Last year, receivers were some of the biggest difference makers in fantasy football as the passing game around the league was in full effect. They had different impacts in many ways though as some leagues just count yards and touchdowns, while others count receptions as well. Here are my top ten fantasy football receivers this year and if you want one of them, you better grab them early in your draft because they will be gone fast.
1. Randy Moss Patriots: When motivated, everyone knows that Moss is going to have a big year. But when he has a great quarterback as well, the sky’s the limit. Tom Brady and Moss proved that last year as they hooked up for 23 touchdowns. There is no doubt that he can put up these kind of numbers again. Expect around 1400 yards and 18 touchdowns.
2. Terrell Owens Cowboys: Owens may lead the league in drops in the last two years, but he always puts up great fantasy numbers. With Tony Romo gaining another year to learn Jason Garrett’s offense, expect more of the same from T.O. which would be 1300 yards and 15 touchdowns.
3. Reggie Wayne Colts: Wayne is becoming the number one receiver for the Colts but if Marvin Harrison comes back healthy, he won’t put up the same numbers. The only problem with Wayne is that there are too many weapons in Indianapolis to score tons of touchdowns. But either way, Wayne is a great number one option and should be picked in between the 2nd and 3rd round. Expect around 1300 yards and 8 touchdowns.
4. Andre Johnson Texans: Last year Johnson didn’t really get to develop a connection with Matt Schaub as they were both hurt. But when they both played, Johnson was among the elite receivers in fantasy football. In 4 games with Schaub, Johnson had 23 catches 419 yards and 4 touchdowns. If they both stay healthy for a full season, Johnson could become the best receiver in fantasy football. The only problem is, that’s a big if. Johnson’s best value though is in reception leagues considering he averaged almost 7 catches a game last year. Expect around 1250 yards and 10 touchdowns.
5. Braylon Edwards Browns: Edwards last year showed why people take chances on receivers entering their third year in fantasy drafts. Edwards last year was at best a late round pick, but is now one of the best receivers in all of fantasy football. He has a great connection with Derek Anderson but with all the weapons on offense, Edwards may not score as many touchdowns, but he will still put up huge numbers. Expect around 1200 yards and 10 touchdowns.
6. T.J. Houshmandzadeh Bengals: While many fantasy players try and get Chad Johnson in the draft, this is the Bengals receiver you want on your team. Housh last year had 112 catches along with 12 touchdowns. So while Johnson is getting all the attention, Houshmandzadeh is putting up great fantasy numbers. Expect around 1100 yards and 10 touchdowns.
7. Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals: On pure talent, Fitzgerald isn’t this low on the list. But when he has the aging Kurt Warner and the inconsistent Matt Leinart throwing to him that could be a problem. Fitz somehow managed to put up great fantasy stats last year with 1409 yards and 10 touchdowns. But with another year under Ken Whisenhunt who wants to establish the run, Fitzgerald probably won’t put up those numbers again. Expect around 1300 yards and 8 touchdowns.
8. Steve Smith Panthers: Through the first three weeks of the season, Smith was having a great fantasy year with 281 yards and 4 touchdowns. But then, Jake Delhomme got hurt and Smith’s stats took a huge hit as he only had 3 touchdowns the rest of the year. Delhomme is now returning from Tommy John surgery so Smith’s stats should improve but even if Delhomme isn’t at full health, Smith to get lots of receptions. Expect around 1200 yards and 8 touchdowns.
9. Marques Colston Saints: Colston was a fantasy star his rookie year but most people didn’t notice he had even better numbers his second year in the league. Colston had 28 more catches and 3 more touchdowns which is impressive considering he doesn’t have a real threat lining up across him. He should put up similar numbers this year, but don’t expect another 20 catch improvement. Expect around 1150 yards and 9 touchdowns.
10. Brandon Marshall Broncos: Marshall has gotten lots of headlines for what happens off the field but when on it, he’s an absolute monster. Marshall last year caught over 100 passes and led the league in passes thrown his way. Those stats show that he has excellent chemistry with Jay Cutler and overtime that will only improve. Expect around 1100 yards and 8 touchdowns.