Top 40 Wide Receiver Rankings

Raymond Ayala’s Top 40 Wide Receivers

1) Larry Fitzgerald (ARZ) – If you did not know who Larry Fitzgerald was, you did after last years Super Bowl. Fitzgerald possesses one of the most impressive leaps in the game, as well as being a smart route runner. I would be shocked if Fitzy was not in the top 3 in receiving touchdowns, as well as receiving yards.
2) Randy Moss (NE) – Last season may have been an off year for Moss, but he still held his own. Now his quarterback of choice Tom Brady steps back into the mix, and expect his numbers to resemble his 07-08 season. Moss finishes the season leading the league in receiving touchdowns. Take that to the bank.
3) Andre Johnson (HOU) – In previous drafts Johnson was a sleeper, but now Houston has put together a much improved defense and I expect the offense to show up this year as well. Matt Schaub will put the ball in Johnson’s hands and the yardage will rack up. Expect Johnson to lead the league in receiving yards, as he pairs that up with double digit touchdowns.
4) Steve Smith (CAR) – Last year Smith misses a couple of games due a club-induced suspension. This season Smith has a clear slate and should continue being the elite Wide-Receiver that he is. His yardage totals may dip a tiny bit, but also expect his touchdowns to increase by at least 3. Smith is still young and his all around numbers could still improve.
5) Reggie Wayne (IND) – The Colts will have a lot on the line this year, and Peyton’s number one target will now be Reggie Wayne. Wayne’s numbers decreased last season, but this season I expect him to flourish. Wayne could easily put up a 1,200 yard-10 Touchdown season this year.
6) Anquan Boldin (ARZ) – Most expected Boldin to be traded in the offseason, but the trade market was unsuccessful and Boldin now returns to a very similar team to last years. This year Boldin is 100% healthy, and he could just as easily jump his teammate, Fitzgerald, in the rankings. Boldin is out to prove something this year and is hoping to get a big pay day in the process.
7) Michael Crabtree (SF) – I don’t care if he has not come into camp yet, and yes this may be an overdraft, but what is there not to like about Crabtree? He has the same jumping ability Moss did when he came out of college, and he dominated at a better school without a good quarterback passing to him. Hill will find Crabtree, who will finish the season as the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and a pro-bowl selection.
8) Roddy White (ATL) – White was the top target of quarterback Matt Ryan, and things will most likely stay the same. The only exception is White is still extremely young, and will continue to improve. If he can find a couple of more openings then he did last year, it could be a great year once again for White.
9) Greg Jennings (SD) – Jennings and his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, have put the Favre era behind them once and for all. If you think Rodgers found Jennings a lot last year, then expect to be blown away. The Packers have a solid team this year, and I think Jennings benefits from the progress he made with Rodgers last season.
10) Calvin Johnson (DET) – If Johnson put up the same numbers he did last year, on any other team, he would easily be a top 3 pick. Unfortunately he plays for the Detroit Lions, who were held winless last year. While I expect the Lions to improve, I unfortunately expect Johnson’s numbers to drop a bit this year, but increase once rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford gets settled in.
11) Terrell Owens (BUF) – T.O may be the definition of self-centered, but he is also the definition of consistency. Through all his turmoils, Owens has been able to score double-digit touchdowns four of the last five seasons. Now if Owens can shape up his on-field attitude and become a teacher to his younger quarterback, double-digits should not be that hard to achieve in 09-10.
12) Marquis Colston (NO) – Last year Colston only played in eleven games due to an injury. Now Colston is healthy, and will look to not only match his 07-08 numbers, but will also look to increase them. Brees is the best quarterback in the NFL, and soon enough Colston could be the best wide receiver.
13) Braylon Edwards (CLE) – Once he figures out who is quarterback will be, he will be able to improve on last season. I expect a Quinn-led Browns team to give a lot of the offensive load to Edwards. If the Browns fall out of it early, do not be surprised to see Edwards traded away to contender, increasing his fantasy value.
14) Roy Williams (DAL) – Williams has been plagued with injuries, and did not do too much when he was traded last year to the Cowboys. Now that he has had time to settle in with Tony Romo, I expect him to become a top-tier wide receiver, once again.
15) Chad Ochocino (CIN) – Has a nice ring to it…Ochocino. Chad was scolded by international acting sensation Denzel Washington during a Lakers playoff game for his onfield attitude. Ochocinco was apparently affected by this, and I expect a huge season for Ochocino, especially with a healthy Carson Palmer back.
16) Wes Welker (NE) – Probably the best kept secret in the NFL. Welker continued to show why he is here to stay last year, becoming a top target of quarterback Matt Cassell. While the Patriots will once again revert to the Brady-Moss connection, I don’t expect Welker to just watch. He will be the best second wide-receiver in the NFL, and should be drafted earlier then most number ones.
17) Dwayne Bowe (KC) – With an improved quarterback, Bowe’s potential should come to fruition this season. Last year Bowe had trouble hanging onto the ball, but those improvements should increase his touchdowns.
18) Derrick Mason (BAL) – Mason almost retired at the beginning of camp due to the death of his friend Steve McNair. This will become an inspiration to Mason, who is now playing this season in dedication of his close friend.
19) Brandon Marshall (DEN) – Marshall continues to ask for a trade, but will eventually show up to camp and put up his regular numbers. Marshall is beginning to remind me of Ochocino in both play and attitude.
20) T.J. Houshmanzadeh (SEA) – Getting out of Cincinatti was the best thing Houshmanzadeh could have done in the offseason. Once he gets used to the west coast offense, I expect him to flourish and be one of the top wide receivers in the NFC.
21) Chris Chambers (SD) – Lynch could easily have been in the top 10, had he not been suspended for the first three weeks. Including the bye week that is four missed games this season for Lynch. Still he is a top tier RB.
22) Santonio Holmes (PIT) – Barber was somewhat of a disappointment last season, and Felix Jones threatens to take some of his carries. There is no question that Barber will get the goal line runs, which equal easy touchdowns.
23) Antonio Bryant (TB) – Bryant put up big numbers last year and was rewarded with an invitation to the pro bowl. Now he is a known top target for a team that has a big question mark at the quarterback position.
24) Vincent Jackson (SD) – Has been the most consistent Wide Receiver over the past two seasons for the Chargers, but still plays second fiddle to Chambers. Jackson could be the teams number one wide-receiver by seasons end.
25) Lance Moore (NO) – His numbers from last season can’t be ignored, but with Colston back in the mix, he moves back down the depth chart. Still, Moore showed he is capable of a 1,000 yard season.
26) Percy Harvin (MIN) – Whoever ends up starting at quarterback for the Vikings, better just give the ball to Adrian Peterson and let him go to work. When you need an alternative Harvin will be a perfect choice. His big play ability was evident throughout his career at Florida.
27) Lee Evans (BUF) – As a number one wide receiver, Evans struggled to get open. Now as the number two, I expect his full potential to be reached and for Evans to show the league that he is capable of being an elite wide-receiver.
28) Donald Driver (GB) – Expect a resurgence from this once top Wide Receiver. He is a good number two to have in mixed leagues.
29) Desean Jackson (PHI) – Last year Jackson showed the league what he was capable of. Now the question is whether Jackson can adjust to the leagues adjustments.
30) Hines Ward (PIT) – Will not be Big Ben’s top target this season, but still continues to put up consistently good numbers.
31) Eddie Royal (DEN) – If Marshall is traded, Royal instantly becomes more valuable. Royal may skyrocket if he gets in sync quickly with new quarterback Jay Cutler.
32) Hakeem Nicks (NYG) – Put on a show in his last game in Carolina blue. Expect the same show to continue when he suits up in New York Giants blue.
33) Laveranues Coles (CIN) – Will have to play second fiddle to Ochocino, but it’s about that time in his career.
34) Justin Gage (TEN) – Went unnoticed most of last season. This year better get this speedster soon, or risk losing him to another team.
35) Ted Ginn Jr. (MIA) – Once Ginn Jr. learns how to find the endzone, he will be a great wide-receiver in this league. Until then he is only a top flight kick returner.
36) Devin Hester (CHI) – Hester’s ability to run routes, and then run like a running back make him a valuable asset to the Bears.
37) Chris Henry (CIN) – This is my pick to be the best surprise in the AFC this year. While Henry has had troubles in the past, his skill set resembles Randy Moss in both look and feel for the game.
38) Amani Toomer (KC) – Has 10,000 yards on the brain, with an established quarterback giving him the yardage he needs.
39) Josh Morgan (SF) – If Crabtree does not report to camp, Morgan becomes the 49ers number one instantly. He can handle the pressure, and is still valuable as the 49ers second option.
40) Anthony Gonzalez (IND) – Made great strides last season, and is expected to contribute a lot for one of the leagues top offensive units.