1. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI | Age: 25.0 | Value Score: 99
Young, ultra-talented, reliably consistent, and a target monster as well as red zone stud; ideal nucleus player.
2. Andre Johnson, HOU | Age: 27.2 | Value Score: 98
Weekly over-reactions are fun, aren't they? Johnson is back to being a reliable No. 1 WR for seasons to come.
3. Reggie Wayne, IND | Age: 29.8 | Value Score: 98
Being Peyton Manning's #1 target is the perfect recipe for long-term value; high marks for consistency going forward.
4. Calvin Johnson, DET | Age: 23.0 | Value Score: 97
I'm always willing to stick my neck out for dominant talent, and Calvin Johnson remains the most dominant WR talent to enter the league since Randy Moss; buy low if possible.
5. Steve Smith, CAR | Age: 29.3 | Value Score: 96
Personally, I'd take Smith ahead of Wayne and Johnson, but I'm a gambler. Smith would be fighting for the top spot on this list if not for short- & long-term QB issues.
6. Brandon Marshall, DEN | Age: 24.5 | Value Score: 95
There's more than a hint of high knucklehead potential here . . . and it now looks like some sort of (lengthy?) suspension is looming during the '08 season. See this post for deeper value discussion.
7. Randy Moss, NE | Age: 31.6 | Value Score: 94
Dominant enough to stay productive with Cassel, but his consistency is in serious doubt.
8. Greg Jennings, GB | Age: 25.0 | Value Score: 94
Leading the NFL in several receiving categories, Jennings is a true No. 1?
9. Marques Colston, NO | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 92
When can we start asking if Colston is injury-prone? He certainly doesn't leave me with a warm and safe feeling .
10. Braylon Edwards, CLE | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 91
Flashed that big play ability against the Giants. Personally, I'd sell now for a more reliable stud if possible.
11. Terrell Owens, DAL | Age: 34.8 | Value Score: 85
Worth more to an annual contender than he is to a rebuilder; a true difference maker at a position where there aren't many, T.O. still gives you a weekly advantage over most of the owners in your league.
12. #Anquan Boldin, ARI | Age: 27.9 | Value Score: 85
The difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 is weekly reliability, and Boldin hasn't been reliable for a couple of seasons now. The talent is top-notch, but the assurance is waning.
13. Santonio Holmes, PIT | Age: 24.5 | Value Score: 84
Outstanding playmaker who excels at taking a short-to-middle pass to the house; not yet the go-to WR in his own offense, and I'm slightly concerned that he's not physical enough to be a high reception WR.
14. Dwayne Bowe, KC | Age: 24.0 | Value Score: 84
Value is highly dependent on the Croyle situation this season; another elite physical talent at WR who should produce as both a playmaker and a possession WR.
15. Roddy White, ATL | Age: 26.8 | Value Score: 83
Offseason concerns about the deleterious effects of a rookie quarterback were overblown. I'm guilty as charged.
16. Roy Williams, DAL | Age: 26.7 | Value Score: 82
I grew up in Cincinnati and went through the 1990s there, so I'm enlightened to a golden rule about football: never underestimate the power of an historically inept franchise to suck the will to live out of a talented and competitive player. I saw it with many Bengals, personified by Corey Dillon who went on to have a career year with the Patriots. We all saw it with Randy Moss upon escaping Oakland. Both players, like Roy Williams, developed reputations for questionable attitudes -- and those reputations may have been well earned. But both players were choir boys once they escaped football hades, and it shouldn't be a surprise when Roy Williams makes the same conversion.
In the third game of Roy Williams career, he put up 9 catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns (causing my ever-excitable friend Al to run out and trade half of his redraft roster to acquire the hot rookie). Two years later, Williams put up a season of 82 catches for 1,310 yards and 7 touchdowns -- playing for the Lions. He has prototypical size, speed, and athleticism. This is a wide receiver with Top-10 ability who was wasted in Detroit. Now, much like Randy Moss last season, he goes from the outhouse to the penthouse. It's the best case scenario. To quote Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom in the Footballguys.com Blogger:
- He moves from a team with a losing tradition, to “America’s Team”
- He moves from Jon Kitna and Dan Orlovsky to Tony Romo [and Brad Johnson for the next 4 games?]
- He moves from being the veteran WR1 to being the younger WR2
- He has Terrell Owens commanding double teams
- He has Jason Witten opening up the middle
- He’s being PAID
- He’s on a winner
- He’s a Texas kid back in his home state
- He’s got an excellent offensive coordinator calling plays
17. Lee Evans, BUF | Age: 27.5 | Value Score: 75
Double teamed on nearly every passing play and still fifth in the league in receiving yards. The newly signed top-five contract shows his true value as an elite wide receiving talent.
18. Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ | Age: 26.3 | Value Score: 75
The Jets passing game just got a whole lot more reliable and explosive. Cotchery's value gets a nice spike, but it remains to be seen who Favre's favorite will be.
19. Plaxico Burress, NYG | Age: 31.1 | Value Score: 74
The return of the "High Knucklehead Factor." Plax is simply not reliable.
20. Santana Moss, WAS | Age: 29.3 | Value Score: 73
He'll bounce back, but would-be WR1s don't pull a disappearing act for two straight games.
21. Chad Ocho Cinco, CIN | Age: 30.6 | Value Score: 72
He's passed the buy-low window and entered legitimate concern territory. He and Palmer haven't been on the same page, and the Bengals franchise is going down the toilet again.
22. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN | Age: 30.9 | Value Score: 72
A lost season for the Bengals. Might be time to hope he leaves Cincy after the 2008 season.
23. DeSean Jackson, PHI | Age: 21.8 | Value Score: 70
24. Torry Holt, STL | Age: 32.3 | Value Score: 69
After an impressive display with a bum knee in a sunk offense in '07, expect Holt to bounce back with another Tier 1 performance in '08. Age & gimpy knee keeping his value down just a tad.
25. Vincent Jackson, SD | Age: 25.7 | Value Score: 62
Much more valuable in Dynasty than redraft, V-Jax just keeps improving every year. The sky is the limit with an improved QB getting him more and more involved in the offense.
26. Hines Ward, PIT | Age: 32.5 | Value Score: 62
Off-season surgery should help him regain a step or two after playing through tears of his MCL, PCL, and right meniscus last season; as exhibited in the playoff game against JAX, he's still Big Ben's most reliable WR as well as a prime red zone weapon.
27. Wes Welker, NE | Age: 27.3 | Value Score: 61
Still valuable in PPR leagues, but he can't get in the end zone with Cassel under center.
28. Laveranues Coles, NYJ | Age: 30.7 | Value Score: 60
Should remain heavily targeted as long as Brett Favre is around.
29. Eddie Royal, DEN | Age: 22.3 | Value Score: 59
An awful lot of buzz coming out of Broncos camp from his head coach, teammates, and beat writers.
30. Anthony Gonzalez, IND | Age: 24.0 | Value Score: 58
It's so tough to rank Colts offensive players on talent because the Peyton Manning factor skews the results. There's no reason Gonzalez can't produce like a starter as long as he plays like a starter---no sure thing with Marvin possibly bouncing back this season.
31. Marvin Harrison, IND | Age: 36.0 | Value Score: 58
"Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun, but Mama, that's where the fun is." High risk, high reward. How lucky do you feel? I think Marvin has another difference-making season left in him, but I'm not willing to invest heavily to find out at age 36. Update: Harrison practicing and running freely; coach Dungy not worried about Philadelphia shooting.
32. #Chris Chambers, SD | Age: 30.1 | Value Score: 56
I've yet to see a convincing argument for Catch % as a tell-all metric, but that didn't stop the stats guys from hammering Chambers for years. He's still a very good talent, one of the better red zone receivers, and his current QB is a considerably better passer than any QB he ever had in Miami.
33. #Sidney Rice, MIN | Age: 22.0 | Value Score: 52
The talent is obvious. Rice should be a playmaker and a TD scorer in a normal offense, but the Vikes are far from a normal offense; pray for a QB trade.
34. Bernard Berrian, MIN | Age: 27.7 | Value Score: 49
Just cross your fingers that the team doesn't turn back to Tarvaris next season.
35. #Kevin Curtis, PHI | Age: 30.2 | Value Score: 39
Explosive in doses but not reliable enough to be a weekly fantasy starter. Still, 1100 yards and 6 TDs isn't bad production for a WR3.
36. Donald Driver, GB | Age: 33.6 | Value Score: 38
It doesn't pay to be Favre's go-to guy when Favre is no longer around; heading into his mid-thirties, Driver may be entering his last startable season.
37. Devin Thomas, WAS | Age: 21.8 | Value Score: 37
38. James Hardy, BUF | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 36
39. Donnie Avery, STL | Age: 22.6 | Value Score: 36
Avery may have been overdrafted as the first wideout off the board, but he's a keeper. Look for him to become a bigger part of the offense moving forward.
40. Matt Jones, JAX | Age: 25.4 | Value Score: 36
Not only has he emerged as David Garrard's go-to guy in the Jags offense, he's played so well that they can't afford to take him out of the lineup.
41. #Mike Walker, JAX | Age: 23.8 | Value Score: 35
The reported sprained MCL is a bit of a hangover from Walker's coming out party on national television Sunday night. You may have to wait a few weeks, but Walker has turned the corner and earned his quarterback's trust.
42. Lance Moore, NO | Age: 25.1 | Value Score: 30
Has impressed enough that he should keep the starting job even when Colston and Patten both return.
43. Robert Meachem, NO | Age: 24.0 | Value Score: 30
Great buy-low as a '07 1st rounder who redshirted last season with a bothersome knee. A good deal more talented than the WRs ahead of him on the Saints depth chart, so don't rule a fast move now that he's healthy and working with David Patten to improve.
44. #James Jones, GB | Age: 24.5 | Value Score: 30
Favre's exit may lead the Pack to a gradual shift away from Driver and towards the younger receivers. Jones had a terrific rookie season as a 3rd WR in the Packers offense.
45. Jordy Nelson, GB | Age: 23.3 | Value Score: 29
46. Josh Morgan, SF | Age: 23.2 | Value Score: 28
The star of Niners camp, Morgan was mentioned as a possible starter by Coach Nolan.
47. Ted Ginn Jr., MIA | Age: 23.4 | Value Score: 28
No matter how fast you are, it's going to be tough for an unpolished WR to produce in that offense. All upside, no production at this point.
48. #Deion Branch, SEA | Age: 29.2 | Value Score: 27
The most over-rated fantasy receiver of recent memory suffered yet another injury in his first game back. He can't stay healthy, doesn't get in the end zone, and has never broken 1,000 yards in a season.
49. Bobby Engram, SEA | Age: 35.7 | Value Score: 27
50. #Reggie Brown, PHI | Age: 27.7 | Value Score: 27
He just couldn't get the separation needed to become a reliable target for McNabb; may bounce back somewhat, but the lack of speed looks troublesome.
51. Laurent Robinson, ATL | Age: 23.4 | Value Score: 21
Needs to bulk up while he's stashed on your bench; it won't take much to bypass Michael Jenkins and Joe Horn, and he could end eventually end up with a Darrell Jackson type of career in right offense.
52. Limas Sweed, PIT | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 21
53. Devin Hester, CHI | Age: 25.8 | Value Score: 20
The talent was always there, and now it appears that he's taken the step to legit wide receiver. He's gone from stash-and-hope to actual weekly production.
54. Steve Breaston, ARI | Age: 25.0 | Value Score: 20
Worst case scenario: he stays involved as the No. 3 receiver for the next two years. Best case scenario: he steps in for Anquan Boldin in the near future as the wide receiver feasting off of Fitz's production.
55. Chris Henry, CIN | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 19
56. Steve Smith, NYG | Age: 23.4 | Value Score: 19
57. Derrick Mason, BAL | Age: 34.6 | Value Score: 18
58. Mark Clayton, BAL | Age: 26.2 | Value Score: 17
Talk about a let-down season. As disappointing as Clayton's production was in '07, it's tough to muster up the faith again in '08. Seriously, zero TDs?! You better hope the string of foot, calf, and back injuries were much worse then he let on.
59. #Malcolm Kelly, WAS | Age: 21.7 | Value Score: 17
60. Donte' Stallworth, CLE | Age: 27.8 | Value Score: 16
61. #Joey Galloway, TB | Age: 36.8 | Value Score: 15
62. Isaac Bruce, SF | Age: 35.8 | Value Score: 14
63. Kevin Walter, HOU | Age: 27.1 | Value Score: 14
Sketchy long-term value, but he could be a borderline WR3 the rest of this season.
64. Antonio Bryant, TB | Age: 27.5 | Value Score: 13
Garcia won't target him like Griese did, and now Galloway is returning to his No. 1 receiver role.
65. [#]Nate Burleson, SEA | Age: 27.0 | Value Score: 13
Plenty of opportunity in '08 with Branch injured and Hackett gone. If that translates into a marked increase in targets to go with his impressive '07 red zone production, Burleson could be a major sleeper.
66. #Justin Gage, TEN | Age: 27.6 | Value Score: 12
67. Javon Walker, OAK | Age: 29.9 | Value Score: 8
Swampland in Florida, oceanfront property in Arizona---you name it, Walker is it. When your coach is openly pining for you to undergo microfracture surgery, then you might have a problematic future.
68. Early Doucet, ARI | Age: 22.8 | Value Score: 8
69. #Craig Davis, SD | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 8
70. Bryant Johnson, SF | Age: 27.5 | Value Score: 7
Not much separating Johnson from the rest of the crowd in San Fran.
71. Domenik Hixon, NYG | Age: 23.9 | Value Score: 7
Built on an impressive preseason with a breakout game starting in Plax's place.
72. #Brandon Stokley, DEN | Age: 32.2 | Value Score: 7
73. Jacoby Jones, HOU | Age: 24.2 | Value Score: 7
How tough can it be to beat out Kevin Walter? The recent DWI didn't help matters.
74. Muhsin Muhammad, CAR | Age: 35.4 | Value Score: 7
75. Arnaz Battle, SF | Age: 28.6 | Value Score: 7
76. Jerome Simpson, CIN | Age: 22.6 | Value Score: 5
77. Jason Hill, SF | Age: 23.6 | Value Score: 5
78. Mario Manningham, NYG | Age: 22.3 | Value Score: 5
79. Harry Douglas, ATL | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 5
80. Jerry Porter, JAX | Age: 30.2 | Value Score: 5
Extremely high knuckle-head factor, always an over-rated talent, and the Jags just don't pass enough. Still, it beats the Raiders offense.
81. Demetrius Williams, BAL | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 5
82. Devery Henderson, NO | Age: 26.5 | Value Score: 5
83. #D.J. Hackett, CAR | Age: 27.1 | Value Score: 4
Long a stat-head darling, but there was a reason Hackett drew so little interest on the free agent market this past offseason: he can't stay healthy. Local beats believe Dwayne Jarrett will take his job soon.
84. Reggie Williams, JAX | Age: 25.4 | Value Score: 4
85. Amani Toomer, NYG | Age: 34.0 | Value Score: 4
86. Patrick Crayton, DAL | Age: 29.4 | Value Score: 4
And just like that, he's fallen off the face of the earth.
87. Ronald Curry, OAK | Age: 29.4 | Value Score: 4
I want to rank him higher, but I see tough days ahead in '08 with Russell learning on the job.
88. #Brandon Lloyd, CHI | Age: 27.2 | Value Score: 4
89. Darrell Jackson, DEN | Age: 29.7 | Value Score: 4
90. Will Franklin, KC | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 4
91. Lavelle Hawkins, TEN | Age: 22.2 | Value Score: 4
92. Antwaan Randle El, WAS | Age: 29.1 | Value Score: 4
93. Drew Bennett, STL | Age: 30.0 | Value Score: 4
94. Dwayne Jarrett, CAR | Age: 22.0 | Value Score: 4
95. Isaiah Stanback, DAL | Age: 24.1 | Value Score: 3
96. Greg Camarillo, MIA | Age: 26.4 | Value Score: 3
97. Miles Austin, DAL | Age: 24.2 | Value Score: 3
98. Andre Caldwell, CIN | Age: 23.4 | Value Score: 3
99. Derek Hagan, MIA | Age: 24.0 | Value Score: 3
100. Earl Bennett, CHI | Age: 21.5 | Value Score: 3
101. Hank Baskett, PHI | Age: 26.0 | Value Score: 2
102. Brandon Jones, TEN | Age: 29.4 | Value Score: 2
103. #Keenan Burton, STL | Age: 23.9 | Value Score: 2
104. Mike Furrey, DET | Age: 31.4 | Value Score: 2
105. Shaun McDonald, DET | Age: 27.3 | Value Score: 2
106. Steve Johnson, BUF | Age: 22.2 | Value Score: 2
107. [#]Ben Obomanu, SEA | Age: 24.8 | Value Score: 2