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Wide Receiver Rankings – Version 2

By: — September 2, 2009 @ 9:43 am
Filed under: Forecast

As noted in the initial WR rankings and strategy articles here, here and here), 2009 is the year of the wide receiver in Fantasy Football. With running backs having increased risk due to age and injury and more teams taking a backfield by committee approach, the chances of striking out at the position are greater than ever. And, as we all know, blowing one of your top two picks is a surefire way to blow your season. Or at least, it sure doesn’t help your cause.

With that in mind, it is increasingly likely that wide receivers will be taken in the middle of the 1st round in many drafts and that as many as ten wide receivers could be taken by the end of the 2nd round in a 12-team, points per reception league. Don’t be left holding the bag with a pair of questionable running back talents who are splitting carries. More than ever, your fantasy season will be dictated by your ability to change your strategy and get talented wide receivers early in your league’s Fantasy drafts or auctions. 

  1. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI – No change at the top and why would there be?
  2. Andre Johnson, HOU – With a Tom Brady injury and Houston’s defense looking atrocious, Johnson moves up a notch.
  3. Randy Moss, NE – No longer at number two but still a solid bet for 1,200 plus yards and major touchdowns.
  4. Calvin Johnson, DET – Stuck at number four only because the Lions figure to once again struggle on O.
  5. Greg Jennings, GB – Got his bell rung but will be ready on opening day. Fantasy football’s most underrated wide receiver, but why?
  6. Roddy White, ATL – Moving up from eight. With Harry Douglas out and Michael Turner not a receiving threat, his expected targets increase.
  7. Steve Smith, CAR – Little warrior will be ready for opening day and figures to be targeted early and often.
  8. Marques Colston, NO – Saints offense figures to dominate and Colston is the team’s best skill position player, outside of Drew Brees. Up from 11.
  9. Anquan Boldin, ARI – Sure he gets hurt but he’s a TD machine when healthy.
  10. Reggie Wayne, IND – Down from seven. Plans are to move him around but age concerns have him sliding a bit.
  11. Dwayne Bowe, KC – Might lead the league in targets and he’s good enough to translate that into major fantasy points.
  12. Vincent Jackson, SD – Up a couple of spots due to issues with other players.
  13. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, SEA
  14. Brandon Marshall, DEN – Team suspension and ridiculously poor attitude make him fantasy’s biggest boom/bust player. No surprise if at year’s end he’s in the top five or if he’s down at 50. Drops from ten.
  15. Chad Ochocinco, CIN – A rebound season is looking more likely.
  16. Roy Williams, DAL – Shoulder injury is a concern, but he’s worth the risk here.
  17. Hines Ward, PIT – Up from 21. More convinced that ever that the Steelers have morphed from a running team to a passing team.
  18. DeSean Jackson, PHI – Up from 22. Jackson looks good and figures to improve upon his two TD performance of a year ago. Maturity issues but wonderful talent.
  19. Wes Welker, NE – Down a notch but incredibly reliable and a great option in PPR leagues.
  20. Antonio Bryant, TB – Another boom or bust pick with quarterback issues.
  21. Derrick Mason, BAL – Wasn’t ranked last time due to his “retirement.” Or was that “desire for more money.” Can’t remember.
  22. Santana Moss, WAS – Up from 26. Moss has looked good in the preseason but could suffer unless Jason Campbell gets it figured out.
  23. Terrell Owens, BUF – The slide stops for Owens who is down from 14. Hard to endorse an aging player who isn’t practising on a team that has a quarterback playing horribly in the preseason. Should he be lower?
  24. Eddie Royal, DEN – Big mover, up eight spots. With Marshall sliding, Royal figures to get an increased role in Denver. Doesn’t hurt that number one pick Knowshon Moreno isn’t likely to contribute much early.
  25. Braylon Edwards, CLE – The drops have continued but he’s worth the risk here.
  26. Donnie Avery, STL – Apparently a quick healer but may struggle early in the season.
  27. Bernard Berrian, MIN – Brittle Berrian moving down.
  28. Donald Driver, GB – Old Man Driver keeps on producing.
  29. Santonio Holmes, PIT – Not sold on him but maybe this is the year he puts it together.
  30. Domenik Hixon, NYG – Aside from Hakeem Nicks, the team’s other receivers have struggled in the preseason, cementing Hixon’s starting position, likely for the entire year.
  31. Anthony Gonzalez, IND – Why do I have the feeling he’s in line for just over 1,000 yards but only three TD? Oh, that’s it. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are excellent red zone options.
  32. Jericho Cotchery, NYJ – Based on talent, he should be higher. Based on situation, this seems right.
  33. Josh Morgan, SF – Big move up from 40. With rookie Michael Crabtree holding out and free agent addition Brandon Jones injured, Morgan figures to get plenty or targets.
  34. Kevin Walter, HOU – Defense looks bad which should translate into plenty of come from behind passing in Houston.
  35. Devin Hester, CHI – Could bust out but still not a complete wide receiver.
  36. Torry Holt, JAX – Likely in line for plenty of catches but no longer a deep threat and won’t provide many yards after the catch.
  37. Ted Ginn Jr., MIA – Miami’s number one wideout by default.
  38. Steve Breaston, ARI – If only the Cards had traded Boldin…
  39. Justin Gage, TEN – Nate Washington’s injury could translate into a larger role early in the season.
  40. Lee Evans, BUF – Owens is down and so is Evans. All the way from 28.
  41. Patrick Crayton, DAL – Up from 52. Dallas isn’t sold on Miles Austin or Sam Hurd and Williams has a bit of injury and performance risk. Could be a solid sleeper.
  42. Lance Moore, NO – He doesn’t get touches unless Colston and Reggie Bush are hurt and they were in 2008. What’s the story in 2009?
  43. Laveranues Coles, CIN
  44. Kevin Curtis, PHI – Up from 46. Rookie Jeremy Maclin hasn’t shown much and Curtis figures to benefit.
  45. Michael Jenkins, ATL – Loss of Harry Douglas is offset by addition of Tony Gonzalez.
  46. Chansi Stuckey, NYJ – Seems to have nailed down the starting spot opposite Cotchery.
  47. Chris Henry, CIN – Wild tales out of Cincinnati suggest he’s turned it around. Time will tell but the talent is definitely there.
  48. Nate Burleson, SEA – Has assumed the starter’s role and brings plenty of big play ability. Unfortunately, wildly inconsistent.
  49. Steve Smith, NYG – Looks like playing out of the slot is his niche.
  50. Devery Henderson, NO – Might lose playing time to Robert Meachem or might usurp Lance Moore. Worth taking a shot on but don’t reach too far.
  51. Earl Bennett, CHI – Keep reading he was Jay Cutler’s favorite target at Vanderbilt. Does that mean DBs will give him a free ride?
  52. Chris Chambers, SD – Never been a fan of this perennial fantasy tease.
  53. Laurent Robinson, STL – Rams have been impressed with his talent and performance. So were the Falcons two years ago but maybe the light has come in.
  54. Mark Clayton, BAL – Mason’s return coupled with a hamstring injury causes a 20 spot drop from 33.
  55. Isaac Bruce, SF – Figures to get plenty of targets early but likely to see a reduced role when Jones returns from injury and Crabtree learns the playbook (provided he signs).
  56. Davone Bess, MIA – Played reasonably well when given an opportunity in 2008.
  57. Nate Washington, TEN – Could miss a few weeks of the regular season with a hamstring injury.Bryant Johnson, ARI – Big, strong and fast but plays soft. Nothing to get excited about here.
  58. Chaz Schilens, OAK – Was impressive early in camp before breaking his foot which will cause him to miss 2-4 regular season games. He was Oakland’s best receiver prior to the break. Could be an excellent late season addition to your roster.
  59. Robert Meachem, NO – Reports are positive but who is he taking touches away from?
  60. Muhsin Muhammad, CAR – Increasingly likely that he splits time with Dwayne Jarrett.
  61. Javon Walker, OAK – Don’t drink the juice. Big name well past his prime.
  62. Mark Bradley, KC – Could be productive. Also could get cut.
  63. Limas Sweed, PIT – Figures to carve out a role as the team’s third wideout and potential red zone target.
  64. Jeremy Maclin, PHI – Rookie hasn’t done much to expect him to contribute early.
  65. Deion Branch, SEA – Will the Seahawks pay a backup wide receiver, that they gave up a 1st round pick for, $5-million a season? Maybe not.
  66. Demetrius Williams, BAL – Talented but never healthy.
  67. Michael Crabtree, SF – Hopefully he is better at learning the team’s playbook than the NFL’s rookie salary slotting system.
  68. Percy Harvin, MIN – Frankly, why is everybody reaching for this guy?
  69. Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK – A few long TD will likely be all he contributes.

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