Friday, April 10, 2009

Wide Receivers-2nd and 3rds

I've already discussed the top 9 receivers so this post will talk about the rest of the crew. These guys should come off the board after the second tier of running backs. If you drafted well, you should have two backs and a top receiver before looking here. Ideally you grabbed a qb as well because there isn't too much benefit to first pick. The difference between Roddy White(9) and Dwayne Bowe(12), is greater than the difference between Bowe and Jericho Cotchery(29). The next 20 guys have the capability to crack the top 15. Nevertheless, some of them have more value than others.

10. Marques Colston-Saints-32nd in 2008
Saints receivers can be roulette wheel. Plug in anyone and you get numbers. I wouldn't draft Moore this year, it's too likely that it ends up being Henderson, or anyone else. Colston is the only one I have faith in as he replaced Moore's numbers as soon as he came back from injury. He is the most dependable outside the top tier.

11. Vincent Jackson-Chargers-12th in 2008
After rising totals each year of his career, Jackson is a solid bet to repeat his 1,000 yards. He has a good qb and offense, all the tools to maintain his success. A healthy Gates should grab a larger share of the yards, but there are few other options for Rivers to throw too.

12. Dwayne Bowe-Chiefs-19th in 2008
He caught 1,000 yards last year from the a grab bag of qbs. He is a player, and even if Cassel bombs, can he be worse than Huard and Croyle. If Cassel is mediocre Bowe should put up big numbers. High floor and high ceiling place Bowe at the top of this tier.

13. Terrell Owens-Bills-8th in 2008
Owen should still put up solid numbers regardless but there are some concerns. He is getting older and who knows if his abilities will hold up as his athleticism fades. I talked about Owens' move to Buffalo before. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in the top ten again, but there's enough risk to warrant his position this low.

14. Wes Welker-Patriots-25th in 2008
Welker had only three touchdowns last year. It's not likely he puts up that yards total without getting at least a few more tds. Brady is back so Welker is a solid lock to hit the top 20, though I don't think he repeats his 2007 success.

15. TJ Houshmanzadeh-Seahawks-30th in 2008
Housh should bounce back, last year's Bengal season was an outright disaster for all involved. Like all top notch receivers, House should get his points regardless of qb and team quality. If Hasselback is healthy, Housh should return to the form we are accustomed to. He is a bit more risk and reward than the guys above him.

16. Bernard Berrian-Vikings-16th in 2008
Two strait 900 yard seasons for the young receiver should be followed by a third. He is pretty consistent, despite catching passes from the Tavaris Jackson experiment and the Gus Bus. Another 900 yards and top 20 finish aren't hard to imagine.

17. Antonio Bryant-Bucs-10th in 2008
Here is the biggest risk of the tier. There is a chance he repeats 2008 and finishes in the top 10 again but every year has flukes and Bryant could be last year's Clayton. I would personally stay away, but the potential reward is high enough to warrant him here.

This could be considered a break between tiers, though you could also potentially place the break above Bryant.

18. Hines Ward-Steelers(15)
19. Santana Moss-Redskins(17)
22. Donald Driver-Packers(20)
24. Lee Evans-Bills(29)
25. Derrick Mason-Ravens(21)
30. Mushin Muhammad(27)

These veterans all grabbed over 1,000 yards last year. I wouldn't bet against any of them doing it again, but it's better to give up on someone a year too soon than a year too late. Could the wheels fall off this year or will they continue to produce. The other factor here is that you probably know what you are getting. The ceiling is set here. It would be nice, if you got a first tier and a second tier, to grab one of these older guys as your third receiver and a fourth with more upside. In small leagues, Ward or Moss would be perfect. In deeper leagues, The other three would be more feasible.

20. Santonio Holmes-Steelers(31)
21. Desean Jackson-Eagles(33)

These are those upside guys that you want as a third or fourth receiver. Holmes has put up consistent yards but he has the potential to break out, especially if Ward declines and without a third receiver. Jackson's numbers should improve as long as he hangs onto the ball.

23. Braylon Edwards-Browns(36)
The ultimate feat or famine, Edwards is coming off a year as top 5 fantasy receiver and a year as a first class disappointment. Taking Edwards is quite the gamble. He may reward the faithful with a bargain superstar or he may wind up wasting a spot on your bench. If you already have two steady options, he may be worth a try. On the other hand, this may be moot as he could be drafted based on his name, leaving him out of the reach of the cautious drafter. Of course everything could change if he is traded, as many pundits are currently speculating. Watch for movement in the offseason, a move to a team with a better qb situation could do wonders for his value.

26. Devin Hester-Bears(50)
This may seem high, but I love Devin Hester this year. Hester is obviously, a deep threat. He was often open deep in 08 but Orton couldn't get him the ball.The new qb in town happens to have the best deep ball in the NFL. Now Hester is obviously a risk to pick this high, but I don't think you'll have too. If you are targeting Hester, it might be a good chance to grab a tight end or an extra rb. It's possible he doesn't work out, or that Davis is the number one guy, but the potential reward On Hester is unbelievable. A home run hitter combined with the long ball thrower could end up in the top 10. It remains to be seen, but Hester could be a steal.

27. Anthony Gonzalez-Colts(44)
Harrison is gone, some of his production should fall to Gonzalez. The Colts offense fell off a bit last year, but I feel confident that they are still a top 5 unit and Gonzalez is now the number 2 target for the quarterback/comedian.

28. Jericho Cotchery-Jets(29)
Cotchery has come onto his own under several quarterbacks, the young receiver's performance should hold steady in 2009, regardless of the qb.

29. Eddie Royal-Broncos(24)
I wanted to like Royal this year. I was going to put him in the second tier and target him in drafts. Did the change from Cutler to Orton change his value this much? I'm probably exaggerating it but I fear that Orton won't be able to hit him deep, which is where most of his value is. That gives him a severe risk premium. I just can't pay that premium any higher than this.

30. Kevin Walter-Texans(18)
Walter got a disproportionate amount of tds last year but his yards are still good, he still has the Schauber, and he is a safe pick as 3rd/4th receiver.

A few guys that bear watching this offseason

Brandon Marshall-Broncos(13)
Obviously, the main question for Marshall is a looming potential suspension. Marshall is good enough so that he will put up points regardless of his qb. He'd be a second tier guy with Orton, but he can't up any points on the sideline. Once we know how many games he will be playing for, we will have a better idea of his 2009 value.

Steve Breaston-Cardinals(26)
Breaston put up his points while Boldin was on the sidelines. If Boldin is in Arizona, as I think likely, then Breaston has no draftability. But if, as some have speculated, Boldin is on the move, than Breaston's value should be around 20ish.

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