1. Andre Johnson, HOU—Followed up his 1,575 yard, eight TD season in 2008 with 1,569 yards and nine TD in 2009. Let’s chalk him up for, say, 1,575 yards and, oh, eight or nine TD. Good enough for our top spot.
2. Randy Moss, NE—With Wes Welker coming back from injury, a lack of a proven threat at the other outside receiver position and no tight end who can catch, Moss’ opportunities figure to increase in 2010.
4. Miles Austin, DAL—Huge breakout season in 2009 vaulted him to the top of the Cowboys depth chart and there’s no reason why he can’t duplicate his performance this year.
5. Brandon Marshall, DEN—Despite the turmoil in Denver last year, he was still the 5th ranked fantasy wide receiver. No matter what team he lands on, he’s in the top 10.
6. DeSean Jackson, PHI—Was the most explosive big play receiver in the league last year and is only getting better.
7. Vincent Jackson, SD—Coming off a solid campaign that was marred by a four game slump between weeks 10-13. Jackson will likely be suspended for one or two games due to his off the field troubles.
8. Calvin Johnson, DET—Definitely one of the largest fantasy busts at wide receiver in 2009 with under 1,000 yards and only five TD. However, Matthew Stafford figures to improve significantly in 2010 and hopefully Johnson can avoid the nagging injuries that hindered his performance last year.
9. Greg Jennings, GB—Another fantasy disappointment who posted solid receiving yards but managed just four TD after scoring 21 during the previous two years.
10. Marques Colston, NO—Dynamite talent who suffers fantasy wise from playing on a team with so many solid offensive skill position players.
12. Reggie Wayne, IND—Was exceptional for the first nine games of 2009 but trailed off badly during the last seven with 385 yards and two TD, which begs the question—is he wearing down at 31. The return of Anthony Gonzalez figures to have a minor negative impact on his numbers.
14. Santonio Holmes, PIT—Finally delivered on his promise with a solid season in 2009 but still left something to be desired with only five TD, including a nine game stretch when he failed to find the end zone.
15. Hakeem Nicks, NYG—Simply put, he looks like a younger, faster version of Anquan Boldin. Nicks had 115 fantasy points on only 74 targets, ranking him 5th in that category. Look for the Giants to get him more involved in 2010.
16. Anquan Boldin, BAL—The move to Baltimore figures to have little effect on Boldin. If he’s healthy for 14-16 games, expect a little over 1,000 yards and 8-10 TD.
17. Chad Ochocinco, CIN—Comeback season in 2009 but is a year older and with Antonio Bryant an improvement over Laveraneus Coles opposite him, his targets may go down.
19. Mike Sims-Walker, JAC—Talented player coming off a breakout season but disappeared at times. With more consistency, he could hit the top 10. Here’s at 19 but with upside.
20. Steve Smith, NYG—Came out of nowhere to become the 12th ranked fantasy wide receiver in 2009. Here’s the question—do you believe? He’s at 20 so I’m not entirely sold especially with talented youngsters Nicks and Mario Manningham on board in New York.
21. Percy Harvin, MIN—Nice rookie season from Harvin and he has the talent to be a 1,000 yard receiver for years to come. The quarterback situation in Minnesota will impact where he ultimately lands in the projections and rankings.
23. Dwayne Bowe, KC—Worked his way into new head coach Todd Haley’s doghouse by being an out of shape diva and then made things worse by getting suspended for four games. I keep wondering why Michael Clayton pops into my mind when I’m talking about Bowe?
24. Donald Driver, GB—Just keeps on producing but worrying signs on the horizon due to his week 14-17 production of 185 yards and no TD.
25. Jeremy Maclin, PHI—Maclin played well as a rookie with 762 yards and four TD. Natural progression should help him top 900 yards with at least six TD in 2010.
27. Wes Welker, NE—Assuming he returns by the fourth week of the season, Welker still figures to land in the top 30.
28. Mike Wallace, PIT—Was the biggest surprise amongst the rookie receivers with 756 yards and six TD, good enough for 34th overall at the position. Look for him to improve on that in 2010.
29. Kenny Britt, TEN—Topped 700 yards as a rookie but only had three TD despite his 6’3”, 220 pound frame. The Titans are a well coached team so expect his red zone targets to increase in 2010.
30. Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ—Solid player who produces but doesn’t get enough targets to be a fantasy difference maker.
32. Devin Aromashodu, CHI—Look for him to line up outside and be the main benefactor at wide receiver of the team’s decision to install Mike Martz at offensive co-ordinator. Solid dynasty option, provided he can hold off Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox.
33. Robert Meachem, NO—Has all the tools but needs to be more consistent so the coaches have confidence to make him a bigger part of the game plan. Entering his 4th season, maybe the light will stay on more frequently. Big upside.
34. Malcom Floyd, SD—The Chargers dumped Chris Chambers to get him into the starting line-up. Floyd is a tall, physical receiver who has the ability to go up and get jump balls on deep passes. Decent upside considering he plays on a solid offense that passes plenty.
35. Nate Burleson, DET—Burleson moves to the Lions where he figures to get plenty of single coverage opposite Calvin Johnson.
36. Mario Manningham, NYG—Solid second season with 822 yards and five TD but dropped at least 200 yards and two or three TD worth of production. Solid upside if Steve Smith’s career year was a fluke (which is possible).
37. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, SEA—Last year’s most overhyped wide receiver free agent signing was a bust in Seattle. With an aging O-line and quarterback, and Burleson in Detroit, expect similar production in 2010.
38. Braylon Edwards, NYJ—Maddeningly inconsistent on a team that likes to run. He’s their deep threat who averaged six targets a game with the Jets, too low to be even a WR3.
39. Pierre Garcon, IND—Made some big plays in his second year, finishing with 47 receptions for 765 yards and four TD. However, perhaps it is telling that he only caught 51% of the passes thrown his way, exceptionally low considering Peyton Manning’s 68.8% completion rate in 2009.
41. Derrick Mason, BAL—Back in Baltimore for another season but now playing second fiddle to Boldin.
42. Earl Bennett, CHI—Solid sophomore season after being a bust as a rookie. May not have the speed that Martz requires out wide and he’s not an option as a slot receiver.
43. Anthony Gonzalez, IND—He’s back in Indy after a wasted 2009 campaign. Caught 71.8% of the passes Manning tossed his way during his first two years in the league. While others are clamouring for Garcon and Collie, get Gonzalez on the cheap.
44. Devery Henderson, NO—He’s fast, he plays on one of the best passing offenses in the league but he doesn’t go over the middle so his fantasy upside is dependent on touchdowns. He had two last year.
45. Mohamed Massaquoi, CLE—Productive as a rookie with 624 yards and three TD but was that because they didn’t have anybody else to throw to? Who’s the QB in 2010 and how much are they throwing it? Hard to see the upside here.
46. Chris Chambers, KC—Did some nice things in K.C. in 2009 but now has his shiny new contract and don’t forget that he basically disappeared for a year and a half in San Diego.
47. Antonio Bryant, CIN—Bryant is a talented receiver. Unfortunately in Cincinnati he’s the second most talented receiver and they don’t throw it a whole lot.
48. Donnie Avery, STL—A burner who is maddeningly inconsistent and injury prone. Plus, the Rams have some major questions marks at quarterback. That being said, he has some upside provided they bring in a veteran like Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick.
49. Chaz Schilens, OAK—He’s Oakland’s best receiver. That’s not saying much and the quarterback situation is a mess so not much upside here.
50. Early Doucet, ARI—Looked like a poor man’s version of Anquan Boldin in the playoffs, when he put up 145 yards receiving and two TD. If he beats out Breaston, he could be WR3 material.
51. Santana Moss, WAS—Another player who is his team’s best receiver and another, “so what?”
53. Davone Bess, MIA—Was the Dolphins most productive receiver over the last two years but is a small, shifty player who lacks top end speed, averages 10.1 yards per reception and has three TD in two years. Once again, not much upside.
54. Devin Thomas, WAS—Showed some flashes last year but now has to prove it to a new coach and may be catching balls from a rookie quarterback. That being said, there isn’t much talent at wide receiver in Washington so he could come on.
55. Josh Morgan, SF—Looks the part but seems to lack big play ability. Maybe the light goes on in 2010.
56. Roy Williams, DAL—Seven TD salvaged his fantasy season in 2009 when he had just 596 yards receiving. Caught 44.2% of his targets, a clear indication he and Tony Romo have some chemistry building to do.
57. Eddie Royal, DEN—Huge fantasy disappointment with 345 yards receiving and no TD after a rookie season of 91 receptions for 980 yards and five TD. Head coach Josh McDaniels says he’s going to be more involved in 2010 and if Marshall is traded, maybe it happens. There is some upside here.
58. Mike Thomas, JAC—Flashed some playmaking ability as a rookie but will need to beat out fellow second year player Jarrett Dillard to get into the starting line-up.
59. Jacoby Jones, HOU—Texans head coach Gary Kubiak says he loves Jones’ potential. If that’s the case, why did they sign Kevin Walter to a lucrative long-term contract?
60. Jason Avant, PHI—Has improved in each of his four years in the league. If Jackson or Maclin go down, Avant has the talent to produce.
61. Deion Branch, SEA—Hey, the Seahawks are going to be behind plenty and somebody has to catch some balls.
62. Johnny Knox, CHI—Move him up plenty if he works his way into the starting line-up.
63. Bernard Berrian, MIN—Sidney Rice. Percy Harvin. Meet Minnesota’s starting receivers in 2010.
64. Devin Hester, CHI—Mike Martz says Hester’s going to line up in the slot which will keep him fresh to return kicks. One comment like that and his potential drops like a stone.
65. James Jones, GB—Displayed inconsistent hands, but he’s talented enough to produce if injury strikes Jennings or Driver.
67. Brandon Gibson, STL—Showed some potential as a possession receiver and the Rams have a major need in that area.
68. Laurent Robinson, STL—Looked good before getting hurt in the third game of the season.
69. Patrick Crayton, DAL—Not much upside but he has a couple of solid games every year.
70. Malcolm Kelly, WAS—Hasn’t done much in two years and the knock on him is that he doesn’t use his size to his advantage. This is likely his last year to put it together.