if the Saints would pass on home town once in a lifetime type of player in Leonard Fournette I would DIE!! Mark Ingram hasn't shown to be all that great. We will likely have a new young QB in a few years and a BEAST back would do him wonders. Hell he may help Brees last a little longer in that he won't have to pass 100 times a game. Delvin Breaux, PJ Williams, DeVante Harris, Ken Crawley, Damian Swann, and Kyle Wilson will be plenty enough depth at corner. The 2 UDFA corners have played good considering they are undrafted. I think PJ was gonna have a good year before the devastating concussion. We are missing Sheldon Rankins right now and our top 3 corners. This D isn't as bad as most think, but the devastating injuries to all our corners have killed us, which would happen to every team out there. Plus I'm scared of Bama corners BIG TIME!! They seem to bust or take forever to produce!!
Yeah the Patriots are just clamoring for an interior offensive lineman. After all they have Thuney and Mason as starters at guard with Jonathan Cooper and Ted Karras as back-ups and have a very good center in David Andrews. What the Patriots need is an offensive tackle because Sebastian Vollmer ain't getting any younger and hasn't really been fully healthy the last two seasons. If there's a great prospect at OT at the end of the first round the Patriots should take him. You're out of your tree if you think the Patriot's greatest need is an interior offensive lineman.
Yet again, I will follow Walt's lead for this draft order outside the fact that the Bears land the top pick over the 49ers or Browns, I have more faith in Cutler running into wins before I do with Kessler or Gabbert. Also, there are still some players not in the system such as the Illini DEs, Justin Evans and Malik Hooker at safety. Until they are in I will mock without them.
These 2009 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2009 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2009 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other things.
2009 Fantasy Football Rankings - Wide Receivers:
Last Updated: Sept. 5, 2009
Randy Moss, Patriots. Bye: 8. AUG. 29 UPDATE: Randy Moss looked great Friday night, catching six balls for 90 yards and two touchdowns in just one half of work. He was completely in sync with Tom Brady. He has been my top fantasy receiver all along, and will continue to be so as long as Brady is healthy.
Asking Randy Moss to repeat his 2007 performance (98 catches, 1,493 yards, 23 TDs) is unreasonable. Tom Brady is coming off knee surgery, and apparently the Patriots already released their Week 1 injury report because ESPN lists Brady as questionable.
However, Moss will easily shatter his 2008 figures (69 catches, 1,008 yards, 11 TDs). Matt Cassel didn't have the arm strength to find Moss downfield. Despite the knee surgery, Brady will.
Most fantasy drafts I've seen have Moss as the third wideout off the board. If he was able to score 11 touchdowns with Cassel, I don't think there's any question that he'll improve that total to the mid-teens, at the very least. Get him while he's undervalued.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 92 catches. 1,310 yards. 16 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 227.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 319.
Andre Johnson, Texans. Bye: 10. AUG. 25 UPDATE: Andre Johnson looks in mid-season form Saturday night, catching four balls for 38 yards. Johnson beat a Saints corner down the sideline on the first drive, but Matt Schaub missed him by a few inches. That timing will be down in the regular season.
I had Andre Johnson as my No. 2 receiver last year, and he made me very proud, catching 115 passes for 1,575 yards and eight touchdowns. The knock on Johnson was his durability, but he played in all 16 games, marking the fourth time he has done that in his 6-year career.
Looking at Johnson's game log, five of his eight scores came in the final five weeks of the season. Just a coincidence? Absolutely not. That was when Houston got Steve Slaton going, which increased overall offensive production, granting Johnson more end-zone opportunities. I think you'll see Johnson register double-digit touchdowns for the first time in his career this season.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 112 catches. 1,525 yards. 11 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 218.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 330.
Calvin Johnson, Lions. Bye: 7. SEPT. 4 UPDATE:
Calvin Johnson turned four of Matthew Stafford's targets into two receptions for 56 yards Thursday night. One of the incompletions was a 34-yard touchdown wiped out by a Daniel Loper holding penalty. Megatron played just two drives.
AUG. 30 UPDATE:
Calvin Johnson saw his first preseason action and didn't disappoint, catching four passes for 67 yards Saturday afternoon. Matthew Stafford and Megatron clicked instantly. If you own Megatron, you don't need to worry whom Detroit's starting quarterback is.
In one of my leagues last year, some guy shook his head and said to himself, "Wow, Calvin Johnson before Roy Williams?" when I took Megatron off the board in the fourth round. Well, I had the last laugh, as the 6-5, 235-pound unstoppable force debacled secondary after secondary, en route to registering 78 receptions, 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns in his second season. The kicker is, unlike Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson, the Lions had a bunch of crap at quarterback.
The problem is, the Lions still have crap at quarterback. Daunte Culpepper will have to start most of the season because the Lions foolishly failed to address the left tackle position in the 2009 NFL Draft. If they throw Matt Stafford into the fire, they're at risk of having another Joey Harrington. Stafford CANNOT play until Detroit secures a top-notch left tackle.
Still, it really doesn't matter who the quarterback is. Megatron is going to put up WR1 numbers regardless. It's just a shame because I'd probably have him atop this list if Stafford were allowed to play.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 87 catches. 1,430 yards. 12 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 215.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 302.
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals. Bye: 4. AUG. 24 UPDATE:
Larry Fitzgerald was targeted a few times Saturday night, but came up with zero receptions. Like Kurt Warner, Fitzgerald is vastly overrated in all fantasy leagues this year. If Warner goes down with an injury (very likely), Fitzgerald's numbers will suffer with Matt Leinart at the helm. Fitzgerald's stats may suffer anyway with Warner struggling off hip surgery.
AUG. 7 UPDATE:
One reason I don't like the Cardinals to repeat as NFC West champs is because of Kurt Warner's age (38). Well, apparently, Warner is already breaking down. Warner said he's about "85 percent" right now after hip surgery, and KTAR Sports Radio says he's "slightly hindered."
Warner has played only one full season since 2001, and if he misses some games, Larry Fitzgerald won't come close to producing like a first-round fantasy pick. For this reason, Fitzgerald is being drafted too high in many leagues.
If you time traveled back to November, and avoided the nosebleeds and seizures that comes with time travel (poor Charlotte), you would be shocked to notice that Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin held the same fantasy value. I'm not making this up. Through Week 11, Boldin had 879 yards and 10 touchdowns. Fitzgerald, meanwhile, had 939 yards and six scores. That means in standard leagues, Boldin had out-scored Fitzgerald by 18 points in the first 11 weeks of the 2008 campaign. And here's the kicker - Boldin missed two games with an injury!
Of course, Fitzgerald tore up the postseason, registering 30 receptions, 546 yards and seven touchdowns in four games. He came up huge when it counted most, and that's why you can argue that he's the best receiver in football. However, you can also argue that his playoff run has made him overvalued; some people are even taking him in the first round.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 92 catches. 1,340 yards. 12 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 206.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 298.
Marques Colston, Saints. Bye: 5. AUG. 25 UPDATE: Marques Colston was all over the place Saturday night, grabbing six balls for 66 yards. He's going to have a huge year.
Those who spent a second-round pick on Marques Colston last year were very disappointed when he missed six games after registering three catches for 26 yards in the season opener. However, Colston caught fire toward the end of the season, managing 508 yards and five touchdowns in his final six contests.
Because Colston had such a "down year," he might be undervalued in your league. Getting him in the third round is a huge steal.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 84 catches. 1,300 yards. 11 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 196.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 280.
Roddy White, Falcons. Bye: 4. AUG. 9 UPDATE: Roddy White's holdout is over. The talented wideout signed a 6-year, $50 million contract. You should have no concerns now if you're thinking about taking White in the third round of your draft.
This was one I got wrong. I thought Roddy White would take a small step backward because the Falcons had a rookie quarterback behind a questionable offensive line. Whoops. The line held up, and Ryan had one of the best seasons of any first-year signal-caller in NFL history.
White could have an even better year in 2009. He's in his contract season, and Ryan will no longer be a rookie. At 6-0, 208, White will never be a premier end-zone threat, but the yardage could increase, especially with Tony Gonzalez drawing some attention.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 94 catches. 1,450 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 187.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 281.
Reggie Wayne, Colts. Bye: 6.
Reggie Wayne had a pretty disappointing season. He had just four 100-yard games and a meager six touchdowns. But as in the stock market, you buy low and sell high in fantasy football.
Peyton Manning was hurt last year. There's no question that Manning's knee had an impact on Wayne's fantasy value. Also, Marvin Harrison is now gone, which means Wayne will get more looks in the red zone.
If Wayne slips into the third round of your fantasy draft, don't hesitate to take him off the board.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 89 catches. 1,290 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 183.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 272.
Greg Jennings, Packers. Bye: 5.
Greg Jennings finished the 2008 campaign with 80 catches, 1,292 yards and nine touchdowns. However, he was pretty inconsistent. He had five games where he garnered at least 100 yards, and he also had four contests where he disappointed with 40 yards or less.
As Aaron Rodgers continues to develop, Jennings' consistency can only improve. That said, Rodgers has a lot of options to throw to, so Jennings' fantasy potential won't be maximized.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 77 catches. 1,260 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 180.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 257.
Steve Smith, Panthers. Bye: 4. AUG. 15 UPDATE: Just a few days after hurting his shoulder, Steve Smith was back at practice. The injury is now a non-factor.
For the first time since 2005, everything went right. Jake Delhomme didn't get hurt. Steve Smith wasn't banged up. Consequently, the 5-9, 185-pound burner managed 78 receptions, 1,421 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. Smith missed two contests because of a suspension. OK, so maybe everything didn't go right.
That said, those 2008 figures were Smith's complete upside. I don't think he can do much better than 1,421 yards and six scores. He's small, so it's tough for him to garner a lot of touchdowns. Plus, there's no telling if Jake Delhomme's son will get kidnapped again. If you take Smith early, you're probably buying high. I'm not a big fan of that.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 83 catches. 1,350 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 177.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 260.
Chad Ochocinco, Bengals. Bye: 8. JULY 31 UPDATE: Chad Ochocinco reported to Bengals camp on Thursday. The fact that he's there is good news enough; he hinted that he wouldn't show up on time as soon as Wednesday night on his live chat.
As long as Carson Palmer stays healthy, Ochocinco should have a bounce-back season; despite the fact that he's insane, he's still incredibly talented. He's also going later than he should in many fantasy drafts.
After five consecutive seasons of 1,270 yards or more, Chad Ochocinco fell off the fantasy map, notching 53 catches for 540 yards and four touchdowns.
Buy Ochocinco low! He's going in the sixth or seventh round of some leagues, where he can be had for great value. Last year, Carson Palmer played hurt, and then Ryan "I can't throw the ball longer than 10 yards" Fitzpatrick took over. Of course Ochocinco was going to struggle, especially given that he was coming off ankle surgery.
Is it crazy to believe that Ochocinco could have his best fantasy year ever? As long as Palmer's healthy, I don't think so. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is gone, so Ochocinco's going to get more end-zone looks than ever.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 88 catches. 1,225 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 176.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 264.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs. Bye: 8. AUG. 22 UPDATE: Dwayne Bowe once again didn't start, but produced three receptions for 37 yards and a score. Unless Todd Haley's completely brain dead, Bowe will be in the starting lineup next week.
AUG. 17 UPDATE: Dwayne Bowe finally entered the game in the second quarter. He caught five balls for 70 yards, including a great diving catch for about a dozen yards. So much for being fat and out of shape.
Dwayne Bowe had just two 100-yard games, but still finished with a very solid 1,022 yards and seven touchdowns. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, Bowe had the second-most drops in the NFL.
Matt Cassel is now under center, so Bowe will enjoy an upgrade under... wait... never mind. The Chiefs essentially traded for a taller Tyler Thigpen. So with that in mind, Bowe's numbers won't improve unless he actually catches the football this season.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 92 catches. 1,130 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 167.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 259.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks. Bye: 7. SEPT. 1 UPDATE:
T.J. Houshmandzadeh didn't get his first target until three minutes into the second quarter Saturday night. However, Matt Hasselbeck made up for lost time, gunning for Houshmandzadeh six times until the second-team offense entered the game in the middle of the third quarter. Houshmandzadeh finished with five receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown. The sole target he didn't catch was broken up by a defensive back.
AUG. 23 UPDATE:
Matt Hasselbeck targeted T.J. Houshmandzadeh on three of his first four throws Saturday night. Houshmandzadeh finished with five receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. It looks like Houshmandzadeh will continue to be a PPR fiend in his new home.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh has to be feeling pretty good right now. He just signed a massive contract and escaped all of the madness in Cincinnati. Sharing the same position with a renowned psychopath on your team can take a toll on you. I'm shocked Houshmandzadeh didn't rename himself "T.J. I'mGonnaKillThisJerkNamedChadOchocincoOnMyTeamHe'sSoDamnAnnoying."
I don't think we're going to see Houshmandzadeh get up to 112 receptions in Seattle's offense, but he should approach 1,000 yards and double-digit scores again. Matt Hasselbeck has never had a receiver of Houshmandzadeh's caliber, so I'm interested to see how this plays out.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 95 catches. 1,060 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 160.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 249.
Roy Williams, Cowboys. Bye: 6. SEPT. 2 UPDATE:
Roy Williams returned to practice Tuesday and will be ready to go Week 1. This pretty much confirms Mr. Turkey Neck's statement that Williams could have played last weekend if it were a regular-season game.
AUG. 28 UPDATE:
Roy Williams suffered an injury Wednesday. It was first believed to be a broken collarbone, which would have put him out 6-8 weeks. However, x-rays came back negative. Williams will have an MRI today. He'll stay put in my 2009 Fantasy Football Rankings until the MRI results are in.
AUG. 22 UPDATE:
Who needs Terrell Owens when you have Roy Williams playing his natural position for a change? Tony Romo targeted Roy Williams five times on his first nine throws Friday night. Williams caught three of those balls for 19 yards. Romo also took a shot deep to Williams, but the ball sailed out of bounds. Williams finished with five receptions for 36 yards.
Roy Williams wasn't effective in 2008 for three reasons. First and foremost, he wasn't familiar with Dallas' offense. As a receiver, coming into a new team during the middle of the season can be incredibly taxing. Second, he was hindered with a plantar fascia. And third, he was asked to play flanker last year because Owens started at split end. Williams is a natural split end and was uncomfortable in his new position.
With Owens gone, Williams has already moved to split end. He's getting healthy and learning the playbook. Thousands of fantasy owners are going to avoid Williams because of his horrific 2008 campaign. I won't.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 73 catches. 1,040 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 158.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 231.
Anquan Boldin, Cardinals. Bye: 4.
Anquan Boldin caught 11 touchdowns in the first 12 weeks of the 2008 NFL season. However, including the playoffs, Boldin managed only one score the rest of the year. For whatever reason, Kurt Warner stopped looking toward Boldin in the red zone.
I doubt that continues, as Boldin is just too imposing to be ignored. The problem is, Boldin has missed eight games in the past two seasons, and 16 games since 2004. He frequently gets banged up and misses time. Couple that with Kurt Warner's age (38), and Boldin is just a standard WR2.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 84 catches. 1,010 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 155.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 239.
Braylon Edwards, Browns. Bye: 9. AUG. 24 UPDATE: Braylon Edwards had one catch for 34 yards Saturday night. However, he screwed up two more possible receptions. He caught a pass along the sidelines for a gain of 25 yards, but couldn't stay inbounds. Scratch that; he didn't even try to stay inbounds. There was simply no effort on the play. And speaking of which, Edwards dropped a pass on Cleveland's second drive. I thought we were going to get more of an effort from Edwards this year because he's in his contract campaign. But unless he's saving it for the regular season, I was dead wrong.
AUG. 17 UPDATE: Braylon Edwards dropped a touchdown in the preseason opener. It should be no surprise that the ball hit him right in the numbers. I thought Edwards would rebound because this is his contract year, but it's apparent that he's as lackadaisical as ever.
JULY 30 UPDATE: So, it's your contract year. Do you: A) Work hard and stay in top shape so you can get paid? B) Play pick-up basketball games and run the risk of getting injured? or C) Fail to stay in shape so that you can't pass your physical?
The obvious answer is A, but Braylon Edwards hasn't gotten the message. Edwards failed his physical today after suffering an ankle injury playing basketball. While Edwards should be fine for the regular season, it just goes to show how stupid he is. I was expecting a bounce-back season from Edwards, but now I'm not so confident.
Braylon Edwards had three 100-yard games last year, all of which came on Monday night. Unfortunately, he didn't try at all in his other 13 contests. He led the league in dropped passes. A second-round fantasy prospect a year ago, Edwards went in the fourth round of Matt's recent 2009 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.
As I'll say multiple times in these fantasy rankings, buy low, sell high. Edwards has to bounce back in 2009. Why? Because he's in his contract year. If he struggles again, no one is going to offer him a mammoth deal. Edwards' best bet is to try really hard in 2009, earn a huge signing bonus and then slack off again in 2010.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 67 catches. 1,060 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 154.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 221.
Anthony Gonzalez, Colts. Bye: 6. AUG. 21 UPDATE:
For those who remain skeptical that Anthony Gonzalez won't produce this year: Of Manning's 10 throws on the opening drive of Thursday night's game, Gonzalez was targeted on four of them. Gonzalez caught two of those passes for four yards, including a fade in the end zone. Earlier, Manning overthrew Gonzalez for a potential score.
Now that Marvin Harrison is gone, Anthony Gonzalez is ready to emerge. Always stuck as the fourth option on Indianapolis' offense, Gonzalez will move out wide on a more full-time basis. Peyton Manning will target him more than ever.
Gonzalez has never had more than 664 yards and four touchdowns in a single season, so he's going to be undervalued in your fantasy league this year. In fact, Gonzalez went in the seventh round of Matt's recent 2009 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 78 catches. 1,110 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 153.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 231.
Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers. Bye: 8. SEPT. 1 UPDATE:
Antonio Bryant has returned to practice. Bryant's ADP has slipped in the wake of his injury, so you could steal him in your draft. Unfortunately, Raheem Morris' foolish decision to start Byron Sandwich won't help his fantasy numbers.
AUG. 11 UPDATE:
Antonio Bryant will be out 3-4 weeks with a torn meniscus in his knee. Bryant should be back for Week 1, but he won't get to gel with his new quarterback(s) in the preseason. Downgrade him slightly.
I was glad to see the Buccaneers franchised Antonio Bryant as opposed to offering him a long-term contract. Having a one-year deal will force Bryant to try hard once again - something he hasn't been able to do in non-contract years during his career.
Despite popular opinion, Tampa Bay's offense is pretty solid. The offensive line is excellent; Bryant and Kellen Winslow Jr. are a great tandem; the running game will be very potent; and Luke McCown has a nice arm, though he tends to check down too often.
If Bryant can garner 83 receptions, 1,248 yards and seven touchdowns with Jeff Garcia at the helm, I don't see why he can't duplicate those numbers with McCown.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 69 catches. 1,100 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 152.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 221.
Vincent Jackson, Chargers. Bye: 5.
I was in six fantasy leagues last year, and I had Vincent Jackson on almost every team. Jackson didn't disappoint, logging 59 receptions, 1,098 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jackson should keep improving, but his fantasy numbers will always be limited because Philip Rivers has a ton of options at his disposal.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 63 catches. 1,110 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 153.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 216.
Lee Evans, Bills. Bye: 9.
Ever since collecting 82 receptions, 1,290 yards and eight touchdowns in 2006, Lee Evans has really disappointed his fantasy owners. In 2007, he had 849 yards and five scores. Last year, he increased his yardage to 1,017, but had his touchdown total drop to three.
Terrell Owens' presence changes everything. Evans will see less double coverage than ever. All of his numbers should increase, though he'll never be a touchdown machine because he's only 5-10.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 72 catches. 1,150 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 151.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 223.
Wes Welker, Patriots. Bye: 8.
A PPR king, Wes Welker's yardage wasn't really affected by Tom Brady's absence. Matt Cassel was fully capable of throwing short passes, which is why Welker had 10 less yards in 2008 (1,165) than he did in 2007 (1,175). Welker once again eclipsed 110 receptions.
The difference came in the touchdown category. New England wasn't as efficient on offense, so Welker had less red-zone opportunities. He'll see his scoring total bounce back closer to eight in 2009.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 110 catches. 1,140 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 150.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 260.
Terrell Owens, Bills. Bye: 9. AUG. 26 UPDATE: Terrell Owens will once again miss a preseason game (turf toe), marking the third consecutive one he's out for. According to Adam Schefter, the Bills are starting to get concerned. I'm concerned as well. Owens will be 36 in a few months and won't recover from an injury as quickly as he did in 2004 with the Eagles.
Along with curbing his poisonous attitude, Terrell Owens will have to decrease his drop total; he's under a 1-year deal and needs to prove to everyone that he can behave and still be a No. 1 wideout in this league.
Owens is getting a major dropoff at quarterback, but he should still put up decent numbers. I'll be surprised if he doesn't get to 1,000 yards and at least 10 touchdowns for the eighth time in 10 years.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 70 catches. 960 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 150.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 220.
Santonio Holmes, Steelers. Bye: 8.
Remember Santonio Holmes' dominating Super Bowl performance? Well, that was the first time he topped 100 receiving yards all year. Holmes was inconsistent a season after collecting 942 yards and eight touchdowns in just 13 games.
However, you can't dismiss the impact that Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder injury had on Holmes' fantasy numbers. From a 2009 fantasy perspective, it's a shame Holmes debacled the Cardinals in the Super Bowl because he'd be a great buy-low candidate.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 68 catches. 1,060 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 148.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 216.
Derrick Mason, Ravens. Bye: 7. AUG. 31 UPDATE: In two-and-a-half quarters of work Saturday night, Derrick Mason had six grabs for 71 yards. With John Harbaugh having more confidence in Joe Flacco, Mason will be upgraded in my 2009 Fantasy Football Rankings.
AUG. 25 UPDATE: Despite semi-retiring this summer, Derrick Mason looks like he's in mid-season form. Joe Flacco targeted Mason four times in a quarter and a half Monday night. Mason came away with three receptions for 68 yards, including a 43-yard catch. The only ball Mason failed to catch was a deeply thrown incompletion.
Derrick Mason continues to defy the odds. Some say he's too old. Some dissed Baltimore's offense and claimed that Mason couldn't put up solid numbers playing for the Ravens. Others pointed at his rookie quarterback as a reason why he couldn't keep up his production. All of those people I mentioned are me, by the way.
Mason has eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier seven times in the past eight years. He managed 80 receptions for 1,037 and five touchdowns with a rookie under center. Even though he turned 35 in January, you have to like Mason now that Flacco has some experience. Mason is a steal if you can get him in Round 8, especially in a PPR League.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 89 catches. 1,125 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 148.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 236.
Santana Moss, Redskins. Bye: 8. AUG. 29 UPDATE: Jason Campbell went to the PPR-friendly Santana Moss a whopping nine times Friday night. Moss caught five balls for 56 yards, including a great 21-yard connection deep along the sideline. He was also overthrown twice on deep passes.
Santana Moss started off hot, catching 27 passes for 421 yards and three touchdowns in his first four games of the season. But as Jason Campbell began to struggle, Moss' production fell; he failed to top 75 yards after Week 8.
Jason Campbell is going into his first NFL season without having to learn a new system, which can only help Moss. Washington's improved defense, however, will keep Campbell's attempts down.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 73 catches. 1,025 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 144.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 217.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles. Bye: 4. AUG. 12 UPDATE:
Back from his minor knee injury, DeSean Jackson is once again lighting it up in training camp. Tweets the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Can't emphasize it enough. McNabb and Jackson have looked completely in sync all camp." Once again, Jackson's not going to catch a lot of touchdowns, but I'll be shocked if he compiles less than 1,000 receiving yards this year.
One of a few outstanding rookie wideouts in 2008, DeSean Jackson managed 62 receptions, 912 yards and three touchdowns. However, it should be noted that Jackson's only 100-yard performances came in Weeks 1 and 2. Also, he's never going to get many touchdowns because he's just 5-10, 175.
With Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, Brian Westbrook and Brent Celek all in the mix, there aren't many balls to go around. Thus, Jackson is just a WR3 and is being overdrafted in most leagues. He went in the fifth round of a recent 2009 Fantasy Football Mock Draft, which is just insane.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 71 catches. 1,125 rec. yards. 50 rush yards. 5 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 142.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 213.
Eddie Royal, Broncos. Bye: 7. AUG. 31 UPDATE: The one bright spot for Denver's offense Sunday night was Eddie Royal, who caught five balls for 44 yards. Royal was actually targeted 10 times in three quarters. He's going to be a PPR monster this year, but his small frame will limit his end-zone looks (assuming Kyle Orton ever leads the Broncos to the red zone).
JULY 7 UPDATE: It appears as though Eddie Royal will be playing in the slot this season, essentially occupying Wes Welker's role in Denver. Kyle Orton has no arm strength, so Royal could be a dangerous threat in PPR leagues this year. Don't expect many touchdowns though.
Eddie Royal didn't waste any time establishing himself as one of the top rookie wideouts in NFL history, catching nine passes for 146 yards and a score at Oakland in Week 1. Royal went on to register 91 receptions, 980 yards and five scores.
Like Brandon Marshall, Royal will see his fantasy stats reduced with the downgrade Denver made at the quarterback position this offseason. Royal should still catch a good amount of balls, but it's hard to imagine his yardage and touchdowns increasing.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 109 catches. 1,160 yards. 4 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 140.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 249.
Bernard Berrian, Vikings. Bye: 9. AUG. 29 UPDATE: Bernard Berrian will miss yet another preseason game. Berrian hasn't done anything since injuring his hamstring in the exhibition opener; in fact, he couldn't even finish practice on Friday. Hamstring injuries tend to linger and Berrian isn't developing any chemistry with Brett Favre.
AUG. 2 UPDATE: A Vikings defensive lineman rolled over Tarvaris Jackson's knee in practice. It's believed that Jackson sprained his MCL, but I'll keep you updated. If Jackson's out, Bernard Berrian's fantasy status could be safe with a legitimate quarterback under center in Sage Rosenfails.
As long as Tarvaris Jackson stays off the field, Bernard Berrian has proven he can be a viable fantasy option in Minnesota.
Taking out the six games in which Jackson saw extensive action, Berrian caught 39 passes for 757 yards and five touchdowns in the 10 remaining contests. If you spread those numbers over the course of a full campaign, you get 62 receptions, 1,211 yards and eight scores. Not too shabby.
Just from that outlook, Berrian seems like he could be a sleeper this season. But then you can also factor in that the Vikings actually have a capable signal-caller for the first time since 2005.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 58 catches. 950 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 137.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 195.
Kevin Walter, Texans. Bye: 10.
Kevin Walter was a solid WR3 last year, finishing with 899 yards and eight touchdowns. The latter number surprised some people, but at 6-3, 214, Walter is bound to get a ton of end-zone looks.
As long as Matt Schaub stays healthy this year, Walter has a shot at 1,000 yards and 10 scores. He's the clear-cut No. 2 receiver on one of the top passing attacks in the league.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 62 catches. 850 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 133.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 195.
Hines Ward, Steelers. Bye: 8.
Hines Ward's 2008 production was pretty weird; not that he increased his numbers for the first time since 2005, but because he was able to catch 81 balls for 1,043 yards and seven touchdowns from a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger. Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller both saw their numbers drop. Ward, on the other hand, somehow raised production.
Before you go on and draft Ward in the sixth round of your fantasy league, keep this in mind - the old veteran just turned 33 in March. He was also completely healthy in 2008 for the first time in years. Given Ward's injury history and age, I wouldn't bet on that happening again.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 74 catches. 960 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 132.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 206.
Donald Driver, Packers. Bye: 5. AUG. 24 UPDATE: Donald Driver caught two balls for 26 yards and a touchdown Saturday night, giving him two end-zone trips this preseason. Because of his age, Driver is being drafted later than he should really go.
There are two ways of looking at Donald Driver's fantasy value: 1) He just turned 34, so the chances of Driver recording a sixth-consecutive 1,000-yard campaign are pretty slim. 2) Because he's 34, fantasy owners are going to pass on him, making him a steal in the middle rounds.
I'm going with the latter belief; Driver plays in a high-octane offense, so he should still put up solid numbers in 2009.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Stats: 70 catches. 950 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2009 Fantasy Points: 131.
Projected 2009 PPR Fantasy Points: 201.