Thoughts on Various Players-Receivers

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.

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily

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25 Responses

  1. paydirt says:

    As far as the Colts: Wayne is the given, I think Garcon lands in Harrison’s old spot (with Sam Giguere testing him, allegedly), Gonzalez and Collie will battle for the slot. Keep in mind that Gonzalez has battled injuries so while he’s a nice player, Polian probably factored that in and got some depth there. Polian does like Garcon and Giguere and thinks they’ve progressed.

  2. mk says:

    Vincent Jackson/San Diego Chargers – He is being drafted very high. Do you see a healthy Chambers/Gates cutting in greatly to his numbers this year? According to the Guru depth charts he is still listed as the #2 Wr. Can he have a repeat of last seaon as the teams 3rd or 4th option on offense?

  3. pura vida says:

    Im all over Coles this year. Somebody has to pick up the slack that TJ has left and Coles is sure handed, tough, and a smart route runner. I think he will be a high end number 2 wr that you can get later in the draft.

  4. Bryan says:

    MK – Chambers (healthy or not) is all but done. IF Gates can stay healthy for more than a quarter of the season, then he could possibly take some of the production away, but VJax will get his. What I’m wondering is if Malcom Floyd will finally earn a starting spot in place of Chambers. I doubt he’d do it coming out of camp unless he was absolutely lighting it up in August, but you know Chambers will get hurt and then we’ll see if Floyd can step it up and take his job when given the opportunity. Either way I see VJax as a top 10-15 receiver and possibly better if the Bolt’s O-line can improve this year.

  5. Adam Caplan says:

    PD: Gonzalez will start outside according to their coaching staff. Unless something changes in training camp, that’s the expectation. Garcon may take some time away from him though.

    MK: It will be interesting to see how the passing game goes in SD. I think they will spread the ball around if all of them are healthy. I think that situation has to still be worked out. Chambers was hurt almost all of last season, keep that in mind. Malcom Floyd is another guy who could factor in. There aren’t a lot of 6-5 WRs who can run like he can. I’ll be interested to see if they give him a shot to unseat Chambers. No indication that he’ll be given a chance, but it’s not totally out of the question.

    PV: It’s funny how no one including us has really talked about Coles until now.

  6. Hail Skins says:

    Didn’t realize you were so high on Lee Evans Cap, I think he can be had at a great value, seems to be under everybody’s radar early, especially with all the attention on Owens. Love the random thoughts posts, keep em’ coming. Thanks.

  7. paydirt says:

    Cap, Thanks for clarifying on the Colts. I’m curious about possession receivers. Speaking in generalities, do they normally lineup on the outside or in the slot?

  8. Adam Caplan says:

    HS: I just think that people don’t realize how much having someone on the other side that has talent helps Evans.

    PD: Depends on the skill set and how they run, and size, but possession WRs usually play more in the slot than outside. TJH, for example, is considered slow so he often lined up inside. Boldin plays in both roles because of his size, though he’s not exactly fast, but he runs well after the catch. Jason Avant doesn’t run well, so he plays inside. Welker is quick, but not fast and he’s small, so he plays inside where he can control a smaller area. That’s why slot WRs have to have good short area quickness.

    What I think could happen in Indy is they form a rotation with Gonzalez, Collie, and Garcon. It will sort itself out in training camp, but they did draft Collie with the belief that he would be their slot receiver. He’s really built for that role.

  9. LJP says:

    Sorry to burst the Lee Evan’s bubble but the #2 WR’s lining up next to TO have a history of under-performing. Simply put, TO hogs the looks/catches leaving not much for the #2 WR. Some will argue that he’s never played next to a WR as talented as Evans (which is true) but this is still a conservative offense with a very conservative head coach (Jauron). The Bills are not going to be throwing the ball all over the field this year. I don’t think that either TO or Evans are going to work out that well for their owner’s this year. Gonzalez, Coles, Royal, & Walter all have ADP’s below Evans and I’d rather have any of them over him.

  10. Blake says:

    I think another WR breakout could be desean jackson(provided he learns to spike the ball after he crosses the goal line). McNabb is still an elite passer, and jackson is the #1 target.

  11. Stretch says:

    Adam,

    Another interesting receiver that you can also get in the late rounds is Justin Gage. I know he only had 34rec for 651yds. And the Titans are a run-first offense. But his average yards per catch was 19.1 and he had 6TDs. As along as K.Collins is the QB, which he should be for the entire season J.Gage stats will improve.

    Plus, he is the Titans #1WR because K.Britt is non-factor at least for this year.

  12. Adam Caplan says:

    LJP: Go through the WRs who played opposite Owens, it’s a pretty ugly group. Other than Roy Williams, who looked really bad and lost after being traded, there’s not much there. Evans is clearly the best WR Owens will be playing with since Jerry Rice, unless you’re talking about Todd Stinkston, lol. And Evans isn’t the kind of receiver that has to catch 70-80 passes to be effective. He’s one of the true deep threats in the league that has been controlled because Buffalo hasn’t been able to find him help until now. Oh and BTW, Tai Streets of all people had 72 catches the same season Owens had 100 (’02).

    Blake: Problem is they don’t have a WCO where one guy will dominate the ball. Curtis, Avant, Celek, Jackson will all get the ball this season including BWB.

    Stretch: Gage’s problem is consistency, he doesn’t command the ball at all, but will make a big play every once in a while. I think we’ve seen enough of Gage to know what kind of player he is.

  13. LJP says:

    Adam,

    I agree with your statements and even prefaced that fact in my anti-Evans post. I just think that Owens being the clear #1 coupled with a very conservative offense could be too much for Evans to overcome. I’m a Wisconsin alum and have been a big Lee Evans fan for a long time, so believe me, I would love to see him have another big year. There is no question that Evans is talented enough to put up great #’s in the right system, surrounded by the right players. I just think that he’s a clear #2 to a pass-demanding #1 in a conservative offense. For fantasy, I would prefer to have the #2′s that I listed, who are all in more pass friendly systems.

  14. steve says:

    Really like your blogs great info……Keep them coming

  15. Adam Caplan says:

    I’ll do TEs next week then team defenses after that to lead up to training camps at the end of the month.

  16. Adam Caplan says:

    LJP: A receiver can do well in a conservative offense such as Buffalo’s. The issue has been teams simply could shut down Evans consistently because they only had to be concerned with just him. When Evans gets the ball, he’s going to get single coverage most of the time. I would bet when it comes to receivers drawing double coverage, there probably aren’t more than got it the past few seasons more than Evans. It’s not a question of how much he’ll get the ball, it’s a question of what he’ll be able to do now with the ball thrown his way. His pass targets obviously will go down with Owens there, no question. But now Evans won’t have to deal with a safety over the top as much, big difference from years past. And Buffalo also should be able to run the ball more effectively with Owens there.

  17. Anth says:

    Adam, 2 years ago Curtis had 77-1100 in his first season with the Eagles as the #1. Reggie Brown had 61-780. I have a feeling Desean steps into Curtis numbers territory (75-1100) and Curtis gets the Reggie Brown 60-750.

    I think Desean is a way better WR than Curtis, so it really wont surprise me if he outdoes the 77-1100 Curtis numbers in 2007.

    I personally think desean is way too low in the rankings. just my opinion of course.

  18. Adam Caplan says:

    ANTH: The way they want to run their passing game is to spread the ball around. Jackson really isn’t someone who is going to command the ball because of his slight build. What they want to do with him is expand his role possibly over the middle (saw that up close during their OTAs). Could he catch close to 70 passes? Anything is possible, but I’m not so sure that’s what they’re trying to do with him. I think they want him to be their big play WR. Curtis, Jackson, Avant, BWB, and Celek are going to handle the passing game. They want to expand Celek’s role this season, that’s why they didn’t make a strong move to get Gonzo. Where Maclin fits in remains to be seen.

  19. Baller says:

    Thanks for pointing out Lee Evans and Coles. In mock drafts they seem to be easily available so far.

  20. Adam Caplan says:

    Totally on Coles. Biggest under the radar player at any position so far.

  21. thatguy says:

    i just have a quick question regaurding mock drafts.. i read on an advertisment that you guys have mock drafts in witch subscribers can take part in and mock against each other.. is this true?

  22. Adam Caplan says:

    That’s really not a question for this area. But you can email football@fantasyguru.com if you have content questions. I do know that subscribers have been running drafts through the subscriber message boards for a few years.

  23. him says:

    with mason now out the door what does that do for clyatons potential? along with any other reciever they have

  24. Burton says:

    Adam, the Guru site has targeted Galloway for a couple years, including last year, as a good value. Now that he can be had in the very late rounds, I was wondering if he is recovered from injury and a projected starter for NE?

  25. Adam Caplan says:

    Him: Depending on whatelse they do in free agency, he becomes the top passing target in their offense for now. Demetrius Williams is next up. Tall, can run, talented, but very bad injury history and is coming off of a bad injury. Not exactly trustworthy. Marcus Smith is someone to watch because of his size, but he doesn’t run well.

    Burton: As for late-round value, sure, considering the Patriots run a spread offense and they’ll run a lot of multiple WR sets. Moss and Welker are considered the starters, but they’ll run a lot of 3-4 wide, so Galloway will get his reps. Remember, they did’t re-sign Gaffney, so another WR will have to replace him.

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