2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers <br> By Steve Strange
By Steve Strange. Steve Strange, a graduate of Penn State's Center for Sports Journalism in 2006, is currently writing Fantasy is Reality, a book geared around the commissioner aspect of fantasy sports. Steve has been playing fantasy sports of all sorts and sizes since 1997. Feel free to e-mail Steve questions and comments at [email protected].
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 the 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.
Debates about top players at other positions persist, but everyone seems to agree that Andre Johnson is this year's No. 1 receiver.
What to Like: While the receptions and yards pay fantasy dividends, Johnson's 341 targets over the last two seasons reveal fantasy lasting power.
Concern: Johnson clicks with Matt Schaub. I question Schaub's ability to stay healthy.
X-Factor: Johnson could lead many fantasy teams to a Week 16 fantasy playoff championship showdown against aging legends Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins. It's just something to consider.
The price tag is worth the production.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 104 catches. 1,505 yards. 10 total TDs.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts. Bye: 7.
There are few things in fantasy football more reliable than Reggie Wayne.
What to Like: Wayne has suited up for 138 straight regular season games. Draft him, put him in your lineup, and relax as the yards and receptions pour in. Just don't forget to take him out for his Week 7 bye.
Concern: Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie have emerged, Anthony Gonzalez is back, and Dallas Clark is a monster. Thankfully for Wayne, Peyton Manning is great enough to keep everyone productive and happy.
X-Factor: Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell could care less about going undefeated. It kills Wayne owners when the Colts are doing their famous "start-and-pulls" during fantasy championship games.
Wayne has six straight seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 102 catches. 1,395 yards. 10 total TDs.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions. Bye: 7.
Calvin Johnson was a big winner this offseason. The Lions added burner Jahvid Best in the draft. Nate Burleson was signed to alleviate double coverage pressure. Matthew Stafford is a year more mature, and Johnson's knee got some needed rest.
What to Like: Johnson had 1,330 yards and 12 touchdowns for the winless Lions in 2008.
Concern: Johnson only caught 67 passes in 2009.
X-Factor: Jim Schwartz is doing his best, but the Lions defense still isn't very good. That means they'll be playing from behind, and Johnson will see deep balls soaring his direction.
Johnson is the ultimate upside candidate. Fantasy magazines will tell you to take guys like Miles Austin and Roddy White before him. Don't do it.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 84 catches. 1,405 yards. 12 total TDs.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals. Bye: 6.
Most expect Kurt Warner's retirement to hurt Larry Fitzgerald's fantasy value. The question is how much?
What to Like: Fitzgerald is arguably the most talented receiver in the league, scoring 35 touchdowns over the past three seasons.
Concern: The bottom line is that Fitzgerald has had Warner guiding him the past few seasons. Sure, there were a few Josh McCown and Matt Leinart games here and there, but Warner was Arizona's godsend. It's crazy to think Warner's departure won't affect Fitzgerald.
X-Factor: Steve Breaston has been reluctantly replaced as punt-return man to allow full-time focus to receiving duties. He needs to make teams think twice about double-covering Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald's talent should win out in the end.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 94 catches. 1,190 yards. 12 total TDs.
Randy Moss, WR, Patriots. Bye: 5.
Arguably the greatest deep ball artist of all time is always one play away from giving up on his team.
What to Like: Forty-seven touchdowns over the last three seasons are impossible to ignore.
Concern: For most players a contract year provides motivation. With Moss, who knows?
X-Factor: If Wes Welker misses time, Moss will be leaned on more than ever. Tom Brady is fine firing the ball 50 yards downfield to a triple-covered Moss
Moss' attitude and age are scary, but you have to respect his talent and situation.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 76 catches. 1,300 yards. 12 total TDs.
Roddy White, WR, Falcons. Bye: 8.
After the top five receivers, the next 10 are fairly similar. Please draft accordingly.
What to Like: White has exceeded 80 receptions and 1,100 yards for three straight seasons.
Concern: White has not shown the ability to completely take over a game the way Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald can. But that's what makes them Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
X-Factor: Tony Gonzalez, as a red-zone decoy, is a great asset for a good receiver.
White is starting to resemble Reggie Wayne. He's in a good offense, and he's consistent.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 86 catches. 1,205 yards. 9 total TDs.
Greg Jennings, WR, Packers. Bye: 10.
Jennings is being undervalued in most publications due to a down 2009. This is the time to steal Aaron Rodgers' No. 1 target.
What to Like: Donald Driver is now 35 years old, and Ryan Grant is unspectacular. Rodgers needs to throw to Jennings to create big plays.
Concern: Jennings had 68 receptions and four touchdowns last season. He obviously needs to be better this year if he's going to be a top 10 receiver.
X-Factor: Jennings is only 27 years old.
Jennings comes at a discount this year due to his 2009 underachievement. Don't be afraid to pull the trigger.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 82 catches. 1,290 yards. 8 total TDs.
Sidney Rice, WR, Vikings. Bye: 4.
Rice's ranking completely depends on Brett Favre's return. Favre is already talking about avenging last year's Saints loss, so Rice should be safe.
What to Like: Rice was a possession receiver with big-play-guy bonuses last season. He caught 68.6 percent of balls thrown his way, at 15.8 yards per pop.
Concern: After 2009, Rice's next best season came in 2007 when he had 31 receptions for 396 yards.
X-Factor: As a rookie, Percy Harvin had 60 receptions and a lot butt pats from Favre. Does he become the go-to guy this year?
Rice is a talented No. 1 receiver in a really good offense.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 83 catches. 1,210 yards. 8 total TDs.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles. Bye: 8.
The 23-year-old with blazing speed creates big plays in the blink of an eye.
What to Like: Jackson took 12 touchdowns to the house last season from everywhere on the field. He's like a UFC submission specialist. You never know when he's going for the kill.
Concern: Those that read my QB rankings know I'm not sold on Kevin Kolb. Even if Kolb is good, he might click with the talented Jeremy Maclin instead.
X-Factor: For all the excitement, Jackson only had 63 receptions last season. I'm a hardcore PPR enthusiast. I like guys who rack up the catches.
Draft Jackson for his upside and explosiveness. Just don't expect consistency.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 64 catches. 1,150 yards. 11 total TDs.
Marques Colston, WR, Saints. Bye: 10.
In 2007 Colston was a stud, injuries derailed his 2008 season, and he was solid, but unspectacular, last year. This season should tell us who this guy really is.
What to Like: Colston's the best receiver on one of the greatest offenses in the NFL, and he's only 27 years old.
Concern: Colston had two or fewer receptions in five regular season games last season. He's a player who goes crazy one week, and disappears the next.
X-Factor: Unlike Peyton Manning with the Colts, Drew Brees doesn't appear to have an organized check-down pecking order. Guessing which Saint is going to blow up from week to week can be maddening.
The Saints are going to put up lots of points, and Colston has the talent to cash in.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 79 catches. 1,070 yards. 10 total TDs.