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The Shot Caller's Report - WRs/TEs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs/TEs

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Must Start: The Top 15

1. Randy Moss vs. DAL - This probably isn't going way out on a limb but Moss seems poised for the biggest year of his career. There is (and has never been) a better combination of size and speed at the receiver position in history. Period. With Dallas in disarray at one corner slot, expect Moss to start off the 2004-05 season with a bang.

2. Torry Holt vs. ARI - Speaking of receivers in their prime. Holt faces an average Cards secondary in Week 1 and since Bulger will have scads of time to throw the rock, there's no reason to believe he won't post 100+ yards and at least one touchdown. Unless you own Moss, he's your #1 option at the receiver position.

3. Chad Johnson @ NYJ - I worried about Johnson's production when Palmer was announced as the starter…for about two seconds. He's a premier deep threat and the second-year QB excels at throwing the deep ball. A match made in heaven? The Oracle predicts a playoff berth for the Bengals and we all know how well his last bold prediction turned out. If you don't, give the Chiefs a jingle.

4. Hines Ward vs. OAK - If Plaxico Burress finds himself again, Ward could be in for a huge season. They don't come any stronger at the receiver position and his sticky hands only add to the overall package. Oakland will be better in the secondary this year but Charles Woodson just reported to camp and it could take a while for the unit to put it all together. I like Ward to have a big first game.

5. Santana Moss vs. CIN - Justin McCareins (there's that name again) adds deep speed to a team desperately in need of it. The chief beneficiary, besides Chad Pennington? Moss. He excels underneath and put up huge numbers even with constant double coverage last year. His owners couldn't be faulted for salivating.

6. Marvin Harrison @ NE - Like the Jets, Manning has a similar tandem to work with in Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Though the emergence of Wayne (not to mention Brandon Stokley and Aaron Moorehead) will likely mean more modest numbers for Marvin, there's no reason he can't match last year's marks (1,000+ yards and 10 scores).

7. Derrick Mason @ MIA - With Ty Calico out for the first few weeks, Mason should see plenty of balls thrown his way. Then again, he usually sees plenty of balls thrown his way as it is. That's what happens when you're Air McNair's favorite target. He's good for 80 yards a game and a score every other game…at least.

8. Terrell Owens vs. NYG - Hate to be a contrarian (ok, not really) but I don't see Owens as the panacea for a below-average passing game. He's big, fast, and an amazing physical specimen. Unfortunately, he's also prone to key drops and explosive tantrums. He's saying all the right things so far but I put the over/under on glares directed toward Don McNabb at ¼ of one game. Buyer beware.

9. Steve Smith vs. GB - With contract issues behind him, Smith emerged as a star in the playoffs last year. He's tough, has sure hands, and can definitely run away from the average NFL corner. Since Green Bay's corners are barely average (I'm being nice), he could kick off this season with a big game on Monday night.

10. Joe Horn vs. SEA - He's probably on the decline to an extent but his numbers last year were still stellar, in spite of the fact he was constantly injured and couldn't develop a rapport with his QB, Aaron Brooks. If Donte' Stallworth emerges on the other side (where have we heard that before?), Horn should post Pro Bowl-type stats again. That's a medium-sized "if."

11. Darrell Jackson @ NO - It isn't often that a #1 threat is overshadowed by his #2 but that seems perennially to be the case in Seattle. Pundits keep talking about Koren Robinson and yet Jackson continues to be the glue that holds the passing game together. If he cuts down on the drops this year, the 'Hawks could soar. Could.

12. Andre Johnson vs. SD - The Texans seem committed to getting the other receivers (Bradford and Gaffney) more involved in the offense this year. Oddly enough, that can only help Johnson. He faced constant bracket coverage and needs his running mates to come through if he's going to become the superstar most (yours truly included) predict he will become.

13. Javon Walker @ CAR - If the preseason is any indication, Favre will be looking deep more often than ever before. Why? Because the emergence of Walker and Robt. Ferguson means he can. It doesn't hurt that the #1 ranked running attack must be any defense's primary concern. Expect a breakout year for the former Seminole.

14. Tony Gonzalez @ DEN - I already alluded to KC's questionable receiving corps but Trent Green must have been completing passes to SOMEbody last year. After all, he trailed only Peyton Manning in overall passing yardage. Enter Tony Gonzalez, the best tight end in the game and the only one who puts up receiver-type numbers.

15. Jimmy Smith @ BUF - The Jags drafted Reggie Williams with an eye toward the future. The present, however, still belongs to Smith. At 35, he can't go much longer. Nonetheless, he's the best Jacksonville has and Byron Leftwich is smart enough to recognize that. Expect a Pro Bowl performance from Smith this season.

Grab A Helmet:

Charles Rogers @ DET - He tantalized us with a brilliant debut against the Cardinals last year and then promptly went down with an injury in Week 5. Provided he stays healthy, there's no reason to think he won't pick up right where he left off. It can't hurt that he's facing a decimated Bears secondary in Week 1. I GUARANTEE he'll score a touchdown this Sunday. (There I go again.)

Justin McCareins vs. CIN - I've already referenced him three times in this article so what is there really left to say? He was one of the best free agent acquisitions of the offseason and will prove why against the Bengals this weekend.

Jerry Porter @ PIT - With Tim Brown mercifully out of the way, Porter is ready to show why the Raiders have been so high on him all these years. Norv Turner's offense will revolve around Ty Wheatley and a huge offensive line but when Gannon takes to the airways, look for the former Mountaineer to haul down some big grabs.

Isaac Bruce vs. ARI - He doesn't get enough credit for the way he handled the ascendance of teammate Torry Holt a few years back (with grace and professionalism). The fact remains, however, that there isn't a better #2 wideout in football. Forget the good guy stuff and focus on the numbers. How many #2 receivers do you know of who consistently rack up 1000 yards receiving and 5-10 TDs a year?

Donte' Stallworth vs. SEA - If only this guy would emulate the Reverend and come into his own as a #2 guy himself. The measureables are there but the production has been sorely lacking. I'm expecting a breakout campaign from him but won't be 100% shocked if he fails to come through. He reminds me a lot of Koren Robinson, my favorite whipping boy for unrealized potential.

Grab Some Wood:

Any San Diego receiver @ HOU - The Bolts recently jettisoned the only receiver with legitimate experience on their roster, Kevin Dyson. That leaves Eric Parker, Kassim Osgood, Tim Dwight, and Reche Caldwell. No WONDER Eli Manning wasn't too hyped about heading west. 75 and sunny can only make you so happy.

Any Chicago receiver vs. DET - David Terrell? Bust. Justin Gage? Flash in the pan. Bobby Wade? Who? Oh, and they'll be counting on Rex Grossman to get them the rock. Look away.

Kevin Johnson @ CLE - I was never a huge fan when he was in Cleveland but I'm even less of a fan now that he's in the Charm City. At least the Browns have Jeff Garcia running the show. If it weren't for Grossman and Vinny Testaverde, there wouldn't be a worse starting QB in the league than Kyle Boller.

Larry Fitzgerald @ STL - I imagine there are some who think Fitzgerald is primed for an Anquan Boldin-esque debut on opening weekend. Just one problem: the Cards aren't facing the woeful Lions of a year ago. One more: Josh McCown is making his fourth start. And another: Boldin won't be taking the heat off on the other side of the field.

Ashley Lelie vs. KC - The retirements of Ed McCaffrey and Shannon Sharpe seemed to open the door for the enigmatic Lelie to take the next step. How has he responded? Let's just say he was outperformed (badly) by rookie Darius Watts in training camp. Lelie is a name most won't even remember in five years. Avoid him at all costs.

Best of luck this year, folks!