Fantasy Football Preview: Wide Receivers


For those of you looking for a picture to go along with the Wide Receiver title, sorry, this IS a family site.  We continue with the WR’s in our 2008 fantasy football preview.  The big question is “when do you draft a wide out”?

The answer to that question really isn’t all that difficult to figure out, but it depends on what you did in round 1.  Assuming you drafted RB in round 1, you should consider a top end WR in round 2, especially if you drafted high in round 1 low in 2.  Guys like Larry Fitzgerald and possibly Terrell Owens should be there and that is a good landing spot.  While Owens is looking as though he will be drafted earlier, a solid RB from round 1 and a complimented WR in round 2 makes sense.  Wait on the QB until round 4 and snag another RB on the turn of round 3.  Two starting RB’s and a top flight WR will have your team looking strong.

Most leagues, public leagues anyway, employ 2 starting WR’s with some leagues employing 3.  I tend to like the 3 WR sets myself as it tends to be more true to what offenses run in the NFL.  The problem is that after the top 10 WR’s are gone, the drop off can be significant in the kind of production you get out of them.  The further you slip down into the draft, the harder it is to find a solid contributing wide-out.  That is why I believe getting at least one top WR in either round 2 or 3 is important for the balance of your team.  When you look and see that you have 2 solid RB’s, a top line QB, and then realize your WR corp is horrible, you start to think about making trades you shouldn’t make.

Only 1 WR is garnering first round selections and that is Randy Moss.  Moss has become that top WR once again after spending a couple of years at the end of round 2 top of 3 area.  Now, he is probably being drafted higher than he ever has.  In the middle of round 1 and in some cases before QB Tom Brady.  Advice?  Stay away from Randy Moss in the middle of round 1.  Moss is a perfect choice in the 10, 11, and 12 spot range of one, but in the middle there is too many other avenues to go and with teams now having a better idea of how to pressure Brady, Moss may no longer have that edge he did last year.  Expecting the same amount of production is not realistic and I think that you will be dissappointed when he comes off a season posting numbers similar to that of a WR taken late round 2.

Terrell Owens on the other hand is being drafted or should be drafted in round 2.  His production should be on pace with what it was last year and could improve with a team that is making a point to get over the playoff loss last year to the Giants.  Owens was in rare form sticking up for his QB last season after the playoff loss and his attitude has never been better.  If Owens is there after the mid way part of round 2…take him.  You may even consider taking him as a bookend pickup at the end of round 1.

There are however, other WR’s out there.  So once again let’s take a look at some of those WR’s in the words of the bloggers that know them best.

Vince VitaleRamblinFan Torry Holt

It seems like Torry has been around forever however he will only be 32 at the start of the 2008 season. Torry has also eclipsed the 1188 yard receiving mark 8 straight years! Torry had 1635 yards receiving in 2000 when Al Saunders was the offensive coordinator. Bulger and Holt know this offense like the back of their hand. With Isaac Bruce going to the 49ers to team up with Mike Martz, Torry will have even more opportunities for big plays in 2008. I believe if Torry can stay healthy he will be a top 10 receiver in 2008 with close to 100 catches and 1300+ yards.

The only real question with Holt is how the arm of Marc Bulger is going to hold up and how will the Rams offense respond with a new OC.  Holt should be on everyones big board without question and he should be available in round 3.  Yardage and reception leagues make Holt a primary receiver who should pay off easily.  The bigger value for Holt however is the division that the Rams play in.  While the Rams themselves are nothing special right now, neither is the other teams in the division outside of Seattle. 

LTBDRound 2 or 3

Adam – Arrowheadaddict – Dwayne Bowe

WR Dwayne Bowe is going to be a top ten fantasy receiver. Yes, even with Brodie Croyle slinging it to him. Bowe was five yards away from posting 1,000 as a rookie, and will only improve on that now that the Chiefs have bolstered the offensive line and hired a legitimate offensive coordinator.

While I am not 100 percent sure that in the tough AFC West Bowe can improve on his impressive stats from last year, I do agree that he could be a top receiver on your team.  Probably should be the number 2 WR on your team and that is not a bad thing.  The problem is that Bowe is going off the boards around rounds 4 and 5 and that should increase to the 3/4 range as the TC’s get under way.  Unfortunately for Bowe, a very good prospect, he has Brodie Croyle throwing to him.  That is something that can not be overlooked.

LTBD – Round 4/5

DJLombardiAveTeam Wr’s

The lack of Favre’s presence is going to make many have second thoughts about drafting Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and James Jones, but they will still produce well for
the WR position.

This is where I tend to differ a bit with what I am seeing in the drafting of GB Wr’s but agree with what DJ is saying here.  The value of Jennings and company have slipped in several drafts I have witnessed over last year.  In fact, Jennings has been available after round 5.  Aaron Rodgers is the big question mark, but the team philosophy and the apparent committment to Rodgers by the Packers management says they have faith in him.  I do to.  You can probably wait a little bit on Jennings, and definately on the other two, Jennings will likely be there in round 5.  I actually drafted Jennings as my 3rd WR to go along with Wes Welker and Steve Smith.  In round 5.

LTBD – Round 5

BobBeargogglesonTeam WR’s

The Bears cleaned house with their wide receivers so it’s a grab bag
for who will be the top guys.  Don’t get too hot on Devin Hester just
yet, he still has to prove that he knows how to run routes and
remember the plays.  He’s a good grab if he’s available in the late
rounds.  The best sleeper on the offense is wide receiver Brandon
Lloyd that is reportedly learning the offense quickly and emerging as
the best candidate for number one receiver.  Grab him late and throw
him on your bench, the Bears have to throw the ball eventually.

Couldn’t agree more.  There are no Bear WR’s worth drafting outside of your bench.  Devin Hester has been available deep in the draft and in one league where individual players earn punt return points, Hester was still on the board in round 13.  If you are in a deep league are looking for a back-up with potential, then look at Hester and Lloyd…otherwise…don’t bother, you will be able to get them off the free agent list if they start to perform.

LTBD – not likely

John WhiteCatCraveSteve Smith

Steve Smith is still Steve Smith.  Don’t let all the talk about Jake’s elbow keep you away.  Smith is primed and motivated for another great year.  There will be no surprise here if he has the best numbers of his career in ’08.

When you draft Steve Smith your gamble is on Jake Delhomme.  If healthy Smith is the number 1 target in Delhommes brain.  He will get you touches.  Smith himself has an injury history although last year it appeared to be less of an issue last year when he recovered from an injury the prior season.  Smith is a fantastic number 1 Wr for any fantasy team when you factor in the draft slot and should be again this year…provided he is healthy.

LTBD – Mid 3rd

Steve DawgPoundDaily Braylon Edwards

Fresh off his first Pro Bowl, Edwards is sure to be a force for the Browns this season.  The offense was going to be a high-octane one no matter what, but the signing of free agent receiver Donte’ Stallworth helps Edwards’ greatly, potentially boosting him into elite territory.  Teams will be unable to focus solely on Edwards, making him a huge threat to opposing defenses and, most likely, a Pro Bowl candidate for the second year in a row.

Braylon Edwards is a no-brainer.  A serious prospect for round 2.  If he is on the board late round 2, you will do well with drafting him.  Coupling Edwards on your roster with a top end RB puts you in a unique position to draft BPA in round 3…possibly even Derek Anderson if he slips.

LTBD – Round 2

Other Notables:

Wes Welker – The cat is out of the bag on this one.  As Miami Dolphins fans will tell you, Welker is the little engine that “will”.  Welker’s numbers last year were impressive and it will not surprise anyone if when they come close to that again.  Welker knows how to run a route and read a defense.  He makes his own separation and has become the go to guy for Tom Brady.  While his TD’s will never be exceptional, his catches and yardage is fanatastic for a slot WR…for that matter many outside starters in the league.  Welker is going quick this year so if you are thinking he will slide to the “next” round…you would be wrong. 

LTBD – Round 3/4

Marvin Harrison and Anthony Gonzalez – It was only two years ago that Marvin Harrison was still be drafted along with Reggie Wayne in the 2nd round.  Injuries last year that lingered the length of the season coupled with his age has slid Harrison into rounds 5 and 6 and I question if that is a good value for a WR who will likely see his playing time diminish regardless if he is healthy or not.  The Colts will likely want to keep him fresh so expect him to not be in on every series of downs. 

While Harrison is battling for his future, young Gonzalez is battling for the present.  The OSU product showed last year that he belongs at the NFL level.  A solid route runner, Anthony can get down the field and take a hit.  He is being drafted in some leagues before Harrison.

LTBD – Harrison 6th : Gonzalez – 5th

Round 1 – Moss

Round 2 – Owens, Wayne, Edwards

Round 3 – Houshmanzada, Holt, Fitzgerald, Colston, and Steve Smith

Round 4 – Chad Johnson, Burress, Welker, Boldin