These are the upper echelon of fantasy receivers.
While most would argue that Braylon Edwards shouldn’t be listed in the same breath as Randy Moss, these guys are bonafide #1 fantasy receivers. Braylon Edwards is a year removed from a 16 touchdown season and just last year he was being considered for this tier. The reason I place him so high is that
From all accounts, Marques Colston is sound after an injury plagued 2008 campaign and we have all seen what numbers he’s capable of when healthy.
This tier features the very best of the #2 receivers in the league.
Ok, Brandon Marshall belongs in the top tier talent-wise but I really don’t see him keeping his head on straight for a full season. If he doesn’t, Eddie Royal is next in line to receive the bronco’s share of receptions in
Santana Moss, Derrick Mason, Antonio Bryant, Bernard Berrian, DeSean Jackson, Lee Evans, Devin Hester, Donald Driver, Lance Moore, Torry Holt, Roy Williams, Laveraneus Coles, Domenik Hixon, Kevin Walter, Chris Henry
This is the tier where drafters can really find some fantasy gems. I expect at least a few of these guys to outperform their draft position and finish in the top 15 fantasy wide receivers. The guy I have pimping all off-season and drafted on 3 of my 4 fantasy squads is Chris “one man crime wave” Henry. I should have drafted him on the fourth team but that’s another story. He was always third fiddle behind
Donnie Avery, Steve Breaston, Nate Burleson, Patrick Crayton, Devery Henderson, Steve Smith (NYG), Jerricho Cotchery, Justin Gage, Ted Ginn Jr, Chris Chambers, Joey Galloway, Limas Sweed, Kevin Curtis, Muhsin Muhammad, Josh Morgan
This tier represents guys who will be very solid #3 fantasy wide receivers. Donnie Avery might eventually attain the next highest tier but coming off a pre-season stress fracture, he ends up here. Steve Breaston may be the best #3 wide receiver in the league and according to Larry Fitz, he is only getting better. Jerricho Cotchery might be a little low but he hasn’t proven he can handle the #1 receiver duties on his own team and he’ll be catching balls from a rookie quarterback. I like one of either Chris Chambers or Joey Galloway to rebound from disappointing 2008 seasons. Galloway had 1,000 receiving yards just two years ago as his team’s receiving option and now he’ll be lining up against the opposition’s third best cornerback. Given Michael Crabtree’s holdout and threat to possibly miss the season, Josh Morgan’s stock is on the rise. I don’t know exactly how that translates into numbers but if Shaun Hill turns out to be a serviceable starting quarterback, Morgan will have a solid season.
Isaac Bruce, Chaz Schilens,
These tier features some solid #2 and decent #3 fantasy receivers.
I expect at least a couple of these guys to have pretty decent years, if everything breaks their way.
The main difference between the receivers in this tier and the tier above is opportunity. Many of these guys are buried so deep on their team’s depth chart that they will only become relevant if there is an injury to a player ahead of them. Darrius Heyward-Bey does not qualify for this tier using this criteria but he’s still a rookie in a very bad offense. I wouldn’t expect much out of him this season. The rest of these players are merely flyers in fantasy terms. Select them at your own risk and hope that you can squeeze a couple weeks of respectable fantasy production should you need them.