looking for a step up from the 942 yards and eight touchdowns he had in 2007.

Holmes has slowly been increasing his number of catches each year but still has only 55 for a career high. Look for another incremental increase in 2009 where a clear leap forward won’t happen despite the faith fantasy fans have in him.

Torry Holt - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 41
Keeper: 45
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 STL 16 93 1188 12.8 10      
2007 STL 16 93 1189 12.8 7      
2008 STL 16 64 796 12.4 3      
Avg   16 83 1058 12.7 7 0 0 0
Proj FA   66 750   4      

Torry Holt 2.0 is likely not an upgrade. Granted, he is only 33 years old in a position that has seen others at least contribute nicely for another year or so but Holt has been hampered by a balky knee for a few seasons despite his insistence that his decline was all about the team around him. He caught only 64 passes last year from a career low 119 targets. He ended with 769 yards and three touchdowns. It was his only season below 1000 since his rookie year when he had 788 yards and six touchdowns. His yards per catch has been declining since 2004 and fell to just 12.4 last season.

Now Holt has left the Rams and Marc Bulger for the Jaguars and David Garrard. The Jaguars did throw better than the Rams last year but have never been above average in NFL terms and less so from a fantasy perspective. Not since Jimmy Smith (or since Garrard took over) has any wideout had more than 65 catches for 761 yards in a season. In fact, the leading wideout last year was Matt Jones with almost exactly the same stats that Holt had (65-761, 2 TD vs. 64-769, 3 TD). Holt claims he has years of quality playing time ahead of him but so far in this offense, what he did in St. Louis last year was the same as the best that ever happened with Garrard.

And the Jaguars are only committed for one year and $3 million which not only shows how little they expect to happen but the fact that Holt signed it shows he knows that was all he could hope to get. It is not unusual for a quickly fading star to change teams for the final year or two. It is highly unusual to ever see them improve their numbers this late into a career that has been on the decline in an offense that was fairly built around him as the receiver. He’ll be drafted too early by the high risk optimist in every league.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 12
Keeper: 11
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 10%
2006 CIN 14 90 1081 12.0 9 3 6  
2007 CIN 16 112 1143 10.2 12 5 14  
2008 CIN 15 92 904 9.8 4 1 9  
Avg   15 98 1043 10.7 8 3 10 0
Proj FA   82 1110   9      

Houshmandzadeh finally left the Bengals and landed in Seattle where he signed a five-year deal worth $40 million that included $15 million in guarantees. This is the player the Seahawks want to be the center of the passing game. He had an less productive season in Cincinnati last year with Carson Palmer out but when Palmer did play, Houshmandzadeh was cranking out the 90+ catch seasons with 1100 or so yards and up to 12 touchdowns. Houshmandzadeh later admitted that a big part of him coming to Seattle was Hasselbeck ($40 million helps too).

The offense will be new in Seattle this year with OC Greg Knapp there and should make nice use of the possession receiver Houshmandzadeh playing flanker. Expect much the same use in Seattle as he had in Cincy – over the middle, move the chains and make first downs and then be the #1 target in the endzone. His yardage is highly unlikely to go up here but he should manage to keep nearly the same catches in this West Coast variant.

Sam Hurd - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 101
Keeper: 93
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 DAL 6 5 75 15.0        
2007 DAL 16 19 314 16.5 1      
2008 DAL 3              
Avg   8 8 130 10.5 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   18 310   1      

No analysis available.

Juaquin Iglesias - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 116
Keeper: 118
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   15 170          

(+Upside) The ex-Sooner was drafted with the 3.35 pick and while he was just the 15th wideout taken in April, there is a decent chance we’ll get to see him play as a rookie. Iglesias is not blessed with top speed and only ran a 4.5 at the combine so he’s not considered a deep threat but at 6-0, 210 pounds he has enough size to work the middle of the field as he did in college. While perhaps he wasn’t the most heralded receiver in the draft, at least Iglesias has landed in perhaps as opportune as any place in the NFL. The Bears have added Jay Cutler and yet done little else to improve upon one of the least productive passing attacks last season. That means a nice opportunity to grow along with Cutler and he’s already shined in mini-camp. The intention is that he will contend for and hopefully win the slot position. Granted – that hardly held much promise in Chicago in the past but Cutler has never played there. Keep an eye on Iglesias this summer and bump him up in your dynasty league rankings.

Vincent Jackson - TBB YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 39
Keeper: 38
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006 SDC 13 27 453 16.8 6 3 16  
2007 SDC 16 41 623 15.2 3      
2008 SDC 16 59 1098 18.6 7 4 69  
Avg   15 42 725 16.9 5 2 28 0
Proj TBB   50 740   5      

Jackson really took his playing to the next level in 2008 when injuries to Chris Chambers and Antonio Gates led to more use for the fourth year wideout. He ended with 59 catches for 1098 (team leader) and seven touchdowns. Even more remarkable was that Jackson had 18.6 yards per catch. His season ended with almost double his previous best (2007 – 41-623, 3 TD). While some of his workload stemmed from other receivers playing injured or absent from games, there was no denying the chemistry that he has formed with Rivers and in particular with deep passes.

Jackson has a potential DUI conviction which should be resolved in plenty of time for training camp but if he is found guilty, he’ll likely get at least a one game suspension or more from the league. Jackson is only worth being depth and bye week replacement so one week or two to start the season shouldn’t affect your plans.

DeSean Jackson - PHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 17
Keeper: 15
Auction 10: 8%
Auction 12: 6%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 PHI 16 62 912 14.7 2 17 96 1
Avg   16 62 912 14.7 2 17 96 1
Proj PHI   71 1060   5      

The Cal speedster (4.3/40) had a relatively spectacular rookie season when he had 62 receptions for 912 yards and two scores to lead the Eagles. He even had 96 rush yards and scored on a run. He set a franchise record with a 14.7 YPC and showed once again just how mediocre all non-Terrell Owens wideouts are in Philly. Jackson enters his second season more experienced and with the new rookie Jeremy Maclin sure to eventually be across from him. With Westbrook a health concern (and all his receptions) and the Eagles getting a second weapon in Maclin, this should be a very nice season for Jackson and his first trip to 1000 yards in his career.

Dwayne Jarrett - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 90
Keeper: 109
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 CAR 7 6 73 12.2   1 11  
2008 CAR 9 10 119 11.9        
Avg   8 8 96 12.1 0 1 6 0
Proj FA   22 380   1      

The heir apparent to Muhsin Muhammad’s flanker spot has not be written off yet but in two seasons he has only totaled 16 catches for 192 yards and no touchdowns. That’s all and not in keeping with expectations when he was the 2.13 pick in 2007. Look for Muhammad to keep his #2 role this year and for Jarrett to be given a chance to do something from the slot but unless he takes a noticeable step up, Jarrett may be running out of chances. The slot never produces more than around 300 yards per season anyway so leave Jarrett alone unless Muhammad or Smith gets hurt. Even then – lower your expectations.

Michael Jenkins - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 46
Keeper: 49
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 ATL 16 39 436 11.2 7 1 2  
2007 ATL 15 53 532 10.0 4      
2008 ATL 16 50 777 15.5 3      
Avg   16 47 582 12.2 5 0 1 0
Proj FA   50 750   2      

After five seasons in the NFL, the former first round pick in 2004 has yet to top 777 yards in a season. The good news is that finally happened last year when the Falcons added a legitimate quarterback in Matt Ryan. Playing with Michael Vick never helped any wide receiver, much less Jenkins. In 2007, Jenkins lost his starting job to Laurent Robinson and the 6’4” wideout became miscast as a slot receiver but Robinson left in 2008 and Jenkins reassumed his flanker role in the offense.

Jenkins probably doesn’t have a lot of upside thanks to Roddy White exploding last year and the addition of Tony Gonzalez who will now be “the guy who is not Roddy White”. His four touchdowns last year could also decline but the offense may just get better across the board so figure Jenkins as a decent bye week filler but likely not much more.

Greg Jennings - MIN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 5
Keeper: 5
Auction 10: 20%
Auction 12: 18%
2006 GBP 14 45 632 14.0 3      
2007 GBP 13 53 920 17.4 12      
2008 GBP 16 80 1292 16.2 9      
Avg   14 59 948 15.9 8 0 0 0
Proj MIN   82 1300   11      

Jennings roared out of the gate last year as the Packers’ leading fantasy receiver in each of the first six games. His pace slowed after that as he and Donald Driver split that honor equally the rest of the way, but the end result was an uptick across the board for Jennings—except in touchdowns, where he backslid slightly from the dozen he recorded as a sophomore.

There’s no question Jennings has usurped Driver as the Packers’ No. 1 receiver; he was the most-targeted wideout 12 times last season and accounted for almost 38% of Aaron Rodgers’ wide receiver targets last year. And with Rodgers moving quickly into the upper echelon of fantasy quarterbacks, his favorite wideout is on pace to join him in the rarified fantasy air. If you need further selling points, consider that Jennings not only led the NFL with eight catches of 40 or more yards, he also moved the chains with 55 of his 80 catches resulting in first downs. Improved protection would only serve to provide more downfield opportunities for a wideout who averages 16 yards per catch for his career.

Calvin Johnson - DET YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 4
Keeper: 3
Auction 10: 20%
Auction 12: 18%
2006                  
2007 DET 15 48 756 15.8 4 4 52 1
2008 DET 16 78 1331 17.1 12 3 -1  
Avg   16 63 1044 16.5 8 4 26 1
Proj DET   96 1340   11      

That Johnson tied for the league lead in TD grabs last season with Dan Orlovsky and others throwing the ball to him and virtually nothing else on the Detroit offense to draw any defensive attention is one of the great mysteries of our time. Defense coordinators had to be going into games thinking if they stopped Johnson they’d stop the Lions, and yet he scored in eight of 11 games even after Roy Williams was traded. Clearly, he’s something special.

Detroit’s quarterback position seems a bit more settled heading into 2009: Johnson will either be catching balls from Daunte Culpepper, who has more than a passing familiarity with the concept of throwing deep to a dominant, athletic receiver from his days with Randy Moss; or first overall pick Matthew Stafford, whom the Lions expect to be feeding Johnson for the next decade. Calvin also has upgraded wingmen in Bryant Johnson and Ronald Curry; both are good enough to draw at least some defensive attention but not so good they’ll threaten Johnson’s targets. It also doesn’t hurt that Johnson’s new OC, Scott Linehan, spent time in Minnesota when the Vikings implemented the “Randy Ratio” in an effort to throw 40% of their passes to their star wideout. Moss increased the number of routes he ran in order to give him a broader set of options, and one can assume the Lions have similar plans in store for Johnson.

Bottom line: dude scored a dozen touchdowns last year with no quarterback and no supporting cast. Is there any reason to expect his numbers to decline if the team around him is improving, even if it’s ever so slightly?

Bryant Johnson - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 51
Keeper: 51
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 ARI 16 40 740 18.5 4 1 -3  
2007 SFO 16 46 528 11.5 2      
2008 SFO 16 45 546 12.1 3      
Avg   16 44 605 14.0 3 0 0 0
Proj FA   48 580   3      

While Johnson hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations associated with being a first-round pick, he’s at least been consistent. He’s delivered between 35 and 49 catches each season in his six-year career; the last two he’s had 45 grabs, and the two years before that he had 40. In one outlier of a season he averaged 18 yards per catch, the others fell in the 10-12 range. In other words, he’s the perfect wingman: he won’t threaten the Number One, but he’s good enough that if defenses ignore him he’ll make them pay.

And that’s precisely what the Lions and Calvin Johnson need. Even with CJ taking the biggest bite of Detroit’s passing game pie last season, other wideouts contributed 90 catches and 1,053 yards. The new scheme and influx of talent will direct some of those looks towards the tight end, but there’s still a requirement for something more than Shaun McDonald, Mike Furrey, and John Standeford offered last season. Johnson has proven capable of delivering a solid supporting actor performance in the past, and there’s no reason to expect anything different this time around.

Chad Johnson - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 10
Keeper: 10
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 10%
2006 CIN 16 87 1370 15.7 7 6 24  
2007 CIN 16 93 1440 15.5 8 6 47  
2008 CIN 13 53 540 10.2 4      
Avg   15 78 1117 13.8 6 4 24 0
Proj FA   82 1280   7      

(-Risk) (+Upside) If Chad Johnson could ever get out of the way of Chad Johnson, he might actually get that ticket out of Cincinnati that he’s been begging to get for two years. The situation has been tenuous enough that if he was suddenly traded at any time before the season, it would shock no one. It does appear that yet again Ochocinco will remain in Cincy but this annual drama has never been concluded. It probably will not since the Bengals need him and thanks to his signing a nice contract a short few years ago, he’s tied to the team until his contract expires or he actually makes himself look like he would be worth taking a gamble on by another team.

The reality with him is that until last year, he had six straight seasons with 1150+ yards and averaged eight touchdowns per season. He led the NFL in receiving yards for two consecutive years. By his numbers, he looked like an elite wideout so long as he was playing with Carson Palmer. It’s easy to forget that he had a career best 1440 yards in 2007. But even in those good years the issue with him was that he was so wildly inconsistent and spiked his stats with two or three monster games per season along with some pitiful efforts. He was a fantasy team killer when he would go many weeks with minimal games.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh is gone and Laveranues Coles was acquired to replace him. Houshmandzadeh had become the favored receiver in this offense in part because of the attention that Chad demanded and also because he offered a great possession ability over the middle and in the endzone. This is a chance for Chad to reclaim his place as the true #1 wideout in Cincy but that remains to be seen. The bottom line is that he has everything to play for if he wants out and a great opportunity with Palmer back and Houshmandzadeh gone. Chances are good that he will far further in drafts than he should, but he’s a risk to replicate his inconsistent ways.

Andre Johnson - HOU YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 2
Keeper: 2
Auction 10: 26%
Auction 12: 22%
2006 HOU 16 103 1147 11.1 5 3 14  
2007 HOU 9 60 851 14.2 8      
2008 HOU 16 115 1575 13.7 8      
Avg   14 93 1191 13.0 7 1 5 0
Proj HOU   110 1600   10      

No doubt Johnson will be an early name called in your league draft and rightfully so – he could be argued to be #1 among all wideouts. Last season his 1575 yards and 115 catches both ranked best in the position and his only “downside” is that he doesn’t score as many touchdowns (Ala Owen Daniels). Johnson has never scored more than eight touchdowns during his six years in the league but has topped 100 reception in his last two healthy seasons.

Johnson has been top notch regardless if it was Sage Rosenfels or Matt Schaub as the quarterback but this year Rosenfels has been replaced by Dan Orlovsky. However, the coaching staff is very confident that there will be no drop in productivity should Schaub miss games again this year. In a point per reception league, it is hard to argue that Johnson is NOT the top wideout to draft. He a rare talent that can make any quarterback look better.

James Jones - GBP YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 73
Keeper: 74
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 GBP 16 47 676 14.4 2      
2008 GBP 10 20 274 13.7 1      
Avg   13 34 475 14.1 2 0 0 0
Proj GBP   32 430   2      

After a solid 47-676-2 rookie campaign, Jones’ sophomore effort was derailed by a knee injury and the presence of Jordy Nelson. Assuming the knee (which did not require surgery) is sound, Jones would likely regain his role as Green Bay’s third receiver. Unfortunately, Nelson would be a solid 3A and siphon enough fantasy value that Jones’ fantasy value would be primarily as insurance to Greg Jennings or Donald Driver than strictly on the numbers he’ll provide. History suggests that Green Bay’s secondary (3, 4, and 5) targets account for 75 catches; right now that split sizes up as a 40/40/20 between Jones, Nelson, and Ruvell Martin—again, not enough in and of itself to be truly fantasy-worthy but a role that deserves to be watched closely.

Jacoby Jones - BAL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 128
Keeper: 131
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 HOU 14 15 149 9.9   3 -1  
2008 HOU 16 3 81 27.0   1 -5  
Avg   15 9 115 18.5 0 2 0 0
Proj BAL   5 60          

Look for the third year player to mainly focus on his special teams role where he scored on two punt returns last year. Barring catastrophic injuries to other players, Jones has no fantasy value.

Malcolm Kelly - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 60
Keeper: 64
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
Movement:
2006                  
2007                  
2008 WAS 5 3 18 6.0        
Avg   5 3 18 6.0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   42 450   4      

Malcolm Kelly is recovering from microfracture knee surgery and has been held out of OTA’s and minicamps this spring. He’s fallen well behind Devin Thomas and is unlikely to see the field much this season. He has only marginal value in dynasty leagues on the hope he could get healthy and restart his NFL career.

Johnny Knox - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 100
Keeper: 65
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   22 320   1      

Knox goes into training camp in a fight for the #3 spot along with Juaquin Iglesias and Rashied Davis. He's the early leader but even if he wins the job will likely not have any significant fantasy value.

Greg Lewis - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 102
Keeper: 108
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
Movement:
2006 PHI 15 24 348 14.5 2      
2007 PHI 15 13 265 20.4 3      
2008 PHI 16 19 247 13.0 1      
Avg   15 19 287 16.0 2 0 0 0
Proj FA   28 310   1      

Lewis will fight with Galloway for playing time as the #3 receiver but there is no reason to expect fantasy significance from either player. Even in the best case Lewis would be inconsistent and unproductive.

Jeremy Maclin - PHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 65
Keeper: 55
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj PHI   31 410   4      

(+Upside) The Eagles drafted Maclin with their 1.19 pick this year and the Missouri speedster could really ignite the Eagles passing game if only in a year or two. Maclin’s production as a receiver—102 catches for 1,260 yards and 13 touchdowns last year as a redshirt sophomore, 182 catches for 2,315 yards and 22 touchdowns for his abbreviated Missouri career—only tells part of the story. Maclin set an NCAA freshman record for all-purpose yardage with 2,776 combined receiving, rushing, and return yards and 16 touchdowns; he followed that effort with 2,833 all-purpose yards—fifth-most in NCAA history—last year and scored a combined 17 touchdowns.

Simply put, Maclin is a playmaker. He has adequate size, tremendous athletic ability, and great speed and quickness. A tweaked knee at the Combine likely contributed to a slower-than-expected 4.43 in the 40—he’s been clocked under 4.3 previously. But Maclin isn’t simply a burner; he has good vision as a runner and is elusive in the open field, and it’s that versatility—running, catching, and in the return game—that has scouts salivating. Maclin also showed plenty of character in coming back strong from a serious knee injury that forced him to redshirt during his first year at Missouri.

This is a training camp watch to see if Maclin can take the starting split end job away from Kevin Curtis. It will happen at some point and if Maclin can continue to impress, he may have a full rookie season to make plays and post fantasy stats.

Brandon Marshall - CHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 33
Keeper: 20
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006 DEN 10 20 309 15.5 2 2 12  
2007 DEN 16 102 1325 13.0 7 5 57  
2008 DEN 15 104 1265 12.2 6 2 -4  
Avg   14 75 966 13.6 5 3 22 0
Proj CHI   62 780   6      

(-Risk) (+Upside) Marshall would be a top ten wideout this year easily had Cutler remained in Denver in the same offensive scheme that saw Marshall deliver 104 catches for 1265 yards and six scores last year. He had 102 receptions for 1325 and seven scores the previous season. But… now HC Josh Daniels is implementing a new offense and gunslinger Jay Cutler has been swapped for game manager Kyle Orton. It will have an impact on Marshall and how much could be significant. In his two seasons where he remained healthy, Orton never had a wideout with more than 64 catches for 750 yards and four scores (Muhsin Muhammad – ’05). Marshall has seven career 100 yard games. No receiver has ever had a 100 yard game under Orton. It could be argued that Orton never had a wideout as good as Marshall. It could also be argued that Marshall has never had to play with a quarterback like Orton. This season will answer the eternal question – can a wideout make a quarterback or does a quarterback make the wideout?

Marshall has also underwent hip surgery in the offseason and was using crutches but was expected to be healthy by training camp. He needs to gain chemistry with Orton obviously, as well as learn the new offense. There is also the potential for a suspension stemming from a March arrest when Marshall was carrying a firearm. The case was dropped but a suspension has not been ruled out. The assumption in the projections is that Marshall will not be suspended and will be updated if needed.

Marshall is yet another player who is coming off a great year but he is in a new situation for 2009 that is almost certain to see a downturn in stats. Couple in a lack of time spent with the new offense and Orton so far and it’s likely someone will draft Marshall too early in your draft based solely on his name. Marshall is also a multiple offender against the NFL player policies and anything other transgression would be no less than a month off. He’s just a major risk this year and plays a harder schedule as well.

08-22-09 Update: Marshall is angling to be either a steal in drafts or an absolute bust with no middle ground. And it is starting to appear more likely to be getting worse instead of better. His risk is growing daily as his situation grows more contentious.

08-28-09 Update: It is getting worse. Consider Marshall as undraftable until the situation clears up. He has been suspended by the team for detrimental conduct and is acting like the headcase that scared so many teams away from him in the draft.

Derrick Mason - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 24
Keeper: 42
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 3%
2006 BAL 16 68 750 11.0 2 1 -4  
2007 BAL 16 103 1087 10.6 5      
2008 BAL 16 80 1037 13.0 5 1 3  
Avg   16 84 958 11.5 4 1 0 0
Proj FA   71 930   5      

The 35-year old Mason enters his 13th NFL season still the primary receiver for the Ravens and 2008 served up his seventh 1000 yard season in the last eight years. But Mason went from a career high 103 catches in 2007 to just 80 receptions last year for 1037 yards and five touchdowns. Overall – pretty normal if not average year for Mason. Then again, he hasn’t managed over 1100 yards in four seasons or more than those five scores. Mason hasn’t had the big step down yet and appears stuck at around those 1000 yards and five scores. His two games over 100 yards in 2008 both came in the first half of the season.

The Ravens did nothing to add a new receiver to the fold so Mason will again be the main recipient of Flacco passes. But Mason had to undergo shoulder surgery in the offseason that may cut into training camp as Mason heals. He is adamant that he will be ready by week one of the season. Mason is what he has always been – a fairly reliable wideout that you wish could be your WR3 but ends up costing you like a WR2. Not much upside or downside here other than his age and shoulder issue.

07-25-09 Update: Mason has not filed retirement papers still but then again has not said he has changed his mind. Until he does decide to play this year, he not worth anything more than a final pick in the draft.

08-01-20 Update: And on again. Mason has recommitted to playing this season.

Mohamed Massaquoi - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 67
Keeper: 72
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   36 480   2      

The Browns used their 2.18 pick to take Massaquoi right after they had taken Brian Robiskie – time for a youth movement in Cleveland. His four years with the Georgia Bulldogs produced 158 catches for 2282 yards and 16 touchdowns. Like Robiskie, he has a 6-1 ½ frame but he also only ran a 4.67/40 at the combine and comes in with a tag of dropping passes despite his great physical skills. The Browns hope to see Massaquoi step up in training camp and during the season to claim the slot role in the offense that should take a much greater importance in the new offense. Like Robiskie, he’s not that attractive in a redraft league but for a dynasty league, he’s definitely worth watching in the summer.

09-11-09 Update: Massaquoi has been outplaying Brian Robiskie to become the #2 wideout across from Braylon Edwards. Mike Furrey is also a factor here but Massaqoui is the better bet to win the #2 role.

Robert Meachem - NOS YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 58
Keeper: 63
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 NOS 14 12 289 24.1 3 1 20 1
Avg   14 12 289 24.1 3 1 20 1
Proj NOS   24 460   4      

The 1.27 selection by the Saints in the 2007 NFL draft has been a huge bust so far which is only magnified more by the starters of Marques Colston (7th round) and Lance Moore (undrafted). After never playing in his rookie season, Meachem only managed 12 catches for 289 yards and three scores last year. Look for an incremental increase for Meachem and there could be opportunity for him but so far nothing has indicated he is likely to take a big step up.

Lance Moore - NOS YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 23
Keeper: 39
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 3%
2006 NOS 3 1 10 10.0        
2007 NOS 16 32 302 9.4 2 2 7 1
2008 NOS 16 79 928 11.7 10      
Avg   12 37 413 10.4 4 1 2 0
Proj NOS   64 880   6      

Lance Moore was a genuine surprise last year when he went from mere wideout depth to being the starting flanker and catching 79 passes for 928 yards and ten touchdowns to lead the Saints. With Colston and Shockey both injured and playing less than 100% in many games, Moore became the primary receiver in the #1 passing attack in the NFL. Not bad for a player that went undrafted in most leagues. Moore was angling to be a highly drafted wideout this year but he suffered a torn left labrum and dislocated his left shoulder lifting weights during the offseason. Moore will be three months beyond the surgery to correct his shoulder when training camp opens but that may not be enough. Moore himself has said his goal was to be ready by week one.

There is at least a chance that the Saints may have injury problems with both the starting wideouts but Colston’s prognosis has been more optimistic. Moore is a definite training camp watch and until he is proven to be healthy, consider him only as disposable depth.

07-22-09 Update: Moore expects to be 100% sometime during training camp but the Saints will take it easy on him. That makes Moore a sleeper of sorts because he'll carry risk and yet the potential for a big season.

08-17-09 Update: Moore is finally practicing again after his shoulder surgery is finally healed. He is cleared for full contact and already has a nice chemistry with Drew Brees.

Josh Morgan - WAS YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 57
Keeper: 52
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 SFO 12 20 319 16.0 3      
Avg   12 20 319 16.0 3 0 0 0
Proj WAS   42 550   3      

Morgan is worth tracking this summer since he has been impressive in minicamps and the depth chart won’t be set until right before the season starts. He only has 20 catches for 319 yards last year to his NFL credit though he did score three times. Morgan could work his way into the starting lineup if he can continue his level of practice from minicamp into training camp but the 49ers not only have to sort out a new offensive scheme, there’s Brandon Jones and Michael Crabtree new to the team as well. Morgan may work into multiple receiver sets since he has been very effective on deep balls this spring but he’s only worth drafting in a dynasty league where you have disposable depth. Unless injuries happen, Morgan may not see much playing time this year.

06-27-09 Update: Morgan is now expected to take the starting slot away from Isaac Bruce who will likely spend most his time on the bench.

Santana Moss - WAS YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 19
Keeper: 21
Auction 10: 6%
Auction 12: 3%
2006 WAS 14 55 790 14.4 6 7 82  
2007 WAS 14 61 808 13.2 3 3 13  
2008 WAS 16 79 1044 13.2 6 1 27  
Avg   15 65 881 13.6 5 4 41 0
Proj WAS   70 960   5      

The new offense last year didn’t really affect Moss’ numbers since he had a very standard season of 79 catches for 1044 yards and six touchdowns. He managed to play all 16 games for only the second time in Washington and his 1he new offense last year didn’t really affect Moss’ numbers since he had a very standard season of 79 catches for 1044 yards and six touchdowns. He managed to play all 16 games for only the second time in Washington and his 13.2 yards per catch was right in line with his average in Washington. Moss had his one big season in 2005 and hasn’t repeated it since. The killer with Moss – he tends to have monster games and mostly nothing games. Last year it was three games with more than 140 yards and no others more than 75 yards. Almost half of his games had less than 50 receiving yards and he scored only once after midseason. Moss is too inconsistent to be a fantasy starter but his overall numbers – and 2006 – usually mean someone else in your league will try to rely on him

Sinorice Moss - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 129
Keeper: 132
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 NYG 5 5 25 5.0        
2007 NYG 13 21 225 10.7   1 4  
2008 NYG 10 12 153 12.8 2      
Avg   9 13 134 9.5 1 0 1 0
Proj FA   5 60          

Moss will likely see time as the slot receiver and should hold off Mario Manningham for a position that has not meant much in fantasy terms for the Giants. Three seasons in New York have only produced two career touchdowns and never more than 21 catches in a year. Moss will figure in but not enough for fantasy merit.

Randy Moss - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 1
Keeper: 4
Auction 10: 30%
Auction 12: 25%
2006 OAK 13 42 553 13.2 3      
2007 NEP 16 98 1493 15.2 23      
2008 NEP 16 69 1008 14.6 11 2    
Avg   15 70 1018 14.3 12 1 0 0
Proj FA   95 1370   16      

Even without Tom Brady, Moss ended 2008 ranked as #2 with 11 touchdowns though that was well short of his record 23 scores the previous year. He ended with 1008 yards for the 9th time in his career over 1000 yards. The more important stats were the 98 catches for 1493 yards and 23 touchdowns that Moss accumulated the last time Brady was healthy. By all accounts, Brady returns at 100% strength and Moss actually now has two years in the system instead of being brand new as in 2007.

Moss did cool down some in 2007 towards the later part of the season but as was discussed last summer prior to Brady’s injury – even if Moss drops is he still the #1 wide receiver? He was the consensus best wideout to draft in 2008 so what is different this year other than he knows the system better? There is a slight risk that if Brady is injured, Moss will suffer more since Matt Cassel is gone and Kevin O’Connell has almost zero track record but the same was said of Cassel last year.

Moss is an elite talent in his prime in perhaps the optimal offense. The only real question is if you can actually like any other wideout more than Moss.

Muhsin Muhammad - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 35
Keeper: 33
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006 CHI 16 60 863 14.4 5      
2007 CAR 16 40 570 14.3 3      
2008 CAR 16 65 923 14.2 5      
Avg   16 55 785 14.3 4 0 0 0
Proj FA   62 820   5      

First season back in Carolina for the 36 year old Muhammad and he turned in his best year since 2004 when he exploded for career marks in his last season with the Panthers. Not exactly a compliment for the Bears passing game when Muhammad is more productive (65-923, 5 TDs) last year as a #2 wideout on a team that is the #1 rushing offense than as the #1 wideout in Chicago for three years. Coming into his 14th season it is safe to assume that his best seasons are behind him and that his age will start to show but Muhammad remains a safe if unexciting fantasy receiver. He’s great for bye weeks since he almost always gets a few points but he’ll be hard pressed to produce numbers that warrant him being an every week starter.

Louis Murphy - NYG YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 115
Keeper: 130
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj NYG   13 190          

No analysis available.

Jordy Nelson - GBP YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 86
Keeper: 92
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 GBP 16 33 366 11.1 2      
Avg   16 33 366 11.1 2 0 0 0
Proj GBP   30 350   2      

A second-round pick out of Kansas State, Nelson stepped into the Packers’ third receiver role while James Jones battled a knee injury and finished with 33 catches. However, Jones may reclaim that role in training camp; if the end of the 2008 season—once Jones returned from the injury—is any indication, Jones (with 12 catches and 16 targets) holds a slight advantage over Nelson (9 and 14). At minimum Nelson proved worthy of Aaron Rodgers’ confidence with zero drops last season. Ultimately the plan will likely be to move Jones into Donald Driver’s spot opposite Greg Jones and use Nelson as the three—at which point he’ll have some fantasy value. But sharing looks as Green Bay’s 3B doesn’t do a whole lot for the bottom line on the fantasy stat sheet.

Hakeem Nicks - NYG YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 59
Keeper: 50
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj NYG   41 520   3      

(+Upside) The Giants are excited about their 1.29 pick in the NFL draft who has been thoroughly impressive in minicamps and has a shot at significant playing time with a similar training camp. Nicks lands in a great situation since the Giants will spend the summer determining their depth chart and it is wide open thanks to the departures of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. Domenik Hixon assumes the starting split end but Nicks has a chance to challenge for it. At 6-1 and 212, Nicks has the size and natural ability to take the job. He’ll need to show in training camp that he can defeat NFL jams and adjust his play to the pro level. Nicks is a must to consider in a dynasty league but early returns say he could be worth having in a redraft league.

08-05-09 Update: Nicks is looking great so far and could challenge Domenik Hixon at some point this season. Definitely worth the watch this summer.

Dennis Northcutt - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 104
Keeper: 98
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 CLE 12 22 228 10.4   3 32  
2007 JAC 15 44 601 13.7 4 6 27  
2008 JAC 14 44 545 12.4 2 1 9  
Avg   14 37 458 12.2 2 3 23 0
Proj FA   20 300   1      

Northcutt is no youngster at 32 but he hangs onto his spot as the slot receiver and can always jump up and play either starting position when necessary. These last three years have seen him consistently turn in around 550 yards, 45 catches and a couple of scores. No reason to expect anything less and if Mike Walker doesn’t stay healthy, Northcutt could end up the flanker once again.

06-27-09 Update: Northcutt was traded to the Lions where he'll play special teams and just add depth.

Ben Obomanu - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 113
Keeper: 114
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 SEA 13 12 180 15.0 1      
2008                  
Avg   13 12 180 15.0 1 0 0 0
Proj FA   14 170   2      

Obomanu has fully recovered from the broken clavicle he suffered in the 2008 preseason and will contend for at least slot work this year. He’ll have to beat out third round pick Deon Butler but likely will for at least the start of the season. No reason to draft Obomanu and all he can really do this year is delay Deon Butler from playing.

Terrell Owens - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 15
Keeper: 17
Auction 10: 10%
Auction 12: 6%
2006 DAL 16 85 1180 13.9 13      
2007 DAL 15 81 1355 16.7 15 1 5  
2008 DAL 16 69 1052 15.2 10 7 33  
Avg   16 78 1196 15.3 13 3 13 0
Proj FA   65 970   8      

(-Risk) Onward to team #4 and it is safe to say that being “a Super Bowl contender” no longer is a primary consideration for Owens to join a new team. After being surprised by the Cowboys release, Owens landed with the Bills on a one-year, $6.5 million contract that rewards him as a #1 wideout and ensures that he’ll never sign another big contract since he’s 36 years old. While Owens has greatly improved his game attendance in Dallas with just one game missed in three years, he continues to have at least smaller injuries he plays with and his rate of drops has never been higher.

That all said, Owens has scored 28 times in the last three years. He has topped 1000 yards in seven of the last eight years. And no team pays $6.5 million on a charity case – Owens will be the primary part of the Bills attack this year. He’ll just have to do that with the most inexperienced quarterback of his career. And playing in Buffalo where the dry spell on superstar wideouts is approaching two decades. Owens has a big name and he has always produced big numbers. But last year with Romo and an offense that threw him the ball 141 times (8th best), Owens only caught 69 passes (23rd best) for 1052 yards. He only managed two games over 100 yards and that includes week 17 in Phillly. Owens has the talent still though he is finally in a decline. His durability improved in Dallas but he’s turning 36 years of age and that does not bode well. He’s a big risk this year and going to the Bills for just one year says the entire NFL is leery of him.

Roscoe Parrish - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 119
Keeper: 121
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 BUF 14 23 320 13.9 2 2 18  
2007 BUF 16 35 352 10.1 1 3 19 1
2008 BUF 13 24 232 9.7 1 2 9  
Avg   14 27 301 11.2 1 2 15 0
Proj FA   8 110          

Parrish will see his offensive role reduced this year with Owens inserted into the depth chart. He has no fantasy value other than a special teamer since he has scored on a punt return for three straight years. Parrish may see some work in the slot this year.

Antwaan Randle El - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 88
Keeper: 87
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
Movement:
2006 WAS 16 32 351 11.0 3 19 118  
2007 WAS 15 51 728 14.3 1 4 -3  
2008 WAS 16 53 593 11.2 4 1 5  
Avg   16 45 557 12.2 3 8 40 0
Proj FA   26 340   2      

Randle El remains the horribly miscast flanker who chugs along with around 500 to 600 yards each season. He had a high of four receiving touchdowns last year along with 53 catches for 593 yards. He’ll be replaced just as soon as Devin Thomas or Malcolm Kelly can remain healthy and take a step forward. It appears that Thomas is looking greatly improved from his rookie season and could cut into Randle El’s action but in either case, there is no fantasy starter here.

Josh Reed - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 110
Keeper: 113
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 BUF 13 34 410 12.1 2 4 13  
2007 BUF 15 51 578 11.3   4 10  
2008 BUF 13 56 597 10.7 1      
Avg   14 47 528 11.4 1 3 8 0
Proj FA   20 300          

No reason to expect more than the standard 400 to 500 yards per season that Reed invariably produces, If anything, he will see a reduced role now that Terrell Owens has arrived and pushed Reed to a slot role. His mediocre season average will be hard enough to meet this year.

Sidney Rice - SEA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 63
Keeper: 69
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 MIN 13 31 396 12.8 4      
2008 MIN 13 15 141 9.4 4      
Avg   13 23 269 11.1 4 0 0 0
Proj SEA   37 420   4      

Hindered by knee issues throughout 2008, Rice’s most productive game came in Week One: two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. Only once the rest of the way did he catch as many as three balls, and his yardage crept out of single digits just four times—one more than the number of games he missed. Now supposedly healthy, Rice is projected to start opposite Bernard Berrian—though Minnesota’s commitment to their 2007 second-round selection can be gauged by their offseason pursuit of T.J. Houshmandzadeh and their use of a first-round pick on Percy Harvin.

Here’s what Rice offers if/when healthy: a 6-4, 200-pound frame perfect for jump balls in the end zone; half of his eight career touchdowns have come from inside the 10-yard line. Prior to the knee injury Rice had the speed to get deep as well, as evidenced by 40- and 60-yard scores as a rookie. If he’s regained that speed and manages to stay on the field, Rice should help Harvin and Bernard Berrian stretch the field for the Vikings ground game. His potential for finding the end zone makes Rice a fringe fantasy sleeper, but expectations must be tempered by (in no particular order) the Vikings’ unsettled quarterback situation, Minnesota’s run-first offense, Rice’s injury history, and the bite Harvin will take out of the Purple’s passing game numbers.

Laurent Robinson - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 50
Keeper: 44
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 ATL 15 37 437 11.8 1      
2008 ATL 6 5 52 10.4        
Avg   11 21 245 11.1 1 0 0 0
Proj FA   42 560   4      

(+Upside) Robinson was traded to the Rams during the NFL draft after missing much of his second year because of head and hamstring injuries. His rookie season saw him catch 37 passes for 437 yards and one score when he eventually became the starting flanker in Atlanta in 2007. Robinson will compete with Keenan Burton for the #2 role and either wideout is likely to assume the slot otherwise. The new West Coast offense may not be best suited to the vertical speed game that Robinson prefers.

08-22-09 Update: Still purely fantasy depth, but Robinson is showing that he is becoming more and more important to this offense that will need desperately to throw the ball each week. He's turning into a sleeper as the starting flanker and the #1 wideout until Donnie Avery is healthy.

Brian Robiskie - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 103
Keeper: 94
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   20 300   1      

(-Risk) The Browns used their 2.04 pick in the draft to snag the Ohio State star and so far the returns appear to be very good. His college career produced 127 receptions for 1866 yards and 24 touchdowns and he brings a tall 6-2 frame with long arms and very soft hands. Robiskie can make the tough catches over the middle and is a polished receiver that was considered as NFL-ready as any other rookie wideout. He’s already wowed the coaching staff with his catches and route running and there was already talk in the offseason of Robiskie inheriting the #2 spot across from Braylon Edwards.

In a redraft league, consider Robiskie’s value as being not fantasy relevant and short of a tremendous training camp (which cannot be ruled out). In a dynasty league, he should be far more valuable since he has Edwards on the other side to attract attention and can gain chemistry with Brady Quinn as he too learns the NFL game.

Eddie Royal - SDC YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 30
Keeper: 19
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 DEN 15 91 980 10.8 5 11 109  
Avg   15 91 980 10.8 5 11 109 0
Proj SDC   68 850   5      

The 2.11 pick by the Broncos paid off immediate dividends last year when Brandon Marshall was suspended for week one and Royal started his career with nine catches for 146 yards and one score in Oakland. He managed two more trips past the century mark as a rookie and ended with 91 catches for 980 yards and five scores. His rookie season was so promising that he would have been a top 25 wideout this year with the same offense and quarterback… not going to happen. Now Royal gets to be the #2 wideout in a new offense that is directed by Kyle “never had a 100 yard receiver” Orton. It is a reason for concern and Royal has to be downgraded as no better than the second best option for Orton who spent last year throwing to tight ends and the running back.

Chaz Schilens - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 53
Keeper: 60
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 OAK 16 15 226 15.1 2 1 -2  
Avg   16 15 226 15.1 2 1 0 0
Proj FA   37 520   4      

The seventh round pick from 2008 is angling to be a starting wideout despite only having 15 catches for 226 yards and two scores as a rookie. He has been the most consistent and best receiver in minicamp and let’s be serious – the bar is not that high in Oakland where the team wideouts ranked #32 in the NFL last year. If Russell does not improve or step aside for Garcia, no wideout in Oakland has any fantasy merit. Schilens is worth a very late round pick up just in case but keep your expectations low. In a dynasty league his value is slightly higher on the prospect that the Raiders will eventually improve.

09-14-09 Update: Schilens deserves a bump up looking like the only wideout who had any chemistry with JaMarcus Russell.

08-19-09 Update: And back down for Schilens who is out indefinitely with a broken metatarsal in his foot. He'll likely miss a week or two of the regular season.

Mike Sims-Walker - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 80
Keeper: 116
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 JAC 9 16 217 13.6        
Avg   9 16 217 13.6 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   32 400   2      

(-Risk) (+Upside) If you want a sleeper type that has “fly under the radar” written all over him, then Mike Walker is your guy. One problem – a lot of people have hardly ever heard of him because his two seasons in the NFL have only resulted in 16 catches for 217 yards and all of those came last year. Walker has been defined by two characteristics – the coaches love him and think he can be a potential star and Walker can never remain healthy thanks to balky knees (which is important to consider ). The former third-rounder from 2007 has been all potential and almost no delivery so far. He did start across from Torry Holt in mini-camps. The Jaguars do not throw much nor all that well downfield anyway, so figure Walker to be little more than a risky upside guy who will likely never be more than fantasy depth.

06-27-09 Update: Walker moves up with the trading away of Dennis Northcutt.

07-17-09 Update: The apparent #2 in Jacksonville still has not practiced in training camp because of an ankle injury and all his potential still is overshadowed by his inability to ever remain healthy.

Steve Smith - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 37
Keeper: 35
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006                  
2007 NYG 5 8 63 7.9        
2008 NYG 16 57 574 10.1 1      
Avg   11 33 319 9.0 1 0 0 0
Proj FA   72 920   3      

(+Upside) Smith is the only wideout you can truly feel good about drafting from the Giants this year and “the Other” Steve Smith could very well have a breakout third season. Smith takes over for Amani Toomer after 57 catches for 574 yards and one score last year – just like Toomer would do. Smith now becomes the only starter that is unlikely to be challenged. Manning will need to throw this season and that should benefit Smith first. Expect him to lead the team in receptions and yards though touchdowns could end up elsewhere.

Steve Smith - CAR YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 6
Keeper: 6
Auction 10: 20%
Auction 12: 18%
2006 CAR 14 83 1166 14.0 8 8 61 1
2007 CAR 15 87 1002 11.5 7 9 66  
2008 CAR 14 78 1421 18.2 6 5 40  
Avg   14 83 1196 14.6 7 7 56 0
Proj CAR   86 1360   9      

Hidden somewhere behind the incredible rushing exhibition put on by the Panthers last year was the fact that Smith turned in his second best season with 78 catches going for 1421 yards and six scores. Granted the touchdowns were not that high (something to do with 28 rushing touchdowns) but that great rushing attack allowed Smith to get a bit farther down the field and he had a career best 18.2 yards per catch. He had eight efforts top 100 yards.

There is nothing changed here. Smith had a somewhat quiet year and yet still ranked #3 in the NFL with 1421 receiving yards and the Panthers have one of the better passing schedules for wideouts this year, coupled with a horrible schedule for running backs. Bottom line – it will be harder to move the ball via the run and yet easier via the pass. That only serves to make Smith even more attractive.

08-11-09 Update: Smith fell heavily on his shoulder and while x-rays did not show any breaks, he'll be laid up most of the preseason at least and it could bleed into the regular season.

08-30-09 Update: Smith has already recovered from his shoulder injury and played in the third preseason game. He's safe to draft again.

Brad Smith - PHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 114
Keeper: 115
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 NYJ 13 9 61 6.8   18 103  
2007 NYJ 16 32 325 10.2 2 12 45  
2008 NYJ 15 12 64 5.3   12 113  
Avg   15 18 150 7.4 1 14 87 0
Proj PHI   12 180   1      

Smith enters his fourth season but has never had more than 32 catches for 325 yards and will struggle to do that well in 2009 as the #4 wideout on a team with a rookie quarterback.

Micheal Spurlock - DET YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 95
Keeper: 102
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 ARI 1 4 31 7.8        
2007 TBB 7              
2008                  
Avg   4 2 16 3.9 0 0 0 0
Proj DET   24 300   2      

No analysis available.

Brandon Stokley - BAL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 75
Keeper: 97
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 IND 4 8 85 10.6 1      
2007 DEN 13 40 635 15.9 5 1 -6  
2008 DEN 15 49 528 10.8 3      
Avg   11 32 416 12.4 3 0 0 0
Proj BAL   27 420   2      

Stokley is likely to remain the slot receiver in the offense as long as Jabar Gaffney doesn’t take the job from him but even when Jay Cutler was there the position was devoid of fantasy value. Stokley only offered 528 yards and three scores in 2008 from the slot and the Broncos are likely to throw much less – particularly to the #3 wideout. Hands off Stokley in your draft.

08-14-09 Update: HC Josh McDaniels says he wants Stokley to play the "Wes Welker" role in the new offense. It's worth a small bump but nothing yet to merit taking Stokley in anything but the biggest of leagues.

Maurice Stovall - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 122
Keeper: 122
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 TBB 6 7 102 14.6   2 29  
2007 TBB 15 10 86 8.6 1      
2008 TBB 5 3 25 8.3        
Avg   9 7 71 10.5 0 1 10 0
Proj FA   11 100          

Stovall battled injuries for much of last year and still has a back problem during the offseason. Stovall will compete along with Dexter Jackson for the slot but the new offense won’t often need that position. No fantasy value here.

Sammie Stroughter - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 96
Keeper: 79
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   20 290   2      

No analysis available.

Chansi Stuckey - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 71
Keeper: 66
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 NYJ 15 32 359 11.2 3 1 1  
Avg   15 32 359 11.2 3 1 1 0
Proj FA   30 410   3      

(+Upside) Stuckey may only had 32 catches in his rookie season last year, but that’s more than the rest of the receivers for the Jets so he is the odds on favorite to replace Laveranues Coles. Stuckey started 2008 with a score in each of the first three games but never again. His career best game is only 50 yards so far and he’ll likely have a rookie quarterback. Stuckey is only worth being highly disposable depth for your team.

Limas Sweed - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 64
Keeper: 47
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 PIT 11 6 64 10.7        
Avg   11 6 64 10.7 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   38 480   3      

Sweed is the favorite to replace Nate Washington but he still isn’t a lock despite his 2.22 draft selection last year. He only had six catches as a rookie so he remains an unknown in the offense with no playing time to judge him by. The 6-4, 212 Sweed was expected to supply a goal line or middle of the field presence but hasn’t shown he has made the step up to the pros. Sweed could also be pushed by the third round rookie Mike Wallace. The #3 wideout in Pittsburgh has been fantasy relevant in the last couple of seasons thanks to Nate Washington who had 631 yards and three scores last season.
br> Sweed may be worthy of a very late draft pick but even in the best case will remain inconsistent.

08-05-09 Update: Very strong camp means he is solid at the #3 spot. His dynasty value rises even more.

Devin Thomas - DET YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 87
Keeper: 90
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008 WAS 16 15 120 8.0   3 53 1
Avg   16 15 120 8.0 0 3 53 1
Proj DET   28 350   2      

Thomas was a disappointment as a rookie last year after being selected with the 2.03 pick of the Redskins but only catching 15 passes for 120 yards last year. He had hamstring and illness problems last year and already had a hamstring pull during OTA’s this spring. He was reported to be much further along than last season in his development but the Skins do not throw much and Thomas will have to excel in preseason games to hope to move up the depth chart.

Jerheme Urban - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 99
Keeper: 107
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007 ARI 10 22 329 15.0 2      
2008 ARI 16 34 448 13.2 4      
Avg   13 28 389 14.1 3 0 0 0
Proj FA   16 200   3      

After six seasons in the NFL, Urban comes off his best ever with 34 catches for 448 yards and four touchdowns as the #4 in Arizona last year. Playing for the most prolific passing attack helps and while Urban is not fantasy relevant quite yet, that could change if Anquan Boldin leaves and lets him assume the slot role. There is still Early Doucet to contend with in training camp in the best case so let Urban be someone to watch for now.

Javon Walker - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 92
Keeper: 96
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 DEN 16 69 1084 15.7 8 9 123 1
2007 OAK 8 26 287 11.0   2 -3  
2008 OAK 8 15 196 13.1 1      
Avg   11 37 522 13.3 3 4 40 0
Proj FA   21 320   2      

Walker is still recovering from yet another knee surgery and may not be ready for training camp. No guarantee he will survive roster cuts.

Mike Wallace - MIA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 109
Keeper: 112
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj MIA   14 250   1      

Wallace was the 3.20 pick by the Steelers this year and OC Bruce Arians says that he will be in the mix for the #3 receiver job. That’s more a statement against Limas Sweed than for Wallace. The Mississippi wideout has run a 4.30/40 before and is a bit lanky at 6-0 and 180 pounds. It is worth a watch in training camp but expect Sweed to win the job and Wallace to use 2008 as a learning year.

Kevin Walter - TEN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 22
Keeper: 23
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 3%
2006 HOU 11 17 160 9.4   1 3  
2007 HOU 16 65 800 12.3 4 5 30  
2008 HOU 16 60 899 15.0 8 3 23  
Avg   14 47 620 12.2 4 3 19 0
Proj TEN   62 820   7      

Walter was one of the rare late round gems in drafts last season and while every stud wideout has “the other guy”, few have one as productive as Walter was across from Andre Johnson. In 2007, Walter turned in 65 catches for 800 yards and last year rose to 899 yards on 60 catches. The bigger change – he went from just four scores in 2007 to eight last year. Walter only had one game over 100 yards in both of the last two seasons as a starter but he’s inconsistent enough that he’s too risky to consider a fantasy starter unless reception points are involved. He’s a great bye week replacement player for your fantasy because he’ll almost always get around four catches for 40+ yards every week with a shot at two or three times those fantasy points.

Hines Ward - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 29
Keeper: 34
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2006 PIT 14 74 975 13.2 6 2 30  
2007 PIT 13 71 732 10.3 7 3 11  
2008 PIT 16 81 1043 12.9 7 1 4  
Avg   14 75 917 12.1 7 2 15 0
Proj FA   65 870   5      

The 33-year old Ward is certain to retire as a Steeler after signing a four-year, $22 million contract extension through 2013 when he will be almost 38 years old (assuming he would play for that long). Ward’s place on the team is more than merely a player and in many ways he is the heart of the offense. Yet again this season he is recovering from injuries sustained during the season. His knee is healthy again and his shoulder (rotator cuff) surgery went well and should allow him to be ready for training camp. Ward is coming off his best season since 2003 and turned in 81 catches for 1043 yards and seven scores last year. It was his first 1000 yard season since 2004.

It’s unlikely that Ward will further improve his stats this year and he’s probably not going to even match 2008 since Santonio Holmes is assuming the #1 role (albeit slowly) and the Steelers should not have to throw as much this year. Ward only has a couple of big games a year but he almost always has five or so catches for around 70 yards. That’s a low end WR3 but his consistency heightens his value.

Nate Washington - TEN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 44
Keeper: 41
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 PIT 16 35 624 17.8 4 3 8  
2007 PIT 16 29 450 15.5 5 1    
2008 PIT 16 40 631 15.8 3 5 18  
Avg   16 35 568 16.4 4 3 9 0
Proj TEN   40 660   5      

(+Upside) Washington came over to Tennessee with a six-year contract worth $27 million and with $9 million guaranteed. That means it doesn’t matter that he struggled in minicamp learning the new offense, he will be given the split end position barring a melt down or a heroic effort by the rookie Kenny Britt. Expect Washington to hold off the rookie and turn in a decent season that likely won’t produce enough to warrant being a fantasy starter. The Titans ranked in the bottom three in all receiving categories for wideouts in the NFL last year and Washington is just an incremental improvement.

Reggie Wayne - IND YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 7
Keeper: 7
Auction 10: 20%
Auction 12: 16%
2006 IND 16 86 1310 15.2 9      
2007 IND 16 104 1510 14.5 10 1 4  
2008 IND 16 82 1145 14.0 6      
Avg   16 91 1322 14.6 8 0 1 0
Proj IND   93 1290   9      

Wayne had a down year in 2008 when he only managed 82 catches for 1145 yards and six scores. Those were his lowest totals in three years and a dramatic drop from 2007 (1510/10 TDs). But he still has exceeded 1000 yards in each of the last five seasons while averaging over eight scores per year. Wayne, like Manning, is a very safe pick because he will always play at least well enough to be top ten and he so far has never had a down year or missed a game due to injury. Marvin Harrison is finally gone for good and leaves Wayne as the clear-cut best wideout but that is not lost on opposing defenses as well. Wayne saw more coverage last year thanks to Harrison no longer commanding respect. That played into Wayne’s lower performance.

The Colts should have a better rushing game this year which could actually benefit Wayne by presenting a more balanced offense for opponents to defend against. If you can get Wayne as your WR1 you can be sure he’ll be no less than very good. And he comes cheaper this year – possibly a bargain considering his lack of risk.

Wes Welker - DEN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 14
Keeper: 14
Auction 10: 10%
Auction 12: 8%
2006 MIA 16 67 687 10.3 1      
2007 NEP 16 112 1175 10.5 8 4 34  
2008 NEP 16 111 1165 10.5 3 3 26  
Avg   16 97 1009 10.4 4 2 20 0
Proj DEN   111 1140   6      

What’s not to love about a 5-9, 185 pound slot receiver that has caught 223 passes in the last two years? Welker ranked #2 in the NFL with 111 catches last year and he had 112 with Tom Brady in 2007. Welker went from 112 receptions for 1175 yards in 2007 to 11 catches for 1165 yards last year without Brady. That’s not only consistency, it’s reliable league-leading receptions regardless who is playing quarterback. Granted his touchdown totals fell from eight to only three last year but in a league with reception points, Welker is money every week.

Welker should see an increase in touchdowns with Brady back but there’s no reason to expect different on yards and catches. Welker’s a true fantasy gem

Roddy White - ATL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 8
Keeper: 8
Auction 10: 20%
Auction 12: 16%
2006 ATL 15 30 506 16.9        
2007 ATL 16 83 1202 14.5 6 1 -2  
2008 ATL 16 88 1382 15.7 7 2 4  
Avg   16 67 1030 15.7 4 1 1 0
Proj ATL   88 1330   8      

Playing with only Chris Redman and Joey Harrington in 2007, his second season saw him deliver 83 catches for 1202 yards and six touchdowns. No matter that the Falcons had opted to hand the reins of the team to a rookie quarterback last year. Roddy White was one of the better undervalued sleepers of 2008. Instead of suffering a lapse as Matt Ryan went through his own growing pains, White ended up with 1382 yards to rank #4 in the NFL last season. He went from five games over 100 yards to seven efforts over the century mark. His seven touchdowns were only average but reflected how well Michael Turner was doing near the goal line and the reality that White was the only Falcons receiver that defenses needed to worry about for the second year in a row. Michael Jenkins turned in just 777 yards on 50 catches for second best on the team.

Now the question will be – how does Tony Gonzalez change the dynamics here? No doubt that he will command plenty of attention from Matt Ryan but will it come at the expense of White or will he actually be a benefit for White who no longer automatically is the only player the safety worries about? The Falcons will have a slightly tougher rushing schedule so Turner may not be quite the machine this year but it is still the best bet to consider White as likely no better in touchdowns – Gonzalez is a far better goal line target. But White should maintain his yardage and catches with the rest of the passing game allowing Gonzo to become a factor. Remember too that Matt Ryan is a one-year veteran this time and not just a rookie learning the game this season. White remains a safe play with perhaps less upside than last year.

Derrick Williams - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 118
Keeper: 120
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006                  
2007                  
2008                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   11 120          

Williams projects to be the Lions’ primary kick returner and could also see some looks in any Wildcat formations Detroit adds, given his experience in that role at Penn State. He may also challenge Ronald Curry for playing time as the slot receiver, though in the Lions’ new offense that role hardly sets up to be a breeding ground for fantasy success. The scouts’ knock on Williams is primarily that he never lived up to his potential in college, though subpar quarterback play may have contributed to his subdued stats. While that shouldn’t be a problem in Detroit (for the first time in a long time) there just doesn’t appear to be much of an opportunity for Williams to have much if any fantasy impact right out of the gate.

Roy Williams - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 20
Keeper: 22
Auction 10: 6%
Auction 12: 3%
2006 DET 16 82 1310 16.0 7 2 2  
2007 DET 12 63 836 13.3 5 2 1  
2008 DAL 10 19 198 10.4 1 1 13  
Avg   13 55 781 13.2 4 2 5 0
Proj FA   64 890   6      

When the Cowboys acquired Williams at mid-season last year, it set immediate dreams of a passing frenzy since the Cowboys finally had “two #1” wideouts. It did not work out that way (and rarely does). Williams remained overshadowed by Terrell Owens and never had more than three catches for 51 yards playing for the Cowboys. Williams was also bothered by a plantar fascia injury as well. It appeared a big waste of money but then came the release of Owens and moving Williams to the split end spot. That should help him become the focal point of the passing offense and help him to increase the 11.9 yards per catch last year back up to his more typical 15.0 YPC.

The Cowboys are intending to go to a more run-heavy attack but that really only affects the secondary receivers. Witten and Williams will still get the same passes as they would have since Dallas will still have plenty of reasons to throw every game. Williams has also dropped eight pounds to pick up some speed so he can run more vertical routes this season. Chances are best that Williams will play as a solid WR2 for your team but hoping him to be a top 12 wideout (and hence a WR1) is too optimistic for this changing offense.

08-28-09 Update: Williams injured his shoulder in practice and is considered day-to-day with a deep contusion.

Demetrius Williams - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 93
Keeper: 100
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 BAL 15 22 396 18.0 2      
2007 BAL 9 20 290 14.5        
2008 BAL 7 13 180 13.8 1      
Avg   10 18 289 15.4 1 0 0 0
Proj FA   20 300   2      

Williams has gone three years without taking the next step up and yet still commands respect and a sense of optimism from the coaches. In three seasons, he has never had more than the 396 yards on 22 catches he had as a rookie and he has been plagued by injuries for the last two years. He required surgery to repair his Achilles and ankle in the offseason and it is still not sure he will be 100% ready for training camp though he returned to limp around in mini-camps. The Ravens want Williams to be the speedy slot receiver and even more so to just remain healthy. He’ll be challenged by Marcus Smith for the slot but in fantasy terms it doesn’t matter since the position is not used enough for any fantasy significance.

Troy Williamson - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 49
Keeper: 80
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2006 MIN 14 37 455 12.3        
2007 MIN 11 18 240 13.3 1 2 29  
2008 JAC 8 5 30 6.0 1 1 1  
Avg   11 20 242 10.5 1 1 10 0
Proj FA   40 560   4      

Williamson has a chance to step up this year and contribute but the same has been true every year. His move to Jacksonville resulted in a career low five catches for 30 yards for a 6.0 YPC which is average for a 270 pound fullback but not so good for a 203 pound guy who was supposed to be the speedster.

09-09-02 Update: Amazingly, Williamson has risen to being the #2 wideout to open the season. It is more an indictment of the quality of other receivers than it is any great success by Williamson.

   
 

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