New Number One

New Number One
By Zack Cimini

There has been a receiver on the creep for the top spot over the last few years, and now it is his turn. He hasn’t necessarily been in a strong offense, but yet has demanded yearly attention and makes cornerbacks cringe weekly outlooks. Not only is he due to breakout and head the elite pack of wide receivers, his team altogether looks poised to make a stance and impression this season.

Out in Cincinnati, head coach Marvin Lewis has quickly arranged and programmed a team into believers. The main athlete that is going to benefit is going to be star wide receiver Chad Johnson. His numbers have always been top ten and respectable, and that was with a bewildered young quarterback. Carson Palmer grew and matured like a teenager going through a growth spurt last season. It was so sudden, and his new confidence carried over in all phases of the game for the Bengals.

So how does Chad Johnson jump over a group of star-studded receivers? It’s simple, the long jump is there for the taking. Terrell Owens has been bickering over a contract, and who knows what his true motive is there. Maybe he hasn’t fully recovered from his ankle injury and is trying to cover it up. One thing or another, TO’s numbers are bound to come down from his out of the Earth season last year.

Javon Walker is coming off a career year, and already demanding money. The Packers have been waiting for Walker or Robert Ferguson to explode, and Walker finally took advantage. Athletes are so quick to get big headed over statistics, and it even brought out Brett Favre to throw his take in. This is the quarterback that is going to throw him the football. You can bet he’ll be looking more in Ferguson’s direction, who shouldn’t be forgotten about as he was hurt a lot last season. He also entered last year ahead of Walker on the depth chart.

Randy Moss is one of those athletes where a situation doesn’t matter, but injury concerns and Kerry Collins inability to remain consistent an entire season is a big question mark. There is a huge difference between Collins and Culpepper, and Moss and fantasy owners are going to soon realize that. Moss will still have top ten receiver numbers, but may disappoint owners in the touchdown category. As west coast offenses tend to have receivers that put up monster yardage and average touchdown numbers.

Marvin Harrison is going to continue to get his, but the main question is how much. Last year a lot of fantasy owners became frustrated because of Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley stealing the show on a lot of weeks. When your quarterback is throwing touchdowns as easily as a handoff than everyone is going to enjoy lunch. Harrison still had fifteen touchdowns and almost 1200 yards receiving. He is 33 years old, but that shouldn’t matter as he has kept himself in great shape.

Harrison will be a close second to Johnson next year, as the best fantasy football wide receiver. Johnson is a ball hog whenever the ball is near him, and just shreds defenses a part. He could have been at this foregone state if he had a solid quarterback to throw him the ball. Now that Carson Palmer is set, Johnson is going to be showing more than his gold smiling grill this season. It may be time for him to think of some endzone celebrations to compare himself with Moss, Horn, and TO.


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