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Andre is No. 1, But Who is No. 2?


Candidate #1:

Randy Moss

The pros:

The 33-year-old Moss is entering his fourth season with the New England Patriots. Over his first three seasons in
New England, Moss has averaged 85 catches, 1,280 yards, and 16 touchdowns.

Last season, Moss proved that he is still one of the elite wide receivers in the league, grabbing 88 balls for 1,339 yards and 13 scores. Among all receivers last year, Moss finished second in scoring.

Moss also is playing for a new contract. Given his age and long service in the league, the

Marshall
product will definitely be looking for one more big deal. 

The cons
:

Finding the key to

Fort
Knox
would be more likely than knowing when Wes Welker will return from his knee and collarbone injuries. The Patriots always keep injury information under wraps, so even though Welker has been practicing, we really have no idea when he’ll suit up for real. Without Welker stretching the middle of the field, defenses will key in on stopping Moss. If we assume
that Welker is out for the first six games, the play of Julian Edelman, Taylor Price and others will dictate early season success for Moss. Finally, Moss has always been known for taking plays off and subsequently quitting on his team. If he struggles early on, he may mentally check out and post up Oakland Raider Randy numbers.

Fantasy Sharks projection:
85 catches, 1,250 yards, 11 TD


Candidate #2:

Larry Fitzgerald

The pros:

Fitzgerald may be the most physically gifted receiver in football. Since 2005, the 6-foot-3

Pittsburgh
product has had three seasons of 100 or more catches. Fitzgerald’s presence alone makes defensive coordinators cringe. For the last three seasons, owners were able to draft Fitzgerald with confidence in the late first or early second round.

The cons:

Kurt Warner has finally retired. With him, Warner takes his consistent play and possibly some of Fitzgerald’s touchdown grabs. Once again, Matt Leinart will attempt to win the starting quarterback position in the desert. While Leinart’s career numbers aren’t sexy, 14 touchdowns to 22 interceptions, he enjoyed a lot of success at USC (37-2 record as a starter).

Along with Warner, Anquan Boldin also left the desert. With Boldin’s departure, the Cardinals will need either Steve Breaston or Early Doucet to step up. Early season play of both receivers, coupled with stability from Leinart, is critical to Fitzgerald’s success in 2010.

Fantasy Sharks Projection:
95 catches, 1,050 yards, 12 TD


Candidate #3:

Reggie Wayne

The pros:

Is there a more consistent receiver than

Wayne
?

Wayne
has posted a 1,000-yard season every year since 2004. With Marvin Harrison finally out of the picture,

Wayne
posted a career high 105 catches in 2009.

Wayne
’s 10 touchdowns catches last year were the second most he has posted in a single season. The

Miami
product also has some guy named Peyton slinging him the pigskin. Last time I checked, he’s not too shabby.

The cons:

Over the final five weeks of the regular season,

Wayne
posted only 21 catches for 277 yards and one score. After wrapping up home field advantage, the Colts essentially conceded the final two weeks of the regular season, right when owners needed

Wayne
the most. The overall dominance of the Colts should give fantasy owners some pause for another

Wayne
absence in the fantasy playoffs.

Also, the emergence of Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and the return of Anthony Gonzalez should scale back Wayne’s targets. Finally, at times last season, Dallas Clark, not 

Wayne
, became the apple of Manning’s eye.

Fantasy Sharks Projection: 100 catches, 1,250 yards, 10 TD


The Verdict


Regardless of format, Moss is the second receiver off my board. His splits with the Patriots are out-of-this-world and he’s once again playing in a contract year. It doesn’t hurt either that Tom Brady may be joining him as a free agent next season.

Moss will not need to adapt to the growing pains of a new quarterback like Fitzgerald does nor will he have four other able bodied receivers cutting into his targets like Wayne will. To me, he’s the best pick as the No. 2 fantasy wide receiver in 2010.

About Fantasy Sharks

FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.