This two part article will view the depth of all 32 teams at the wide receiver position. All of my articles are based on a twelve team league that uses three wide receivers. If I list a player as WR I, he is one to twelve on my board, WR II, thirteen to twenty four, WR III, 25 to thirty six.
All of my position rankings will be ready by the end of July and will be changed accordingly.
I will also list each team’s wide receivers in the order of projected fantasy scoring. For example, the Green Bay Packers, players will be listed in this way:
Green Bay, Greg Jennings, high WR I, Donald Driver, high WR II, Jordy Nelson, James Jones
I project that Greg Jennings will score the most fantasy points of the Packer receivers, James Jones the least of the listed players.
Buffalo, Terrell Owens low WR II, Lee Evans low WR II, James Hardy, Josh Reed, Roscoe Parrish
The Bills threw for just thirteen scores in 2008. Quarterback Trent Edwards is getting better and Terrell Owens should help, unless he creates problems then his signing could completely back fire on the Bills. Owens has had great fantasy statistics in his debut seasons with new teams, averaging 1,190 yards and almost 14 touchdowns in his first years with the Eagles and Cowboys. My thinking is he will not get to those statistics with Edwards, 7-8 touchdowns this year for Owens is reasonable. Lee Evans has been the Bills only viable fantasy receiver for years, but his touchdown production has dropped from 8 in 2006, 5 in 2007 and to just three scores in 2008. With Owens taking the defense’s attention he should rebound some, and score 5 touchdowns this year. The rest of the Buffalo receivers have little or no fantasy value.
Miami, Ted Ginn Jr. , Greg Camrillo, Davone Bess, Pat White, Patrick Turner, Brian Hartline, Brandon London, Ernest Wilford
Ginn Jr. is 47th on the board, Camarillo who is coming back from ACL surgery is 61. Quarterback Chad Pennington spreads the ball around; no one wide receiver here has that much value. Camarillo caught 55 passes in the 11 games he played in before he was injured and Ginn Jr. can score on the long pass but they are fantasy back ups in every format. One of the rookies Pat White a converted quarterback, Patrick Turner, or Brian Hartline has a chance to get some workload this season, and could be waiver wire material.
New England, Randy Moss, high WR I, WE Welker low WR I, Joey Galloway, Greg Lewis
Even without Tom Brady in 2008 Randy Moss had over 1,000 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. He will not get you 23 scores as he did in his record breaking 2007 season but he is 2nd on the board. Welker’s value soars in a points per reception league; he has had more receptions that any other receiver the past 2 seasons. His touchdowns went down from 8 in 2008 to just three last year but he will rebound and get close to 8 in 2009. Brady has always spread the ball around, veterans Galloway and Lewis will get receptions and are 70 and 104 on the board respectively. Keep this in mind, the Patriots play the Saints week twelve, Galloway has averaged 86 yards receiving and scored nine touchdowns in his last 8 games against the Saints, this makes for a great late fantasy regular season match up, to win a championship you have to be aware of and take advantage of some of these.
Jets, Jericho Cotchery, David Clowney, Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith
With the quarterbacking situation in doubt, the Jet wide receivers have little value. Cotchery is a solid receiver, had 5 touchdowns in 2008 is 44 on the board and a fantasy back up. Stuckey and Clowney will battle for the other starting position and the winner here will have value one day but not this season.
Ravens, Derrick Mason, low WR III, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams, Marcus Smith, Kelley Washington
This is for all the message board writers and callers to the daily sports shows who complained for months that the Ravens wide receiving situation could not get any worse, guess what, as you all know it did with Derrick Mason considering retirement. For the record I think he comes back and is low WR III, he is Joe Flacco’s go to guy with 80 receptions for over 1,000 yards and 5 scores in 2008, if he plays, you can expect the same in 2009. Clayton is 65 on the board and is low back up. Williams is not durable but might be worth a very late pick because of his physical attributes. The Ravens are bringing in some re treads for a try out in case Mason stays with his retirement but players like Drew Bennett and DJ Hackett are desperate waiver wire picks ups at best.
Bengals, Chad Johnson high WR II, Laveranues Coles high WR III, Chris Henry
A healthy Carson Palmer threw for a combined fifty four scores 2006 and 2007, he is healthy again, this increases the value of the Bengal wide receivers. With TJ Houshmandzadeh gone to Seattle , Johnson should rebound and Coles who scored 19 touchdowns and averaged over 860 receiving yards his last three years with the Jets makes for solid second receiving option for Palmer. Henry is 68 on the board and scored in 2 of his last three games last season.
Browns, Braylon Edwards high WR II, Mike Furrey, David Patten, Brian Robiskie Mohamed Massaquoi
Edwards had 16 touchdowns on 2007, just three last year; expect a rebound to 7-8 touchdowns this year regardless if Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn is behind center. There is little else around Edwards so in point per reception leagues his value increases. Veterans Mike Furrey, David Patten will battle rookie Brian Robiskie for the other starting position or there could be a rotation with them at that spot. As of now all of them are low fantasy back ups and would only be drafted in very deep leagues.
Steelers, Hines Ward high WR III, Santonio Holmes middle WR III, Limas Sweed, and Shaun McDonald
The Steelers passing game is good for about 20 touchdown passes a year. Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes are capable fantasy players who score consistently but rarely score fantasy points in bunches. Although Holmes is the Super Bowl MVP, Ward is still the more consistent fantasy player and will get you 5-7 touchdowns every year and has averaged 916 receiving yards the past three seasons. Holmes stretches the field but averaged just 3.4 receptions a game in 2008. Sweed should win the spot replacing Nate Washington as the third receiver, that position scored three touchdowns last year; Sweed is 101 on the board.
Houston, Andre Johnson, high WR I, Kevin Walter, low WR III, David Anderson, Andre’ Davis, Jacoby Jones
Andre Johnson is 4th on the board and would be higher but scoring 8 touchdowns in each of the last 2 seasons keeps him down some. He should reach double digit scores this year with a healthy Matt Schaub and a Houston offense that could statistically end up as the best in the NFL this year. Kevin Walter is a solid compliment to Johnson, and he also scored 8 touchdowns last year, expect the same results in 2008. Anderson has better hands, Davis better speed as they alternate when Houston goes to three wide receiver sets; Anderson is 92 and Davis 113 on the board.
Colts, Reggie Wayne high WR I, Anthony Gonzalez, high WR III, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie
Wayne will get even more work without Marvin Harrison and will score double digit touchdowns and have more than 1,250 receiving yards. Gonzalez moves into a starting role but he drops a lot of passes in traffic, this keeps drops him to WR III status. Keep an eye on Pierre Garcon a second year player from small Mount Union, he could surprise and have a solid year at the third wide receiver spot, this position has averaged over fifty receptions and 4 touchdowns the past several seasons for the Colts, of course a lot of this could change if Harrison comes back here, do not be shocked if he does right after camp starts.
Jaguars, Torry Holt, low WR III, Mike Walker, Troy Williamson, Mike Thomas, Jarrett Dillard
The Jaguars have not offered much value in fantasy wide receivers since the days of Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell. The thirty three year old Holt who runs perhaps the most precise routes in the game will have a fresh start after some All Pro seasons with the Rams. His touchdowns went from 10 in 2006, 7 in 2007, to just three in 2008. The Jaguar passing game will not be the feature of this offense but Holt should bring some value and an 800 yard, 5 – 7 touchdown season is possible. Mike Walker a third year receiver should be the other starter; he is 64 on the board. Rookies Mike Thomas and Jarrett Dillard offer little or on fantasy value.
Tennessee, Justin Gage, Nate Washington, Kenny Britt, Lavelle Hawkins
The Titan run game is so good that the passing game is an after thought. Gage caught six touchdowns on just 34 receptions in 2008 and is 46 on the board. The Titans paid big money for Washington, the former Steeler, while he will be a starter he drops a lot of passes, he is 52 on the board. Rookie Kenny Britt could bring value in the future but he will only be on rosters in the deepest of leagues in 2009.
Denver, Brandon Marshall, middle WR II, Eddie Royal, low WR II, Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Stokely.
Marshall will play for the Broncos in 2009; no one had more passes thrown his way as Jay Cutler threw 181 passes in his direction in 2008. He has 206 receptions the past 2 seasons, and was over 1250 yards receiving but scored just six touchdowns. With Cutler gone and Kyle Orton behind center Marshall’s receptions and yardage could be down some but I see him scoring 7 to nine touchdowns in 2009. Royal had a great rookie season, gaining 980 yards, because of Orton his statistics will be down some as well. Gaffney, the former Patriot should be the third receiver and is 86 on the board, Stokely who played in fifteen games last year always seems to contribute and should be waiver wire material.
Kansas City, Dwayne Bowe, high WR II, Mark Bradley, Bobby Engram
Bowe caught 86 passes for 1022 yards and had 7 scores all while competing for receptions with future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and having a rookie quarterback throwing the ball. Bowe is a borderline WR I high WR II as new quarterback Matt Cassel will have Bowe as the go to receiver. Mark Bradley who caught just thirty passes a year ago came on late in 2008 and is 46 on the board, Cassel should be throwing early and often. The veteran Engram is 88 on the board and should catch 40-50 passes as the third receiver and have a couple of scores.
Raiders, Javon Walker, Chaz Schilens, Darrius Heywood-Bey, Ashley Lelie
This group of Raider wide receivers will not remind you of Cliff Branch or Fred Biletnikoff. The Raiders threw for just thirteen touchdowns last year and quarterback JaMarcus Russell has to improve before any Raider receiver has any value, their most talented receiver is TE Zach Miller. Walker is 56, Schilens 62, Heywood-Bey 103, and Lelie 137 on the board. While Heywood –Bey was their first round choice, his only value this year will be on long passes, he should score a couple but do not use anymore than one of your last picks on him. If Walker can stay on the roster he should deliver the most fantasy points, a 4 touchdown, 700 yard season is the most you can ask for.
San Diego, Vincent Jackson, low WR I, Chris Chambers, Malcolm Floyd, Craig Davis