Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011 WR Tiers

       Every year, wide receivers are probably the hardest to predict for fantasy success. Of the top 20 from each previous season, only about 10 remain there the next season. So 50% of the top 20 will be there this year and a new 10 players should fill those spots. So here is my attempt at putting these guys into tiers for the 2011 season.

1: Best of Best: Andre Johnson
      Player I want most: Andre Johnson. He is a class of his own and the only receiver that could possibly warrant a top 10 selection. He may be a quiet and humble player, but he knows when to give a guy a smackdown

2-5: Elite: Roddy White, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings
       Player I want most: Roddy White. He is the most consistent here although do not be surprised if Fitzgerald can make a comeback to the top 2. Even with the likes of John Skelton, Derek Anderson, and Max Hall quarterbacking, Fitzy still put up a solid 90 catches, 1137 yards, and 6 TD's. With Kolb now at Qb, his value could shoot up.
       The only injury risk here is Calvin Johnson who seems to get nicked up every year. But with the most freakish talent of them all and a healthy QB, Megatron may be ready for a mega year. And Jennings is no doubt a great receiver, but may find the ball less with the return of Jermichael Finely and a plethora of targets for Aaron Rodgers. 

6-10: Still Number 1 Options: Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace, Vincent Jackson, Miles Austin, Reggie Wayne
       Player I want most: Vincent Jackson. This is a very interesting tier as Wayne has fallen more than we've seen and newcomers Nicks and Wallace make a splash. Philip Rivers produces no matter who his receivers are and with Jackson back to action, he figures to be a prime target and in line for a great season.
       Mike Wallace is simply explosive with 21.0 yards per catch last season and is still Big Ben's number 1 target. Austin appears to be the safest of the Cowboy's receivers and with Romo back, Austin will succeed. But Reggie Wayne, a perennial producer has dropped due to several reasons. He had a career high 12 drops last season and appears to have lost a bit of his step.  Even coming off a career high in receptions, he is now 32 and other options in Indy have stepped up making Wayne a solid, but not as surefire option.

11-15: Solid: DeSean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Marshall
       Player I want most: Dwayne Bowe. He broke out last year and is primed for another big year. But his success depends greatly on Matt Cassell's consistency. Bowe has top 10 potential although will most likely hover between the 10 to 15 mark.
       DeSean Jackson is another playmaker who relies on big plays to produce fantasy points. Him and Maclin should both be solid options in the fast Philly offense. Marshall here is the biggest question but also has great potential to return to his old form. With the QB situation looking ever so slightly better in Miami, Marshall could rebound nicely, or plummet even more.  In PPR leagues, jump on Welker. He will not disappoint. 

16-20: The Hard to Predict: Dez Bryant, Mike Williams, Marques Colston, Santonio Holmes, Brandon Lloyd
       Player I want most: Marques Colston: Drew Brees spreads the ball like crazy in New Orleans, but Colston still puts up solid seasons.  He has the best track record here and you know what you will get with him.
       Williams and Lloyd were both major surprises last season. While Williams could potentially improve, Lloyd has nowhere to go but down and is a risky pick. Bryant and Holmes each have great potential with solid receivers around them. Bryant cold even be the best receiver in Dallas, but it is just too hard to predict with these guys.

21-25: Potential: Kenny Britt, Steve Johnson, Mario Manningham, Austin Collie, Percy Harvin
       Player I want most: Kenny Britt. With Hasselbeck or Locker at QB, I expect Britt to develop into the solid receiver we saw glimpses of last season.
       Look for Collie in the mid rounds as he could return to his pre-concussion form. As for Harvin, with McNabb throwing and Rice gone, he will be the main target and a good mid option.

26-35: A Bundle of Players: Anquan Boldin, Chad Ochocinco, Santana Moss, Sidney Rice, Pierre Garcon, Malcom Floyd, Mike Thomas, Johnny Knox, Steve Smith (CAR), Michael Crabtree
       Player I want most: Chad Ochocinco. Now in New England, he has great potential and will be available much later in the draft.  He is worth the risk as he could really shine with Brady.
       None of these players are sure things. The safest may be Boldin and you'll have to probably have to pick at least one of these guys so good luck.

36-47: Jordy Nelson, A.J. Green, Lance Moore, Julio Jones, Jerome Simpson, Deion Branch, Davone Bess, Robert Meachem, Roy Williams, James Jones, Hines Ward
       Player I want most: Julio Jones. With Michael Jenkins gone, look for Jones to get a fair share of targets as Roddy White will draw many double teams.
       There's potential here as many of these guys will be hit or miss. In PPR leagues, look for Davone Bess who quietly caught 80 passes.

Sleepers: Jacoby Ford, Steve Breaston, Danny Amendola, Emmanuel Sanders
       Ford showed big play potential and Amendola is a great PPR bargain. Breaston has a chance with a new team and Sanders could find himself in the mix in Pittsburgh. 


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