The NFL is a passing league. So in fantasy football, you can typically find a deeper pool of quality receivers than you can guys who play other positions. This upcoming season should give us more of the same, but finding the right player may be more difficult this season than in previous years.
This year we find a good chunk of our usual top ten in somewhat sketchy situations. Randy Moss is another year older. Brandon Marshall is in a totally new city. Calvin Johnson is the only receiving option for an unproven second year QB. Who knows when or where Vincent Jackson will play again? Even the mighty Larry Fitzgerald could be in fantasy trouble with hot tub all-star Matt Leinart under center, and no Anquan Boldin on the other side to draw defenders. But this is the NFL. Teams are going to throw, and throw a lot. Just be sure you draft the receivers who get thrown to. I’ve ranked my top twenty-five for the 2010 season. Remember that all of my rankings reflect a PPR (Point per reception) scoring system.
Andre Johnson, HOU- He may be the very best in the game today. Usually guys playing in a familiar system have a considerable advantage over players with new surroundings. It’s just back to work for Andre.
Brandon Marshall, MIA- Brandon may be the exception to the new system rule. After a two game suspension to start off the season last year, he still managed to post 101 catches even with a new QB and head coach.
Reggie Wayne, IND- Reggie isn’t washed up yet. Think of him as a guy on the back side of his peak. You won’t see an increase in production, but there shouldn’t be a drop-off either.
Randy Moss, NE- Much like Wayne, Moss still has some gas in the tank as well. He won’t be setting any single season records any time soon, but 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns is a probability.
Roddy White, ATL- In 2008 Roddy White reached the end zone seven times. Then in 2009 many experts figured that number would go down due to Atlanta’s acquisition of touchdown vulture Tony Gonzalez. Roddy responded with a career high 11 regular season TDs. He’s also caught at least 83 passes for over 1,150 in each of the last three seasons.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI- You won’t find Fitz ranked this low on most people’s list. But the loss of Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin doesn’t just cause concern, it affects value. Fitz is guaranteed to see double coverage all season. Still, he’s talented enough on his own to be number six.
Miles Austin, DAL- It’s hard to have a lot of faith in a guy who’s only started eleven games in his career. It’s even harder to ignore the freakish numbers Austin put up in those eleven games. He smells like the real deal, and Old Spice.
Calvin Johnson, DET- At least Detroit always gives us a fun player to watch on offense. Calvin’s great, but I think the Stafford-Johnson connection is another year or two away from being considered one of the best.
Greg Jennings, GB- Don’t be fooled by last season’s low touchdown total. Jennings is still the number one wide receiver for one of the game’s best arms. This is a classic buy low situation. Jennings will bounce back.
Marques Colston, NO- Brees does like to spread it out, but Colston is still his favorite target. He’s a good play every week.
Anquan Boldin, BAL- Boldin is an unbelievable talent when he’s healthy and in Arizona. Maybe there won’t be as many things he can hurt himself on in Baltimore. He should produce nicely after he adjusts to the system.
Sidney Rice, MIN- OMG Brett’s back!!!!!
Steve Smith, NYG- You should keep an eye on this Steve Smith, Eli is. After catching 107 balls for over 1,220 yards last year, he’s earned Eli’s trust. You should trust him too.
Chad Ochocinco, CIN- For a guy who’s supposed to be one of the best of all time, I caught him easily with my spell-check. He’s no longer a number one fantasy WR, but he’s a really nice number two.
Steve Smith, CAR- I don’t know how productive he’ll be with first year starter Matt Moore taking snaps. But he hasn’t punched anyone…yet. Are you calling him short?
DeSean Jackson, PHI- DeSean kind of seems like a one-trick pony. That’s never a good thing in the over-prepared NFL. It is, however, a really awesome trick.
Mike Sims-Walker, JAX- He’s a decent option as a number two. Jacksonville’s mediocre passing game is the only thing keeping him from being a number one.
Dwayne Bowe, KC- Other than the fact that he shows up out of shape, can’t get along with anyone, and plays for a crappy team, I love him.
Terrell Owens, CIN- Everyone likes playing with new toys. Expect Palmer to look T.O.’s way quite a bit.
Jeremy Maclin, PHI- Maclin could very well be Philly’s most productive receiver at the end of the year. Keep a close fantasy eye on this one.
Donald Driver, GB- Donald Driver is a lock for 1,000 yards every season. It’s incredible. He somehow just put up 1,083 more this offseason. Solid.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, SEA- After a disappointing first season in Seattle, expect Housh to rebound with another average year. It’s too bad; he seems like a nice guy.
Dez Bryant, DAL- Bryant brings the most hype to the league out of all of the rookies. He’ll be decent. But he’ll be Romo’s third option at best.
Demaryius Thomas, DEN- Thomas was brought in to replace Brandon Marshall. Impossible as that is, he’ll still have a nice rookie campaign.
Pierre Garcon, IND- He can play. And the overabundance of sailing balls in Indy doesn’t hurt.
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