Edition One: Wide Receiver Rankings

In the majority of fantasy football leagues you have to start three wide receivers or two wide receivers and a tight end. A few years ago the obvious choice was to go with three wide receivers, but now that is a toss up. There are a handful of tight ends out there with the ability to put up wide receiver numbers every week. Plus they are better red zone targets, and third down threats.

We will have the tight end rankings later this week, but for now here is the first edition breakdown of wide receivers.

1. Chad Johnson
The Bengal has been locked in an anemic offense since entering the league, yet has still been a top ten receiver. The contradiction should be slashed out this year as the Bengal’s offense has finally shaped up. Besides Roy Williams, there wasn’t another receiver that made more out of the world catches. Since the Bengal’s aren’t television friendly no one has really seen how unreal Johnson is. After this season, Johnson will finally get the recognition he deserves.

2. Marvin Harrison
Harrison has been doing it the longest of any receiver, and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Manning and Harrison are going to eventually rewrite NFL history books, and the magic is happening before our eyes every game. He never has too worry about getting decked, and that’s the main reason he has stayed healthy. All of his catches are off Manning’s play action fakes. Manning isn’t going to change, and either is the extra split second for Harrison to stream down sidelines.

3. Randy Moss
The divorce between Moss and the Vikings didn’t end like expected. That’s okay as far as Moss is concerned, and he is ready for new life. The black and silver suits Moss’s characteristics and not much should change in Moss’s game. He deceives people with his comments on how he plays when he wants, but he truly wants to succeed. Kerry Collins has a very accurate deep throw, and Moss will have many opportunities down the field. This experiment could be marvelous now that he has a better group of receivers to accommodate him.

4. Torry Holt
Has never been a question where to rank Holt, and that’s in the top five. He is always working hard on every play, and as soon as a defender plays him wrong it turns into a big play touchdown. Holt is one of the best deep threat receivers, and if there are sixty offensive plays in a game, you can count on Holt making defenses wish that there were only 58.

5. Terrell Owens
Be very wary in selecting Owens highly, as he has two factors going against him. One is that he is in a holdout that looks to be ugly, and two he hasn’t said or shown that he has recovered from his ankle injury. Sure he did play in the Super Bowl but the majority of his ability was done by pain shots and the adrenaline of the Super Bowl. If he has recovered and gets a new deal than Owens is the Cris Carter of catching touchdowns.

6. Andre Johnson
He has one of the best averages yards per catch, and once he gets in the ninety catch range watch out. His size and determination are impossible for defenders to stick. Johnson and Carr have developed a nice feel for each other, and the only thing that Johnson needs is a solid receiver opposite him.

7. Joe Horn
Age hasn’t slowed Horn down, and seems to always get involved. The strange thing about his situation is that the Saints offense has never fully taken off. Imagine how dangerous he could be if the Saints got their act together?

8. Roy Williams
All sorts of obstacles were thrown at Williams last year, and it still didn’t affect his play. There were times when Joey Harrington couldn’t throw for more than 120 yards, and Williams made sure he got a nice percentage of that. Without Charles Rogers and Az Hakim, Williams faced vaunted defensive attacks and still outplayed two or three defenders. He is a special player that will never let down.

9. Reggie Wayne
Wayne finally broke out after being a sleeper in magazine’s for years. His talent is definitely not top notch, as he is more of a product of the system. Wayne is like Toni Kukoc was when he played alongside Michael Jordan. Manning can do so much that he elevates everyone else’s game, and Wayne has no problem with that. Hopefully he doesn’t demand a new contract if he has another great year.

10. Larry Fitzgerald
Start nick naming this guy “Fitz” because he gives defenders serious fits. Josh McCown started to realize how great Fitzgerald is late in the season, and often just threw up jump balls to Fitzgerald. Someone needs to measure Fitzgerald’s vertical leap because there hasn’t been a time where a defender can out jump him. Kurt Warner should be able to open the passing game more, and that easily means more production for Fitzgerald.

11. Jerry Porter
It didn’t make sense that the Raiders re-upped with Porter, and then went after Moss. For less than a week Porter was thinking to himself that he is the guy and the number one target by defenses. Even though he is under Moss’ s wing now, there is no doubt that’ll only make his game better. He has already learned from Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, and now Moss. A couple of years from now, this guy could be the best receiver in the league.

12. Ashley Lelie
Here is another guy poised to break out with a few more looks his way. Last season he had 54 catches for almost 1100 yards. Disgusting numbers, as just like Holt he breaks team’s backs with big play catches. His speed was his best asset coming into the NFL, and now he has added confidence. He is quickly inching his way into the top ten. Oh, and jot this down, 2006 is his contract year.

13. Darrell Jackson
Jackson has definitely been the best of his Florida Gator counterparts in Jacquez Green and Travis Taylor. Now that he is riding solo without Koren Robinson, there will be more attention focused on Jackson. Still, Hasselbeck and the Seahawks have always been able to get things clicking offensively.

14. Nate Burelson
Moss is gone, and it’s also a contract year for Burelson. People are worried about how the Vikings will play without Moss, but the Vikings already went through that last season. Burelson did a fine job, and he is a nice fit opposite Marcus Robinson.

15. Michael Clayton
Clayton was another class of 2004 receiver that stepped to the forefront in his first year. His year looked like a five year veteran instead of a rookie. A bright future is definitely ahead for Clayton, and the Buccaneers offense may shock some people this season.

16. Drew Bennett
Bennett went through a three week stretch of wearing a Superman jersey last season, and now critics are out to see if there will be a part two. He played so well that the Titans felt they could let Derrick Mason go. Bennett’s speed and height are unlike any receiver, and if McNair can get the ball downfield than his success will continue.

17. Chris Chambers
Chambers has quietly matured into a steady consistent receiver. Miami’s offense could only be defined as pathetic last season, and Chambers still put up decent numbers. His route running has really improved and he seems to understand defenses better. He is a Pro Bowl type receiver, and maybe the Dolphins will realize that this year.

18. Steve Smith
Nooo, is what fantasy owners were yelling went Smith went down during week one. The third or fourth round pick spent on Smith was thrown out the window, but could play into the hands of 2005 owners. With the departure of Mushin Muhammed, someone needs to be the answer to 2005 monster numbers. Jake Delhomme had a nice chemistry with Smith in 2003 that carried over throughout the playoffs. Smith will get his fair share of looks, and be a dangerous fantasy threat.

19. Javon Walker
Okay, you may not even be the best receiver on your team and you’re willing to demand a new contract? Something is wrong with this picture, and even though Walker is coming off a Pro Bowl year, you’d think he’d be worried about securing a solid relationship with Brett Favre. Instead he is opening the door for Donald Driver (Favre’s main threat for years), and Robert Ferguson who was ahead of Walker on depth charts before going through an injury prone season. Walker is a skilled receiver but needs to get to camp, because he stock is dropping by the day.

20. Hines Ward
Ward is perhaps the best all around receiver in the league. One of few receivers that will make the tough catches over the middle and block down field. He’d be listed a lot higher if we knew that the Steelers would throw the football enough.

21. Santana Moss
The Jets and Moss’s big play ability just didn’t fit together. He was hardly utilized and that lead to Moss becoming a disgruntled athlete. So he got his trade, and now steps into a situation where they love to air the football out. Moss baits defenders in by being deceptive as looking like a small average receiver, and then burns them with the big play. Forget about his struggles last season, and look for a bounce back year.

22. Derrick Mason
Mason is the perfect number two receiver, as his numbers won’t jump out at you but he just gets it done. He is a hard worker, and a possession receiver. The new situation shouldn’t change much, as both the Titans and Ravens run similar offenses.

23. Eric Moulds
The forgotten one is still around, and now has serious competition from Lee Evans. Moulds ability to separate from defenders is becoming more noticeable, and that means he’ll have to adjust his game to a mental phase. If he can add that than he can hang around the league for a good four to five more years.

24. Donald Driver
If someone leaves a key in the ignition and walks away, a thief is going to be chiefly laughing while he jumps in and rides away. That’s exactly what Driver is thinking now that Walker has opened the door wide open for him. Driver had a great year last season, and complemented Walker well. With the way the Packers spread the ball it won’t be a surprise if all three receivers in Driver, Walker, and Ferguson have solid years.

25. Lavernues Coles
Coles is back to the team that gave him a chance, and yardage numbers are always a given. Can he get in the end zone?
The rest

26. Anquan Boldin
27. Deion Branch
28. Mushin Muhammed
29. Rod Smith
30. Brandon Stokely
31. Jimmy Smith
32. Isaac Bruce
33. Joey Galloway
34. Keyshawn Johnson
35. Koren Robinson
36. Keary Colbert
37. Rod Gardner
38. Eric Parker
39. Marcus Robinson
40. Plaxico Burress
41. Mike Williams
42. Donte Stallworth
43. Brandon Lloyd
44. Keenan McCardell
45. Lee Evans
46. Braylon Edwards
47. Justin McCareins
48. Eddie Kennison
49. Charles Rogers
50. Amani Toomer
51. Antonio Bryant
52. Roddy White
53. Robert Ferguson
54. Terry Glenn
55. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
56. David Givens
57. Shaun McDonald
58. Bryant Johnson
59. Joe Jurevicious
60. Bobby Wade


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