Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Joseph

Jospeh's Articles

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. Chad Johnson @ CLE – When have you ever known me to be conventional? I’m stating this now so I can take credit for it when the season is over: 7-11 will be the top points-producing fantasy wideout in ’05. Why? He is a phenomenally talented receiver who plays in a prolific offense. Oh, and he also happens to be playing for a big paycheck in ’06. All the makings, folks.

2. Randy Moss @ NE – Of course, Randy is still the most talented receiver in the history of the game. Go ahead and argue with me if you’re up to the task. The only thing that might, um, blunt his progress this year is his self-admitted laziness and/or an inability to bond with his big-armed battery mate, Mr. Collins.

3. Javon Walker @ DET – Walker’s big-armed battery mate gave him a little what-for this offseason for threatening to sit out training camp. The fact he didn’t tells us how much the young wideout looks up to his veteran leader. Expect the two to combine for many, many yards and a bunch of points this campaign. Your money is coming, Javon. Have patience.

4. Terrell Owens @ ATL – Yours? Don’t get me started. At least he never lost the ability to entertain us while very publicly complaining about his SEVEN-figure salary. Did you catch the interview with agent, Drew Rosenhaus, during the Packers-Chargers preseason game? Funniest 15 minutes of television I saw all summer.

5. Nate Burleson v. TB – Some are anointing Randy’s replacement the next breakout star but I’m a little less sanguine. It’s not that I don’t like his ability. It’s just that half of his 1,000+ yards and nine touchdowns last season came against three of the league’s worst pass defenses (New Orleans, Detroit, and Green bay [twice]). He’ll probably assuage my fears but I’d like to see him put up big numbers against a quality opponent before I fall in love with him.

6. Marvin Harrison @ BAL – This guy’s been putting up big numbers against quality opponents since Burleson was in high school. He doesn’t appear to be slowing down, either, though it’s a weekly crapshoot figuring out which of Indy’s wideouts will get the most attention from Peyton. I’ll flip a coin and say it will be Marvin this week. The Ravens are unlikely to let anyone get deep and operating underneath is Marvin’s specialty.

7. Joe Horn @ CAR – I get asked the same question every year: how can you love Joe Horn but not like his quarterback, Aaron Brooks? It’s simple. When Brooks isn’t hooking up with Horn, he’s spraying balls all over the place and getting sacked regularly and fumbling every time he gets sacked and not tucking and running despite possessing good speed and…should I go on? You CAN have one without the other, folks. Choose wisely.

8. Steve Smith v. NO – Statistically, the Panthers didn’t miss him that much last year (thanks, Mr. Muhammad). Realistically, they could have used his playmaking ability down the stretch run as they attempted to secure an improbable playoff berth. He’s back this season and without Muhsin around, looks to be the guy Mr. Delhomme will rely upon. Get him back in there.

9. Torry Holt @ SF – Unless Coach Martz loses his mind again (always a possibility), the Rams will demonstrate better run-pass balance this season. That’s not necessarily the best thing if you’re a Holt owner but don’t worry. He’ll still be the main man in the passing game and looks good for at least 1,200 yards and 8-10 scoring strikes.

10. Drew Bennett @ PIT – McNair-to-Mason will now be replaced by McNair-to-Bennett (or Volek-to-Bennett should the injury bug reappear). That’s a long-winded way of saying the former Bruin is now the go-to guy in Music City. Though some are probably concerned he’ll pull a Peerless, I’m betting he doesn’t. He’s simply too big for most corners and too talented for others.

11. Laveranues Coles @ KC – After an ill-fated sojourn in D.C., Laveranues returns to the Meadowlands eager to make up for two lost years of untapped potential. Having escaped the worst QB situation in the league, he’ll be thrilled to be on the receiving end of some Chad Pennington precision for a change. Expect another 1,000+ yards and more than one score (his ’04 total).

12. Reggie Wayne @ BAL – The more dangerous of Indy’s dynamic duo is back for another year of field-stretching fleetness and gaudy statistics. If Brandon Stokley is slow to recover from a preseason-dashing injury, he could be even more valuable in the early going. Start him as your #2 but treat him as a #1.

13. Larry Fitzgerald @ NYG – He isn’t the speed-burner the previous two guys are but he makes up for it with precision route running, super-sticky hands, and uncanny body control. He now has a QB who can consistently get him the ball where he wants it, too. I like his chances of notching a 100-yard game (he hasn’t done it yet) and scoring once against a suspect Giants secondary (28 TD passes yielded in ’04).

14. Roy Williams v. GB – The cavalry seems to have arrived with Charles Rogers returning and Mike Williams joining up. He might lose some red zone opportunities to the latter eventually but will still be option 1A for now. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the top 7 or 8 by year’s end, especially if Joey is able to spread the ball around and keep opposing defenses honest.

15. Hines Ward v. TEN – You wanna know how to secure that coveted contract, T.O.? Hope you were taking notes. Sometimes, subtle pressure and stellar numbers are all it takes to get paid. Now, Ward has to prove his mettle minus a legit deep threat on the other side of the field. Shouldn’t be a problem this week against a suddenly dreadful Titans secondary.

Grab A Helmet:

Jimmy Smith v. SEA – He fizzled down the stretch last season but still managed to post over 1,000 yards and six scores. This year, he could end up sharing the spotlight with one of Jacksonville’s younger targets. Then again, the folks in J-Ville are promising a more wide-open attack this year. Might just be enough touches for everyone in ‘05.

Donald Driver @ DET – Like Reggie Wayne, he serves as a #2 guy but produces like a #1 (#12 points scorer at the receiver position last year). If the Pack, as expected, struggles to slow down opponents, he could be in for another big year opposite Javon Walker. Line him up if you’re sitting on the fence.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh @ CLE – Yet another #2 guy who will produce better numbers than half the league’s #1 wideouts. He has always played in the shadow of his more flamboyant teammate (even in college) but is potentially more reliable and almost as dangerous in the open field. If you missed out on the heavy hitters, thank your lucky stars you stole him in the later rounds.

Samie Parker v. NYJ – I know what you’re thinking: another Duck? Well, tell me who else (besides Gonzo) is gonna catch all those passes from Trent Green this year. Coach Vermeil loves his potential and with Eddie Kennison nearing the end, the Chefs could use a little of his cornerback-broiling speed on the flank. He won’t be considered a sleeper too much longer so go get him if his owners don’t know what they have yet.

Michael Clayton @ STL – No rookie receiver accomplished more than Mr. Clayton last season and another year working with the same signal-caller (Brian Griese) should only enhance his value in ’05. He’s big, fast, and runs great routes. He’s also a mother to bring down after the catch. Suit him up and watch the fantasy points pile up.

Grab Some Wood:

Any Baltimore receiver v. IND – Even with the addition of Derrick Mason and solid rookie, Mark Clayton, I was able to cut and paste this recommendation over from last year. The reason is simple: Kyle Boller is still the starter for the Ravens. Where’s the justice? My homey, Joey Harrington, gets abused during PRESEASON games in Detroit but this pretender is still considered an up-and-comer in the Charm City. Watch Mason’s value plummet this season if you still believe Boller is the answer.

Chris Chambers @ BUF – Very few receivers possess his blend of size and speed but what makes him less valuable than all of them is that he has never had a QB who could consistently utilize his skills. I’m still waiting for the day he hits the free agent market ‘cuz his value will almost certainly skyrocket. Until then, use him sparingly.

Jerry Porter @ NE – He will eventually form a lethal tandem with Mr. Moss but he played exactly zero snaps in the preseason and hasn’t gained the full confidence of his coach for this Thursday’s tilt. You probably won’t see him on this list the rest of the season but for Week 1, at least, he stays on the bench.

Muhsin Muhammad @ WAS – What a difference a year makes, eh? He was the toast of Carolina less than nine months ago but is now staring down the business end of a 4-12 season (if they’re lucky) and fantasy oblivion. At least he’ll be living quite comfortably as he fades away into the sunset. Do NOT think he will come close to repeating last year’s stellar numbers. Simply isn’t gonna happen, people.

Amani Toomer v. ARI – If he repeats last year’s numbers, he won’t be playing professional football much longer. After five consecutive years of four-digit receiving yardage, Toomer managed only 747 last year to go with ZERO touchdowns. How is that even possible for a #1 receiver? The arrival of Plaxico Burress could take some of the heat off him but he’s still working with a second-year QB in a fairly conservative system. Steer clear ‘til something changes.

Best of luck, folks!