End of Preseason Wide Receiver Rankings

Surprise, surprise, guess who tops the list?

1. Terrell Owens
Anyone that can run his mouth to the media, betray certain teammates, and still be about his business is one risky fellow. Owens hasn’t even got the Eagles to budge one bit on a contract demand. Threatening didn’t work, so what other way can Owens figure out how to get things to work his way? The only way is to have a phenomenal year, that would make the Eagles have to trade Owens. There is no question Owens will not be an Eagle next season. Mike Vick could be his next quarterback.

2. Chad Johnson
Chad Johnson is ready for a career year, and for the most part that is expected all around in Cincinnati. There is a new ray of hope with the Bengals, and it is actually blossoming from season to season. The occasional glimpses are turning into weekly highlights, and Johnson has been a big part of the change over.

3. Randy Moss
It doesn’t matter how great a player is. A player can only be as good as the player controlling the situation makes him. That quarterback’s name is Kerry Collins, and Collins is no Daunte Culpepper. Frustration may settle in if Moss doesn’t show people how he can play in silver in black. Don’t expect Moss to pout openly, but there is going to be times this season when you can feel Moss beaming through your television screen.

4. Torry Holt
Write this down. Marc Bulger to Torry Holt will be the hottest connection this year. In fact both athletes are entering the years where they are going to do their most damage. What could be better, than doing it together? Both athletes are top five in their positions, and will remain that way for many years to come.

5. Marvin Harrison
The ratio of Harrison catching Manning throws has dropped off a bit. One that remains high though is in the end zone. That is a given when your quarterback shatters the touchdown passing record. Harrison has done a great job for such a long time, that it just seems that a disappointing year is barreling down. An athlete like Harrison doesn’t deserve any skepticism, but as the years go by concern has to grow.

6. Darrell Jackson
Jackson hasn’t received enough credit thus far in his career, but after this year that will come to an end. He gets open with ease, and it usually is for a big play. Hasselbeck has a special connection with him, and as long as he can haul in his throws, he’ll be a Pro Bowler. With Koren Robinson gone more eyes should begin to finally focus on the real deal in Jackson.

7. Hines Ward
Wardrobes won’t be a problem for entering and exiting stadiums now. With his fresh four year deal, the Steelers finally made their franchise receiver happy. Ward deserves it. As he could easily have opted out at the end of the year, and went to a team that utilizes receivers more. Instead, Ward has grown into his role as a tough receiver with and without the football.

8. Joe Horn
If there was a most improved player award based on attitude, Horn would get it. The once obnoxious self centered athlete that whipped out his phone for a touchdown celebration, has turned into a disciplined star veteran. He has done it quietly, and was one of the first Saints to volunteer to help out for hurricane victims. His career didn’t even take off until he finally got a break in Kansas City and then eventually with the Saints. But he has made the most of it, and his improvement doesn’t stop.

9. Ashley Lelie
Plummer’s fading career may be saved by this young athlete. Lelie is a rare speedster that is an actual football player. He isn’t a track star being converted, and he doesn’t drop balls. He makes remarkable catches and stretches the field with the best of them. This should be a breakout year for Lelie, along with a Pro Bowl selection.

10. Lavernues Coles
A lot of people think the Coles-Moss deal was lopsided, because Coles is a much better athlete. I agree with that 100 percent, and really don’t know what the Redskins were thinking. Coles is a tough big play guy, and will show that he has recovered from his injury problems. Chad Pennington has been missing this receiver over the last few years, and will welcome him back with open arms.

11. Andre Johnson
Johnson is an upper echelon receiver, that still has a ways to go. That’s a scary thought, but true. Johnson hasn’t even touched the scale on his ability, and the Texans offense hasn’t either. A whole transformation needs to happen of a year with success, for Johnson to reach the level he should be at. It’s really the Texans offense that is holding his growth down, rather than Johnson.

12. Javon Walker
It’s going to be a tough long year for the Packers. This season just looks like a nightmare ending to Favre’s career. Ahman Green’s fumbling problems are becoming worse, and their defense is ready to lose games for them. Once the Packers start losing, and Favre starts forcing, things are going to get ugly. As a result, Walker will become even unhappier, and will slip drastically in wide receiver rankings.

13. Reggie Wayne
People were starting to count the years on their second hand, as it seemed like Wayne would never fit in with the Colts offense. It took a long enough time for the Colts to get a second receiver to work, but Wayne has solidified his spot. Will the time come that Wayne’s stats leap over Harrison’s?

14. Drew Bennett
As soon as Volek becomes the Titans starter, bump Bennett up into the top five. The nation saw what those two did together in a span of three weeks, and their chemistry still was clicking this preseason. Whatever it is, there is no doubt the Titans are going to have to make the eventual move of displacing their quarterback since the Houston days in Steve McNair.

15. Plaxico Burress
A fresh start, is just what the doctor ordered for Burress. The new life with the Giants, and Eli Manning’s cannon of an arm are going to make Burress a fantasy stud this season. Eli Manning may have had trouble hitting his receivers last year, but those days are over. Burress is going to be a contributor, and one of the league leaders in touchdown receptions.

16. Nate Burelson
Not enough people realize how the absence of Moss isn’t going to affect the Vikings as much as what was hyped up. Burelson, Williamson, and Robinson are all solid receivers, and Culpepper is a fantastic quarterback. With all the hoopla that Mike Vick gets for possessing speed, an arm, and almost there accuracy, the level that Vick is trying to reach has already been accomplished by Culpepper. Culpepper has beat defenders with his legs and arm on numerous occasions. In fact, Culpepper is the league’s best dimensional quarterback. Burelson is the lead man currently in Minnesota, but once the season starts it could end up being Troy Williamson or Marcus Robinson. Whoever it is, is going to have a career year.

17. Rod Smith
A lot of people have written Smith of this year in fantasy drafts, and that has left owners like me drooling with my hands rubbing together as a late round steal. With a talented receiver like Ashley Lelie above him, and a Darius Watts below him, it makes it that much easier for Smith to use his smarts. Lelie is going to get tons of attention, after the damage he posed on defenses all last season. Smith may not have the weekly putouts that you’d like, but he’ll have more than enough games of fantastic numbers.

18. Michael Clayton
Clayton would be higher, but it’s hard to see him having the same success as last season. Reason being, the Buccaneers are going to run the football more this season with Carnell Williams and Michael Pittman. Also, Brian Griese has never been a quarterback that can duplicate previous success.

19. Larry Fitzgerald
In the off-season rankings, Fitzgerald was considered a top ten receiver. He has fallen down quite a bit, because of his new quarterback Kurt Warner. It seems Warner has been favoring receivers Bryant Johnson and Anquan Boldin more than Fitzgerald. That will be a problem for fantasy owners, and a good thing for the Cardinals team. All three are very good receivers, and Warner’s three hundred yard games every week are over. He is going to rank near the bottom ten in yards per game, and divided by three that’s not going to produce top ten numbers from Fitzgerald.

20. Steve Smith
We’ll begin to see how great Mushin Muhammed was. Smith thrived with Muhammed opposite him, and had great chemistry with Delhomme. Smith also needs to show he has the same speed that he had before his season ending injury last year. In preseason he seemed to justify that the ankle is 100 percent, and that he has regained his speed. At his smallish size, of 5’8 and 180 it’ll be hard to see Smith lasting an entire NFL season every year. Keep an eye on newcomer Rod Gardner, and also Keary Colbert who is an emerging receiver.

Best of the rest.

21. Roy Williams
22. Brandon Stokely
23. Jimmy Smith
24. Anquan Boldin
25. Eddie Kennison
26. Jerry Porter
27. Donte Stallworth
28. Chris Chambers
29. Isaac Bruce
30. Donald Driver
31. Deion Branch
32. Santana Moss
33. TJ Houshmandzadah
34. Troy Williamson
35. Lee Evans
36. Michael Jenkins
37. Keenan McCardell
38. Keyshawn Johnson
39. Bobby Engram
40. Braylon Edwards
41. Amani Toomer
42. Kevin Curtis
43. Brandon Lloyd
44. Charles Rogers
45. Eric Moulds
46. Joey Galloway
47. Antonio Bryant
48. Terry Glenn
49. Marcus Robinson
50. Bryant Johnson


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