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Tiering Up – Wide Receivers

Tier One

Moss, Wayne, Owens

The only three receivers I would consider drafting in the first round of a 12 team draft. Moss and Owens need no introduction but

Wayne has been a consistent fantasy force who’s replaced

Harrison as the go to guy in Indy’s vaunted passing game.

  I know the TD’s for

Wayne haven’t been comparable to the other two in this tier but I think this is the year that changes, especially with

Harrison still on the mend.

 

Tier Two

Fitzgerald, Houshmandzadeh, C.Johnson, A. Johnson, Edwards, Colston, S.Smith, Welker, Burress

The only difference I see between this tier and the first is that these guys have been a little more inconsistent either with touchdown production or receptions. Edwards did post a whopping 16 TD’s last season but I need to see another year of double digit scores before he gets serious consideration for the top tier. Steve Smith’s top level production depends on the health of Jake Delhomme. Welker will get his touches and the passing scores in New England should continue in abundance. The passing offense goes through Andre Johnson in

Houston but he does seem to miss time every year. These guys could easily post over 90 receptions and 10 touchdowns and should be considered true #1 fantasy stud wide receivers. Burress barely made it into this tier because he’s never had more than 78 catches in a season but he has scored 22 times the last two years. Eli clearly prefers throwing to him and he’s entering his receiving prime.

 

 

Tier Three

Holt,

Boldin, Roy Williams,

Jennings,

Evans,

Harrison

These are receivers who could easily finish with #1 receiver numbers but each has questions surrounding their situation which clouds their value. Holt is another year older in an offense without a clear #2 receiver, Williams seems to get banged up a lot,

Jennings has a new quarterback and

Harrison is still getting back to health after off-season knee surgery. The highlighted names could potentially perform at a higher level. I like Evans to be more consistent this season now that the Bills drafted a huge receiver who will draw coverage. I also favor Boldin’s chances if the Cards finally settle on their starting QB. If Marvin is healthy,

 he will still be an excellent receiver in a great passing attack.

 

 

Tier Four

Holmes

, Ward,

Calvin Johnson, Bowe, Chambers, Driver, White,

Cotchery, Coles,

Galloway, Berrian, Mason,

B. Johnson,

 Engram,

Marshall

The tier features some of the better #2 receivers in the league and some #1’s on mediocre passing teams. Holmes is one of the most polished young receivers in the league and

Pittsburgh promises to keep the ball aloft with their tough schedule this year. If his receptions increase, he could be considered for the next tier up. Calvin Johnson struggled with injury and execution his rookie year. Assuming those situations improve, his stats should rise appreciably. This should be the year Jerricho Cotchery becomes the #1 target for the J-E-T-S, if he hasn’t already. Coles will get his and that’s the only reason they’re both relegated to this tier. Joey Galloway is the fine wine of the NFL. He is still one of the fastest receivers at age 37 and the first option for Gruden’s aerial attack. Bryant Johnson is a legitimate sleeper but I’m a little leery of receivers who haven’t proven themselves against the league’s top corners every week.

Marshall has had a slew of off-season problems with the law that might cost him a couple of games. Not to mention he severed a tendon in his arm. There’s just too much working against him to be considered any higher than this.

 

Tier Five

Moss

, Curtis, Gonzalez, V.Jackson,

Crayton,

Walker, Branch,

R. Williams, Bruce,

Curry,

 D. Bennett, Porter, Burleson, D.Jackson, Brown, Rice,

Stallworth

Talent-wise Santana Moss deserves to be in the next tier up but only once in his 8 year career has he started all 16 games and that has to factor into his value. Reggie Williams is intriguing because he finally seemed to improve last year when he posted 10 TD’s but those came on only 38 catches! That was enough to convince the Jags to sign Jerry Porter. Another guy who could do well is Ronald Curry but he seems to be injury prone. Crayton has a great opportunity now that Terry Glenn is on his last legs. This is a true sleeper tier as some of these guys will

emerge as great fantasy starters. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the veteran receivers who recently switched teams (DJax, Bruce, Walker, Stallworth, Porter) has a great year.

  

 

 

Tier Six

Hackett

, Gage, Hardy, Sweed, E. Bennett, Desean Jackson,

Smith(NYG),

Wilford,

Battle, D.Williams, Hilliard, Booker, Thomas, Avery, Kelly, Nelson

A lot of unproven receivers and rookies make up this tier. In this tier, I highlighted guys who have some experience in the league and possibly their best opportunity to produce. Steve Smith attempts to build off his playoff contributions, Wilford will be competing for the #1 receiver role in

Miami and

 DJ Hackett could be the guy for the Panthers to finally draw some coverage from Steve Smith. Of the rookies, I think Bennett has the best chance to put up numbers right away. Re

ceivers from this tier should be considered bye week fill-ins and backups on most squads. They probably shouldn’t be counted on for weekly point production.

 

Draft Strategy

Ideally, choose one of the big three from tier 1 without using a first rounder on them. If that doesn’t pan out, grabbing two receivers from tier 2 will make a formidable pass catching nucleus. For most of us, getting one receiver from each of tiers 2 through 4 will make for a very solid receiving corps on game day. For a number of factors, players from tiers 5 and 6 may not produce on a regular basis but could make solid bye week starters.

 

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