These 2010 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers 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 2010 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2010 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material.
Andre Johnson, WR, Texans. Bye: 7. AUG. 29 UPDATE:
Andre Johnson turned 11 targets in two-and-a-half quarters into seven receptions for 79 yards. He nearly scored on one play when he was dragged out of bounds at the 1-yard line. He should be the No. 5 or 6 overall pick in PPR leagues, depending on how many receivers you start.
The only receiver in my top 10 overall, Andre Johnson is unquestionably the No. 1 player at his position in the wake of Kurt Warner's retirement (and Larry Fitzgerald's subsequent regression).
In the past two years, Johnson has an amazing 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns. The only time he generated fewer than 60 yards last year was against Darrelle Revis.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 105 catches. 1,550 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 209.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 314.
Randy Moss, WR, Patriots. Bye: 5. AUG. 27 UPDATE:
The Tom Brady to Randy Moss connection is alive and well. Moss caught three balls for 74 yards and a 65-yard touchdown that was right on the money. Had a Rams corner not grabbed Moss' arm, that yardage total would have been 130 or so because it negated another deep bomb. Moss is easily a top-three receiver worth drafting in the first round of any format.
Randy Moss failed to eclipse 75 yards in any game following Week 10 last season. You can attribute that to his separated shoulder and Tom Brady's broken finger, which the big media humorously neglected to report until right before that game despite the fact that the Vegas line dropped around four points against the Patriots. At any rate, there's some concern with Moss turning 33 in February, but he should still be an elite NFL receiver for at least one more year.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 84 catches. 1,275 yards. 13 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 205.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 289.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions. Bye: 7. AUG. 16 UPDATE:
Calvin Johnson led all starters with a whopping five targets in the preseason opener, including three in the end zone. He caught two passes for 10 yards and a score, and had a long gain nullified by a pretty pathetic penalty by Jeff Backus. Megatron should be ranked no lower than the No. 3 fantasy receiver this season. If he falls to you in Round 2, don't even think about hesitating.
Calvin Johnson battled through injuries and the struggles of a rookie quarterback last year, finishing with a disappointing 67 catches, 984 yards and five touchdowns.
Buy low! Megatron, arguably the most talented receiver in the NFL, has to be thrilled with what the Lions have done this offseason. They brought in Nate Burleson and Tony Scheffler to draw some attention away from him. Matthew Stafford will also have more experience, and an expected rapid improvement from him should boost Johnson's numbers.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 80 catches. 1,325 yards. 12 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 204.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 284.
Miles Austin-Jones, WR, Cowboys. Bye: 4.
It's amazing that Miles Austin-Jones finished with 81 receptions, 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first year as a starter - considering that he barely played in the first four games of the season. Now with an entire offseason to prepare as the No. 1 receiver, Austin-Jones could have a 90-catch 2010 campaign. And remember, the addition of Dez Bryant means that defenses won't be able to pay as much attention to the Monmouth product.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 85 catches. 1,340 yards. 10 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 194.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 279.
Roddy White, WR, Falcons. Bye: 8. AUG. 28 UPDATE:
Roddy White saw a whopping 12 targets in two-and-a-half quarters of work at Miami, catching six of those passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. The bad news is that White dropped two passes, including a potential 53-yard score. Still though, the fact that Matt Ryan is looking toward White so much is very encouraging.
Roddy White never had scored more than seven touchdowns in a season before 2009, when he reached the end zone 11 times to go along with his 1,153 yards. An aberration? I don't think so - it was more of a product of Atlanta's offense reaching its near-100 percent potential with Matt Ryan entering his second year. The Falcons could be even more efficient on the offensive side of the ball in 2010.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 91 catches. 1,290 yards. 10 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 189.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 280.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals. Bye: 6. SEPT. 1 UPDATE:
Derek Anderson is officially listed as Arizona's starting quarterback on the depth chart. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are reportedly shopping Matt Leinart. This is great news for Larry Fitzgerald. Unlike Leinart, Anderson can throw the ball longer than five yards downfield. Sure, he'll show up to some games drunk and toss five picks, but that's still better than anything Leinart can do out of the Hot Tub Offense.
Mark my words, Larry Fitzgerald will be overdrafted in your league.
Matt Leinart isn't very good. At least he wasn't when he started in 2006 and 2007. Leinart checked down far too often and seldom went deep. He just doesn't have the arm or deep accuracy that Kurt Warner possessed.
In 2006, Fitzgerald had just 68 catches, 941 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games with Leinart as his starting quarterback. The following year, Leinart started five games, but rotated in and out of three with Warner.
I tracked every single reception Fitzgerald caught in 2007 thanks to NFL.com's Gamecenter. Here is how he fared with each quarterback (it adds up to 15 games because Fitzgerald missed one week):
With Leinart throwing Fitzgerald the ball (3.5 games): 15 catches, 212 yards. 0 TDs.
With Warner throwing Fitzgerald the ball (11.5 games): 85 catches, 1,197 yards. 10 TDs.
So don't believe any misleading articles suggesting Fitzgerald won't fall off. He will.
I think we can predict around 1,000-1,100 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. Not bad, but it's not what we've come to expect from Fitzgerald.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 89 catches. 1,210 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 175.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 264.
Greg Jennings, WR, Packers. Bye: 10.
Greg Jennings had a disappointing 2009 campaign, as he battled inconsistency. He compiled 68 receptions, 1,113 yards and four touchdowns - far worse numbers than his 2008 stats (80, 1,292, 9).
Two encouraging things: First, Jennings finished the year really strong. In his final three full games of the 2009 season, Jennings totaled 17 receptions, 359 yards and two touchdowns. And second, with Donald Driver recently turning 35, it's logical to assume that Aaron Rodgers will rely more on Jennings if Driver's skills begin to seriously erode - which could very well happen this year.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 76 catches. 1,260 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 174.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 250.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles. Bye: 8. AUG. 21 UPDATE:
DeSean Jackson saw a whopping eight targets in his second preseason contest, partly because Jeremy Maclin left the game in the second quarter, and partly because no one in the Bengals secondary could cover him. Jackson hauled in four balls for 74 yards. He's poised for a big year.
Kevin Kolb doesn't have the big arm or deep accuracy that Donovan McNabb possessed, so don't expect as many deep bombs. However, I don't think DeSean Jackson's numbers will decrease too much; Kolb's short and intermediate accuracy, as well as his quick decision-making makes him a better fit for Andy Reid's West Coast offense.
In Kolb's two starts last year, Jackson totaled 10 catches, 250 yards and two touchdowns. Granted, one was a blowout and the other was against the pathetic Chiefs, so those numbers are a bit bloated. Still, Jackson should be good for about 1,100-1,150 yards and 7-8 touchdowns.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 72 catches. 1,125 rec. yards. 125 rushing yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 173.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 245.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts. Bye: 7. AUG. 27 UPDATE:
Reggie Wayne saw nine targets at Green Bay, catching seven balls for 96 yards and a touchdown. I was concerned about Wayne's age, knees and declining production toward the end of the 2009 season, but he looks as dominant as ever. He made some really nice grabs, including a diving, fingertip catch along the sidelines in the second quarter. Still though, it's a little naive to completely dismiss a disastrous nine-game stretch because of one exhibition contest. I'm moving Wayne up my rankings, but I won't have him as high as other publications. Draft him at your own risk.
Four reasons why I don't like Reggie Wayne this year:
1. Age - We've seen receivers play well into their mid-30s, but we've also seen others like Torry Holt decline at 32. Wayne turns 32 in November. The pinnacle of Wayne's career is definitely over.
2. Targets - When has Peyton Manning ever had this many weapons to work with? Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzalez and maybe even Austin Collie will all garner a large amount of targets, meaning Wayne won't get as many passes thrown his way.
3. Decline in Production - Whether it was age or a decrease in targets, Wayne really struggled at the end of the 2009 season. While he had 100 receptions, 1,264 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2009, most of that came early in the year. Starting in Week 12, here were his stat lines:
at Texans: 3 catches, 19 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Titans: 4 catches, 48 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Broncos: 4 catches, 43 yards. 0 TDs.
at Jaguars: 5 catches, 132 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Jets (2 1/2 quarters): 3 catches, 33 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Ravens (playoffs): 8 catches, 63 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Jets (playoffs): 3 catches, 55 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Saints (Super Bowl): 5 catches, 46 yards. 0 TDs.
Taking out the two Jets games because he was going up against Darrelle Revis, if we extend Wayne's numbers over a 16-game slate, we get: 77 catches, 936 yards and eight touchdowns.
4. Knee Issues - Wayne was a non-factor in the Super Bowl, and there was some speculation that his knee wasn't 100 percent. If a knee injury was the reason he wasn't very good at the conclusion of the 2009 season, that's definitely not good news. A soon-to-be 32-year-old receiver with potential knee problems? I'll pass.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 87 catches. 1,175 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 171.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 258.
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers. Bye: 6. JUNE 23 UPDATE:
Steve Smith fractured his left arm playing flag football recently. Why he was playing flag football so close to training camp, and how he got hurt in a flag football game are two legitimate questions, but what matters is that Smith apparently has a 10-week recovery time. With the NFL season 12 weeks away, he should be ready for Week 1.
Still, there are slight concerns. Will Smith really be 100 percent come Sept. 12? Will he be in top football shape without being able to fully practice? And what if his recovery stalls an extra two weeks? I'm dropping Smith just a bit, but not substantially.
Jake Delhomme did a great job ruining Steve Smith's 2009 campaign. Smith, who had 1,421 yards and six touchdowns the year before, saw his stats drop to 982 yards and seven scores.
There is some good news though. Delhomme is gone, and will be replaced by either Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen. In four full games with Moore last year, Smith caught 19 balls for 378 yards and three touchdowns. Extend those figures over 16 games, and you get 76 receptions, 1,512 yards and 12 scores. Not bad.
If Clausen wins the job, that's fine too. Roddy White did pretty well during Matt Ryan's rookie year in 2008 (88, 1,382, 7 TDs).
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 82 catches. 1,225 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 170.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 252.