Jul 8, 2009
Here’s the next round of random thoughts, this time on wide receivers:
Roy Williams/Dallas Cowboys – He probably has more pressure on him than any other receiver in the NFL, but I doubt he’ll be their top passing target. It still should be Jason Witten. The chemistry that he and Tony Romo have is about as good as it gets and it won’t happen between Williams and Romo overnight.
Devin Thomas/Washington Redskins – You could call him the key to their improvement in the passing game. Santana Moss badly needs help from a big receiver on the other side. It likely won’t be Malcolm Kelly who is coming from knee surgery. Thomas is a little raw, but has a lot of upside. If he does decently this season, the Redskin passing game could actually be pretty solid.
Devin Hester/Chicago Bears – We’re pretty convinced with Jay Cutler throwing to him that Hester will have a really good season. I see no reason based on his improvement from last year that Hester won’t be a solid #2 fantasy WR.
Percy Harvin/Minnesota Vikings – There’s no player that I’m more interested in seeing that this guy. It will be interesting to see how they use him. You could make a case for him to be the most versatile player in the league, yet he hasn’t played one down yet.
Roddy White/Atlanta Falcons – With the addition of Tony Gonzalez, White is probably not going to see as many pass targets this season. The good thing with Gonzalez is that teams will have a hard time double-teaming White, so he’ll get more one-on-one coverage. I’d expect him to still make big plays down field, but he may not get as many opportunities.
Josh Morgan/San Francisco 49ers – It was assumed that he would be a backup this season when the team drafted Michael Crabtree, but Morgan saw time in Isaac Bruce’s spot during some of their OTA practices. So we wouldn’t write off Morgan just yet. Bruce, at this point of his career, might not be able to handle a starting job anyway. We’ll see what happens in training camp.
Lee Evans/Buffalo Bills – Once they signed Terrell Owens, I immediately decided that I would be trying to select Evans in every draft I was in. Why? For the first time in his career, Evans won’t be able to be double-teamed. Defenses now have to be concerned with who is on the other side of Evans. This is kind of a no-brainer. It would be very surprising if Evans didn’t have a big year as your #2 WR.
Ted Ginn/Miami Dolphins – There’s some hype with him so far because he’s having a good off-season, but keep in mind who’s throwing to him. Miami is a run based offense and that’s not going to change with Chad Pennington still behind center. Ginn certainly is worth drafting late based on upside, but thinking he’s going to be a fantasy starter this season might be a stretch.
Mark Clayton/Baltimore Ravens – Here’s another WR that the guru and I have been pushing as an excellent late-round value. He’s going off the board on average from rounds 9-11. I never thought I’d see the day when he would average 17.0 yards per catch, but Clayton did that last season with Joe Flacco throwing to him. While Derrick Mason remains as their first passing option, there’s no doubt that Clayton will be the second.
Laveranues Coles/Cincinnati Bengals – Talk about a guy who is flying under the radar. If Carson Palmer’s arm is sound this season, Coles could wind up being one of the best values this season. Think about this. Who have been his quarterbacks over the years? Brett Favre, who was injured for half of last season. Kellen Clemens. A weak-armed Chad Pennington. Patrick Ramsey. None of these QBs have anywhere close to the talent of Palmer. Coles will be the second option in a passing offense which should significantly rebound this season. Coles has been going off the board in rounds 7-8 and that’s really good value as your #3 WR.
Braylon Edwards/Cleveland Browns – He’s one of the few players I don’t yet have a feel for. Some of it is based on how poorly he performed last season and the rest of it is because of the questions at quarterback. I’ve avoided Edwards in the first five drafts I’ve been in and I’ll probably continue that unless he becomes too good of a value to pass up.
Santonio Holmes/Pittsburgh Steelers – I know there’s a concern whether or not he can carry over last year’s late season success. Holmes has taken his job very seriously for the first time in his short career and many feel he’s having the best off-season thus far. The coaching staff realizes his talent and we expect him to be a very solid #2 WR this season.
Austin Collie/Indianapolis Colts – They drafted him to be their slot receiver yet there have been reports that Pierre Garcon may take that job. I don’t see it. Garcon is built a little bigger than Collie and he’s best suited to play outside.
Mike Walker/Jacksonville Jaguars – We’ve talked about him for over a year, but he’s yet to do anything mostly because of injury problems. But now Walker will get his chance and it would be a surprise if he didn’t start. He has all the physical tools to become a good receiver. He’s worth a shot in rounds 10-13 for depth.
Eddie Royal/Denver Broncos – I wouldn’t read into anything that is said about him being the next Wes Welker of this offense. First of all, Royal runs a lot better than Welker, so it would be counterproductive to have him become a slot receiver. I’m not saying he won’t see time in the slot, but I would expect him to see most of his time on the outside. Brandon Stokley and Jabar Gaffney make the most sense to handle the slot role for the Broncos.
Louis Murphy/Oakland Raiders – Head coach Tom Cable gave him an unbelievable endorsement recently, and apparently, Murphy was so impressive during their most recent OTAs that he’s expected to compete for a starting job right away. I know how bad their passing game is, but dynasty league owners should at least draft this guy because of his upside. Murphy has the speed and size that is rare.